United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
|United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas|
|Location||Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Fifth Circuit|
|Established||February 24, 1879|
|Chief Judge||David C. Godbey|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Leigha Simonton|
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (in case citations, N.D. Tex.) is a United States district court. Its first judge, Andrew Phelps McCormick, was appointed to the court on April 10, 1879. The court convenes in Dallas, Texas with divisions in Fort Worth, Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls. It has jurisdiction over 100 counties in the northern and central parts of the U.S. state of Texas.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of December 10, 2022[update], the United States Attorney is Leigha Simonton.
Appeals from this court are heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which includes Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The Northern District of Texas has seven court divisions, covering the following counties:
The Abilene Division, covering Callahan, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Howard, Jones, Mitchell, Nolan, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, and Throckmorton counties.
The Amarillo Division, covering Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, and Wheeler counties.
The Dallas Division, covering Dallas, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, and Rockwall counties.
The Fort Worth Division, covering Comanche, Erath, Hood, Jack, Palo Pinto, Parker, Tarrant, and Wise counties.
The Lubbock Division, covering Bailey, Borden, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Dickens, Floyd, Gaines, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Kent, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Scurry, Terry, and Yoakum counties.
The San Angelo Division, covering Brown, Coke, Coleman, Concho, Crockett, Glasscock, Irion, Menard, Mills, Reagan, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, and Tom Green counties.
The Wichita Falls Division, covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, King, Knox, Montague, Wichita, Wilbarger, and Young counties.
The first federal judge in Texas was John C. Watrous, who was appointed on May 26, 1846, and had previously served as Attorney General of the Republic of Texas. He was assigned to hold court in Galveston, at the time, the largest city in the state. As seat of the United States District Court for the District of Texas, the Galveston court had jurisdiction over the whole state. On February 21, 1857, the state was divided into two districts, Eastern and Western, with Judge Watrous continuing in the Eastern district. Judge Watrous and Judge Thomas Howard DuVal, of the Western District of Texas, left the state on the secession of Texas from the Union, the only two United States judges not to resign their posts in states that seceded. When Texas was restored to the Union, Watrous and DuVal resumed their duties and served until 1870.
In 1879, Texas was further subdivided with the creation of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, using territory taken from both the Eastern and Western districts.
As of December 25, 2022[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|31||Chief Judge||David C. Godbey||Dallas||1957||2002–present||2022–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|29||District Judge||Sam A. Lindsay||Dallas||1951||1998–present||—||—||Clinton|
|30||District Judge||Barbara M. Lynn||Dallas||1952||1999–present||2016–2022||—||Clinton|
|32||District Judge||James E. Kinkeade||Dallas||1951||2002–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|33||District Judge||Jane J. Boyle||Dallas||1954||2004–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|34||District Judge||Reed O'Connor||Fort Worth||1965||2007–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|35||District Judge||Karen Gren Scholer||Dallas||1957||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|36||District Judge||Matthew J. Kacsmaryk||Amarillo||1977||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|37||District Judge||Mark T. Pittman||Fort Worth||1975||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|38||District Judge||Brantley Starr||Dallas||1979||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|39||District Judge||James Wesley Hendrix||Lubbock||1977||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|40||District Judge||Ada E. Brown||Dallas||1974||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|21||Senior Judge||A. Joe Fish||Dallas||1942||1983–2007||2002–2007||2007–present||Reagan|
|22||Senior Judge||Robert B. Maloney||inactive||1933||1985–2000||—||2000–present||Reagan|
|23||Senior Judge||Sidney A. Fitzwater||Dallas||1953||1986–2018||2007–2014||2018–present||Reagan|
|24||Senior Judge||Samuel Ray Cummings||Lubbock||1944||1987–2014||—||2014–present||Reagan|
|27||Senior Judge||Terry R. Means||Fort Worth||1948||1991–2013||—||2013–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Andrew Phelps McCormick||TX||1832–1916||1879–1892||—||—||Hayes||elevation to 5th Cir.|
|2||John B. Rector||TX||1837–1898||1892–1898||—||—||B. Harrison||death|
|3||Edward Roscoe Meek||TX||1865–1939||1899–1935||—||1935–1939||McKinley||death|
|4||James Clifton Wilson||TX||1874–1951||1919–1951||—||—||Wilson||retirement|
|5||William Hawley Atwell||TX||1869–1961||1923–1954||1948–1954||1954–1961||Harding||death|
|6||Thomas Whitfield Davidson||TX||1876–1974||1936–1965||1954–1959||1965–1974||F. Roosevelt||death|
|7||Joseph Brannon Dooley||TX||1889–1967||1947–1966||1959||1966–1967||Truman||death|
|8||Joe Ewing Estes||TX||1903–1989||1955–1972||1959–1972||1972–1989||Eisenhower||death|
|10||Sarah T. Hughes||TX||1896–1985||1961–1975||—||1975–1985||Kennedy||death|
|11||William McLaughlin Taylor Jr.||TX||1909–1985||1966–1979||1973–1977||1979–1985||L. Johnson||death|
|12||Halbert Owen Woodward||TX||1918–2000||1968–1986||1977–1986||1986–2000||L. Johnson||death|
|13||Robert Madden Hill||TX||1928–1987||1970–1984||—||—||Nixon||elevation to 5th Cir.|
|14||Eldon Brooks Mahon||TX||1918–2005||1972–1989||—||1989–2005||Nixon||death|
|15||Robert William Porter||TX||1926–1991||1974–1990||1986–1989||1990–1991||Nixon||death|
|16||Patrick Higginbotham||TX||1938–present||1975–1982||—||—||Ford||elevation to 5th Cir.|
|17||David Owen Belew Jr.||TX||1920–2001||1979–1990||—||1990–2001||Carter||death|
|18||Mary Lou Robinson||TX||1926–2019||1979–2016||—||2016–2019||Carter||death|
|19||Harold Barefoot Sanders Jr.||TX||1925–2008||1979–1996||1989–1995||1996–2008||Carter||death|
|25||John H. McBryde||TX||1931–2022||1990–2018||—||2018–2022||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|26||Jorge Antonio Solis||TX||1951–2021||1991–2016||2014–2016||—||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|28||Elton Joe Kendall||TX||1954–present||1992–2002||—||—||G.H.W. Bush||resignation|
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 Texas
- List of current United States district judges
- List of United States federal courthouses in Texas
- ^ "U.S. Department of Justice: 2002 Centennial Report, pgs. 1, 10" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 1, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- ^ "Southern District of Texas: History of the District". Archived from the original on September 17, 2009.
- ^ U.S. District Courts of Texas, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
- ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 13, 1898, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 15, 1899, and received commission the same day.
- ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on May 23, 1919, confirmed by the Senate on June 24, 1919, and received commission the same day.
- ^ a b Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the Senate on March 16, 1962, and received commission on March 17, 1962.