United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida 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.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
Article III judges
|Judge Robert Hinkle||1951||Apalachicola, FL||Clinton||8/1/1996 - Present||2004 - 2009||William Stafford||Florida State U., B.A., 1972||Harvard School of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge John Smoak||1943||Columbus, GA||W. Bush||11/3/2005 - Present||Clyde Vinson||West Point, B.A., 1965||University of Florida Law, J.D., 1972|
|Chief Judge Margaret Rodgers||1964||Pensacola, FL||W. Bush||11/21/2003 - Present||2011 - Present||Lacey Collier||University of West Florida, B.A., 1989||California Western Law, J.D., 1992|
|Judge Mark E. Walker||Obama||12/6/2012 - Present||Stephan Mickle||University of Florida, B.A., 1989||University of Florida Law, J.D., 1992|
|Senior Judge Maurice Paul||Reagan||6/21/1982 - 7/31/1997||1993 - 1997||7/31/1997 - Present||University of Florida, B.A., 1954||University of Florida College of Law, LL.B., 1960|
|Senior Judge Clyde Roger Vinson||Reagan||10/5/1983 - 3/31/2005||1997 - 2004||3/31/2005 - Present||Naval Academy, B.A., 1962||Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1971|
|Senior Judge Lacey Collier||H.W. Bush||11/18/1991 - 11/20/2003||11/20/2003 - Present||U.S. Naval Academy Post-Graduate School, B.A., 1970, University of West Florida, B.A., 1975||Florida State College of Law, J.D., 1977|
|Senior Judge William Stafford||Ford||5/14/1975 - 5/31/1996||1981 - 1993||5/31/1996 - Present||Temple University, B.A., 1953||Temple University, J.D., 1956|
|Senior judge Stephan Mickle||Clinton||5/22/1998 - 6/22/2011||2009-2011||6/22/2011 - Present||University of Florida, B.A., 1965||University of Florida, J.D., 1970|
|Magistrate Judge Charles Kahn||03/04/2011 - Present||Vanderbilt U., 1973||University of Florida, J.D., 1977|
|Magistrate Judge Gary Jones||09/01/2010 - Present||Boston U., B.A., 1975||University of Miami Law, J.D., 1981|
|Magistrate Judge Larry Bodiford|
|Magistrate Judge Gordon M. Davis|
|Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Timothy|
|Magistrate Judge Charles A. Stampelos|
The Northern District of Florida has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
There are four court divisions, each covering the following counties:
|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 a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions of the Northern District of Florida.
| • Judge says Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is discrimination (2014)|
Judge(s):Robert Hinkle (Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley v. Scott, 4:14cv107-RH/CAS and 4:14cv138-RH/CAS)
|Click for summary→|
|Following a number of similar, county-level decisions across the state, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled on August 21, 2014, that Florida's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage that was passed in 2008 is unconstitutional. In the ruling, the judge compared the issue of same-sex marriage to that of interracial marriage in the past, writing:
Hinkle stayed his ruling, pending appeal, meaning that same-sex marriages were not immediately allowed in the state. The underlying case involved 22 people--eight same-sex couples, as well as members of an LGBT-focused group called SAVE--who sued the state in order to obtain marriage licenses.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) praised the ruling, while the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops said they were disappointed by it. The bishops had filed a friend-of-the-court brief expressing their "strong interest in protecting the traditional institution of husband-wife marriage because of the religious beliefs of its members and due to this institution's benefits to children, families and society."The ruling followed four local-level decisions by judges in the counties of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, that ruled similarly against the ban in July and August of 2014.
| • EPA water rules (2009)|
|Click for summary→|
|On November 16, 2009, Judge Hinkle ordered a consent decree on the Environmental Protection Agency to come up with limits for freshwater pollution by October 14, 2010. Environmental advocacy groups in Florida sued the EPA for the standards because of claims that freshwater lakes were being polluted by nitrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen. The judge found the State of Florida failed to enforce major provisions of the Clean Water Act of 1990 as indication of requiring the consent decree.|
The District of Florida was established by Congress on March 3, 1845, with one post to cover the entire state. On February 23, 1847, Congress divided the district into the Northern District of Florida and the Southern District of Florida with one judicial post for each district. Over time, three additional judicial posts were added for a total of four current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Northern District of Florida:
|March 3, 1845||5 Stat. 788||1|
|May 24, 1940||54 Stat. 219||2(Temporary)|
|August 3, 1949||63 Stat. 493||2|
|March 18, 1966||80 Stat. 75||2 (1 New post, 1 Reassigned|
to Middle District of Florida)
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||3|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||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.
For more information about the judges of the Northern District of Florida, see former federal judges of the Northern District of Florida.
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- US Attorney's Office Northern District of Florida
- Opinions of the Northern District of Florida
- Judges of the Northern District of Florida
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- USA Today, "U.S. judge strikes down Fla. ban on same-sex marriage," August 21, 2014
- United States District Court for the North District of Florida, "Brenner v. Scott/Grimsley v. Scott," August 21, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Tampa Bay Times, "For first time, federal judge rules Florida's gay marriage ban unconstitutional," August 21, 2014
- Orlando Sentinel, "Federal judge upholds EPA water rules," November 16, 2009
- History of the Districts of Florida on the Federal Judicial Center website
- United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Charles Kahn • Gary Jones • Larry Bodiford • Gordon M. Davis • Elizabeth Timothy • Charles A. Stampelos •|
|Former Article III judges||
George Young • Isaac Hopkins Bronson • McQueen McIntosh • Philip Fraser • Thomas Settle • Charles Swayne • William Bostwick Sheppard • Augustus Long • Winston Arnow • George Carswell • Curtis Waller • George Whitehurst • Lynn Higby • David Middlebrooks • Dozier DeVane •
|Former Chief judges|