Under 28 U.S.C. § 129, West Virginia consists of two federal judicial districts, each with statutory divisions. The Northern District comprises the counties of Barbour, Berkeley, Braxton, Brooke, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Grant, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jefferson, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Mineral, Monongalia, Morgan, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Webster, and Wetzel. Court for the Northern District is held at Clarksburg, Elkins, Martinsburg and Wheeling.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of West Virginia represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court.
^Early in the course of the American Civil War, the western portion of Virginia rejected Virginia's secession from the United States, and itself seceded from Virginia. This area largely coincided with the existing Western District of Virginia. The portion of Virginia remaining loyal to the Union became the state of West Virginia, which was admitted as a state on June 20, 1863. On June 11, 1864, by 13 Stat. 124, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia became the United States District Court for the District of West Virginia, and those parts of the Western District that were not part of West Virginia were combined with what had previously been the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to again form a single United States District Court for the District of Virginia. John Jay Jackson, who had been appointed to the Western District of Virginia, was reassigned by operation of law to the newly formed District of West Virginia. At the same time, John Curtiss Underwood, who had been appointed to the Eastern District of Virginia, was reassigned by operation of law to the newly formed District of Virginia. On February 3, 1871, the District of Virginia was again subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts, and Underwood was reassigned to the Eastern District, until his death. On July 1, 1901, the District of West Virginia was subdivided into the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia and the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia; Jackson was reassigned to the Northern District, until his retirement.