United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

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Middle District of Alabama
Eleventh Circuit
Judges: 2
Posts: 3
Vacancies: 1
Active judges
Chief: William Watkins
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Chief Magistrate: Susan Walker
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Atlanta at the Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse.

The United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is George L. Beck.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama's vacancy warning level is orange. The court currently has one vacancy.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Mark Fuller1958Enterprise, ALW. Bush 11/26/2002-Present2004-2011Ira DeMentUniversity of Alabama,1982University of Alabama Law, 1985
Chief Judge William Watkins1951Pike County, ALW. Bush 12/27/2005 - Present2011 - PresentHarold AlbrittonAuburn U., B.S., 1973University of Alabama Law, J.D., 1976

Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Truman HobbsCarter 4/3/1980 - 2/11/19911984 - 19912/11/1991 - PresentUniversity of North Carolina, 1942Yale Law School, 1948
Senior Judge William AlbrittonH.W. Bush 5/14/1991 - 5/17/20041998 - 20045/17/2004 - PresentUniversity of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, B.A., 1959University of Alabama Law, LL.B., 1960
Senior Judge Myron ThompsonCarter 9/29/1980 - 8/22/20131991 - 19988/22/2013 - PresentYale, B.A., 1969Yale Law, J.D., 1972

Magistrate judges

Magistrate Judge Terry F. Moorer
Chief Magistrate Judge Susan Walker
Magistrate Judge (Recalled) Charles Coody
Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel, Jr.12/13/2006 - Present


The Counties of the Middle District of Alabama (click for larger map)

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

Counties that are listed in the Eastern Division have court held in Opelika, the Northern Division counties have court held in Montgomery, while the Southern Division counties have court held in Dothan.

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

The Eastern Division, covering Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Russell, and Tallapoosa counties.

The Northern Division, covering Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, Montgomery, and Pike counties.

The Southern Division, covering Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties.




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 1432138928211307 15148.39.960 (5.2%)1.326
2012 1352148028321398 143499.647 (4.1%)022
2011 1289138626751321 13548.89.940 (3.7%)025
2010 1300140327031410 12938.7938 (3.7%)026
2009 1300150328031493 131010.19.133 (3.3%)029
2008 1376143528111512 129998.733 (3.3%)021
20071388152029081614129491043 (4.1%)031
*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 Middle District of Alabama.


The District of Alabama was established by Congress on April 21, 1820, with one post to cover the entire state. On February 6, 1839, Congress established the Middle District of Alabama with one judge covering the Middle District and the Northern and Southern Districts as well. On June 5, 1936, Congress assigned an individual judge to cover only the Middle District. Over time, two additional judicial posts were added for a total of three current posts.[3]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Middle District of Alabama:[3]

Year Statute Total Seats
April 21, 1820 3 Stat. 564 1(District of Alabama)
February 6, 1839 5 Stat. 315 1(Shared post, 3 Districts)
August 2, 1886 24 Stat. 213 1(Shared post, 2 Districts)
June 5, 1936 49 Stat. 1476 1
March 18, 1966 80 Stat. 75 2(Shared)
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 2
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 3

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 Middle District of Alabama, see former federal judges of the Middle District of Alabama.

See also

External links


Alabama Supreme CourtAlabama Court of Civil AppealsAlabama Court of Criminal AppealsAlabama Circuit CourtsAlabama Municipal CourtsAlabama Probate CourtsAlabamaAlabama countiesAlabama judicial newsAlabama judicial electionsJudicial selection in AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of AlabamaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitAlabamaTemplate.jpg