United States District Court for the District of Delaware
|United States District Court for the District of Delaware|
|Appeals to||Third Circuit|
|Established||September 24, 1789|
|Chief Judge||Leonard P. Stark|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||David C. Weiss|
The United States District Court for the District of Delaware (in case citations, D. Del.) is the Federal district court having jurisdiction over the entire state of Delaware. The Court sits in Wilmington. Currently, four district judges and three magistrate judges preside over the court.
The Court is notable for hearing and trying many patent and other complex commercial disputes. In addition, it has limited original and broad appellate jurisdiction over bankruptcy disputes which are filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Appeals from the Court are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which sits in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The current United States Attorney for the District of Delaware is David C. Weiss since January 22, 2018.
The court was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. From its establishment until 1946, the court had a single judge. A temporary additional judgeship was authorized on July 24, 1946, by 60 Stat. 654, and was made permanent on September 5, 1950, by 64 Stat. 578. A third judge was authorized on February 10, 1954, by 68 Stat. 8, and a fourth on July 10, 1984, by 98 Stat. 333.
As of August 9, 2018[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|24||Chief Judge||Leonard P. Stark||Wilmington||1969||2010–present||2014–present||—||Obama|
|25||District Judge||Richard G. Andrews||Wilmington||1955||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|26||District Judge||Colm Connolly||Wilmington||1964||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|27||District Judge||Maryellen Noreika||Wilmington||1966||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|17||Senior Judge||Joseph J. Longobardi||inactive||1930||1984–1997||1989–1996||1997–present||Reagan|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Gunning Bedford Jr.||DE||1747–1812||1789–1812||—||—||Washington||death|
|3||Willard Hall||DE||1780–1875||1823–1871[Note 1]||—||—||Monroe||retirement|
|4||Edward Green Bradford||DE||1819–1884||1871–1884||—||—||Grant||death|
|5||Leonard Eugene Wales||DE||1823–1897||1884–1897||—||—||Arthur||death|
|6||Edward Green Bradford II||DE||1848–1928||1897–1918||—||—||McKinley||retirement|
|7||Hugh M. Morris||DE||1878–1966||1919–1930||—||—||Wilson||resignation|
|8||John Percy Nields||DE||1868–1943||1930–1941||—||1941–1943||Hoover||death|
|9||Paul Conway Leahy||DE||1904–1966||1942–1957||1948–1957||1957–1966||F. Roosevelt||death|
|10||Richard Seymour Rodney||DE||1882–1963||1946–1957||—||1957–1963||Truman||death|
|11||Caleb Merrill Wright||DE||1908–2001||1955–1973||1957–1973||1973–2001||Eisenhower||death|
|12||Caleb Rodney Layton III||DE||1907–1988||1957–1968||—||1968–1988||Eisenhower||death|
|13||Edwin DeHaven Steel Jr.||DE||1904–1986||1958–1969||—||1969–1986||Eisenhower||death|
|14||James Levin Latchum||DE||1918–2004||1968–1983||1973–1983||1983–2004||L. Johnson||death|
|15||Walter King Stapleton||DE||1934–present||1970–1985||1983–1985||—||Nixon||elevation to 3d Cir.|
|16||Murray Merle Schwartz||DE||1931–2013||1974–1989||1985–1989||1989–2013||Nixon||death|
|18||Joseph James Farnan Jr.||DE||1945–present||1985–2010||1996–2000||—||Reagan||retirement|
|19||Jane Richards Roth||DE||1935–present||1985–1991||—||—||Reagan||elevation to 3d Cir.|
|20||Sue Lewis Robinson||DE||1952–present||1991–2017||2000–2007||2017–2017||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|21||Roderick R. McKelvie||DE||1946–present||1992–2002||—||—||G.H.W. Bush||resignation|
|22||Gregory M. Sleet||DE||1951–present||1998–2017||2007–2014||2017–2018||Clinton||retirement|
|23||Kent A. Jordan||DE||1957–present||2002–2006||—||—||G.W. Bush||elevation to 3d Cir.|
Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position.
When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.
Succession of seats
- Courts of Delaware
- List of current United States District Judges
- List of United States federal courthouses in Delaware