United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island

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Coordinates: 41°49′33″N71°24′38″W / 41.825811°N 71.410454°W / 41.825811; -71.410454

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United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
(D.R.I.)
Seal of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.jpg
USA Rhode Island location map.svg
Location Federal Building
Appeals to First Circuit
EstablishedJune 23, 1790
Judges3
Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr.
Officers of the court
U.S. Attorney Richard B. Myrus (acting)
U.S. Marshal Wing Chau
Official website
The courthouse for the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island is located in the Federal Building in Providence. Exterior, Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Providence, Rhode Island LCCN2010718932.tif
The courthouse for the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island is located in the Federal Building in Providence.

The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island (in case citations, D.R.I.) is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Rhode Island. The District Court was created in 1790 when Rhode Island ratified the Constitution. The Federal Courthouse was built in 1908.

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

The United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of February 28,2021 the Acting United States Attorney is Richard B. Myrus. [1]

Legislative history

The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island was established on June 23, 1790, by 1  Stat.   128. Congress authorized one judgeship for the Court, and assigned the district to the Eastern Circuit. On February 13, 1801, the outgoing lame duck Federalist-controlled Congress passed the controversial Judiciary Act of 1801 which reassigned the District of Rhode Island to the First Circuit.

The incoming Congress repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801, but in the Judiciary Act of 1802, Congress again assigned the District of Rhode Island to the First Circuit.

A second seat on the Court was created on March 18, 1966, by 80  Stat.   75. A third seat was added on July 10, 1984, by 98  Stat.   333.

Current judges

As of December 1,2019:

#TitleJudgeDuty stationBornTerm of serviceAppointed by
Active Chief Senior
23Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. Providence 19582011–present2019–present Obama
22District Judge William E. Smith Providence 19592002–present2013–2019 G.W. Bush
24District Judge Mary S. McElroy Providence 19652019–present Trump
19Senior Judge Ronald Rene Lagueux inactive19311986–20011992–19992001–present Reagan
21Senior Judge Mary M. Lisi inactive19501994–20152006–20132015–present Clinton

Former judges

#JudgeStateBorn–diedActive service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed byReason for
termination
1 Henry Marchant RI 1741–17961790–1796 Washington death
2 Benjamin Bourne RI 1755–18081796–1801 [Note 1] Washington elevation to 1st Cir.
3 David Leonard Barnes RI 1760–18121801–1812 [Note 2] Jefferson death
4 David Howell RI 1747–18241812–1824 Madison death
5 John Pitman RI 1785–18641824–1864 [Note 3] Monroe death
6 J. Russell Bullock RI 1815–18991865–1869 Lincoln resignation
7 John Power Knowles RI 1808–18871869–1881 [Note 4] Grant retirement
8 LeBaron Bradford Colt RI 1846–19241881–1884 Garfield elevation to 1st Cir.
9 George Moulton Carpenter Jr. RI 1844–18961884–1896 Arthur death
10 Arthur Lewis Brown RI 1854–19281896–1927 [Note 5] Cleveland retirement
11 Ira Lloyd Letts RI 1889–19471927–1935 [Note 6] Coolidge resignation
12 John Christopher Mahoney RI 1882–19521935–1940 F. Roosevelt elevation to 1st Cir.
13 John Patrick Hartigan RI 1887–19681940–1951 F. Roosevelt elevation to 1st Cir.
14 Edward L. Leahy RI 1886–19531951–1953 Truman death
15 Edward William Day RI 1901–19851953–1976 [Note 7] 1966–19711976–1985 Eisenhower death
16 Raymond James Pettine RI 1912–20031966–19821971–19821982–2003 L. Johnson death
17 Francis Joseph Boyle RI 1927–20061977–19921982–19921992–2006 Carter death
18 Bruce M. Selya RI 1934–present1982–1986 Reagan elevation to 1st Cir.
20 Ernest C. Torres RI 1941–present1987–20061999–20062006–2011 Reagan retirement
  1. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 21, 1796, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 22, 1796, and received commission the same day.
  2. Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 6, 1802, confirmed by the Senate on January 26, 1802, and received commission the same day.
  3. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 16, 1824, confirmed by the Senate on January 3, 1825, and received commission the same day.
  4. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1869, confirmed by the Senate on January 24, 1870, and received commission the same day.
  5. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 8, 1896, confirmed by the Senate on December 15, 1896, and received commission the same day.
  6. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1927, confirmed by the Senate on January 4, 1928, and received commission the same day.
  7. Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 11, 1954, confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 1954, and received commission the same day.

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

Notable cases

United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island

Some of the US Attorneys for Rhode Island

See also

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References

  1. "United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman Submits Letter of Resignation" (Press release). Providence, Rhode Island: United States Attorney's Office. February 26, 2021. Retrieved March 1, 2021.