United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
|United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island|
|Appeals to||First Circuit|
|Established||June 23, 1790|
|Chief Judge||William E. Smith|
|Official court website|
The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island (in case citations, D.R.I.) is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Rhode Island. The District Court was created in 1790 when Rhode Island ratified the Constitution. The Federal Courthouse was built in 1908.
Appeals from the District of Rhode Island are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current Acting United States Attorney is Stephen G. Dambruch.
The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island was established on June 23, 1790 by 1 Stat. 128. Congress authorized one judgeship for the Court, and assigned the district to the Eastern Circuit. On February 13, 1801, the outgoing lame duck Federalist-controlled Congress passed the controversial Judiciary Act of 1801 which reassigned the District of Rhode Island to the First Circuit.
The incoming Congress repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801, but in the Judiciary Act of 1802, Congress again assigned the District of Rhode Island to the First Circuit.
A second seat on the Court was created on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75. A third seat was added on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333.
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|22||Chief Judge||William E. Smith||Providence||1959||2002–present||2013–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|23||District Judge||John J. McConnell, Jr.||Providence||1958||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|19||Senior Judge||Ronald Rene Lagueux||Providence||1931||1986–2001||1992–1999||2001–present||Reagan|
|21||Senior Judge||Mary M. Lisi||Providence||1950||1994–2015||2006–2013||2015–present||Clinton|
Vacancies and pending nominations
|Seat||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|1||Mary M. Lisi||Senior Status||October 1, 2015||–||–|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for
|1||Marchant, HenryHenry Marchant||RI||1741–1796||1790–1796||—||—||Washington, Washington||death|
|2||Bourne, BenjaminBenjamin Bourne||RI||1755–1808||1796–1801||—||—||Washington, Washington||appointment to 1st Cir.|
|3||Barnes, David LeonardDavid Leonard Barnes||RI||1760–1812||1801–1812||—||—||Jefferson, Jefferson||death|
|4||Howell, DavidDavid Howell||RI||1747–1824||1812–1824||—||—||Madison, Madison||death|
|5||Pitman, JohnJohn Pitman||RI||1785–1864||1824–1864||—||—||Monroe, Monroe||death|
|6||Bullock, Jonathan RussellJonathan Russell Bullock||RI||1815–1899||1865–1869||—||—||Lincoln, Lincoln||resignation|
|7||Knowles, John PowerJohn Power Knowles||RI||1808–1887||1869–1881||—||—||Grant, Grant||retirement|
|8||Colt, LeBaron B.LeBaron B. Colt||RI||1846–1924||1881–1884||—||—||Garfield, Garfield||appointment to 1st Cir.|
|9||Carpenter, George MoultonGeorge Moulton Carpenter||RI||1844–1896||1884–1896||—||—||Arthur, Arthur||death|
|10||Brown, Arthur LewisArthur Lewis Brown||RI||1854–1928||1896–1927||—||—||Cleveland, Cleveland||retirement|
|11||Letts, Ira LloydIra Lloyd Letts||RI||1889–1947||1927–1935||—||—||Coolidge, Coolidge||resignation|
|12||Mahoney, John ChristopherJohn Christopher Mahoney||RI||1882–1952||1935–1940||—||—||Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt||appointment to 1st Cir.|
|13||Hartigan, John PatrickJohn Patrick Hartigan||RI||1887–1968||1940–1951||—||—||Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt||appointment to 1st Cir.|
|14||Leahy, Edward L.Edward L. Leahy||RI||1886–1953||1951–1953||—||—||Truman, Truman||death|
|15||Day, Edward WilliamEdward William Day||RI||1901–1985||1953–1976||1966–1971||1976–1985||Eisenhower, Eisenhower||death|
|16||Pettine, Raymond JamesRaymond James Pettine||RI||1912–2003||1966–1982||1971–1982||1982–2003||Johnson, L.L. Johnson||death|
|17||Boyle, Francis JosephFrancis Joseph Boyle||RI||1927–2006||1977–1992||1982–1992||1992–2006||Carter, Carter||death|
|18||Selya, Bruce M.Bruce M. Selya||RI||1934–present||1982–1986||—||—||Reagan, Reagan||appointment to 1st Cir.|
|20||Torres, Ernest C.Ernest C. Torres||RI||1941–present||1987–2006||1999–2006||2006–2011||Reagan, Reagan||retirement|
Succession of seats
- West v. Barnes (1791), the first case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court
- Fricke v. Lynch (1980), case involving government gender limits on prom dates
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 21, 1796, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 22, 1796, and received commission on December 22, 1796.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 6, 1802, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 26, 1802, and received commission on January 26, 1802.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 16, 1824, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 3, 1825, and received commission on January 3, 1825.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1869, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 24, 1870, and received commission on January 24, 1870.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 8, 1896, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 15, 1896, and received commission on December 15, 1896.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1927, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 4, 1928, and received commission on January 4, 1928.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 11, 1954, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 9, 1954, and received commission on February 9, 1954.
- United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island Official Website
- United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Official Website