United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma

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United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
(W.D. Okla.)
LocationWilliam J. Holloway Jr. U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toTenth Circuit
EstablishedJune 16, 1906
Chief JudgeJoe L. Heaton
Officers of the court
U.S. MarshalJohnny Lee Kuhlman

The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma (in case citations, W.D. Okla. or W.D. Ok.) is a federal court in the Tenth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The District was established on June 16, 1906 and became operational on November 16, 1907 with Oklahoma achieving statehood.[1]

Organization of the court[edit]

The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma is one of three federal judicial districts in Oklahoma.[2] Court for the District is held at Lawton and Oklahoma City.

Enid and Ponca City Division comprises the following counties: Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Noble, and Payne.

Lawton and Mangum Division comprises the following counties: Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson, Kiowa, Stephens, Tillman, and Washita.

Oklahoma City, Guthrie, Chickasha, Pauls Valley, and Shawnee Division comprises the following counties: Blaine, Canadian, Cleveland, Garvin, Grady, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie.

Woodward Division comprises the following counties: Beaver, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Major, Roger Mills, Texas, Woods, and Woodward.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current Acting US Attorney is Mark A. Yancey.

Current judges[edit]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
23 Chief Judge Joe L. Heaton Oklahoma City 1951 2001–present 2015–present G.W. Bush
24 District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti Oklahoma City 1962 2007–present G.W. Bush
25 District Judge Scott L. Palk Oklahoma City 1967 2017–present Trump
26 District Judge Charles Barnes Goodwin Oklahoma City 1971 2018–present Trump
27 District Judge vacant
28 District Judge vacant
29 District Judge vacant
13 Senior Judge Lee Roy West Oklahoma City 1929 1979–1994 1993–1994 1994–present Carter
14 Senior Judge David Lynn Russell Oklahoma City 1942 1981–2013 1994–2001 2013–present Reagan
15 Senior Judge Wayne Edward Alley inactive 1932 1985–1999 1999–present Reagan
17 Senior Judge Robin J. Cauthron Oklahoma City 1950 1991–2015 2001–2008 2015–present G.H.W. Bush
18 Senior Judge Timothy D. Leonard inactive 1940 1992–2006 2006–present G.H.W. Bush
20 Senior Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange Oklahoma City 1953 1994–2018 2008–2015 2018–present Clinton
22 Senior Judge James H. Payne none[Note 1] 1941 2001–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush
23 Senior Judge Stephen P. Friot Oklahoma City 1947 2001–2014 2014–present G.W. Bush
  1. ^ Judge Payne maintains chambers only in the Eastern and Northern Districts.

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
4 David Lynn Russell Senior Status July 7, 2013 Patrick Wyrick April 10, 2018
2 James H. Payne August 1, 2017 John M. O'Connor
6 Vicki Miles-LaGrange November 5, 2018

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 John Hazelton Cotteral OK 1864–1933 1907[3]–1928 T. Roosevelt appointment to 8th Cir.
2 Edgar Sullins Vaught OK 1873–1959 1928[4]–1956 1949–1956 1956–1959 Coolidge death
3 Alfred P. Murrah OK 1904–1975 1937–1940 F. Roosevelt appointment to 10th Cir.
4 Bower Slack Broaddus OK 1888–1949 1940–1949 F. Roosevelt death
5 Stephen Sanders Chandler Jr. OK 1899–1989 1943–1975 1956–1969 1975–1989 F. Roosevelt death
6 William Robert Wallace OK 1886–1960 1950–1960 Truman death
7 Ross Rizley OK 1892–1969 1956–1969 Eisenhower death
8 Luther L. Bohanon OK 1902–2003 1961–1974 1969–1972 1974–2003 Kennedy death
9 Frederick Alvin Daugherty OK 1914–2006 1961[5]–1982 1972–1982 1982–2006 Kennedy death
10 Luther Boyd Eubanks OK 1917–1996 1965–1986 1982–1986 1986–1987 L. Johnson retirement
11 H. Dale Cook OK 1924–2008 1974–1992 1992–2008 Ford death
12 Ralph Gordon Thompson OK 1934–present 1975–1999 1986–1993 1999–2007 Ford retirement
16 Layn R. Phillips OK 1952–present 1987–1991 Reagan resignation
19 Michael Burrage OK 1950–present 1994–2001 Clinton resignation

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]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_ok.html U.S. District Courts of Oklahoma, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
  2. ^ "28 U.S.C. § 116 – U.S. Code Title 28. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure § 116 – FindLaw".
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 3, 1907, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 13, 1908, and received commission on January 13, 1908.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1928, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 8, 1929, and received commission on January 8, 1929.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 7, 1962, and received commission on February 17, 1962.

External links[edit]