United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is the United States district court with jurisdiction over the eastern part of Texas and is a part of the Fifth Circuit. The court's headquarters are in Tyler and has five subdivision offices in Beaumont, Lufkin, Marshall, Sherman, and Texarkana. The district covers 43 counties in Texas.
The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court.
Vacancy warning level
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas's vacancy warning level is currently set at yellow. The court currently has two vacancies out of their eight posts, constituting 25% of their seats. There are no pending appointments for the district.
The Eastern 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.
|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 Eastern District of Texas has six separate courthouses. The Clerk's office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m, excluding Federal holidays. Please consult the chart below for more information:
|Beaumont Division||Jack Brooks Federal Building and United States Courthouse
300 Willow Street
|Lufkin Division||Ward R. Burke United States Courthouse
104 North Third Street
|Marshall Division||Sam B. Hall Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse
100 East Houston Street
|Sherman Division||United States Courthouse
7940 Preston Road
|Texarkana Division||United States Courthouse and Post Office
500 North State Line Avenue
|Tyler Division (Headquarters)||William M. Steger Federal Building and United States Courthouse
211 West Ferguson Street
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. 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 Eastern District of Texas:
|December 29, 1845||9 Stat. 1||1|
|February 21, 1857||11 Stat. 164||1|
|February 10, 1954||68 Stat. 8||2|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||3|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||4|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||6|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||7|
|November 2, 2002||116 Stat. 1758||8|
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Justia.com-Dockets and Filings-Eastern District of Texas.
Six separate courthouses serve the Eastern District of Texas.
For new stories and other related material see Texas judicial news.
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas
- Judges of the Eastern District of Texas
- Opinions of the Eastern District of Texas
|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 Texas has 8 posts and 2 vacancies. The current Chief Judge is Leonard Davis. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Judge Ron Clark||1953||Caripito, Venezuela||W. Bush||10/10/2002- Present||Howell Cobb||U. of Connecticut, B.A., 1973||U. of Texas, J.D., 1979|
|Judge Marcia Crone||1952||Dallas, TX||W. Bush||10/3/2003 - Present||New Seat|116 Stat. 1758||U. of Texas, B.A., 1973||U. of Houston Law Center, J.D., 1978|
|Chief Judge Leonard Davis||1948||Fort Worth, TX||W. Bush||5/10/2002 - Present||2012 - Present||Paul Brown||U. of Texas, B.A., 1970||Baylor U. School of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Richard Schell||1950||Dallas, TX||Reagan||6/6/1988 - Present||1994 - 2001||William Steger||Southern Methodist U., B.A., 1972||Southern Methodist U., J.D., 1975|
|Judge Michael Schneider||1943||San Antonio, TX||W. Bush||9/10/2004 - Present||John H. Hannah||Lon Morris College, A.A.; 1963; Stephen F. Austin State U., B.S., 1965||U. of Houston Law School, J.D.; 1970 U. of Virginia Law School, LL.M., 2001|
|Judge James Gilstrap||1957||Pensacola, FL||Obama||12/6/2011 - Present||Thad Heartfield||Baylor University, B.A., 1978||Baylor University School of Law, J.D., 1981|
There are no current pending appointments for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has 2 judges on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior Judge Thad Heartfield||Clinton||3/17/1995 - 1/1/2010||2003 - 2009||1/1/2010 - Present||St. Mary`s University, B.A., 1962||St. Mary`s University School of Law, J.D., 1965|
|Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant||01/09/2009 - Present||U. of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1987||Baylor Law, J.D., 1990|
|Magistrate Judge Don Bush|
|Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven|
|Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin||10/01/2004 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Judith Guthrie|
|Magistrate Judge John Love||01/20/2006 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn|
|Magistrate Judge Roy Payne|
Former Chief judges
|Joseph Sheehy||1954 - 1967|
|John H. Hannah||2001 - 2003|
|Joseph Fisher||1967 - 1980|
|William Justice||1980 - 1990|
|Richard Schell||1994 - 2001|
|David Folsom||2009 - 2012|
|Thad Heartfield||2003 - 2009|
|Robert Parker||1990 - 1994|
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.
- John Charles Watrous
- Amos Morrill
- Joel Winch
- Chauncey Brewer Sabin
- Robert Parker
- David Ezekiel Bryant
- Gordon James Russell
- William Lee Estes
- David Folsom
- T. John Ward
- William Justice
- Randolph Bryant
- Paul Brown
- Lamar Cecil
- Howell Cobb
- Joseph Fisher
- Sam Hall
- John H. Hannah
- Joseph Sheehy
- William Steger
|Magistrate judges||Amos Mazzant • Don Bush • Caroline Craven • Keith Giblin • Judith Guthrie • John Love • Zack Hawthorn • Roy Payne •|
|Former Article III judges||
John Charles Watrous • Amos Morrill • Joel Winch • Chauncey Brewer Sabin • Robert Parker • David Ezekiel Bryant • Gordon James Russell • William Lee Estes • David Folsom • T. John Ward • William Justice • Randolph Bryant • Paul Brown • Lamar Cecil • Howell Cobb • Joseph Fisher • Sam Hall • John H. Hannah • Joseph Sheehy • William Steger •
|Former Chief judges|