United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
(N.D. Ill.)
Map indicating the changing Districts of Illinois
LocationEverett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toSeventh Circuit
EstablishedFebruary 13, 1855
Chief JudgeRebecca R. Pallmeyer
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyMorris Pasqual (acting)
U.S. MarshalLaDon A. Reynolds

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (in case citations, N.D. Ill.) is the federal trial court with jurisdiction over the northern counties of Illinois. It is one of the busiest federal trial courts in the United States, with famous cases including those of Al Capone and the Chicago Eight.[1]

Appeals from the Northern District of Illinois are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The acting United States attorney for the district, representing the United States in litigation in the court, is Morris Pasqual since March 12, 2023.[2]



The court's jurisdiction is split into an eastern division, including Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Lake, and Will counties, with its sessions held in Chicago and Wheaton; and a western division, including Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties, with its sessions held in Freeport and Rockford.


The Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago, one of four locations where the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois holds sessions.

The United States District Court for the District of Illinois was established by a statute passed by the United States Congress on March 3, 1819, 3 Stat. 502.[3][4] The act established a single office for a judge to preside over the court. Initially, the court was not within any existing judicial circuit, and appeals from the court were taken directly to the United States Supreme Court. In 1837, Congress created the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, placing it in Chicago, Illinois and giving it jurisdiction over the District of Illinois, 5 Stat. 176.[4]

The Northern District itself was created by a statute passed on February 13, 1855, 10 Stat. 606, which subdivided the District of Illinois into the Northern and the Southern Districts.[4] The boundaries of the District and the seats of the courts were set forth in the statute:

The counties of Hancock, McDonough, Peoria, Woodford, Livingston, and Iroquois, and all the counties in the said State north of them, shall compose one district, to be called the northern district of Illinois, and courts shall be held for the said district at the city of Chicago; and the residue of the counties of the said State shall compose another district, to be called the southern district of Illinois, and courts shall be held for the same at the city of Springfield.

The district has since been re-organized several times. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois was created on March 3, 1905, by 33 Stat. 992,[4] by splitting counties out of the Northern and Southern Districts. It was later eliminated in a reorganization on October 2, 1978, which replaced it with a Central District, 92 Stat. 883,[4] formed primarily from parts of the Southern District, and returning some counties to the Northern District.

The Northern District of Illinois, which contains the entire Chicago metropolitan area, accounts for 1,531 of the 1,828 public corruption convictions in the state between 1976 and 2012, almost 84%, also making it the federal district with the most public corruption convictions in the nation between 1976 and 2012.[5]

Current judges


As of July 11, 2024:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
71 Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer Chicago 1954 1998–present 2019–present Clinton
80 District Judge Virginia Mary Kendall Chicago 1962 2006–present G.W. Bush
82 District Judge Robert Michael Dow Jr. Chicago 1965 2007–present G.W. Bush
84 District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman Chicago 1960 2010–present Obama
85 District Judge Edmond E. Chang Chicago 1970 2010–present Obama
87 District Judge John Tharp Chicago 1960 2012–present Obama
89 District Judge Sara L. Ellis Chicago 1969 2013–present Obama
90 District Judge Andrea Wood Chicago 1973 2013–present Obama
91 District Judge Manish S. Shah Chicago 1972 2014–present Obama
92 District Judge Jorge L. Alonso Chicago 1966 2014–present Obama
93 District Judge John Robert Blakey Chicago 1965 2014–present Obama
94 District Judge Martha M. Pacold Chicago 1979 2019–present Trump
95 District Judge Mary M. Rowland Chicago 1961 2019–present Trump
96 District Judge Steven C. Seeger Chicago 1971 2019–present Trump
97 District Judge John F. Kness Chicago 1969 2020–present Trump
98 District Judge Franklin U. Valderrama Chicago 1962 2020–present Trump
99 District Judge Iain D. Johnston Rockford 1965 2020–present Trump
101 District Judge Lindsay C. Jenkins Chicago 1977 2023–present Biden
102 District Judge LaShonda A. Hunt Chicago 1970 2023–present Biden
103 District Judge Jeremy C. Daniel Chicago 1978 2023–present Biden
104 District Judge Jeffrey Cummings Chicago 1962 2023–present Biden
105 District Judge Sunil Harjani Chicago 1974 2024–present Biden
106 District Judge Georgia N. Alexakis Chicago 1978 beg. 2024 Biden
107 District Judge vacant
45 Senior Judge Marvin Aspen Chicago 1934 1979–2002 1995–2002 2002–present Carter
47 Senior Judge Charles P. Kocoras Chicago 1938 1980–2006 2002–2006 2006–present Carter
53 Senior Judge Charles Ronald Norgle Sr. inactive 1937 1984–2022 2022–present Reagan
60 Senior Judge Suzanne B. Conlon inactive 1939 1988–2004 2004–present Reagan
61 Senior Judge George M. Marovich inactive 1931 1988–2000 2000–present Reagan
64 Senior Judge Philip Godfrey Reinhard Rockford 1941 1992–2007 2007–present G.H.W. Bush
68 Senior Judge Robert Gettleman Chicago 1943 1994–2009 2009–present Clinton
69 Senior Judge Elaine E. Bucklo Chicago 1944 1994–2009 2009–present Clinton
70 Senior Judge Joan B. Gottschall Chicago 1947 1996–2012 2012–present Clinton
73 Senior Judge Matthew Kennelly Chicago 1956 1999–2021 2021–present Clinton
74 Senior Judge Ronald A. Guzman Chicago 1948 1999–2014 2014–present Clinton
75 Senior Judge Joan Lefkow Chicago 1944 2000–2012 2012–present Clinton
81 Senior Judge Frederick J. Kapala inactive 1950 2007–2019 2019–present G.W. Bush
88 Senior Judge Thomas M. Durkin Chicago 1953 2012–2023 2023–present Obama

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
5 Chicago Nancy L. Maldonado Elevation July 11, 2024 April Perry July 11, 2024

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Thomas Drummond IL 1809–1890 1855–1869[Note 1] Taylor/Operation of law elevation to 7th Cir.
2 Henry Williams Blodgett IL 1821–1905 1870–1892 Grant retirement
3 Peter S. Grosscup IL 1852–1921 1892–1899 B. Harrison elevation to 7th Cir.
4 Christian Cecil Kohlsaat IL 1844–1918 1899–1905 McKinley elevation to 7th Cir.
5 Solomon Hicks Bethea IL 1852–1909 1905–1909 T. Roosevelt death
6 Kenesaw Mountain Landis IL 1866–1944 1905–1922 T. Roosevelt resignation
7 George Albert Carpenter IL 1867–1944 1910–1933 Taft resignation
8 James Herbert Wilkerson IL 1869–1948 1922–1940 1940–1948 Harding death
9 Adam C. Cliffe IL 1869–1928 1922–1928 Harding death
10 Charles Edgar Woodward IL 1876–1942 1929–1942 Coolidge death
11 John P. Barnes IL 1881–1959 1931–1957 1948–1957 1957–1958 Hoover resignation
12 George E. Q. Johnson IL 1874–1949 1932–1933[Note 2] Hoover not confirmed
13 William Harrison Holly IL 1869–1958 1933–1943[Note 3] 1943–1958 F. Roosevelt death
14 Philip Leo Sullivan IL 1889–1960 1933–1960[Note 3] 1957–1959 F. Roosevelt death
15 Michael L. Igoe IL 1885–1967 1938–1965[Note 4] 1965–1967 F. Roosevelt death
16 William Joseph Campbell IL 1905–1988 1940–1970 1959–1970 1970–1988 F. Roosevelt death
17 Walter J. LaBuy IL 1888–1967 1944–1961 1961–1967 F. Roosevelt death
18 Elwyn Riley Shaw IL 1888–1950 1944–1950 F. Roosevelt death
19 Joseph Sam Perry IL 1896–1984 1951–1971 1971–1984 Truman death
20 Julius Hoffman IL 1895–1983 1953–1972 1972–1983 Eisenhower death
21 Winfred George Knoch IL 1895–1983 1953–1958 Eisenhower elevation to 7th Cir.
22 Julius Howard Miner IL 1896–1963 1958–1963 Eisenhower death
23 Edwin Albert Robson IL 1905–1986 1958–1975[Note 5] 1970–1975 1975–1986 Eisenhower death
24 Richard Bevan Austin IL 1901–1977 1961–1975 1975–1977 Kennedy death
25 James Benton Parsons IL 1911–1993 1961–1981 1975–1981 1981–1993 Kennedy death
26 Hubert Louis Will IL 1914–1995 1961–1979 1979–1995 Kennedy death
27 Bernard Martin Decker IL 1904–1993 1962–1980[Note 6] 1980–1993 Kennedy death
28 Abraham Lincoln Marovitz IL 1905–2001 1963–1975 1975–2001 Kennedy death
29 William Joseph Lynch IL 1908–1976 1966–1976 L. Johnson death
30 Alexander J. Napoli IL 1905–1972 1966–1972 L. Johnson death
31 Frank James McGarr IL 1921–2012 1970–1986 1981–1986 1986–1988 Nixon retirement
32 Thomas Roberts McMillen IL 1916–2002 1971–1984 1984–1985 Nixon retirement
33 William J. Bauer IL 1926–present 1971–1975 Nixon elevation to 7th Cir.
34 Richard Wellington McLaren IL 1918–1976 1972–1976 Nixon death
35 Philip Willis Tone IL 1923–2001 1972–1974 Nixon elevation to 7th Cir.
36 Prentice Marshall IL 1926–2004 1973–1988 1988–1996 Nixon retirement
37 Joel Flaum IL 1936–present 1974–1983 Ford elevation to 7th Cir.
38 Alfred Younges Kirkland Sr. IL 1917–2004 1974–1979 1979–2004 Ford death
39 John F. Grady IL 1929–2019 1975–1994 1986–1990 1994–2019 Ford death
40 George N. Leighton IL 1912–2018 1976–1986 1986–1987 Ford retirement
41 John Powers Crowley IL 1936–1989 1976–1981 Ford resignation
42 Stanley Julian Roszkowski IL 1923–2014 1977–1991 1991–1998 Carter retirement
43 Nicholas John Bua IL 1925–2002 1977–1991 Carter retirement
44 James Byron Moran IL 1930–2009 1979–1995 1990–1995 1995–2009 Carter death
46 Milton Shadur IL 1924–2018 1980–1992 1992–2018 Carter death
48 Susan Christine O'Meara Getzendanner IL 1939–present 1980–1987 Carter resignation
49 John Albert Nordberg IL 1926–2021 1982–1994 1994–2021 Reagan death
50 William Thomas Hart IL 1929–2023 1982–1996 1996–2023 Reagan death
51 Paul Edward Plunkett IL 1935–2018 1982–1998 1998–2018 Reagan death
52 Ilana Rovner IL 1938–present 1984–1992 Reagan elevation to 7th Cir.
54 James F. Holderman IL 1946–present 1985–2013 2006–2013 2013–2015 Reagan retirement
55 Ann Claire Williams IL 1949–present 1985–1999 Reagan elevation to 7th Cir.
56 Brian Barnett Duff IL 1930–2016 1985–1996 1996–2016 Reagan death
57 Harry Leinenweber IL 1937–2024 1985–2002 2002–2024 Reagan death
58 James Zagel IL 1941–2023 1987–2016 2016–2023 Reagan death
59 James Henry Alesia IL 1934–2003 1987–1998 1998–2003 Reagan death
62 George W. Lindberg IL 1932–2019 1989–2001 2001–2019 G.H.W. Bush death
63 Wayne Andersen IL 1945–present 1991–2010 G.H.W. Bush retirement
65 Rubén Castillo IL 1954–present 1994–2019 2013–2019 Clinton retirement
66 Blanche M. Manning IL 1934–2020 1994–2010 2010–2020 Clinton death
67 David H. Coar IL 1943–present 1994–2009 2009–2010 Clinton retirement
72 William J. Hibbler IL 1946–2012 1999–2012 Clinton death
76 John W. Darrah IL 1938–2017 2000–2017 2017 Clinton death
77 Amy St. Eve IL 1965–present 2002–2018 G.W. Bush elevation to 7th Cir.
78 Samuel Der-Yeghiayan IL 1952–present 2003–2018 G.W. Bush retirement
79 Mark Filip IL 1966–present 2004–2008 G.W. Bush resignation
83 Gary Feinerman IL 1965–present 2010–2022 Obama resignation
86 John Z. Lee IL 1968–present 2012–2022 Obama elevation to 7th Cir.
100 Nancy L. Maldonado IL 1975–present 2022–2024 Biden elevation to 7th Cir.
  1. ^ Reassigned from the District of Illinois.
  2. ^ Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment.
  3. ^ a b Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 8, 1934, confirmed by the Senate on February 20, 1934, and received commission on March 1, 1934.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1939, confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 1939, and received commission on March 4, 1939.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 17, 1959, confirmed by the Senate on April 29, 1959, and received commission on April 30, 1959.
  6. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1963, confirmed by the Senate on March 28, 1963, and received commission on April 2, 1963.

Chief judges


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


List of U.S. attorneys since 1857


See also



  1. ^ Cahan, Richard (December 18, 2002). A Court That Shaped America: Chicago's Federal District Court from Abe Lincoln to Abbie Hoffman. Northwestern University Press.
  2. ^ "Northern District of Illinois | Meet the U.S. Attorney". www.justice.gov. March 13, 2023. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  3. ^ Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 393.
  4. ^ a b c d e U.S. District Courts of Illinois, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  5. ^ Simpson, Dick; Nowlan, James; Gradel, Thomas J.; Mouritsen Zmuda, Melissa; Sterrett, David; Cantor, Douglas (February 15, 2012). "Chicago and Illinois, Leading the Pack in Corruption; Anti-Corruption Report Number 5" (PDF). University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Political Science. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "The Political Graveyard: U.S. District Attorneys in Illinois". politicalgraveyard.com.
  7. ^ "ACLU Of Illinois welcomes new board members". February 23, 2009.

Media related to United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois at Wikimedia Commons