United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

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Central District of Illinois
Seventh Circuit
Judges: 4
Posts: 4
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: James E. Shadid
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago, Illinois, at the Everett M. Dirksen Federal Courthouse and Building.

The United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is James A. Lewis.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois's vacancy warning level is green. The court currently has no vacancies out of its four posts.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Sue MyerscoughOctober 22, 1951Springfield, ILObama 3/14/2011 - PresentJeanne ScottSouthern Illinois U., B.A., 1973Southern Illinois U. School of Law, J.D., 1980
Chief Judge James E. Shadid1957Peoria, ILObama 3/10/2011 - Present3/12/2012 - PresentMichael MihmBradley U., B.S., 1979John Marshall Law School, J.D., 1983
Judge Sara Lynn Darrow1970Pontiac, MIObama 8/3/2011 - PresentJoe McDadeMarquette U., B.A., 1992Saint Louis U. Law, J.D., 1997
Judge Colin Stirling BruceObama 10/7/2013 - PresentMichael McCuskeyUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 1986U. of Illinois Law, J.D., 1989

Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Michael MihmReagan 8/6/1982 - 10/1/20091991 - 199810/1/2009 - PresentLoras College, B.A., 1964Saint Louis U. School of Law, J.D., 1967
Senior Judge Richard MillsReagan 7/22/1985 - 10/7/199710/7/1997 - PresentIllinois College, B.A., 1951Mercer U. School of Law, J.D., 1957
Senior Judge Joe McDadeH.W. Bush 11/25/1991 - 2/28/20101998 - 200402/28/2010 - PresentBradley U., 1959University of Michigan Law School, 1963
Senior Judge Harold BakerCarter 3/31/1979 - 10/4/19941984 - 199110/4/1994 - PresentUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1951University of Illinois College of Law, 1956

Magistrate judges

Magistrate Judge David Bernthal1995 - PresentUniversity of Illinois, B.A., 1972University of Illinois Law, J.D., 1976
Magistrate Judge Thomas Schanzle-Haskins2014-PresentSouthern Illinois UniversitySouthern Illinois University School of Law, J.D.
Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley3/1/2014 - PresentUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoDePaul College of Law


The Counties of the Central District of Illinois (click for larger map)

The Central District of Illinois has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.

The courthouses are in Peoria, Rock Island, Springfield and Urbana.




Federal Court Caseload Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 1854204939031847 20569.59.264 (4.2%)329
2012 1577196235391690 18499.39.649 (3.6%)021
2011 1532184433761794 15829.78.854 (4.7%)20.325
2010 1585167332581733 15259.510.842 (3.8%)14.926
2009 1400172831281547 15819.29.938 (3.2%)029
2008 1364149928631470 13939.19.342 (4%)028
2007121615862802151812848.59.132 (3.3%)027
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September.    **Time in months from filing to completion.
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts.    ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.

Notable cases

For a searchable list of opinions, please see Justia.com-Dockets and Filings-Central District of Illinois.


Illinois was established as one judicial district by Congress on March 3, 1819, with one post to cover the entire state. The district court was not yet assigned to a judicial circuit and was therefore granted the same jurisdiction as the United States circuit courts, excluding appeals and writs of error, which are the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court.

Congress repealed the circuit court jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of Illinois on March 3, 1837, established a United States circuit court within the district, and assigned it to the Seventh Circuit.

Illinois was divided into two judicial districts on February 13, 1855. The districts were known as the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Illinois. One judgeship was assigned to each district, and the District of Illinois was assigned to the Northern District of Illinois.

Congress reorganized the circuits on July 15, 1862, and assigned Illinois to the Eighth Circuit, and then to the Seventh Circuit on July 23, 1866.

The Eastern District of Illinois was established on March 3, 1905. One judgeship was authorized for the district court, as well as an additional judgeship for the Northern District of Illinois. Illinois was again reorganized into the Northern District of Illinois, the Central District of Illinois, and the Southern District of Illinois on October 2, 1978. Thirteen judgeships were assigned for the Northern District of Illinois, two for the Central District of Illinois, and two for the Southern District of Illinois. Over time, two additional judicial posts were added for a total of four current posts.[2]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Central District of Illinois:[2]

Year Statute Total Seats
March 3, 1819 3 Stat. 502 1
October 2, 1978 92 Stat. 883 2
March 30, 1979 93 Stat. 6 3
November 2, 2002 116 Stat. 1758 4

Former chief judges

In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, 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 in the office of chief judge 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. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[3][4]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the Central District of Illinois, see former federal judges of the Central District of Illinois.

Federal courthouse

Four separate courthouses serve the Central District of Illinois.

See also

External links


IllinoisIllinois Supreme CourtIllinois Appellate CourtIllinois Circuit CourtUnited States District Court for the Central District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Southern District of IllinoisUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitIllinois countiesIllinois judicial newsIllinois judicial electionsJudicial selection in IllinoisIllinoisTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg