United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas

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United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
(W.D. Ark.)
Appeals to Eighth Circuit
Established March 3, 1851
Judges assigned 3
Chief judge Paul K. Holmes III
Official site

The United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas (in case citations, W.D. Ark.) is a United States District Court whose jurisdiction comprises the following counties: Ashley, Baxter, Benton, Boone, Bradley, Calhoun, Carroll, Clarke, Columbia, Crawford, Franklin, Garland, Hempstead, Hot Springs, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Pike, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier, Union, and Washington.

Appeals from the Western District of Arkansas are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas is Paul K. Holmes III.

The current United States Marshal for the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas is Harold Michael Oglesby.[1]


Federal courthouse in Texarkana, straddling the Arkansas/Texas border.
Closer view of the federal courthouse in Texarkana.

Arkansas was originally part of the Louisiana Purchase, and became part of the Territory of Missouri in 1812, when Louisiana became a state. When Missouri became a state in 1819, a territorial government, including a territorial court, was organized for Arkansas, taking effect on July 4, 1819.[2] The United States District Court for the District of Arkansas was established with a single judge when Arkansas became a state, on June 15, 1836, by 5 Stat. 50, 51.[2][3] The court was subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on March 3, 1851, by 9 Stat. 594.[3][4][5]

The court's headquarters and one of its divisions is based in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Famous "hanging judge" Isaac Parker presided over this court in Fort Smith; the former barracks that served as his courthouse and jail is now part of Fort Smith National Historic Site. The court presently sits in a nearby Federal office building named after Parker.

Another division of the court in Texarkana, Arkansas shares a courthouse with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the only federal courthouse in the United States to sit in two states.

Current judges[edit]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
23 Chief Judge Paul K. Holmes III Fort Smith 1951 2011–present 2012–present Obama
24 District Judge Susan Owens Hickey El Dorado 1955 2011–present Obama
25 District Judge Timothy L. Brooks Fayetteville 1964 2014–present Obama
20 Senior Judge Jimm Larry Hendren Fayetteville 1940 1992–2012 1997–2012 2012–present G.H.W. Bush
21 Senior Judge Harry F. Barnes El Dorado 1932 1993–2008 2008–present Clinton
22 Senior Judge Robert T. Dawson Fort Smith 1938 1998–2009 2009–present Clinton

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born/Died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Ringo, DanielDaniel Ringo AR 1803–1873 1851[6]–1861 Taylor, Taylor resignation
2 Caldwell, Henry ClayHenry Clay Caldwell AR 1832–1915 1864–1871 Lincoln, Lincoln reassignment
3 Story, WilliamWilliam Story AR 1843–1921 1871–1874 Grant, Grant resignation
4 Parker, IsaacIsaac Parker AR 1838–1896 1875–1896 Grant, Grant death
5 Rogers, John HenryJohn Henry Rogers AR 1845–1911 1896–1911 Cleveland, Cleveland death
6 Youmans, Frank A.Frank A. Youmans AR 1860–1932 1911–1932 Taft, Taft death
7 Ragon, HeartsillHeartsill Ragon AR 1885–1940 1933–1940 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
8 Lemley, Harry JacobHarry Jacob Lemley AR 1883–1965 1939–1958 1948–1958 1958–1965 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
9 Miller, John E.John E. Miller AR 1888–1981 1941–1967 1958–1967 1967–1981 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
10 Henley, Jesse SmithJesse Smith Henley AR 1917–1997 1959–1975 Eisenhower, Eisenhower reappointment
11 Harris, OrenOren Harris AR 1903–1997 1965–1976 1967–1973 1976–1997 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
12 Williams, Paul X.Paul X. Williams AR 1908–1994 1967–1981 1973–1981 1981–1994 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
13 Shell, Terry LeeTerry Lee Shell AR 1922–1978 1975–1978 Ford, Ford death
14 Roy, Elsijane TrimbleElsijane Trimble Roy AR 1916–2007 1977–1989 1989–1990 Carter, Carter reassignment
15 Arnold, Richard S.Richard S. Arnold AR 1936–2004 1978–1980 Carter, Carter reappointment
16 Howard, Jr., GeorgeGeorge Howard, Jr. AR 1924–2007 1980–1990 Carter, Carter reassignment
17 Waters, Hugh FranklinHugh Franklin Waters AR 1932–2002 1981–1997 1981–1997 1997–2002 Reagan, Reagan death
18 Arnold, Morris S.Morris S. Arnold AR 1941–present 1985–1992 Reagan, Reagan reappointment
19 Wright, Susan WebberSusan Webber Wright AR 1948–present 1990 Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bush reassignment

Succession of seats[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/111thCongressExecutiveNominations/111Marshals.cfm?renderforprint=1&
  2. ^ a b Lynn Foster, Their Pride and Ornament: Judge Benjamin Johnson and the Federal Courts in Early Arkansas, 22 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 21 (1999).
  3. ^ a b U.S. District Courts of Arkansas, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 390.
  5. ^ Alfred Conkling, A Treatise on the Organization, Jurisdiction and Practice of the Courts of the United States (1864), p. 179.
  6. ^ Initially appointed to the District of Arkansas in 1849 by Zachary Taylor; reassigned to both the Eastern District of Arkansas and the Western District of Arkansas in 1851.

External links[edit]