United States District Court for the District of Kansas
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas is a U.S. district court.
The United States Attorney for the District of Kansas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The first United States Attorney for the District of Kansas was appointed June 29, 1854 by Franklin Pierce.
Vacancy warning level
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas's vacancy warning level is currently set at yellow. The court currently has one vacancy out of their six posts, constituting 16% of their seats. There are no pending appointments for the district.
The District of Kansas has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
|Federal Court Case Load 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 all judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
The District of Kansas has three separate courthouses. The Clerk's office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m, excluding Federal holidays. Please consult the chart below for more information:
|Kansas City Division||500 State Ave.
259 U.S. Courthouse
|Topeka Division||444 S.E. Quincy
490 U.S. Courthouse
|Wichita Division||401 N. Market
204 U.S. Courthouse
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Kansas:
|January 29, 1861||12 Stat. 126||1|
|October 16, 1945||59 Stat. 545||2(1 temporary)|
|1946||Temporary post expired||1|
|August 3, 1949||63 Stat. 493||2|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||3|
|March 18, 1966||80 Stat. 75||4(1 temporary)|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||4|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||5|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||6(1 temporary)|
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions for the District of Kansas.
| • Kansas abortion clinic regulations Judge(s):Carlos Murguia|
|On July 1, 2011, Judge Carlos Murguia issued a temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of a new Kansas law which outlined requirements for licensing abortion clinics. The justification for the temporary injunction came from the short time frame the state provided clinics to come into compliance with new, strict regulations. The state issued the requirements only two weeks before the clinics had to be in compliance, leaving little time for the clinics to make the major changes required. Clinics argued that the abortion regulations are overbearing, with one group arguing that the law would require them to virtually get their building and rebuild it. They argued that the licensing regulations and the time line were simply an attempt on the part of the governor and the state to criminalize abortion in Kansas. However, abortion opponents argued that the clinics are currently unsafe and "cite instances of poor medical care, including the case of an abortion doctor in Kansas City, Kan., who lost his license in 2005 after state inspectors found an unclean facility and improperly stored medical supplies."|
| • Government grant scam Judge(s):Julie Robinson|
|Judge Robinson on July 22, 2009 ordered the assets of five Kansas companies frozen over their involvement in a government grant scam. 
The judge ordered the asset freeze after the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to stop the companies from allegedly deceiving customers into paying for help to obtain non-existent government grants. Prospective customers were sent postcards to buy a grant kit which costs $69 and were called by a telemarketer to purchase additional grant research. 
| • David Wittig case Judge(s):Julie Robinson|
*USA v. Weidner, et al - David C. Wittig 5:2002-cr-40140
|Judge Robinson presided over the case of David Wittig, the former CEO of Westar Energy in 2009. Wittig was found guilty of bank fraud in 2003 when the former CEO extended a $1.5 million loan to Topeka banker Clinton Odell Weidner for a property deal in Arizona. Judge Robinson ruled on that Wittig could be released from prison on September 4, 2009, despite a resolution from federal prosecutors to keep Wittig in jail over a unrelated case awaiting trial.|
Robert J. Dole Courthouse
Frank Carlson Federal Building
Wichita U.S. Courthouse
For new stories and other related material see Kansas judicial news.
State Supreme Court nominating commission
- At this point, lawyers elected by the state bar to the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission can participate in the selection process of Kansas Supreme Court justices. In August 2010, four Kansas voters have asked the U.S. District Court in Kansas to stop this practice. The group’s lead attorney, James Bopp Jr., asked the court to issue a restraining order and temporary injunction on the grounds the selection process violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Bopp says it denies ordinary Kansas voters an equal voice in selecting justices for the Kansas Supreme Court.
- United States District Court for the District of Kansas Official Website
- United States Attorney for the District of Kansas Official Website
- ↑ Court Clerk Information(Select the appropriate division for info and map)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 FJC History of the District of Kansas
- ↑ Kansas City Star, "Federal judge blocks new abortion Kansas licensing rule" 7/1/2011
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Kansas City Star" Judge halts activities, freezes assets of Overland Park companies, July 23, 2009
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Topkea Business Journal" Judge approves Wittig’s release, August 3, 2009
- ↑ "U.S. District Court Asked to Stop Kansas Supreme Court Selection Process," Kansas Watchdog, August 26, 2010
|2.1 Active Judges|
|2.1.1 Article III judges|
|2.1.2 Pending appointments|
|2.1.3 Senior judges|
|2.2 Past judges|
|2.2.1 Former Chief judges|
|2.2.2 Former judges|
Article III judgesSee: Article III federal judge
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas has 6 posts and 1 vacancy. The current Chief Judge is Kathryn Vratil. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Chief Judge Kathryn Vratil||1949||Manhattan, KS||H.W. Bush||10/9/1992 - Present||2008 - Present||Earl O'Connor||U. of Kansas, B.A., 1971||U. of Kansas Law, J.D., 1975|
|Judge John Marten||1951||Topeka, KS||Clinton||1/4/1996 - Present||Patrick Kelly||Washburn U., B.A., 1973||Washburn U. Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Carlos Murguia||1957||Kansas City, KS||Clinton||9/22/1999 - Present||Sam Crow||U. of Kansas, B.S., 1979||U. of Kansas Law, J.D., 1982|
|Judge Eric Melgren||1956||Minneola, KS||W. Bush||10/6/2008 - Present||Monti Belot||Wichita State U., B.A., 1979||Washburn U. Law, J.D., 1985|
|Judge Julie Robinson||1957||Omaha, NB||W. Bush||12/31/2001 - Present||George VanBebber||U. of Kansas, B.S., 1978||U. of Kansas Law, J.D., 1981|
There are no current pending appointments for the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas has 4 judges on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers||Ford||8/5/1975 - 1/1/1989||1/1/1989 - Present||Kansas State U., B.S., 1943||U. of Kansas Law, J.D., 1947|
|Senior Judge Monti Belot||H.W. Bush||11/25/1991 - 3/4/2008||3/4/2008 - Present||U. of Kansas, B.A., 1965||U. of Kansas Law, J.D., 1968|
|Senior Judge Sam Crow||Reagan||12/10/1981 - 11/15/1996||11/15/1996 - Present||U. of Kansas, B.A., 1949||Washburn U. Law, J.D., 1952|
|Senior Judge John Lungstrum||H.W. Bush||11/5/1991 - 11/2/2010||2001 - 2007||11/2/2010 - Present||Yale University, B.A., 1967||University of Kansas School of Law, J.D., 1970|
|Magistrate judge David Waxse|
|Magistrate judge Gary Sebelius|
|Magistrate judge Gerald Rushfelt|
|Magistrate judge James O'Hara|
|Magistrate judge Donald Bostwick|
|Magistrate judge Karen Humphreys||University of Kansas, 1970||University of Kansas School of Law, 1973|
|Magistrate judge Kenneth Gale||Loyola University, New Orleans, B.A. 1977||Washburn U. Law, 1980|
Former Chief judges
|George VanBebber||1995 - 2000|
|Frank Theis||1977 - 1981|
|Arthur Stanley||1961 - 1971|
|Earl O'Connor||1981 - 1992|
|Arthur Mellott||1948 - 1957|
|Patrick Kelly||1992 - 1995|
|John Lungstrum||2001 - 2007|
|Wesley Brown||1971 - 1977|
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. See 28 U.S.C. § 45.
These rules for Chief Judges in the federal judiciary have been in effect since October 1, 1982. The office of Chief Judge was created in 1948. Until August 6, 1959, the position was filled in each federal court by the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as Chief Judge. From then until 1982 it was filled by the senior such judge who had not turned 70.
|Magistrate judges||David Waxse • Gary Sebelius • Gerald Rushfelt • James O'Hara • Donald Bostwick • Karen Humphreys • Kenneth Gale •|
|Former Article III judges||
Wesley Brown • Mark W. Delahay • Archibald Williams • Cassius Gaius Foster • William Cather Hook • John Calvin Pollock • George Thomas McDermott • Richard Joseph Hopkins • Guy Helvering • Delmas Hill • Patrick Kelly • Arthur Mellott • Earl O'Connor • Dale Saffels • Arthur Stanley • Henry Templar • Frank Theis • George VanBebber •
|Former Chief judges|