[USC02] 38 USC PART V, CHAPTER 72, SUBCHAPTER I: ORGANIZATION AND JURISDICTION
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38 USC PART V, CHAPTER 72, SUBCHAPTER I: ORGANIZATION AND JURISDICTION
From Title 38—VETERANS' BENEFITSPART V—BOARDS, ADMINISTRATIONS, AND SERVICESCHAPTER 72—UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

SUBCHAPTER I—ORGANIZATION AND JURISDICTION

§7251. Status

There is hereby established, under Article I of the Constitution of the United States, a court of record to be known as the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

(Added Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title III, §301(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4113, §4051; renumbered §7251, Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §402(b)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; amended Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §511(b), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3341.)

Amendments

1998Pub. L. 105–368 substituted "Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" for "Court of Veterans Appeals".

1991Pub. L. 102–40 renumbered section 4051 of this title as this section.

Change of Name

Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §511(a), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3341, provided that: "The United States Court of Veterans Appeals is hereby renamed as, and shall hereafter be known and designated as, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims."

Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §512(c), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3342, provided that: "Any reference in a law, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the United States Court of Veterans Appeals shall be deemed to be a reference to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims."

Effective Date of 2001 Amendment; Construction

Pub. L. 107–103, title VI, §603(c), (d), Dec. 27, 2001, 115 Stat. 999, provided that:

"(c) Construction.—The repeal in subsection (a) [repealing section 402 of Pub. L. 100–687, formerly set out as a note below] may not be construed to confer upon the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims jurisdiction over any appeal or other matter not within the jurisdiction of the Court as provided in section 7266(a) of title 38, United States Code.

"(d) Applicability.—The repeals made by subsections (a) and (b) [repealing section 402 of Pub. L. 100–687, formerly set out as a note below, and section 403 of Pub. L. 100–687, formerly set out as a note under section 5904 of this title] shall apply to any appeal filed with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims—

"(1) on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 27, 2001]; or

"(2) before the date of the enactment of this Act but in which a final decision has not been made under section 7291 of title 38, United States Code, as of that date."

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §513, Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3342, provided that: "This subtitle [subtitle B (§§511–513) of title V of Pub. L. 105–368, see Tables for classification], and the amendments made by this subtitle, shall take effect on the first day of the first month beginning more than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 11, 1998]."

Effective Date

Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title IV, §401, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4122, as amended by Pub. L. 101–94, title III, §301, Aug. 16, 1989, 103 Stat. 628, provided that:

"(a) General Effective Date.—Except as otherwise provided in this section, this division (and the amendments made by this Act) [div. A (§§1–403) of Pub. L. 100–687, known as the 'Veterans' Judicial Review Act', see Tables for classification] shall take effect on September 1, 1989.

"(b) Effective Date for Certain Transition Provisions.—The amendment made by section 201(a) [amending section 4001 [now 7101] of this title] shall take effect on February 1, 1989.

"(c) Date of Enactment.—Sections 201 (other than subsection (a)), 208, 209, 302, and 303, and the amendments made by those sections [see Tables for classification], shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 18, 1988].

"(d) Board of Veterans' Appeals.—Sections 202, 203, 205, 206, and 207 [see Tables for classification] shall take effect as of January 1, 1989. Section 204 [amending section 4004 [now 7104] of this title] shall take effect on September 1, 1989.

"(e) Commencement of Operation of Court of Veterans Appeals.—Notwithstanding subsection (a), the United States Court of Veterans Appeals [now United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims] established pursuant to chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code (as added by section 301) shall not begin to operate until at least three judges have been appointed to the court."

Chapter Applicable to Claims Alleging Previous Determination the Product of Clear and Unmistakable Error

Pub. L. 105–111, §1(c)(2), Nov. 21, 1997, 111 Stat. 2272, provided that: "Notwithstanding section 402 of the Veterans Judicial Review Act (38 U.S.C. 7251 note), chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code, shall apply with respect to any decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals on a claim alleging that a previous determination of the Board was the product of clear and unmistakable error if that claim is filed after, or was pending before the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Court of Veterans Appeals [now Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims], the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or the Supreme Court on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 21, 1997]."

Chapter Applicable to Cases Filed On or After November 18, 1988

Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title IV, §402, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4122, as amended by Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §402(d)(2), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 239, which provided that this chapter applied to any case in which a notice of disagreement was filed under section 7105 of this title on or after Nov. 18, 1988, was repealed by Pub. L. 107–103, title VI, §603(a), Dec. 27, 2001, 115 Stat. 999.

§7252. Jurisdiction; finality of decisions

(a) The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall have exclusive jurisdiction to review decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals. The Secretary may not seek review of any such decision. The Court shall have power to affirm, modify, or reverse a decision of the Board or to remand the matter, as appropriate.

(b) Review in the Court shall be on the record of proceedings before the Secretary and the Board. The extent of the review shall be limited to the scope provided in section 7261 of this title. The Court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities adopted under section 1155 of this title or any action of the Secretary in adopting or revising that schedule.

(c) Decisions by the Court are subject to review as provided in section 7292 of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title III, §301(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4113, §4052; renumbered §7252 and amended Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §402(b)(1), (d)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238, 239; Pub. L. 102–54, §14(e)(3), June 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 287; Pub. L. 102–83, §§4(b)(1), (2)(E), 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404–406; Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §512(a)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3341.)

Amendments

1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–368 substituted "Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" for "Court of Veterans Appeals".

1991Pub. L. 102–40, §402(b)(1), renumbered section 4052 of this title as this section.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–83, §4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted "Secretary" for "Administrator".

Pub. L. 102–54 amended subsec. (a) as in effect immediately before the enactment of Pub. L. 102–40 by substituting "Court" for "court" in last sentence.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–83, §5(c)(1), substituted "1155" for "355".

Pub. L. 102–83, §4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted "Secretary" for "Administrator" in two places.

Pub. L. 102–40, §402(d)(1), substituted "7261" for "4061".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–40, §402(d)(1), substituted "7292" for "4092".

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–368 effective on first day of first month beginning more than 90 days after Nov. 11, 1998, see section 513 of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as a note under section 7251 of this title.

§7253. Composition

(a) Composition.—The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is composed of at least three and not more than seven judges, one of whom shall serve as chief judge in accordance with subsection (d).

(b) Appointment.—The judges of the Court shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, solely on the grounds of fitness to perform the duties of the office. A person may not be appointed to the Court who is not a member in good standing of the bar of a Federal court or of the highest court of a State. Not more than the number equal to the next whole number greater than one-half of the number of judges of the Court may be members of the same political party.

(c) Term of Office.—The term of office of the judges of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be 15 years. A judge who is nominated by the President for appointment to an additional term on the Court without a break in service and whose term of office expires while that nomination is pending before the Senate may continue in office for up to 1 year while that nomination is pending.

(d) Chief Judge.—(1) The chief judge of the Court is the head of the Court. The chief judge of the Court shall be the judge of the Court in regular active service who is senior in commission among the judges of the Court who—

(A) have served for one or more years as judges of the Court;

(B) have at least 3 years remaining in term of office; and

(C) have not previously served as chief judge.


(2)(A) In any case in which there is no judge of the Court in regular active service who meets the requirements under paragraph (1), the judge of the Court in regular active service who is senior in commission and meets subparagraph (A) or (B) and subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) shall act as the chief judge.

(B) In any case under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph in which there is no judge of the Court in regular active service who meets subparagraph (A) or (B) and subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), the judge of the Court in regular active service who is senior in commission and meets subparagraph (C) shall act as the chief judge.

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (4), a judge of the Court shall serve as the chief judge under paragraph (1) for a term of five years or until the judge becomes age 70, whichever occurs first. If no other judge is eligible under paragraph (1) to serve as chief judge upon the expiration of that term, that judge shall continue to serve as chief judge until another judge becomes eligible under that paragraph to serve as chief judge.

(4)(A) The term of a chief judge shall be terminated before the end of the term prescribed by paragraph (3) if—

(i) the chief judge leaves regular active service as a judge of the Court; or

(ii) the chief judge notifies the other judges of the Court in writing that such judge desires to be relieved of the duties of chief judge.


(B) The effective date of a termination of the term under subparagraph (A) shall be the date on which the chief judge leaves regular active service or the date of the notification under subparagraph (A)(ii), as the case may be.

(5) If a chief judge is temporarily unable to perform the duties of chief judge, those duties shall be performed by the judge of the Court in active service who is present, able and qualified to act, and is next in precedence.

(6) Judges who have the same seniority in commission shall be eligible for service as chief judge in accordance with their relative precedence.

(e) Salary.—Each judge of the Court shall receive a salary at the same rate as is received by judges of the United States district courts.

(f) Removal.—(1) A judge of the Court may be removed from office by the President on grounds of misconduct, neglect of duty, engaging in the practice of law, or violating section 7255(c) of this title. A judge of the Court may not be removed from office by the President on any other ground.

(2) Before a judge may be removed from office under this subsection, the judge shall be provided with a full specification of the reasons for the removal and an opportunity to be heard.

(g) Rules.—(1) The Court shall prescribe rules, consistent with the provisions of chapter 16 of title 28, establishing procedures for the filing of complaints with respect to the conduct of any judge of the Court and for the investigation and resolution of such complaints. In investigating and taking action with respect to any such complaint, the Court shall have the powers granted to a judicial council under such chapter.

(2) The provisions of sections 354(b) through 360 of title 28, regarding referral or certification to, and petition for review in, the Judicial Conference of the United States and action thereon, shall apply to the exercise by the Court of the powers of a judicial council under paragraph (1) of this subsection. The grounds for removal from office specified in subsection (f)(1) shall provide a basis for a determination pursuant to section 354(b) or 355 of title 28, and certification and transmittal by the Conference shall be made to the President for consideration under subsection (f).

(3)(A) In conducting hearings pursuant to paragraph (1), the Court may exercise the authority provided under section 1821 of title 28 to pay the fees and allowances described in that section.

(B) The Court shall have the power provided under section 361 of title 28 to award reimbursement for the reasonable expenses described in that section. Reimbursements under this subparagraph shall be made from funds appropriated to the Court.

(h) Temporary Expansion of Court.—(1) During the period from January 1, 2002, through August 15, 2005, the authorized number of judges of the Court specified in subsection (a) is increased by two.

(2)(A) Of the two additional judges authorized by this subsection—

(i) only one may be appointed pursuant to a nomination made in 2002; and

(ii) only one may be appointed pursuant to a nomination made in 2003.


(B) If a judge is not appointed under this subsection pursuant to a nomination made in 2002, a judge may be appointed under this subsection pursuant to a nomination made in 2004. If a judge is not appointed under this subsection pursuant to a nomination made in 2003, a judge may be appointed under this subsection pursuant to a nomination made in 2004. In either case, such an appointment may be made only pursuant to a nomination made before October 1, 2004.

(3) The term of office and the eligibility for retirement of a judge appointed under this subsection, other than a judge described in paragraph (4), are governed by the provisions of section 1012 of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Amendments of 1999 (title X of Public Law 106–117; 113 Stat. 1590; 38 U.S.C. 7296 note) if the judge is one of the first two judges appointed to the Court after November 30, 1999.

(4) A judge of the Court as of December 27, 2001, who was appointed to the Court before January 1, 1991, may accept appointment as a judge of the Court under this subsection notwithstanding that the term of office of the judge on the Court has not yet expired under this section. The term of office of an incumbent judge who receives an appointment as described in the preceding sentence shall be 15 years, which includes any period remaining in the unexpired term of the judge. Any service following an appointment under this subsection shall be treated as though served as part of the original term of office of that judge on the Court.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), an appointment may not be made to the Court if the appointment would result in there being more than seven judges on the Court who were appointed after January 1, 1997. For the purposes of this paragraph, a judge serving in recall status under section 7257 of this title shall be disregarded in counting the number of judges appointed to the Court after such date.

(i) Additional Temporary Expansion of Court.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), effective as of December 31, 2009, the authorized number of judges of the Court specified in subsection (a) is increased by two.

(2) Effective as of January 1, 2021, an appointment may not be made to the Court if the appointment would result in there being more judges of the Court than the authorized number of judges of the Court specified in subsection (a).

(Added Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title III, §301(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4114, §4053; amended Pub. L. 101–94, title I, §102(c), Aug. 16, 1989, 103 Stat. 626; renumbered §7253, Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §402(b)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102–82, §3, Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 375; Pub. L. 102–585, title VIII, §801, Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 4980; Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §§501, 512(a)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3340, 3341; Pub. L. 106–117, title X, §§1031, 1032(a), 1033, Nov. 30, 1999, 113 Stat. 1594, 1595; Pub. L. 107–103, title VI, §601, Dec. 27, 2001, 115 Stat. 998; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, §11043(f), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1856; Pub. L. 108–454, title VIII, §802, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3625; Pub. L. 109–233, title V, §503(15), June 15, 2006, 120 Stat. 417; Pub. L. 110–389, title VI, §601, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4176; Pub. L. 112–260, title III, §302(b), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2425; Pub. L. 114–315, title II, §§201(a), 204(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1548, 1549.)

Amendments

2016—Subsec. (d)(1)(B), (C). Pub. L. 114–315, §204(a)(1), added subpar. (B) and redesignated former subpar. (B) as (C).

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 114–315, §204(a)(2), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "In any case in which there is no judge of the Court in regular active service who has served as a judge of the Court for at least one year, the judge of the court in regular active service who is senior in commission and has not served previously as chief judge shall act as the chief judge."

Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 114–315, §201(a), substituted "January 1, 2021" for "January 1, 2013".

2013—Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 112–260, which directed substitution of "engaging in the practice of law, or violating section 7255(c) of this title" for "or engaging in the practice of law" in section 7253(f)(1), without specifying the Code title to be amended, was executed to subsec. (f)(1) of this section, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

2008—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 110–389 added subsec. (i).

2006—Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 109–233 substituted "Court" for "court".

2004—Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 108–454, §802(a), inserted "The chief judge of the Court is the head of the Court." after "(1)".

Subsec. (d)(4)(A). Pub. L. 108–454, §802(b), substituted "Court" for "court" in cls. (i) and (ii).

Subsec. (h)(4). Pub. L. 108–454, §802(c), substituted "December 27, 2001," for "the date of the enactment of this subsection".

2002—Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 107–273, §11043(f)(1), substituted "chapter 16" for "section 372(c)" and "such chapter" for "such section".

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 107–273, §11043(f)(2), substituted "sections 354(b) through 360" for "paragraphs (7) through (15) of section 372(c)" and "section 354(b) or 355" for "paragraph (7) or (8) of section 372(c)".

Subsec. (g)(3)(B). Pub. L. 107–273, §11043(f)(3), substituted "361" for "372(c)(16)".

2001—Subsecs. (b), (c), (f), (g). Pub. L. 107–103, §601(b), inserted subsec. headings.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 107–103, §601(a), added subsec. (h).

1999—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–117, §1031, inserted heading and amended text of subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be composed of a chief judge and at least two and not more than six associate judges."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 106–117, §1032(a), inserted heading and amended text of subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The chief judge is the head of the Court".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–117, §1033, inserted heading and amended text of subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:

"(e)(1) The chief judge of the Court shall receive a salary at the same rate as is received by judges of the United States Courts of Appeals.

"(2) Each judge of the Court, other than the chief judge, shall receive a salary at the same rate as is received by judges of the United States district courts."

1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–368, §512(a)(1), substituted "Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" for "Court of Veterans Appeals".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 105–368, §512(a)(1), substituted "Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" for "Court of Veterans Appeals".

Pub. L. 105–368, §501, inserted at end "A judge who is nominated by the President for appointment to an additional term on the Court without a break in service and whose term of office expires while that nomination is pending before the Senate may continue in office for up to 1 year while that nomination is pending."

1992—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–585 designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added pars. (2) and (3).

1991Pub. L. 102–40 renumbered section 4053 of this title as this section.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–82 added subsec. (g).

1989—Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 101–94 inserted "or" before "engaging" and substituted "law" for "law, or physical or mental disability which, in the opinion of the President, prevents the proper execution of the judge's duties".

Effective Date of 2016 Amendment

Pub. L. 114–315, title II, §204(b), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1550, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to the selection of a chief judge occurring on or after January 1, 2020."

Effective Date of 2013 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–260 effective on the date that is 180 days after Jan. 10, 2013, see section 302(c)(1) of Pub. L. 112–260, set out as a note under section 7255 of this title.

Pub. L. 112–260, title III, §302(c)(2), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2426, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (b) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to judges confirmed on or after January 1, 2012."

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–117, title X, §1036, Nov. 30, 1999, 113 Stat. 1595, provided that:

"(a) Effective Date.—The amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle C (§§1031–1036) of title X of Pub. L. 106–117, amending this section and sections 7254, 7281, 7296, and 7297 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 30, 1999].

"(b) Savings Provision for Incumbent Chief Judge.—The amendments made by this subtitle shall not apply while the individual who is chief judge of the Court [United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims] on the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 30, 1999] continues to serve as chief judge. If that individual, upon termination of service as chief judge, provides notice under section 7257 of title 38, United States Code, of availability for service in a recalled status, the rate of pay applicable to that individual under section 7296(c)(1)(A) of such title while serving in a recalled status shall be at the rate of pay applicable to that individual at the time of retirement, if greater than the rate otherwise applicable under that section."

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by section 512(a)(1) of Pub. L. 105–368 effective on first day of first month beginning more than 90 days after Nov. 11, 1998, see section 513 of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as a note under section 7251 of this title.

Initial Appointment of Judges to Court of Veterans Appeals

Section 302 of Pub. L. 100–687 prohibited President from appointing associate judges of the United States Court of Veterans Appeals under subsec. (b) of this section, until the chief judge of such Court has been appointed and that judges could be appointed after Feb. 1, 1989.

§7254. Organization

(a) The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall have a seal which shall be judicially noticed.

(b) The Court may hear cases by judges sitting alone or in panels, as determined pursuant to procedures established by the Court. Any such panel shall have not less than three judges. The Court shall establish procedures for the assignment of the judges of the Court to such panels and for the designation of the chief of each such panel.

(c)(1) A majority of the judges of the Court shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Court. A vacancy in the Court shall not impair the powers or affect the duties of the Court or of the remaining judges of the Court.

(2) A majority of the judges of a panel of the Court shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the panel. A vacancy in a panel of the Court shall not impair the powers or affect the duties of the panel or of the remaining judges of the panel.

(d) Precedence of Judges.—The chief judge of the Court shall have precedence and preside at any session that the chief judge attends. The other judges shall have precedence and preside according to the seniority of their original commissions. Judges whose commissions bear the same date shall have precedence according to seniority in age.

(e) Judges of the Court shall have the authority to administer oaths.

(Added Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title III, §301(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4114, §4054; amended Pub. L. 101–94, title IV, §402, Aug. 16, 1989, 103 Stat. 628; Pub. L. 101–237, title VI, §602(b), Dec. 18, 1989, 103 Stat. 2095; renumbered §7254, Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §402(b)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102–54, §14(e)(4), June 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 287; Pub. L. 102–82, §8(3), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 377; Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §512(a)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3341; Pub. L. 106–117, title X, §1034, Nov. 30, 1999, 113 Stat. 1595.)

Amendments

1999—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 106–117 inserted heading and amended text of subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In the event of a vacancy in the position of chief judge of the Court, the associate judge senior in service on the Court shall serve as acting chief judge unless the President designates one of the other associate judges to serve as acting chief judge, in which case the judge so designated shall serve as acting chief judge."

1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–368 substituted "Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" for "Court of Veterans Appeals".

1991Pub. L. 102–40 renumbered section 4054 of this title as this section.

Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 102–54 amended section as in effect immediately before the enactment of Pub. L. 102–40, and Pub. L. 102–82 amended section, identically, by redesignating the second subsec. (d), relating to authority to administer oaths as, (e).

1989—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–237 added subsec. (d) relating to authority to administer oaths.

Pub. L. 101–94 added subsec. (d) relating to acting chief judge in event of vacancy.

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–117 effective Nov. 30, 1999, with savings provision for incumbent chief judge, see section 1036 of Pub. L. 106–117, set out as a note under section 7253 of this title.

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–368 effective on first day of first month beginning more than 90 days after Nov. 11, 1998, see section 513 of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as a note under section 7251 of this title.

§7255. Offices, duty stations, and residences

(a) Principal Office.—The principal office of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, but the Court may sit at any place within the United States.

(b) Official Duty Stations.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the official duty station of each judge while in active service shall be the principal office of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

(2) The place where a recall-eligible retired judge maintains the actual abode in which such judge customarily lives shall be considered the recall-eligible retired judge's official duty station.

(c) Residences.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), after appointment and while in active service, each judge of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall reside within 50 miles of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to recall-eligible retired judges of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

(Added Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title III, §301(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4114, §4055; renumbered §7255, Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §402(b)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; amended Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §512(a)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3341; Pub. L. 108–454, title VIII, §801, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3625; Pub. L. 112–260, title III, §302(a)(1), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2425.)

Amendments

2013Pub. L. 112–260, which directed the general amendment of section 7255 without specifying the Code title to be amended, was executed by amending this section generally, to reflect the probable intent of Congress. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The principal office of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, but the Court may sit at any place within the United States."

2004Pub. L. 108–454 substituted "Washington, D.C., metropolitan area" for "District of Columbia".

1998Pub. L. 105–368 substituted "Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" for "Court of Veterans Appeals".

1991Pub. L. 102–40 renumbered section 4055 of this title as this section.

Effective Date of 2013 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–260, title III, §302(c)(1), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2425, provided that: "Subsection (c) of section 7255 [probably means 38 U.S.C. 7255(c)], as added by subsection (a), and the amendment made by subsection (b) [amending section 7253 of this title] shall take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 10, 2013]."

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–368 effective on first day of first month beginning more than 90 days after Nov. 11, 1998, see section 513 of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as a note under section 7251 of this title.

Facilities for Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Pub. L. 101–94, title II, §201, Aug. 16, 1989, 103 Stat. 626, as amended by Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §512(c), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3342, provided that:

"(a) Space in the District of Columbia.—The Administrator of General Services shall provide suitable building space in the District of Columbia for the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims as the Court's principal place of business. The Administrator shall, if necessary, arrange for temporary space for the Court if permanent space is not immediately available for the Court. The Administrator shall place a high priority on the provision of such temporary and permanent space for the Court.

"(b) Approval by Court.—Any space to be provided for the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims under subsection (a) must be acceptable to the Court.

"(c) Additional Requirement.—Any building space provided to the Court under subsection (a) shall be adjacent to additional building space (in an amount acceptable to the Court) that can be made available to the Court in the future if needed for expansion of the facilities of the Court."

Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title III, §303, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4121, provided for the initial location of the principal office of the Court of Veterans Appeals.

§7256. Times and places of sessions

The times and places of sessions of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims shall be prescribed by the chief judge.

(Added Pub. L. 100–687, div. A, title III, §301(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4115, §4056; renumbered §7256, Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, §402(b)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; amended Pub. L. 105–368, title V, §512(a)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3341.)

Amendments

1998Pub. L. 105–368 substituted "Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims" for "Court of Veterans Appeals".

1991Pub. L. 102–40 renumbered section 4056 of this title as this section.

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–368 effective on first day of first month beginning more than 90 days after Nov. 11, 1998, see section 513 of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as a note under section 7251 of this title.

§7257. Recall of retired judges

(a)(1) A retired judge of the Court may be recalled for further service on the Court in accordance with this section. To be eligible to be recalled for such service, a retired judge must at the time of the judge's retirement provide to the chief judge of the Court (or, in the case of the chief judge, to the clerk of the Court) notice in writing that the retired judge is available for further service on the Court in accordance with this section and is willing to be recalled under this section. Such a notice provided by a retired judge to whom section 7296(c)(1)(B) of this title applies is irrevocable.

(2) For the purposes of this section—

(A) a retired judge is a judge of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims who retires from the Court under section 7296 of this title or under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5; and

(B) a recall-eligible retired judge is a retired judge who has provided a notice under paragraph (1).


(b)(1) The chief judge may recall for further service on the Court a recall-eligible retired judge in accordance with this section. Such a recall shall be made upon written certification by the chief judge that substantial service is expected to be performed by the retired judge for such period, not to exceed 90 days (or the equivalent), as determined by the chief judge to be necessary to meet the needs of the Court.

(2) A recall-eligible retired judge may not be recalled for more than 90 days (or the equivalent) during any calendar year without the judge's consent.

(3) If a recall-eligible retired judge is recalled by the chief judge in accordance with this section and (other than in the case of a judge who has previously during that calendar year served at least 90 days (or the equivalent) of recalled service on the court) declines (other than by reason of disability) to perform the service to which recalled, the chief judge shall remove that retired judge from the status of a recall-eligible judge. This paragraph shall not apply to a judge to whom section 7296(c)(1)(A) or 7296(c)(1)(B) of this title applies and who has, in the aggregate, served at least five years of recalled service on the Court under this section.

(4) A recall-eligible retired judge who becomes permanently disabled and as a result of that disability is unable to perform further service on the Court shall be removed from the status of a recall-eligible judge. Determination of such a disability shall be made pursuant to section 7253(g) or 7296(g) of this title.

(c) A retired judge who is recalled under this section may exercise all of the judicial powers and duties of the office of a judge in active service.

(d)(1) The pay of a recall-eligible retired judge to whom section 7296(c)(1)(B) of this title applies is the pay specified in that section.

(2) A judge who is recalled under this section who retired under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 or to whom section 7296(c)(1)(A) of this title applies shall be paid, during the period for which the judge serves in recall status, pay at the rate of pay in effect under section 7253(e) of this title for a judge performing active service, less the amount of the judge's annuity under the applicable provisions of chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 or the judge's annuity under section 7296(c)(1)(A) of this title, whichever is applicable.

(e)(1) Except as provided in subsection (d), a judge who is recalled under this section who retired under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 shall be considered to be a reemployed annuitant under that chapter.

(2) Nothing in this section affects the right of a judge who retired under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 to serve as a reemployed annuitant in accordance with the provisions of title 5.

(Added Pub. L. 106–117, title X, §1021(a), Nov. 30, 1999, 113 Stat. 1590; amended Pub. L. 110–389, title VI, §603(a), (b)(3)–(c), Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4177, 4178.)

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 110–389, §603(b)(4), amended last sentence generally. Prior to amendment, last sentence read as follows: "Such a notice provided by a retired judge is irrevocable.".

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 110–389, §603(a), struck out "or for more than a total of 180 days (or the equivalent) during any calendar year" before period at end.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 110–389, §603(c), inserted at end "This paragraph shall not apply to a judge to whom section 7296(c)(1)(A) or 7296(c)(1)(B) of this title applies and who has, in the aggregate, served at least five years of recalled service on the Court under this section."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–389, §603(b)(3), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows:

"(d)(1) The pay of a recall-eligible retired judge who retired under section 7296 of this title is specified in subsection (c) of that section.

"(2) A judge who is recalled under this section who retired under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 shall be paid, during the period for which the judge serves in recall status, pay at the rate of pay in effect under section 7253(e) of this title for a judge performing active service, less the amount of the judge's annuity under the applicable provisions of chapter 83 or 84 of title 5."