United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Richmond, Virginia, at the Lewis F. Powell Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
|Jennifer May-Parker||SUNY Geneseo, B.A., 1988||SUNY Buffalo Law, J.D. 1991|
Article III judges
|Judge Louise Flanagan||1962||Richmond, VA||W. Bush||07/18/2003 - Present||2004 - 2011||James Fox||Wake Forest U., B.A., 1984||University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1988|
|Judge Terrence Boyle||1945||Passaic, NJ||Reagan||05/03/1984 - Present||1997 - 2004||Franklin Dupree||Brown, B.A., 1967||American U. Law, J.D., 1970|
|Chief Judge James Dever||1962||Lake Charles, LA||W. Bush||05/02/2005 - Present||2011 - Present||Earl Britt||Notre Dame, B.B.A., 1984||Duke U. Law, J.D., 1987|
|Senior Judge Earl Britt||Carter||05/23/1980 - 12/06/1997||1983 - 1990||12/07/1997 - Present||Wake Forest U., B.S., 1956||Wake Forest Law, LL.B., 1958|
|Senior Judge James Fox||Reagan||9/30/1982-1/30/2001||1990-1997||1/31/2001-Present||University of North Carolina, 1950||University of North Carolina Law, 1957|
|Senior Judge Malcolm Howard||Reagan||02/26/1998 - 12/30/2005||12/31/2005 - Present||U.S. Military Academy, West Point, B.S., 1962||Wake Forest Law, J.D., 1970|
|Magistrate Judge James Gates||01/27/2006 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Robert Jones, Jr.||10/12/2007 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Swank||9/10/2013 - Present||East Carolina University||Campbell University|
The Western District of North Carolina 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 Eastern District of North Carolina.
| • Judge allows ban on coyote hunting to protect red wolves (2014)|
Judge(s):Terrence Boyle (Red Wolf Coalition, et al v. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, et al, 2:13-CV-60-BO)
|Click for summary→|
|On February 21, 2014, Judge Terrence Boyle refused to issue an injunction against coyote hunting without first receiving additional information. In the underlying case, three conservation groups filed suit against the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission seeking to protect the red wolf population. Red wolves are an endangered species that were reintroduced to the area as part of a federal program, and the plaintiffs claimed that by allowing coyotes to be hunted, the Wildlife Resources Commission allowed red wolves to be shot, as the two species are extremely difficult to tell apart. About 14 red wolves were found dead in 2013, nine of which died from gun shot wounds. Prior to ruling, Judge Boyle requested that several questions relating to the coyote and red wolf population in the area be answered by a special master selected by the parties.
Several months later, on May 13, 2014, Judge Boyle issued an injunction against the hunting of coyotes due to the number of red wolves that were inadvertently killed. Boyle's injunction addressed approximately 1.7 million acres of land that the endangered wolves were known to trek. Boyle's ruling, however, still allowed for the killing of coyotes in the case of self-defense, the safety of others, or the safety of pets or livestock. Pursuant to Boyle's ruling, the status of the injunction would be reviewed in six months.
| • Ruffin Poole case (2010)|
Judge(s):Terrence Boyle (USA v. Poole, 5:10-cr-00021-BO)
|Click for summary→|
|From 2010 to 2011, Judge Boyle presided in the corruption trial of Ruffin Poole, a former aide to then-North Carolina Governor Mike Easley.
During a plea hearing on April 5, 2010, Poole entered pleas of "not guilty" on 57 different counts ranging from bribery to money laundering.In a plea agreement in April 2010, Poole pleaded guilty to tax evasion in order to have 50-odd corruption charges dropped. Judge Boyle sentenced him to one year and one day in prison and a $30,000 fine.
The District of North Carolina was established by Congress on June 4, 1790, with one post to cover the entire state. On June 4, 1872, Congress divided the district into the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Western District of North Carolina, with one post for each district. On March 2, 1927, Congress split the Middle District of North Carolina off from the existing districts. Over time, Congress added three posts to the Eastern District of North Carolina to reach the current total of four posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Western District of North Carolina:
|June 4, 1790||1 Stat. 126||1 (Whole state)|
|June 4, 1872||17 Stat. 215||1|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||2|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||3 (1 Temporary)|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||3|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||4(1 Temporary)|
|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 information about judges of the Eastern District of North Carolina, see former federal judges of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
There are six federal courthouses that serve the Eastern District of North Carolina.
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina Official Website
- Judges of the Eastern District of North Carolina
- Opinions of the Eastern District of North Carolina
- U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- News Observer, "Judge in red wolf lawsuit seeks more information before ruling," February 24, 2014
- Charlotte Observer, "Judge stops coyote hunting that’s killing wolves," May 13, 2014
- WSOC TV, "Ex-Aide To Former NC Governor Pleads Not Guilty," April 5, 2010
- News Observer, "Former aide Ruffin Poole receives 1-year sentence," May 17, 2011
- History of the Districts of North Carolina on the Federal Judicial Center website
- United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
James Gates • Robert Jones, Jr. • Kimberly A. Swank •
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|