United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia serves as the prosecutor for criminal cases brought by the federal government and represents the United States in civil cases in the court. The U.S. Attorney's office also manages the Project Safe Neighborhoods program within the district to reduce gun violence (part of a nationwide program), and is involved with federal initiatives on drug trafficking, terrorism, cybercrime, and the prevention/combating of elder care abuse. 
Vacancy warning level
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia's vacancy warning level is currently set at green. The court currently has no vacancies.
There are four court divisions, each covering the following counties and cities:
The Alexandria Division, covering Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford Counties, in addition to the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park.
The Norfolk Division, covering Accomack, Isle of Wight, Northampton and Southampton Counties, in addition to the cities of Cape Charles, Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.
The Richmond Division, covering Amelia, Brunswick, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Essex, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Surry, Sussex and Westmoreland Counties, in addition to the cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Fredericksburg, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond.
The Eastern District of Virginia court's jurisdiction covers slightly over over six million people, comprising approximately 85% of the state's population.
Court locations for the Eastern District of Virginia are located in Alexandria, Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond.
The Eastern District of Virginia 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.
Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 3 , the district is grouped into four divisions, and is served by four courthouses in Richmond, Alexandria, Norfolk, and Newport News. The official clerk of court is Fernando Galindo. Please consult the chart below for more information:
|Alexandria Division||Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse
401 Courthouse Square Alexandria, VA 22314
|703-299-2100||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.-Monday through Thursday|
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.-Friday Only
|Newport News Division||United States Courthouse
2400 West Avenue Newport News, VA 23607
|757-247-0784||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.-Monday through Friday|
|Norfolk Division||Walter E. Hoffman
United States Courthouse 600 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23510
|757-222-7201(Civil), 757-222-7202(Criminal)||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.-Monday through Friday|
|Richmond Division||Spottswood W. Robinson III and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Federal Courthouse
701 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23219
|804-916-2220(Civil), 804-916-2230(Criminal)||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.-Monday through Friday|
The District of Virginia was established by Congress on September 24, 1789 with one post to cover the entire state. On February 4, 1819 Congress divided the district into the Eastern District of Virginia and the Western District of Virginia with one post each. In June 11, 1864, Congress again redefined the boundaries of the district, transitioning a portion of the Western District of Virginia to the newly formed District of West Virginia and consolidating the entire state of Virginia into one district. On February 3, 1871 Congress again divided the district into its current state, with the Eastern District of Virginia and the Western District of Virginia each holding one post to begin. Over time 10 additional judicial posts were added to the Western District of Virginia for a total of 11 current posts.
During the 1960s, Judge Albert Bryan Jr. ran the Alexandria court, often ruling on cases immediately after motions were argued. The court earned the nickname, the "rocket docket", for the speed and efficiency for which it processed its cases. Since 1997, the court has processed civil law cases the fastest of the 94 federal districts, and is eighth fastest in dealing with criminal cases. 
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Western District of Virginia:
|September 24, 1789||1 Stat. 73||1 (Whole state)|
|February 4, 1819||3 Stat. 478||1|
|June 11, 1864||13 Stat. 124 (Consolidation due to creation of West Virginia)||1(Whole state)|
|February 3, 1871||16 Stat. 403||1|
|August 2, 1935||49 Stat. 508||2|
|February 10, 1954||68 Stat. 8||3|
|March 18, 1966||80 Stat. 75||5|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||6|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||8|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||9|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||10 (1 temporary)|
|December 21, 2000||114 Stat. 2762||11 (1 temporary)|
|November 2, 2002||116 Stat. 1758||11|
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions of the Eastern District of Virginia.
| • Suit Against The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the courts|
*Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius 3:10CV188
|On March 22, 2010, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced that the state would file suit against the federal government as soon as the act was signed, and indeed, did so on March 23 in the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Cuccinelli believed that Virginia was in a unique position to sue because of a statute passed in 2010. That statute, Virginia Code 38.2-3430.1:1, declared no resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall be required to have insurance or be penalized for not having it. The case was filed as Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius.
In the complaint filed, the state argued that the individual mandate exceeded powers granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of Article I. It further asked that they entire act be declared invalid because the individual mandate is an "essential, non-severable" provision. Cuccinelli also asked the court to declare Virginia Code 38.2-3430.1:1 a valid exercise of state power.On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare." To learn more about the law's path through the federal court system, see: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the courts.
There are four federal courthouses that serve the Eastern District of Virginia.
For new stories and other related material see Virginia judicial news.
- US District Court-Eastern Virginia
- Opinions of the Eastern District of Virginia
- US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia
- Judges of the Eastern District of Virginia
- ↑ U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern District of Virginia - Priorities
- ↑ Local Civil Rule 3
- ↑ Alexandria Courthouse Info
- ↑ Newport News Courthouse Info
- ↑ Norfolk Courthouse Info
- ↑ Richmond Courthouse Info
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 FJC History of the Districts of Virginia
- ↑ "A Double Dose of Molasses in the Rocket Docket" The Washington Post, October 3, 2004
- ↑ Virginia Attorney's General office press release "Virginia Attorney General to file suit against federal government over passage of health care bill," March 22, 2010
- ↑ Letter from Virginia Attorney General to constituents "Letter from Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli"
- ↑ Copy of complaint, retrieved Virgina Attorney's General website
|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 Eastern District of Virginia has 11 posts and 0 vacancies. The current Chief Judge is Rebecca Smith. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Judge Mark Davis||1962||Portsmouth, Virginia||W. Bush||06/23/2008 - Present||T.S. Ellis||U. of Virginia, B.A., 1984||Washington & Lee U. Law, J.D., 1988|
|Judge James Spencer||1949||Florence, SC||Reagan||10/14/1986 - Present||2004 - 2011||John MacKenzie||Clark College, Atlanta, Georgia, B.A., 1971||Harvard Law, J.D., 1974|
|Judge Anthony Trenga||1949||Wilkensburg, PA||W. Bush||10/14/2008 - Present||Walter Kelley||Princeton U., A.B., 1971||U. of Virginia Law, J.D., 1974|
|Judge Liam O'Grady||1950||Newark, NJ||W. Bush||07/11/2007 - Present||Claude Hilton||Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., 1973||George Mason U. Law, J.D., 1977|
|Judge Gerald Lee||1952||Washington, DC||Clinton||10/01/1998 - Present||James Cacheris||American U., B.A., 1973||American U. Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Leonie Brinkema||1944||Teaneck, NJ||Clinton||10/20/1993 - Present||Albert Bryan Jr.||Rutgers U., B.A., 1966||Cornell Law, J.D., 1976|
|Chief Judge Rebecca Smith||1949||Hopewell, VA||H.W. Bush||10/25/1989 - Present||2011 - Present||David Warriner||College of William and Mary, B.A., 1971||College of William and Mary Law, J.D., 1979|
|Judge Raymond Jackson||1949||Sussex, VA||Clinton||11/22/1993 - Present||Richard Williams||Norfolk State U., B.A., 1970||U. of Virginia Law, J.D., 1973|
|Judge Henry Hudson||1947||Washington, DC||W. Bush||08/02/2002 - Present||New Seat|114 Stat. 2762||American U., B.A., 1969||American U. Law, J.D., 1974|
|Judge John A. Gibney||1951||Coatesville, PA||Obama||12/16/2010 - Present||Robert Payne||College of William & Mary, 1973||U. of Virginia Law, 1976|
|Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen||1960||Philadelphia, PA||Obama||05/11/2011 - Present||Jerome Friedman||Kutztown State College, B.A., 1982||North Carolina Central U. Law, J.D., 1985|
There are no current pending appointments for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has 8 judges on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior Judge T.S. Ellis||Reagan||08/06/1987 - 03/31/2007||04/01/2007 - Present||Princeton, B.S.E., 1961||Harvard, J.D., 1969|
|Senior Judge Claude Hilton||Reagan||07/11/1985 - 12/30/2005||1997 - 2004||12/31/2005 - Present||Ohio State U., B.S., 1963||American U. Law, J.D., 1966|
|Senior Judge James Cacheris||Reagan||12/01/1981 - 03/29/1998||1991 - 1997||03/30/1998 - Present||U. of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1955||George Washington U. Law, J.D., 1960|
|Senior Judge Robert Doumar||Reagan||12/03/1981 - 04/29/1996||04/30/1996 - Present||U. of Virginia, B.A., 1951||U. of Virginia School of Law, LL.B., 1953|
|Senior Judge Henry Morgan||H.W. Bush||04/13/1992 - 02/07/2004||02/08/2004 - Present||Washington and Lee U., B.S., 1957||Washington and Lee U. Law, J.D., 1960|
|Senior Judge Jerome Friedman||Clinton||11/12/1997 - 11/29/2010||11/30/2010 - Present||Old Dominion College, B.S., 1965||Wake Forest U. Law, J.D., 1969|
|Senior Judge Robert Payne||H.W. Bush||05/13/1992 - 05/06/2007||05/07/2007 - Present||Washington and Lee U., B.A., 1963||Washington and Lee U. Law, J.D., 1967|
|Senior Judge Albert Bryan, Jr.||Nixon||07/29/1971 - 11/30/1991||1985 - 1991||12/01/1991 - Present||U. of Virginia Law, LL.B., 1950|
|Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson||01/22/2008 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis||09/22/2008 - Present||U. of Virginia, B.A., 1984||Howard U. Law, J.D., 1987|
|Magistrate Judge Hannah Lauck||05/03/2005 - Present||Wellesley College||Yale Law, J.D.|
|Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan|
|Magistrate Judge Rawles Jones, Jr.|
|Magistrate Judge Tommy Miller|
|Magistrate Judge (Recalled) William Prince|
|Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller||11/03/2009 - Present||James Madison U., 1984||College of William and Mary Law, J.D., 1995|
|Magistrate Judge David Novak|
|Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leonard||10/01/2012 - Present|
Former Chief judges
|Albert Bryan, Jr.||1985 - 1991|
|John MacKenzie||1979 - 1985|
|Richard Kellam||1973 - 1979|
|Charles Hutcheson||1948 - 1959|
|Walter Hoffman||1961 - 1973|
|Albert Bryan, Sr.||1959 - 1961|
|James Cacheris||1991 - 1997|
|Claude Hilton||1997 - 2004|
|James Spencer||2004 - 2011|
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.
- George Tucker
- George Hay
- Philip Pendelton Barbour
- Peter Vivian Daniel
- John Young Mason
- James Dandridge Halyburton
- John Curtiss Underwood
- Robert William Hughes
- Edmund Waddill
- Richard Williams
- Duncan Groner
- Luther Way
- Robert Nelson Pollard
- Albert Bryan, Sr.
- John Butzner
- Joseph Clarke
- Walter Hoffman
- Charles Hutcheson
- Richard Kellam
- Walter Kelley
- Oren Lewis
- John MacKenzie
- Robert Merhige
- David Warriner
|Magistrate judges||John F. Anderson • Ivan Davis • Hannah Lauck • Theresa Buchanan • Rawles Jones, Jr. • Tommy Miller • William Prince • Douglas E. Miller • David Novak • Lawrence Leonard •|
|Former Article III judges||
George Tucker • George Hay • Philip Pendelton Barbour • Peter Vivian Daniel • John Young Mason • James Dandridge Halyburton • John Curtiss Underwood • Robert William Hughes • Edmund Waddill • Richard Williams • Duncan Groner • Luther Way • Robert Nelson Pollard • Albert Bryan, Sr. • John Butzner • Joseph Clarke • Walter Hoffman • Charles Hutcheson • Richard Kellam • Walter Kelley • Oren Lewis • John MacKenzie • Robert Merhige • David Warriner •
|Former Chief judges|