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United States District Court for the Northern District of California: Map

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The United States District Court for the Northern District of California (in case citations, N.D. Cal.) is the federal United States district court whose jurisdiction comprises following counties: Alamedamarker, Contra Costamarker, Del Nortemarker, Humboldt, Lakemarker, Marinmarker, Mendocinomarker, Montereymarker, Napamarker, San Benitomarker, San Franciscomarker, San Mateomarker, Santa Claramarker, Santa Cruzmarker, and Sonomamarker. The court hears cases in its courtrooms in Eurekamarker, Oaklandmarker, San Franciscomarker, and San Josemarker. It is headquartered in San Francisco.

Cases from the Northern District of California are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The United States Attorney for the Northern District of California represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. Kevin V. Ryan was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California on May 15, 2002. Ryan resigned in February 2007 and was replaced by interim United States Attorney Scott N. Schools.

History

California was admitted as a state on September 9, 1850, and was initially divided into two districts, the Northern and the Southern, by Act of Congress approved September 28, 1850, 9 Stat. 521. The boundary line was at the 37th parallel of North Latitude. The creating act provided that:

In addition to the ordinary jurisdiction and powers of a District Court of the United States, with which the Southern District Court of New York has been invested, the said Courts be and hereby are invested respectively within the limits of its district with the exercise of concurrent jurisdiction and power in all civil cases now exercised by the Circuit Courts of the United States; and that in all cases where said Courts shall exercise such jurisdiction, appeals may be taken from the judgments, orders or decrees of said Courts to the Supreme Court of the United Statesmarker.


The Act of August 31, 1852 made the Judge of the Northern District be Judge of the Southern District as well until otherwise provided, by 10 Stat. 76, 84, effectively creating a single District in all but name until an Act of January 18, 1854 provided for the appointment of a Judge for the Southern District. The Southern District of California was abolished and the State made to constitute a single district - the United States District Court for the District of California - by Act of Congress approved July 27, 1866, 14 Stat. 300.

Twenty years later, on August 5, 1886, Congress re-created the Southern District of California by 24 Stat. 308. Erskine M. Ross was appointed Judge of the new district and served until his promotion to the Circuit Judgeship, when he was succeeded by Olin Wellborn. On March 18, 1966, the Eastern and Central Districts were created from portions of the Northern and Southern Districts by 80 Stat. 75.

Current Judges

  • As of April 3, 2008, a vacancy exists in the Northern District of California due to the resignation of Judge Martin Jenkins. On August 7, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen to fill the vacancy.


  • As of March 2, 2009, a second vacancy exists in the District due to the decision of Judge Ronald M. Whyte to assume senior status. On August 7, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Magistrate Judge Richard G. Seeborg to fill the vacancy.


  • As of June 30, 2009, a third vacancy exists in the District due to Judge Maxine M. Chesney's decision to assume senior status. No replacement nomination is pending at this time.


  • As of October 30, 2009, a fourth vacancy exists in the District due to Judge Marilyn Hall Patel's decision to assume senior status. No replacement nomination is pending at this time.


Former Judges

Judge Appointed by Began active
service
Ended active
service
Ended senior
status
End reason
Robert Peter Aguilar Jimmy Carter retirement
Lloyd Hudson Burke Dwight D. Eisenhower death
Oliver Jesse Carter Harry S. Truman death
Barbara A. Caulfield George H. W. Bush resignation
John J. De Haven William McKinley death
Maurice Timothy Dooling Woodrow Wilson death
Herbert Wilson Erskine Harry S. Truman death
Monroe Mark Friedman Harry S. Truman not confirmed
Louis Earl Goodman Franklin D. Roosevelt death
Sherrill Halbert Dwight D. Eisenhower assignment to another court
Oliver Deveta Hamlin, Jr. Dwight D. Eisenhower reappointment
George Bernard Harris Harry S. Truman death
Ogden Hoffman, Jr. Millard Fillmore assignment to another court
Ogden Hoffman, Jr. death
William Austin Ingram Gerald Ford death
Martin Jenkins Bill Clinton resignation
Frank Henry Kerrigan Calvin Coolidge death
Charles A. Legge Ronald Reagan retirement
Dal Millington Lemmon Harry S. Truman reappointment
Gerald Sanford Levin Richard Nixon death
Harold Louderback Calvin Coolidge death
Eugene F. Lynch Ronald Reagan retirement
Thomas Jamison MacBride John F. Kennedy assignment to another court
William W. Morrow Benjamin Harrison reappointment
Edward Preston Murphy Harry S. Truman death
William Horsley Orrick Jr. Richard Nixon death
John Slater Partridge Warren G. Harding death
Robert Francis Peckham Lyndon B. Johnson death
Cecil F. Poole Gerald Ford reappointment
Charles Byron Renfrew Richard Nixon resignation
Michael Joseph Roche Franklin D. Roosevelt death
Robert Howard Schnacke Richard Nixon death
Fern M. Smith Ronald Reagan retirement
Adolphus Frederic St. Sure Calvin Coolidge death
William Thomas Sweigert Dwight D. Eisenhower death
William Cary Van Fleet Theodore Roosevelt death
John P. Vukasin Jr. Ronald Reagan death
Stanley Alexander Weigel John F. Kennedy retirement
Martin Ignatius Welsh Franklin D. Roosevelt death
Spencer Mortimer Williams Richard Nixon death
Albert Charles Wollenberg Dwight D. Eisenhower death
Alfonso Joseph Zirpoli John F. Kennedy death


Magistrate Judges

Magistrate Judge Appointed Ended service
Wayne Brazil -
Nandor Vadas July 2004


Notes

  1. U.S. District Courts of California, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  2. Willoughby Rodman, History of the Bench and Bar of Southern California (1909), p. 46.
  3. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Nominates-Edward-Milton-Chen-Dolly-Gee-and-Richard-Seeborg-to-Serve-on-the-District-Court-Bench/
  4. Recess appointment; formally nominated on November 27, 1950, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 13, 1950, and received commission on December 21, 1950.
  5. Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment.
  6. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 10, 1891, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 11, 1892, and received commission on January 11, 1892.
  7. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 3, 1907, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 17, 1907, and received commission on December 17, 1907.


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