United States District Court for the District of South Carolina

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District of South Carolina
Fourth Circuit
Judges: 8
Posts: 10
Vacancies: 2
Active judges
Chief: Terry Wooten
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Richmond, Virginia at the Lewis F. Powell Federal Courthouse.

The United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is William N. Nettles.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina's vacancy warning level is yellow. The court has two vacancies.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge David Norton1946Washington, DCW. Bush 07/12/1990 - Present2007 - 2012Solomon BlattUniversity of the South, B.A., 1968University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1975
Chief Judge Terry Wooten1954Louisville, KYW. Bush 11/26/2001 - Present1/16/2013 - PresentNew Seat|114 Stat. 2762University of South Carolina, B.A., 1976University of South Carolina, J.D., 1980
Judge Robert Harwell1959Florence, SCW. Bush 06/30/2004 - PresentWeston HouckClemson University, 1980University of South Carolina Law, 1982
Judge Bruce Hendricks1957Charleston, South CarolinaObama 6/4/2014-PresentMargaret SeymourCollege of Charleston, 1983University of South Carolina Law, 1990
Judge Timothy M. Cain1961Seneca, SCObama 9/20/2011 - PresentPatrick DuffyUniversity of South Carolina, B.S., 1983University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1986
Judge J. Michelle ChildsMarch 24, 1966Detroit, MIObama 08/05/2010 - PresentGeorge AndersonUniversity of South Florida, B.A., 1984University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1991
Judge Richard Mark Gergel1954Columbia, SCObama 08/9/2010 - PresentHenry HerlongDuke U., B.A., 1975Duke U., J.D., 1979
Judge Mary Geiger Lewis1958Columbia, SCObama 6/18/2012 - PresentHenry Franklin FloydClemson U., B.A., 1980University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1984

Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge George AndersonCarter 05/23/1980 - 01/29/200901/29/2009 - PresentSoutheastern University, 1949University of South Carolina Law1954
Senior Judge Joseph AndersonReagan 10/14/1986-11/16/20142000-200711/17/2014-PresentClemson University, 1972University of South Carolina Law Center, 1975
Senior Judge Henry HerlongH.W. Bush 5/14/1991-5/31/20096/1/2009-PresentClemson University, 1967University of South Carolina Law, 1970
Senior Judge Cameron CurrieClinton 03/11/1994 - 10/3/201310/3/2013 - PresentUniversity of South Carolina, B.A., 1970George Washington U. Law , J.D., 1975
Senior Judge Patrick DuffyClinton 12/26/1995 - 12/26/200712/27/2007 - PresentThe Citadel, B.A., 1965University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1968
Senior Judge Margaret SeymourClinton 10/22/1998-1/16/20132012-1/16/2013Howard U., B.A., 1969American U. Law, J.D., 1977
Senior Judge Solomon BlattNixon 05/28/1971 - 05/06/19901986 - 199005/07/1990 - PresentUniversity of South Carolina, A.B., 1941University of South Carolina Law, LL.B., 1946
Senior Judge Charles Weston HouckCarter 9/26/1979 - 09/30/20031993 - 200010/1/2003 - PresentUniversity of South Carolina Law, LL.B., 1956

Magistrate judges

Magistrate Judge Robert Buchanan1979 - PresentErskine College, A.B., 1973University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1976
Magistrate Judge Paige Jones Gossett10/24/2008 - Present
Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant1992 - PresentCollege of Charleston, 1977University of South Carolina School of Law, 1980
Magistrate Judge Thomas Rogers05/08/2002 - Present
Magistrate Judge Shiva Hodges
Magistrate Judge Kevin McDonald
Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin
Magistrate Judge Kaymani West2012 - Present


The Counties of South Carolina (click for larger map)

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

There are eleven court divisions, each covering the following counties:

The Aiken Division, covering Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties

The Anderson Division, covering Anderson, Oconne and Pickens counties

The Beaufort Division, covering Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties

The Charleston Division, covering Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Dorchester and Georgetown counties

The Columbia Division, covering Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Richland and Sumter counties

The Florence Division, covering Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg counties

The Greenville Division, covering Greenville and Laurens counties

The Greenwood Division, covering Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties

The Orangeburg Division, covering Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties

The Rock Hill Division, covering Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster and York counties

The Spartanburg Division, covering Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties

Court is held in the cities of Aiken, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Spartanburg.




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 4388478091684881 42879.99.0292 (9.0%)8.420
2012 4339510594445091 43539.38.3262 (8.1%)8.529
2011 4321489892194896 43239.58.7169 (5.3%)1229
2010 4741506798085550 42589.710.869 (2.2%)29.339
2009 4731512798585169 4689108.264 (2%)1231
2008 44555974104295713 47169.48.253 (1.6%)036
2007370560669771590638658.5835 (1.2%)039
*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 Opinions of the District of South Carolina.


The District of South Carolina was established by Congress on September 24, 1789, with one post to cover the entire state. On February 21, 1823, Congress divided the district into the Eastern District of South Carolina and the Western District of South Carolina with one post to cover both districts. In 1898, in Bartlett v. U.S., 169 U.S. 219 the United States Supreme Court held that South Carolina was a single judicial district under the law. On March 3, 1911, Congress again divided the district into the Eastern District of South Carolina and the Western District of South Carolina with one post to cover both districts. On October 7, 1965, the two judicial districts were again merged, this time by congress, with four posts to cover the entire state. Over time six additional judicial posts were added to the Western District of Virginia for a total of ten current posts.[3]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of South Carolina:[3]

Year Statute Total Seats
September 24, 1789 1 Stat. 73 1 (Whole state)
February 21, 1823 3 Stat. 726 1 (Whole state, 2 Districts)
1898 Bartlett v. U.S., 169 U.S. 219 1 (Whole state)
March 3, 1911 36 Stat. 1087, 1123 1 (Whole state, 2 Districts)
March 3, 1915 38 Stat. 961 1 Eastern + 1 Western = 2 Total
February 26, 1929 45 Stat. 1319 1 Eastern + 1 Western +1 Shared = 3 Total
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 1 Eastern + 1 Western + 2 Shared = 4 Total
October 7, 1965 79 Stat. 951 4
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 5
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 8
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 9
December 21, 2000 114 Stat. 2762 10

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.[4][5]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the District of South Carolina, see former federal judges of the District of South Carolina.

Federal courthouse

There are eight federal courthouses that serve the District of South Carolina.

See also

External links


South CarolinaSouth Carolina Supreme CourtSouth Carolina Court of AppealsSouth Carolina Circuit CourtsSouth Carolina Masters-in-EquitySouth Carolina Family CourtsSouth Carolina Magistrate CourtsSouth Carolina Municipal CourtsSouth Carolina Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of South CarolinaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of South CarolinaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitSouth Carolina countiesSouth Carolina judicial newsSouth Carolina judicial electionsJudicial selection in South CarolinaSouthCarolinaTemplate.jpg