United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
|United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina|
|Location||Charles R. Jonas Federal Building|
|Appeals to||Fourth Circuit|
|Established||June 4, 1872|
|Chief Judge||Frank DeArmon Whitney|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||R. Andrew Murray|
|U.S. Marshal||Gregory Allyn Forest|
Appeals from the Western District of North Carolina are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The court's jurisdiction comprises the following counties: Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. It has jurisdiction over the cities of Asheville, Charlotte, Hickory, and Statesville.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court.
The United States District Court for the District of North Carolina was established on June 4, 1790, by 1 Stat. 126. On June 9, 1794, it was subdivided into three districts by 1 Stat. 395, but on March 3, 1797, the three districts were abolished and the single District restored by 1 Stat. 517, until April 29, 1802, when the state was again subdivided into three different districts by 2 Stat. 156.
In both instances, these districts, unlike those with geographic designations that existed in other states, were titled by the names of the cities in which the courts sat. After the first division, they were styled the District of Edenton, the District of New Bern, and the District of Wilmington; after the second division, they were styled the District of Albemarle, the District of Cape Fear, and the District of Pamptico. However, in both instances, only one judge was authorized to serve all three districts, causing them to effectively operate as a single district. The latter combination was occasionally referred to by the cumbersome title of the United States District Court for the Albemarle, Cape Fear & Pamptico Districts of North Carolina.
On June 4, 1872, North Carolina was re-divided into two Districts, Eastern and Western, by 17 Stat. 215. The presiding judge of the District of North Carolina, George Washington Brooks, was then reassigned to preside over only the Eastern District, allowing President Ulysses S. Grant to appoint Robert P. Dick to be the first judge of the Western District of North Carolina. The Middle District was created from portions of the Eastern and Western Districts on March 2, 1927, by 44 Stat. 1339.
As of June 12, 2019[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|17||Chief Judge||Frank DeArmon Whitney||Charlotte||1959||2006–present||2013–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|16||District Judge||Robert J. Conrad||Charlotte||1958||2005–present||2006–2013||—||G.W. Bush|
|18||District Judge||Martin Karl Reidinger||Asheville||1958||2007–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|19||District Judge||Max O. Cogburn Jr.||Asheville||1951||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|20||District Judge||Kenneth D. Bell||Charlotte||1958||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|12||Senior Judge||Richard Lesley Voorhees||Charlotte||1941||1988–2017||1991–1998||2017–present||Reagan|
|13||Senior Judge||Graham Calder Mullen||Charlotte||1940||1990–2005||1998–2005||2005–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Robert P. Dick||NC||1823–1898||1872–1898||—||—||Grant||retirement|
|2||Hamilton G. Ewart||NC||1849–1918||1898–1899[Note 1]
|3||James Edmund Boyd||NC||1845–1935||1900–1935[Note 3]||—||—||McKinley||death|
|4||Edwin Y. Webb||NC||1872–1955||1919–1948||—||1948–1955||Wilson||death|
|5||David Ezekiel Henderson||NC||1879–1968||1948–1949[Note 4]||—||—||Truman||resignation|
|7||James Braxton Craven Jr.||NC||1918–1977||1961–1966||1962–1966||—||Kennedy||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|8||Woodrow W. Jones||NC||1914–2002||1967–1985||1968–1984||1985–2002||L. Johnson||death|
|9||James Bryan McMillan||NC||1916–1995||1968–1989||—||1989–1995||L. Johnson||death|
|10||Robert Daniel Potter||NC||1923–2009||1981–1994||1984–1991||1994–2009||Reagan||death|
|11||David B. Sentelle||NC||1943–present||1985–1987||—||—||Reagan||elevation to D.C. Cir.|
|15||Harold Brent McKnight||NC||1952–2004||2003–2004||—||—||G.W. Bush||death|
- Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment.
- Received a second recess appointment and was again rejected by the Senate.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 15, 1900, confirmed by the Senate on January 9, 1901, and received commission the same day.
- Recess appointment; resigned prior to consideration by the Senate.
Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, 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 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.
When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was 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. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.
Succession of seats
U.S. Attorneys for the Western District
- The Western and Eastern districts were created in 1872. D. H. Starbuck, who was serving as U.S. Attorney for the entire state, continued in office by serving as Attorney for the Western District.
- D. H. Starbuck (1870–1876)
- Virgil S. Lusk (1876–1880)
- James E. Boyd (1880–1885)
- Hamilton C. Jones Jr. (1885–1889)
- Charles Price (1889–1893)
- Robert B. Glenn (1893–1897)
- Alfred E. Holton (1897–1914)
- William C. Hammer (1914–1920)
- Stonewall J. Durham (1920–1921)
- Frank A. Linney (1921–1927)
- Thomas J. Harkins (1927–1931)
- Charles A. Jonas (1931–1932)
- Frank Caldwell Patton (1932–1933)
- Marcus Erwin (1933–1939)
- W. Roy Francis (1939–1940)
- Theron L. Candle (1940–1945)
- David E. Henderson (1945–1948)
- Thomas E. Uzzell (1948–1953)
- James M. Baley Jr. (1953–1961)
- Hugh E. Monteith (1961)
- William Medford (1961–1969)
- James O. Israel Jr. (1969)
- Keith S. Snyder (1969–1977)
- Harold M. Edwards (1977–1981)
- Harold J. Bender (1981)
- Charles R. Brewer (1981–1987)
- Thomas J. Ashcraft (1987–1993)
- Jerry W. Miller (1993)
- Mark T. Calloway (1994–2001)
- Robert J. Conrad Jr. (2001–2004)
- Gretchen Shappert (2004–2009)
- Edward R. Ryan (acting; 2009–2010)
- Anne Tompkins (2010–2015)
- Jill Westmoreland Rose (2015–2017)
- R. Andrew Murray (2017–present)
- Courts of North Carolina
- List of current United States District Judges
- List of United States federal courthouses in North Carolina
- Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 389.
- U.S. District Courts of North Carolina, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.