Marilyn Hall Patel

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Marilyn Hall Patel
Marilyn Hall Patel Senior District Judge.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
In office
October 30, 2009 September 30, 2012
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
In office
Preceded by Thelton Henderson
Succeeded by Vaughn Walker
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
In office
June 30, 1980 October 30, 2009
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded bySeat established by 71 Stat. 586
Succeeded by Edward J. Davila
Personal details
Marilyn Hall

1938 (age 8081)
Amsterdam, New York
Education Wheaton College (B.A.)
Fordham University School of Law (J.D.)

Marilyn Hall Patel (born 1938) is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

United States federal judge position in the USA

In the United States, the title of federal judge means a judge appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate pursuant to the Appointments Clause in Article II of the United States Constitution.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California is the federal United States district court whose jurisdiction comprises following counties of California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma. The court hears cases in its courtrooms in Eureka, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. It is headquartered in San Francisco.


Education and career

Patel was born Marilyn Hall in 1938, in Amsterdam, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959 from Wheaton College and a Juris Doctor in 1963 from Fordham University School of Law. She served in private practice in New York City from 1963 to 1967. She was an attorney with the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States Department of Justice in San Francisco, California from 1967 to 1971. She served in private practice in San Francisco from 1971 to 1976. During this time she served as counsel for the National Organization for Women and was a member of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund's Board of Directors. She was an adjunct professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law from 1974 to 1976. She was a judge of the Oakland-Piedmont Municipal Court in California from 1976 to 1980. [1]

New York (state) State of the United States of America

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is often times referred to as New York State.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Wheaton College (Illinois) Christian liberal arts college in Wheaton, Illinois

Wheaton College is a Christian, residential liberal arts college and graduate school in Wheaton, Illinois. The Protestant college was founded by evangelical abolitionists in 1860. Wheaton College was a stop on the Underground Railroad and graduated one of Illinois' first African-American college graduates.

Federal judicial service

Patel was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on May 9, 1980, to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, to a new seat authorized by 71 Stat. 586. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 26, 1980, and received her commission on June 30, 1980. She served as Chief Judge from 1997 to 2004. [1] Patel was both the first female judge and first female Chief Judge of the district. [2] She assumed senior status on October 30, 2009. Her service terminated on September 30, 2012, due to her retirement. [1]

Jimmy Carter 39th president of the United States

James Earl Carter Jr. is an American politician and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Senior status is a form of semi-retirement for United States federal judges and judges in some state court systems. A judge must be at least 65 years of age and have served in federal courts for at least 15 years to qualify, with one less year of service required for each additional year of age. When that happens, they receive the full salary of a judge but have the option to take a reduced caseload, although many senior judges choose to continue to work full-time. Additionally, senior judges do not occupy seats; instead, their seats become vacant, and the president may appoint new full-time judges to fill their spots.


In 1966 Patel married Indian-American banker Magan C. Patel. The couple have two sons. Patel won the California Women Lawyers' Rose Bird Memorial Award in 2003.[ citation needed ]

California Women Lawyers organization

California Women Lawyers (CWL) is the statewide bar association for women in the U.S. state of California. Headquartered in Sacramento, CWL was founded in 1974 to seek the professional advancement of women lawyers, to promote gender equity in the legal profession and judiciary, and to advance women's rights generally.

Notable cases

Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II regardless of their citizenship. In a 6–3 decision, the Court sided with the government, ruling that the exclusion order was constitutional. Six of the eight justices appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt sided with Roosevelt. The two others and the lone Herbert Hoover appointee, Owen Roberts, dissented.

The writ of coram nobis is a legal order allowing a court to correct its original judgment upon discovery of a fundamental error that did not appear in the records of the original judgment's proceedings and would have prevented the judgment from being pronounced. The term "coram nobis" is Latin for "before us" and the meaning of its full form, quae coram nobis resident, is "which [things] remain in our presence". The writ of coram nobis originated in the English court of common law in the English legal system during the sixteenth century.

Dale Minami is a San Francisco-based lawyer best known for heading the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu, whose defiance of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II led to Korematsu v. United States, which was one of the worst and most racist Supreme Court decisions in American history.

Other notable cases

In a 1987 suit brought against the Fire Department of San Francisco (in which Patel harshly criticized the department), she issued a consent decree that enforced equal access to employment and advancement at the SFFD. In addition to clarifying the department's responsibilities with regard to the race of applicants, the decree ensured access for women to front-line firefighter roles.[ citation needed ]

A consent decree is an agreement or settlement that resolves a dispute between two parties without admission of guilt or liability, and most often refers to such a type of settlement in the United States. The plaintiff and the defendant ask the court to enter into their agreement, and the court maintains supervision over the implementation of the decree in monetary exchanges or restructured interactions between parties. It is similar to and sometimes referred to as an antitrust decree, stipulated judgment, settlement agreements, or consent judgment. Consent decrees are frequently used by federal courts to ensure that businesses and industries adhere to regulatory laws in areas such as antitrust law, employment discrimination, and environmental regulation.

Firefighter rescuer trained to extinguish hazardous fires

A firefighter is a rescuer extensively trained in firefighting, primarily to extinguish hazardous fires that threaten life, property and the environment as well as to rescue people and animals from dangerous situations.

In a 1999 ruling, Patel found that the layout of Macy's department stores violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, forcing the chain to significantly widen the aisles between merchandise. Many other retailers in other jurisdictions followed suit. [9]

In 2003 she overturned the double murder conviction of Foster City, California native Glen William "Buddy" Nickerson. Nickerson had spent nineteen years on death row at San Quentin State Prison before new witnesses and evidence of police misconduct came to light. Ruling, Patel said it was "more probable than not" that Nickerson was innocent. [10]

Patel dismissed a 2005 suit brought by San Franciscan Wayne Ritchie against the US Government in which he alleged he had been harmed by the covert administration of LSD as part of the MKULTRA program. [11]

Patel determined that California's method of execution by lethal cyanide gas violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishments" after privately viewing a recording of the execution of Robert Alton Harris. Her colleague, Judge Jeremy Fogel, has considered the constitutionality of California's lethal-injection protocol in a few cases, most notably Morales v. Tilton. [12] [13]

Patel's decisions in 2008 included one for the plaintiffs in Okinawa Dugong v. Gates/Okinawa Dugong v. Rumsfeld, in which an environmental group sought to prevent the construction of a military runway on the island of Okinawa, citing the hazard this may pose to the okinawa dugong, a relative of the manatee and an endangered marine mammal. [14] [15]

In 2007 and 2008, Patel reviewed the standards employed by the Oakland Police Department for public strip and body cavity searches. Patel ruled that the O.P.D.'s policy permitting such searches in cases of reasonable suspicion was unconstitutionally low, permitting future searches only where there is probable cause—the same standard required to arrest suspects. [16]

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Napster is a set of three music-focused online services. It was founded as a pioneering peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing Internet service that emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically audio songs, encoded in MP3 format. The company ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement. It ceased operations and was eventually acquired by Roxio. In its second incarnation, Napster became an online music store until it was acquired by Rhapsody from Best Buy on December 1, 2011.

Ex parte Endo, or Ex parte Mitsuye Endo, 323 U.S. 283 (1944), was a United States Supreme Court ex parte decision handed down on December 18, 1944, in which the Justices unanimously ruled that the U.S. government could not continue to detain a citizen who was "concededly loyal" to the United States. Although the Court did not touch on the constitutionality of the exclusion of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast—which they had found not to violate citizen rights in their Korematsu v. United States decision on the same date—the Endo ruling nonetheless led to the reopening of the West Coast to Japanese Americans after their incarceration in camps across the U.S. interior during World War II.

Fred Korematsu Japanese-American interned during World War II

Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu was an American civil rights activist who objected to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Shortly after the Imperial Japanese Navy launched its attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the removal of individuals of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast from their homes and their mandatory imprisonment in internment camps, but Korematsu instead challenged the orders and became a fugitive.

<i>A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.</i>

A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (2001) was a landmark intellectual property case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, holding that defendant, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing service Napster, could be held liable for contributory infringement and vicarious infringement of the plaintiffs' copyrights. This was the first major case to address the application of copyright laws to peer-to-peer file-sharing.

Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81 (1943), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that the application of curfews against members of a minority group were constitutional when the nation was at war with the country from which that group originated. The case arose out of the issuance of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had authorized military commanders to secure areas from which "any or all persons may be excluded", and Japanese Americans living in the West Coast were subject to a curfew and other restrictions before being removed to internment camps. The plaintiff, Gordon Hirabayashi, was convicted of violating the curfew and had appealed to the Supreme Court. Yasui v. United States was a companion case decided the same day. Both convictions were overturned in coram nobis proceedings in the 1980s.

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Gregory Reyes is an American businessman who most recently served as the chief executive officer (CEO) for Brocade Communications. He is the first person to have been convicted for fraudulent backdating of corporate stock options.

Yasui v. United States, 320 U.S. 115 (1943) was a United States Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of curfews used during World War II when they were applied to citizens of the United States. The case arose out of the implementation of Executive Order 9066 by the U.S. military to create zones of exclusion along the West Coast of the United States, where Japanese Americans were subjected to curfews and eventual removal to relocation centers. This Presidential order followed the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought America into World War II and inflamed the existing anti-Japanese sentiment in the country.

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Jeremy Fogel American judge

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Wayne Mortimer Collins was a civil rights attorney who worked on cases related to the Japanese American evacuation and internment.

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A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 114 F.Supp.2d 896 (2000), was the district court case which preceded the landmark intellectual property case of A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (2001). The case was heard by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Napster appealed this case to United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

<i>Metallica v. Napster, Inc.</i>

Metallica, et al. v. Napster, Inc. was a 2000 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case that focused on copyright infringement, racketeering, and unlawful use of digital audio interface devices. Metallica vs. Napster, Inc. was the first case that involved an artist suing a peer-to-peer file sharing ("P2P") software company.

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<i>Hirabayashi v. United States</i> (1987)

Hirabayashi v. United States, 28 F.2d 591, is a case decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and recognized for both its historical and legal significance. The case is historically significant for vacating the World War II-era convictions of Japanese American civil rights leader, Gordon Hirabayashi. Those convictions were affirmed in the Supreme Court's 1943 decision, Hirabayashi v. United States. The case is legally significant for establishing the standard to determine when any federal court in the Ninth Circuit may issue a writ of coram nobis.


  1. 1 2 3 "Patel, Marilyn Hall - Federal Judicial Center".
  2. 1 2 Yogi, Stan. "Marilyn Hall Patel". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  3. 584 F.Supp. 1406 (N.D. Cal. 1984)
  4. 114 F.Supp.2d 896 (N.D. Cal. 2000)
  5. 922 F.Supp. 1426; 945 F.Supp. 1279 (N.D. Cal.)
  6. "Fried Frank > Home".
  7. "CAR_Public/991101.MBX".
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-09-03. Retrieved 2005-06-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. "SAN FRANCISCO / Bid to sue over LSD rejected".
  10. Egelko, Bob (December 15, 2006). "Judge says California's lethal-injection method is flawed". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  11. "Judge Rules California's Current Lethal Injection Of Death Row Inmates is Unconstitutional, "But Can Be Fixed"". FindLaw. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2005-06-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. " - closethebase Resources and Information".
  14. "Search Results for "ci_8768098" – East Bay Times".
Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 71 Stat. 586
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Succeeded by
Edward J. Davila
Preceded by
Thelton Henderson
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Succeeded by
Vaughn Walker