United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in downtown San Francisco, California, at the James R. Browning Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
|Dale A. Drozd||California State University, San Diego, 1977||University of California, Los Angeles, 1980|
Article III judges
|Judge Lawrence O'Neill||1952||Oakland, CA||W. Bush||04/17/2008 - Present||Oliver Wanger||University of California at Berkeley, B.A., 1973||University of California, Hastings College of Law, J.D., 1979|
|Chief Judge Morrison England||1954||St. Louis, MO||W. Bush||8/2/2002-Present||11/1/2012-Present||Lawrence Karlton||University of the Pacific, 1977||University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1983|
|Judge John Mendez||1955||Oakland, CA||W. Bush||4/17/2008 - Present||David Levi||Stanford University, B.A., 1977||Harvard Law School, J.D., 1980|
|Judge Kimberly Mueller||1957||Newton, Kansas||Obama||12/21/2010-Present||Frank Damrell||Pomona College, 1981||Stanford Law School, 1995|
|Judge Troy L. Nunley||1964||San Francisco, CA||Obama||3/23/2013 - Present||Garland Burrell||St. Mary`s College of California, B.A., 1986||University of California Law, J.D., 1990|
Active Article III judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Senior Judge Garland Burrell||H.W. Bush||March 2, 1992 - 7/4/2012||2007 - 2008||7/4/2012 - Present||California State U., Los Angeles, B.A., 1972||California Western School of Law, San Diego, J.D., 1976|
|Senior Judge William Shubb||H.W. Bush||10/1/1990 - 11/1/2004||1996 - 2003||11/1/2004 - Present||University of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1960||University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1963|
|Senior Judge Anthony Ishii||Clinton||10/14/1997 - 10/31/2012||2008 - 10/31/2012||10/31/2012 - Present||Reedley Junior College, A.S., 1966||University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1973|
Senior judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Magistrate Judge Edmund Brennan||8/21/2006 - Present||Doane College, B.A., 1973||Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1979|
|Magistrate Judge Greg Hollows||3/7/1990 - Present||Muskingum College, B.A., 1969||Loyola Law School, J.D., 1979|
|Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd||9/15/1997-Present||California State University, San Diego, 1977||University of California, Los Angeles, 1980|
|Magistrate Judge Craig Kellison||11/1/1983 - Present||University of Nevada, B.S., 1972||Gonzaga University School of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Magistrate Judge Gary Austin||10/12/2007 - Present||California State U. Fresno, B.A., 1972||San Joaquin College of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Magistrate Judge Dennis Beck||3/12/1990 - Present||College of William and Mary, B.A., 1969||College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, J.D., 1972|
|Magistrate Judge Sandra Snyder (California)||5/3/1993 - Present||California State University at Fresno, B.A., 1968||Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone||2012-Present||University of California at Berkeley, 1988||University of the Pacific, 1995|
|Magistrate Judge Allison Claire||2012-Present||University of California Santa Cruz, 1990||U. of California Berkeley, 1993|
|Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney||8/2011-Present||Wesleyan U., 1984||Stanford U. Law, 1988|
|Magistrate judge Barbara A. McAuliffe||10/14/2011-Present||Louisiana State University, 1980||University of Stan Diego Law, 1989|
|Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman||2/2010-Present||Cornell U., 1980||College of William and Mary, 1984|
|Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto||4/12/2010-Present||University of Southern California, 1977||University of Southern California Law, 1985|
|Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng||4/2/2010-Present||University of Tennessee, 1969||University of Tennessee Law, 1975|
|Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston||12/31/2009-Present||California State U., 1989||California Pacific Law, 1997|
The Eastern District of California has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
There are five court divisions, with the two main court divisions covering the following counties:
The Sacramento Division, covering Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba counties
The Bakersfield office has jurisdiction over certain cases in Inyo and Kern counties and on federal lands and National Parks. These cases are heard in courthouses in Bakersfield, at Edwards Air Force Base, and in Independence, California.
The South Lake Tahoe office hears misdemeanors and petty crimes for federal lands and National Parks.
The Yosemite office hears misdemeanors and petty crimes for Yosemite National Park.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*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.
For cases in the Eastern District of California, see United States District Court for the Eastern District of California Official Website or Justia.com.
|• Farmer's case against U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over lost crop may proceed (2014)||Click for summary→|
|In April 2014, Judge Lawrence Karlton denied a motion to dismiss that was filed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) with regard to a suit brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) on behalf of Duarte Nursery Inc. and its owner, John Duarte. In the complaint, the PLF alleged that Duarte's due process rights were violated by the Corps after the government agency issued a cease and desist letter that cost the farmer his wheat crop in 2013.
| • Judge suspends criminal proceedings to fight spread of H1N1 virus (2014)|
Judge(s):Lawrence O'Neill (In re Health Emergency, 14-MC-00003 LJO)
|Click for summary→|
|On January 14, 2014, Judge Lawrence O'Neill issued an emergency order suspending criminal proceedings for Fresno County Jail inmates for one week's time due to an outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus at the facility. Following the death of one inmate and the infection of at least three other inmates, O'Neill issued the order of his own volition, continuing all previously scheduled inmate proceedings due to the health risks involved with their presence at the federal courthouse. O'Neill's order excludes regular judicial time limitations, "including but not limited to the Speedy Trial Act." His order noted that these drastic measures would "assure the health and safety of the federal judiciary, the court staff, members of pretrial services, members of the Federal Probation Department, United States Marshals, members of the United States Attorney's Office, members of the Federal Defender's Office, private counsel and members of the public who have business with, or visit the courtrooms." O'Neill's federal order was entered in addition to one issued previously by Superior Court Judge Jonathan B. Conklin, which denied transportation of quarantined H1N1 inmates to the state courthouse.|
| • Greyhound bus case (2009)|
Judge(s):Morrison England (Soto v. Tu Phuoc Nguyen, No. 2:06-cv-01612-MCE-DAD)
|Click for summary→|
|Judge England ruled that Greyhound must face trial in a lawsuit for a July 1, 2005, accident that seriously injured passengers on Interstate 5.
Passengers who filed the lawsuit claimed that their injuries could have been prevented if Greyhound equipped its buses with seat belts. Greyhound asked Judge England to dismiss the cases, claiming that federal laws preempted Greyhound from equipping their bus lines with seat belts. Attorneys for Greyhound believed that since the federal government did not require seat belts on buses, that any action based in a state-level court on the failure to install seat belts was preempted by the federal government's inaction.England rejected Greyhound's arguments and ordered the lawsuits to a jury trial. Judge England found that "the absence of federal seat belt requirements for passengers is more descriptive of a minimum protection mandated by federal law, rather than a clear indication that such passive restraints should not be required." Judge England also noted that the "[g]overnment's failure to require seat belts on buses does not prevent injured bus passengers from pursuing claims based on the failure to install seat belts."
The Eastern District of California was established by Congress on March 18, 1966, with one judicial post being transferred from the Southern District and two from the Northern District. Over time, three additional judicial posts were added for a total of six current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Eastern District of California:
|March 18, 1966||80 Stat. 75||3|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||6|
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.
For more information about the judges of the Eastern District of California, see former federal judges of the Eastern District of California.
Two separate courthouses serve the Eastern District of California.
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, "Official Website"
- Federal Judicial Center, "Judges of the Eastern District of California"
- Eastern District of California, "Local Rules"
- Eastern District of California, "Opinions"
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, "U.S. Attorneys Listing," accessed on August 6, 2014
- Courthouse News Service, "Jail Outbreak of H1N1 Throws Court for a Loop," January 15, 2014
- Appeal Democrat, "Judge rebuffs Greyhound in Colusa cases," July 5, 2009
- Federal Judicial Center, "History of the Eastern District of California," accessed on August 6, 2014
- United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Edmund Brennan • Greg Hollows • Dale A. Drozd • Craig Kellison • Gary Austin • Dennis Beck • Sandra Snyder (California) • Stanley A. Boone • Allison Claire • Carolyn K. Delaney • Barbara A. McAuliffe • Kendall J. Newman • Sheila K. Oberto • Michael J. Seng • Jennifer L. Thurston •|
|Former Article III judges||
Edward Garcia • Lawrence Karlton • Myron Crocker • Robert Coyle • Frank Damrell • Oliver Wanger • Sherrill Halbert • David Levi • Thomas MacBride • Edward Price • Raul Ramirez • Milton Schwartz • Philip Wilkins •
|Former Chief judges|