United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

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United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
More locations
Appeals toFourth Circuit
EstablishedJune 4, 1872
Chief JudgeRichard E. Myers II
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyMichael F. Easley Jr.
U.S. MarshalGlenn M. McNeill Jr.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (in case citations, E.D.N.C.) is the United States district court that serves the eastern 44 counties in North Carolina. Appeals from the Eastern District of North Carolina are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

Jurisdiction and offices[edit]

The District has three staffed offices and holds court in six cities: Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Its main office is in Raleigh. It is broken down into four divisions. The eastern division is headquartered in Greenville and handles cases from Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Pamlico, and Pitt counties.

The southern division is based in Wilmington and serves the counties of: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, and Sampson. Its cases are heard in Wilmington.

The northern and western divisions are based in Raleigh. The western covers: Cumberland, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Vance, Wake, Warren, Wayne, and Wilson counties. Its cases are heard in Fayetteville, Greenville, and New Bern. The northern division presides over cases from: Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties. Its cases are heard in Elizabeth City.

Pleadings are accepted for all divisions in any of the offices in Raleigh, Greenville, New Bern, or Wilmington.[1]


The United States District Court for the District of North Carolina was established on June 4, 1790, by 1 Stat. 126.[2][3] On June 9, 1794, it was subdivided into three districts by 1 Stat. 395,[3] but on March 3, 1797, the three districts were abolished and the single District restored by 1 Stat. 517,[3] until April 29, 1802, when the state was again subdivided into three different districts by 2 Stat. 156.[2][3]

In both instances, these districts, unlike those with geographic designations that existed in other states, were titled by the names of the cities in which the courts sat. After the first division, they were styled the District of Edenton, the District of New Bern, and the District of Wilmington; after the second division, they were styled the District of Albemarle, the District of Cape Fear, and the District of Pamptico. However, in both instances, only one judge was authorized to serve all three districts, causing them to effectively operate as a single district.[3] The latter combination was occasionally referred to by the cumbersome title of the United States District Court for the Albemarle, Cape Fear & Pamptico Districts of North Carolina.

On June 4, 1872, North Carolina was re-divided into two Districts, Eastern and Western, by 17 Stat. 215.[3] The presiding judge of the District of North Carolina, George Washington Brooks, was then reassigned to preside over only the Eastern District. The Middle District was created from portions of the Eastern and Western Districts on March 2, 1927, by 44 Stat. 1339.[3]

On July 6, 2021, under Public Law 117-26, 135 Stat. 299, portions of Hoke, Moore, Scotland, and Richmond counties within the Fort Bragg Military Reservation and Camp Mackall were transferred into the Eastern District from the Middle District to end the previous situation where Fort Bragg was covered by two different districts. [4]

Current judges[edit]

As of January 2021:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
16 Chief Judge Richard E. Myers II Wilmington 1967 2019–present 2021–present Trump
12 District Judge Terrence Boyle Elizabeth City 1945 1984–present 2018–2021
14 District Judge Louise Flanagan New Bern 1962 2003–present 2004–2011 G.W. Bush
15 District Judge James C. Dever III Raleigh 1962 2005–present 2011–2018 G.W. Bush
10 Senior Judge William Earl Britt inactive 1932 1980–1997 1983–1990 1997–present Carter
13 Senior Judge Malcolm Jones Howard inactive 1939 1988–2005 2005–present Reagan

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 George Washington Brooks NC 1821–1882 1872–1882 A. Johnson/Operation of law death
2 Augustus Sherrill Seymour NC 1836–1897 1882–1897 Arthur death
3 Thomas Richard Purnell NC 1847–1908 1897–1908 McKinley death
4 Henry G. Connor NC 1852–1924 1908–1924 Taft death
5 Isaac Melson Meekins NC 1875–1946 1925–1945 1945–1946 Coolidge death
6 Donnell Gilliam NC 1889–1960 1945–1959 1959–1960 Truman death
7 Algernon Lee Butler NC 1905–1978 1959–1975 1961–1975 1975–1978 Eisenhower death
8 John Davis Larkins Jr. NC 1909–1990 1961–1979 1975–1979 1979–1990 Kennedy death
9 Franklin Taylor Dupree Jr. NC 1913–1995 1970–1983 1979–1983 1983–1995 Nixon death
11 James Carroll Fox NC 1928–2019 1982–2001 1990–1997 2001–2019 Reagan death

Chief judges[edit]

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[edit]

U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HOME". www.nced.uscourts.gov.
  2. ^ a b Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 389.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g U.S. District Courts of North Carolina, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ "Tillis, Burr, Ross and Hudson Legislation to Consolidate Fort Bragg into One Federal Judicial District Signed into Law". 6 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Eastern District of North Carolina - USAO - Department of Justice". www.justice.gov. 13 November 2014.
  6. ^ "PN1194 - Nomination of Michael F. Easley Jr. for Department of Justice, 117th Congress (2021-2022)". www.congress.gov. 2021-11-19. Retrieved 2021-11-24.

External links[edit]