42 U.S.C. § 300aa-12 - Court jurisdiction

Cite as:42 U.S.C. § 300aa-12
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) General rule

The United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States Court of Federal Claims special masters shall, in accordance with this section, have jurisdiction over proceedings to determine if a petitioner under section 300aa-11 of this title is entitled to compensation under the Program and the amount of such compensation. The United States Court of Federal Claims may issue and enforce such orders as the court deems necessary to assure the prompt payment of any compensation awarded.

(b) Parties

(1) In all proceedings brought by the filing of a petition under section 300aa-11(b) of this title, the Secretary shall be named as the respondent, shall participate, and shall be represented in accordance with section 518(a) of title 28.

(2) Within 30 days after the Secretary receives service of any petition filed under section 300aa-11 of this title the Secretary shall publish notice of such petition in the Federal Register. The special master designated with respect to such petition under subsection (c) shall afford all interested persons an opportunity to submit relevant, written information-

(A) relating to the existence of the evidence described in section 300aa-13(a)(1)(B) of this title, or

(B) relating to any allegation in a petition with respect to the matters described in section 300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(ii) of this title.

(c) United States Court of Federal Claims special masters

(1) There is established within the United States Court of Federal Claims an office of special masters which shall consist of not more than 8 special masters. The judges of the United States Court of Federal Claims shall appoint the special masters, 1 of whom, by designation of the judges of the United States Court of Federal Claims, shall serve as chief special master. The appointment and reappointment of the special masters shall be by the concurrence of a majority of the judges of the court.

(2) The chief special master and other special masters shall be subject to removal by the judges of the United States Court of Federal Claims for incompetency, misconduct, or neglect of duty or for physical or mental disability or for other good cause shown.

(3) A special master's office shall be terminated if the judges of the United States Court of Federal Claims determine, upon advice of the chief special master, that the services performed by that office are no longer needed.

(4) The appointment of any individual as a special master shall be for a term of 4 years, subject to termination under paragraphs (2) and (3). Individuals serving as special masters on December 19, 1989, shall serve for 4 years from the date of their original appointment, subject to termination under paragraphs (2) and (3). The chief special master in office on December 19, 1989, shall continue to serve as chief special master for the balance of the master's term, subject to termination under paragraphs (2) and (3).

(5) The compensation of the special masters shall be determined by the judges of the United States Court of Federal Claims, upon advice of the chief special master. The salary of the chief special master shall be the annual rate of basic pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule, as prescribed by section 5315, title 5. The salaries of the other special masters shall not exceed the annual rate of basic pay of level V of the Executive Schedule, as prescribed by section 5316, title 5.

(6) The chief special master shall be responsible for the following:

(A) Administering the office of special masters and their staff, providing for the efficient, expeditious, and effective handling of petitions, and performing such other duties related to the Program as may be assigned to the chief special master by a concurrence of a majority of the United States Claims Courts 1 judges.

(B) Appointing and fixing the salary and duties of such administrative staff as are necessary. Such staff shall be subject to removal for good cause by the chief special master.

(C) Managing and executing all aspects of budgetary and administrative affairs affecting the special masters and their staff, subject to the rules and regulations of the Judicial Conference of the United States. The Conference rules and regulations pertaining to United States magistrate judges shall be applied to the special masters.

(D) Coordinating with the United States Court of Federal Claims the use of services, equipment, personnel, information, and facilities of the United States Court of Federal Claims without reimbursement.

(E) Reporting annually to the Congress and the judges of the United States Court of Federal Claims on the number of petitions filed under section 300aa-11 of this title and their disposition, the dates on which the vaccine-related injuries and deaths for which the petitions were filed occurred, the types and amounts of awards, the length of time for the disposition of petitions, the cost of administering the Program, and recommendations for changes in the Program.

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