The bankruptcy court is part of the federal district court in each judicial district. Bankruptcy judges are appointed for fourteen year terms. The statutes applicable to federal district courts and The Federal Rules of Evidence are often used in bankruptcy courts. All cases with issues addressed in Title 11 of the United States Code are at first referred from the district court to the bankruptcy court. This does not mean that these cases have to stay in the bankruptcy court; they just have to start there if the case deals with issues under Title 11 (The Bankruptcy Code). The bankruptcy court can also hold jury trials and has the powers of a court of equity, law and admiralty. Appeals from the bankruptcy court can go to the district court of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Service (BAPS), if one has been established in that district. BAPS consist of three bankruptcy judges. Cases may go up to the BAPS if all of the parties agree to this and the majority of the district judges agree to refer appeals to the BAPS for that district. Although uncommon, there are cases when appeals can go straight from the bankruptcy court to the court of appeals. The procedure for appealing in bankruptcy cases is laid out in the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, similar to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Saint Louis is located in the Eastern District of Missouri. The bankruptcy judges for the Eastern District of Missouri are Chief Judge Barry S. Schermer, Judge Kathy Surratt-States and Charles E. Rendlen, III. The Eastern District of Missouri has three divisions: the Eastern division (which includes Saint Louis and outlying areas), the Northern Division and the Southeastern Division. The bankruptcy court for the Eastern Division of the Eastern District of Missouri is located in the Thomas F. Eagleton U. S. Courthouse at 111 South 10th Street, Saint Louis, MO 63102. The bankruptcy court for the Northern Division of the Eastern District of Missouri is located in the Hannibal Federal Building at 801 Broadway, Hannibal, MO 63401. Note, the Hannibal office is not staffed unless court is being held. The bankruptcy court for the Southeastern Division of the Eastern District of Missouri is located in the Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. U. S. Courthouse at 555 Independence Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703. Directions and contact information for each of these locations is available at www.moed.uscourts.gov.