United States District Court for the District of Alaska
The United States Attorney for the District of Alaska represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court.
When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown San Francisco at the James R. Browning Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
The United States District Court for the District of Alaska's vacancy warning level is currently set at green. The court currently has no vacancies with all three posts filled. The last confirmation was on November 15, 2011.
When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown San Francisco at the James R. Browning Federal Courthouse, but hears initial appeals at the Pioneer Federal Courthouse in Portland, OR.
The District of Alaska 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 Alaska has five separate courthouses. Please consult the chart below for more information:
|Anchorage Division||U.S. District Court
222 W. 7th Avenue, #4
|(866) 243-3814 toll free
|M-F, 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM|
(office closed 12:30 -1:30 PM)
|Fairbanks Division||U.S. District Court
101 12th Avenue
|(866) 243-3813 toll free
|M-F 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon, 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM|
|Juneau Division||U.S. District Court
PO Box 020349
|(866) 243-3812 toll free
|M-F 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM|
|Ketchikan Division||U.S. District Court
648 Mission Street
|(907) 247-7576||M-F 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM|
|Nome Division||U.S. District Court
PO Box 130
|(907) 443-5216||M-F 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM|
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Alaska:
|July 7th, 1958||72 Stat. 339||1|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||2|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||3|
| • Temporary injunction against Greenpeace Judge(s):Sharon Gleason|
|In March 2012, Anchorage Judge Sharon Gleason ruled in favor of Shell Oil, granting a temporary injunction creating a 500-meter safety zone for offshore drilling vessels. This injunction prevented Greenpeace activists from entering within 500-meters of drilling ships. The injunction request came after Greenpeace activists boarded the Shell drilling ship Noble Discoverer in February. 
UpdateOn May 29, Judge Gleason extended previous restrictions against Greenpeace activists, preventing them from coming within a kilometer of Shell Oil's drilling ships. The original restriction applied only to ships within 12 miles of the coast while the newer restriction extended to cover ships up to 200 miles off the coast. 
| • Joshua Wade case Judge(s):Ralph Beistline|
*Alaska v. Joshua Wade
|Judge Judge Ralph Beistline was the presiding judge in the trial of Joshua Wade. Wade was charged with murder and carjacking which is considered a federal offense. On January 4, 2010, the judge ordered the trial delayed until August of 2010 to make sure DNA evidence was gathered. However, in February 2010, Wade confessed to two murders in a plea deal. The confession spared him the death penalty, which is the punishment for a murder conviction in federal court. |
Five separate courthouses serve the District of Alaska.
For new stories and other related material see Alaska judicial news.
- United States District Court for the District of Alaska Official Website
- US Attorney's Office District of Alaska
- Federal Judicial Center-U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska Website
- Judges of the District of Alaska
- List of all Article III federal judges for the District of Alaska
- Opinions of the District of Alaska
- ↑ Offices Information(Select the appropriate division for info and map)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 FJC History of the District of Alaska
- ↑ The News Miner, "Shell gets injunction against Greenpeace for Arctic drill ships," Mar 29, 2012
- ↑ The Associated Press, "Actress, Greenpeace activists climb Arctic-bound oil drilling ship," Feb 24, 2012
- ↑ The Associated Press, "Greenpeace vs. Shell: Alaska Judge Restricts Activists From Boarding Offshore Drilling Vessels," 05/30/2012
- ↑ "Anchorage Daily News" Wade murder trial postponed until August, judge rules, January 4, 2010
- ↑ Anchorage Daily News, "Wade to spend life in prison," February 17, 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|
Since the court was established, 10 Article III federal judges have served on it. The court currently includes three U.S. district judges and four senior district judges. The district judges are assisted by two full-time magistrate judges. Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan and Kodiak each have a resident part-time magistrate judge.
Article III judgesSee: Article III federal judge
The United States District Court for the District of Alaska has 3 posts and 0 vacancies. The current Chief Judge is Ralph Beistline. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Chief Judge Ralph Beistline||1948||Fairbanks, AK||W. Bush||3/19/2002 - Present||2009 - Present||Russel Holland||U. of Alaska, B.A., 1972||U. of Puget Sound School of Law, J.D., 1974|
|Judge Timothy Burgess||1956||San Francisco, CA||W. Bush||1/23/2006 - Present||James Singleton||U. of Alaska, B.A., 1978||Northeastern U. Law School, J.D., 1987|
|Judge Sharon L. Gleason||1957||Rochester, NY||Obama||11/15/2011 - Present||John Sedwick||Washington U., St. Louis, B.A., 1979||U. of California, Davis Law, J.D., 1983|
There are no current pending appointments for the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States District Court for the District of Alaska has 4 judges on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior Judge John Sedwick||H.W. Bush||10/9/1992 - 3/13/2011||2002 - 2009||3/13/2011 - Present||Dartmouth College, B.A., 1968||Harvard Law School, J.D., 1972|
|Senior Judge James Singleton||H.W. Bush||5/14/1990 - 1/27/2005||1995 - 2002||1/27/2005 - Present||U. of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1961||U. of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, LL.B., 1964|
|Senior Judge Russel Holland||Reagan||7/16/1984 - 9/18/2001||1989 - 1995||9/18/2001 - Present||U. of Michigan, B.B.A., 1958||U. of Michigan Law School, LL.B., 1961|
|Senior Judge James von der Heydt||L.B. Johnson||11/3/1966 - 7/15/1984||1973 - 1984||7/15/1984 - Present||Albion College, B.A., 1942||Northwestern U. School of Law, J.D., 1951|
|Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh||7/10/2008 - Present||Vassar College||U. of California, Hastings College of Law|
|Magistrate Judge John D. Roberts|
|Magistrate Judge Deborah M. Smith||2/5/2007 - Present|
Former Chief judges
|Raymond Plummer||1966 - 1973|
|James von der Heydt||1973 - 1984|
|James Martin Fitzgerald||1984 - 1989|
|Russel Holland||1989 - 1995|
|James Singleton||1995 - 2002|
|John Sedwick||2002 - 2009|
|Walter Hodge||1961 - 1966|
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||Leslie Longenbaugh • John D. Roberts • Deborah M. Smith •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|