United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown New Orleans at the John Minor Wisdom Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Article III judges
|Chief Judge Sidney Fitzwater||1953||Olney, MD||Reagan||3/19/1986 - Present||2007 - Present||Robert Hill||Baylor U., B.A., 1975||Baylor U. School of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Mary Lou Robinson||1926||Dodge City, KS||Carter||4/26/1979 - Present||New Seat|92 Stat. 1629||University of Texas, B.A., 1948||University of Texas School of Law, LL.B., 1950|
|Judge Jorge Solis||1951||San Ygnacio, TX||H.W. Bush||9/16/1991 - Present||Robert Porter||McMurry College, B.A., 1973||University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Sam Lindsay||1951||San Antonio, TX||Clinton||3/17/1998 - Present||New Seat|104 Stat. 5089||St. Mary`s U., B.A., 1974||University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1977|
|Judge Barbara Lynn||1952||Binghamton, NY||Clinton||11/22/1999 - Present||Harold Sanders||University of Virginia, B.A., 1973||Southern Methodist U., J.D., 1976|
|Judge David Godbey||1957||Temple, TX||W. Bush||8/2/2002 - Present||Robert Maloney||Southern Methodist U., B.S.E.E./B.S., 1978||Harvard Law School, J.D., 1982|
|Judge James Kinkeade||1951||Denton, TX||W. Bush||11/15/2002 - Present||Elton Kendall||Baylor U., B.A., 1973||Baylor Law School, J.D., 1974|
|Judge Jane Boyle||1954||Sharon, PA||W. Bush||6/29/2004 - Present||Jerry Buchmeyer||University of Texas, B.S., 1977||Southern Methodist U. School of Law, J.D., 1981|
|Judge Reed O'Connor||1965||Houston, TX||W. Bush||11/21/2007-Present||Joe Fish||University of Houston 1986||South Texas College of Law, 1989|
|Judge John McBryde||1931||Jackson, MS||H.W. Bush||8/7/1990 - Present||Eldon Mahon||Texas Christian University, B.S., 1953||University of Texas School of Law, LL.B., 1956|
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 Joe Fish||Reagan||2/24/1983 - 11/12/2007||2002 - 2007||11/12/2007 - Present||Yale College, 1965||Yale Law School, 1968|
|Senior Judge Robert Maloney (Texas)||Reagan||10/17/1985 - 8/31/2000||8/31/2000 - Present||Southern Methodist U., B.B.A., 1956||Southern Methodist U. School of Law, J.D., 1960|
|Senior Judge Sam Cummings||Reagan||12/9/1987-12/31/2014||1/1/2015-Present||Texas Tech University||Baylor University School of Law|
|Senior Judge Terry Means||H.W. Bush||11/5/1991 - 7/3/2013||7/3/2013 - Present||Southern Methodist U., B.A., 1971||Southern Methodist U. School of Law, J.D., 1974|
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 Kerry Roach||1980 - Present||University of Oklahoma, B.A., 1965||University of Texas Law, L.L.B, 1968|
|Magistrate Judge Clinton Averitte||1987 - Present||University of Texas, B.S., 1971||Southern Methodist U. Law, J.D., 1974|
|Magistrate Judge Irma Ramirez||2002 - Present||West Texas State U., B.A., 1986||Southern Methodist U. Law, J.D., 1991|
|Magistrate Judge Nancy Koenig||1998 - Present||University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 1972||Texas Tech U. Law, J.D., 1982|
|Magistrate Judge Paul Stickney||1998 - Present||University of South Dakota, B.S., 1978||University of South Dakota Law, J.D., 1981|
|Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton||2010 - Present||Baylor U., B.A., 1990||Baylor U. Law, J.D., 1993|
|Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver||2010 - Present||Howard U., B.A., 1981||University of Texas Law, J.D., 1984|
|Magistrate Judge Scott Frost||2011 - Present||Angelo State U., B.A., 1984||Texas Tech U. Law, J.D., 1987|
|Judge David L. Horan||2012-Present||University of Notre Dame, 1996||Yale Law School, 2000|
The Northern District of Texas has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
There are seven court divisions, each covering the following counties:
The Amarillo Division, covering Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, and Wheeler counties
The court convenes in Dallas with divisions in Fort Worth, Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls. It has jurisdiction over 100 counties in the Northern and Central parts of the state of Texas.
|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 Justia.com - Dockets and Filings - Northern District of Texas.
| • Injunction issued against sale of entertainment retail chain (2014)|
Judge(s):Mary Lou Robinson (Oberegger and Capps v. Hastings Entertainment, et al, 2:14-cv-00072)
|Click for summary→|
|On May 30, 2014, Judge Mary Lou Robinson issued a temporary restraining order halting the $21.4 million sale of Hastings Entertainment (Hastings) to Joel Weinshanker. Plaintiffs Andreas Oberegger and David A. Capps, shareholders of Hastings, sought to stop the multimullion-dollar buyout deal of the retail chain from occurring.
On June 19, 2014, Judge Robinson removed the temporary restraining order that had kept the sale of Hastings from moving forward.
| • Inmate convicted in murder-for-hire plot against Article III judge (2013)|
Judge(s):Donald Walter (U.S. v. Ballard, 4:12-mj-00414-BJ)
|Click for summary→|
|On December 11, 2013, a jury convicted Phillip M. Ballard, a member of the sovereign citizen movement, of one charge of solicitation to commit murder in the attempted murder-for-hire of Judge John McBryde of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Judge Donald Walter of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, sitting by designation, presided over the trial. In the underlying case, Ballard, after standing trial for federal tax fraud, and already in federal custody on unrelated charges, feared that Judge McBryde would sentence him to more than 20 years in prison. From September 9, 2012 through September 27, 2012, Ballard plotted Judge McBryde's demise, and eventually offered an inmate $100,000 to kill him. At trial, Ballard claimed that he never had any actual intent to kill the judge, but a jury convicted him of the offense nonetheless. Ballard now faces up to 20 years in prison, and sentencing was scheduled for March 2014.|
On December 29, 1845, the State of Texas was organized as one judicial district. One judgeship was authorized for this U.S. district court, and being that it was not assigned to a judicial circuit, the district court was granted the same jurisdiction as the United States circuit courts, excluding appeals and writs of error, which are the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Texas was divided into two judicial districts, known as the Eastern District of Texas and the Western District of Texas, on February 21, 1857. One judgeship was authorized for the court in each district. Circuit court jurisdiction of the district court in Texas was repealed on July 15, 1862, and a U.S. circuit court was established for the district and assigned over to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Texas was then assigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on July 23, 1866.
The Northern District of Texas was established on February 24, 1879, with one judgeship authorized to the district court. On February 9, 1898, a temporary judgeship was authorized to the Northern District of Texas. However, the statute provided that any vacancy in the existing judgeship would not be filled.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Northern District of Texas:
|December 29, 1845||9 Stat. 1||1|
|February 24, 1879||20 Stat. 318||1|
|February 9, 1898||30 Stat. 240||2|
|February 26, 1919||40 Stat. 1183||2|
|September 14, 1922||42 Stat. 837||3(1 Temporary)|
|August 19, 1935||49 Stat. 659||3|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||5|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||6|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||9|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||10|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||12|
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 on judges of the Northern District of Texas, see former federal judges of the Northern District of Texas.
Seven separate courthouses serve the Northern District of Texas.
- United States District Court for the District of Northern Texas
- United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas
- Opinions of the Northern District of Texas
- Judges of the Northern District of Texas
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Amarillo Globe-News, "Judge's order halts sale of Hastings Entertainment," June 2, 2014
- Amarillo Globe-News, "Judge lifts order halting Hastings buyout," June 20, 2014
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Inmate Charged in Murder-for-Hire Plot Against Federal Judge," May 15, 2013
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Jury Convicts Inmate in Murder-for-Hire Plot Against Federal Judge," December 11, 2013
- Dallas Morning News',, "Inmate convicted of trying to arrange murder of federal judge," December 11, 2013
- History of the Northern District of Texas on the Federal Judicial Center website
- United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Kerry Roach • Clinton Averitte • Irma Ramirez • Nancy Koenig • Paul Stickney • Jeffrey Cureton • Renee Toliver • Scott Frost • David L. Horan •|
|Former Article III judges||
Andrew Phelps McCormick • Patrick Higginbotham • Robert Madden Hill • John Rector • Edward Roscoe Meek • Harold Sanders • Jerry Buchmeyer • William Furgeson • James Clifton Wilson • William Hawley Atwell • Thomas Whitfield Davidson • David Belew • Leo Brewster • Joseph Dooley • Joe Estes • Sarah Hughes • Elton Kendall • Eldon Mahon • Robert Porter • William Taylor (Texas) • Halbert Woodward •
|Former Chief judges||
Harold Sanders • Jerry Buchmeyer • Joe Fish • William Hawley Atwell • Thomas Whitfield Davidson • Leo Brewster • Joseph Dooley • Joe Estes • Robert Porter • William Taylor (Texas) • Halbert Woodward •