United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Last updated

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
(S.D. Fla.)
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.jpg
LocationWilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals to Eleventh Circuit
EstablishedFebruary 23, 1847
Judges18
Chief Judge Cecilia Altonaga
Officers of the court
U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez (acting)
U.S. Marshal Gadyaces S. Serralta
www.flsd.uscourts.gov

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (in case citations, S.D. Fla. or S.D. Fl.) is the federal United States district court with territorial jurisdiction over the southern part of the state of Florida. [1]

Contents

Appeals from cases brought in the Southern District of Florida are to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

History

On the same day that Florida was admitted as a state, March 3, 1845, Congress enacted legislation creating the United States District Court for the District of Florida, 5  Stat.   788. [2] [3] On February 23, 1847, this District was subdivided into Northern and Southern Districts, by 9  Stat.   131. [2] [3] The statute effecting this division set forth the boundaries of the Districts:

[T]hat part of the State of Florida lying south of a line drawn due east and west from the northern point of Charlotte Harbor, including the islands, keys, reefs, shoals, harbors, bays and inlets, south of said line, shall be erected into a new judicial district, to be called the Southern District of Florida; a District Court shall be held in said Southern District, to consist of one judge, who shall reside at Key West, in said district...

On July 30, 1962, the Middle District was created from portions of these districts by 76  Stat.   247. [3]

This federal district has the dubious distinction of having had more judges removed through impeachment than any other district, with a total of two, one-third of all federal district judges so removed.

Famous cases that have been heard in the district include Bush v. Gore , United States v. Noriega (the prosecution of former Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega), González v. Reno (the Elián González case), notorious Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, and United States v. José Padilla (the prosecution of José Padilla).

Jurisdiction

The court's jurisdiction comprises the nine counties of Broward, Highlands, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie. The district includes the South Florida metropolitan area of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. It comprises 15,197 square miles (39,360 km2) and approximately 6.3 million people. Courthouses, corresponding to the five divisions of the district, are located in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Key West, Miami, and West Palm Beach. The court's offices are located in Miami.

United States Attorney and United States Marshal

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of March 28,2021 the Acting United States Attorney for the district is Juan Antonio Gonzalez.

The United States Attorney's Office has a staff of approximately 233 Assistant United States Attorneys and 227 support personnel. The main office is located in Miami, Florida, with three staffed branch offices located in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce and one unstaffed branch office located in Key West. There is also a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office in West Miami-Dade and a Health Care Fraud Facility in Miramar.

On August 28, 2018, Gadyaces S. Serralta was confirmed by the United States Senate to be the United States Marshal.

Current judges

As of July 1,2021:

#TitleJudgeDuty stationBornTerm of serviceAppointed by
Active Chief Senior
58Chief Judge Cecilia Altonaga Miami 19622003–present2021–present G.W. Bush
45District Judge Kevin Michael Moore Miami 19511992–present2014–2021 G.H.W. Bush
50District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks West Palm Beach 19461997–present Clinton
52District Judge William Dimitrouleas Ft. Lauderdale 19511998–present Clinton
57District Judge Jose E. Martinez Miami 19412002–present G.W. Bush
60District Judge Marcia G. Cooke Miami 19542004–present G.W. Bush
61District Judge Kathleen M. Williams Miami 19562011–present Obama
62District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. Miami 19552011–present Obama
64District Judge Darrin P. Gayles Miami 19662014–present Obama
65District Judge Beth Bloom Miami 19622014–present Obama
66District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg West Palm Beach 19622014–present Obama
67District Judge Roy Altman Ft. Lauderdale 19822019–present Trump
68District Judge Rodolfo Ruiz Ft. Lauderdale 19792019–present Trump
69District Judge Rodney Smith Ft. Lauderdale 19742019–present Trump
70District Judge Anuraag Singhal Ft. Lauderdale 19632019–present Trump
71District Judge Aileen Cannon Ft. Pierce 19812020–present Trump
72District Judgevacant
73District Judgevacant
27Senior Judge James Lawrence King Miami 19271970–19921984–19911992–present Nixon
31Senior Judge Jose Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. Ft. Lauderdale 19311978–19961996–present Carter
40Senior Judge William J. Zloch Ft. Lauderdale 19441985–20172000–20072017–present Reagan
42Senior Judge Federico A. Moreno Miami 19521990–20202007–20142020–present G.H.W. Bush
43Senior Judge Donald L. Graham Miami 19481991–20132013–present G.H.W. Bush
48Senior Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley Miami 19431994–20092009–present Clinton
49Senior Judge Joan A. Lenard Miami 19521995–20172017–present Clinton
51Senior Judge Alan Stephen Gold inactive19441997–20102010–present Clinton
53Senior Judge Patricia A. Seitz Miami 19461998–20122012–present Clinton
55Senior Judge Paul Huck Miami 19402000–20102010–present Clinton
56Senior Judge Kenneth Marra West Palm Beach 19512002–20172017–present G.W. Bush
59Senior Judge James I. Cohn Ft. Lauderdale 19482003–20162016–present G.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

SeatPrior judge's duty stationSeat last held byVacancy reasonDate of vacancyNomineeDate of nomination
18 Miami Federico A. Moreno Senior status July 17, 2020
22 Ursula Mancusi Ungaro May 2, 2021

Former judges

#JudgeStateBorn–diedActive service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed byReason for
termination
1 William Marvin FL 1808–19021847–1863 Polk resignation
2 Thomas Jefferson Boynton FL 1838–18711863–1870 [Note 1] Lincoln resignation
3 John McKinney FL 1829–18711870–1871 [Note 2] Grant death
4 James William Locke FL 1837–19221872–1912 Grant retirement
5 John Moses Cheney FL 1859–19221912–1913 [Note 3] Taft not confirmed
6 Rhydon Mays Call FL 1858–19271913–1927 [Note 4] Wilson death
7 Lake Jones FL 1867–19301924–1930 Coolidge death
8 Alexander Akerman FL 1869–19481929–19391939–1948 Coolidge death
9 Halsted L. Ritter FL 1868–19511929–1936 Coolidge impeachment and conviction
10 Louie Willard Strum FL 1890–19541931–19501948–1950 Hoover elevation to 5th Cir.
11 John W. Holland FL 1883–19691936–19551950–19551955–1969 F. Roosevelt death
12 William J. Barker FL 1886–19681940–19591955–19591959–1968 F. Roosevelt death
13 Curtis L. Waller FL 1887–19501940–1943 [Note 5] F. Roosevelt elevation to 5th Cir.
14 Dozier A. DeVane FL 1883–19631943–1958 [Note 6] 1958–1963 F. Roosevelt death
15 George William Whitehurst FL 1891–19741950–1961 [Note 5] 1959–19611961–1974 Truman death
16 John Milton Bryan Simpson FL 1903–19871950–19621961–1962 Truman reassignment to M.D. Fla
17 Emett Clay Choate FL 1891–19741954–19651965–1974 Eisenhower death
18 Joseph Patrick Lieb FL 1901–19711955–1962 [Note 7] Eisenhower reassignment to M.D. Fla
18 William McRae FL 1909–19731961–1962 Kennedy reassignment to M.D. Fla
19 David W. Dyer FL 1910–19981961–19661962–1966 Kennedy elevation to 5th Cir.
20 George C. Young FL 1916–20151961–1966 [Note 8] Kennedy reassignment to M.D. Fla
21 Charles B. Fulton FL 1910–19961963–19781966–19771978–1996 Kennedy death
22 William O. Mehrtens FL 1905–19801965–19751975–1980 L. Johnson death
23 C. Clyde Atkins FL 1914–19991966–19821977–19821982–1999 L. Johnson death
24 Ted Cabot FL 1917–19711966–1971 L. Johnson death
25 Joe Oscar Eaton FL 1920–20081967–19851982–19841985–2008 L. Johnson death
26 Peter T. Fay FL 1929–20211970–1976 Nixon elevation to 5th Cir.
28 Norman Charles Roettger Jr. FL 1930–20031972–19971991–19971997–2003 Nixon death
29 Sidney Aronovitz FL 1920–19971976–19881988–1997 Ford death
30 William Hoeveler FL 1922–20171977–19911991–2017 Carter death
32 Edward B. Davis FL 1933–20101979–20001997–2000 Carter retirement
33 James W. Kehoe FL 1925–19981979–19921992–1998 Carter death
34 James Carriger Paine FL 1924–20101979–19921992–2010 Carter death
35 Eugene P. Spellman FL 1930–19911979–1991 Carter death
36 Alcee Hastings FL 1936–20211979–1989 Carter impeachment and conviction
37 Lenore Carrero Nesbitt FL 1932–20011983–19981998–2001 Reagan death
38 Stanley Marcus FL 1946–present1985–1997 Reagan elevation to 11th Cir.
39 Thomas Scott FL 1948–present1985–1990 Reagan resignation
41 Kenneth Ryskamp FL 1932–20171986–20002000–2017 Reagan death
44 Shelby Highsmith FL 1929–20151991–20022002–2015 G.H.W. Bush death
46 Ursula Mancusi Ungaro FL 1951–present1992–20212021 G.H.W. Bush retirement
47 Wilkie D. Ferguson FL 1938–20031993–2003 Clinton death
54 Adalberto Jordan FL 1961–present1999–2012 Clinton elevation to 11th Cir.
63 Robin S. Rosenbaum FL 1966–present2012–2014 Obama elevation to 11th Cir.
  1. Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1864, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 1864, and received commission the same day.
  2. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 7, 1870, confirmed by the Senate on February 18, 1871, and received commission the same day.
  3. Recess appointment; the Senate did not confirm the appointment.
  4. Recess appointment; formally nominated on April 12, 1913, confirmed by the Senate on April 24, 1913, and received commission the same day.
  5. 1 2 Jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida.
  6. From 1943-1947, Judge DeVane was jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida.
  7. Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 12, 1956, confirmed by the Senate on March 1, 1956, and received commission the same day.
  8. From 1961-1962, Judge Young was jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida. From 1962-1966, Judge Young was jointly appointed to the Middle, Northern, and Southern Districts of Florida.

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

See also

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References

  1. 28 U.S.C.   § 89.
  2. 1 2 Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 393.
  3. 1 2 3 U.S. District Courts of Florida, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center .