United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
|United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana|
|Appeals to||Fifth Circuit|
|Established||March 3, 1881|
|Chief Judge||S. Maurice Hicks Jr.|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||David C. Joseph|
The United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (in case citations, W.D. La.) is a United States federal court with jurisdiction over approximately two thirds of the state of Louisiana, with courts in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, and Shreveport. These cities comprise the Western District of Louisiana.
Appeals from the Western District of Louisiana are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The parishes that fall under the jurisdiction of this district are as follows:
Acadia Parish, Louisiana; Allen Parish, Louisiana; Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana; Beauregard Parish, Louisiana; Bienville Parish, Louisiana; Bossier Parish, Louisiana; Caddo Parish, Louisiana; Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana; Caldwell Parish, Louisiana; Cameron Parish, Louisiana; Catahoula Parish, Louisiana; Claiborne Parish, Louisiana; Concordia Parish, Louisiana; Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana; De Soto Parish, Louisiana; East Carroll Parish, Louisiana; Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, Franklin Parish, Louisiana, Grant Parish, Louisiana, Iberia Parish, Louisiana, Jackson Parish, Louisiana, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, La Salle Parish, Louisiana, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, Madison Parish, Louisiana, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Red River Parish, Louisiana, Richland Parish, Louisiana, Sabine Parish, Louisiana, Saint Landry Parish, Louisiana, Saint Martin Parish, Louisiana, Saint Mary Parish, Louisiana, Tensas Parish, Louisiana, Union Parish, Louisiana, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, Vernon Parish, Louisiana, Webster Parish, Louisiana, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, and Winn Parish, Louisiana.
On March 26, 1804, Congress organized the Territory of Orleans and created the United States District Court for the District of Orleans - the only time Congress provided a territory with a district court equal in its authority and jurisdiction to those of the states. The United States District Court for the District of Louisiana was established on April 8, 1812, by 2 Stat. 701, several weeks before Louisiana was formally admitted as a state of the union. The District was thereafter subdivided and reformed several times. It was first subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on March 3, 1823, by 3 Stat. 774.
On February 13, 1845, Louisiana was reorganized into a single District with one judgeship, by 5 Stat. 722, but was again divided into Eastern and the Western Districts on March 3, 1849, by 9 Stat. 401. Congress again abolished the Western District of Louisiana and reorganized Louisiana as a single judicial district on July 27, 1866, by 14 Stat. 300. On March 3, 1881, by 21 Stat. 507, Louisiana was for a third time divided into Eastern and the Western Districts, with one judgeship authorized for each. The Middle District was formed from portions of those two Districts on December 18, 1971, by 85 Stat. 741.
As of June 25, 2019[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|29||Chief Judge||S. Maurice Hicks Jr.||Shreveport||1952||2003–present||2017–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|30||District Judge||Elizabeth Erny Foote||Shreveport||1953||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|31||District Judge||Terry A. Doughty||Monroe||1959||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|32||District Judge||Robert R. Summerhays||Lafayette||1965||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|33||District Judge||Michael J. Juneau||Lafayette||1962||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|34||District Judge||James D. Cain Jr.||Lake Charles||1964||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|21||Senior Judge||Donald Ellsworth Walter||Shreveport||1936||1985–2001||—||2001–present||Reagan|
|23||Senior Judge||James Travis Trimble Jr.||Alexandria||1932||1991–2002||—||2002–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|24||Senior Judge||Rebecca F. Doherty||Lafayette||1952||1991–2017||—||2017–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|25||Senior Judge||Tucker L. Melancon||Lafayette||1946||1994–2009||—||2009–present||Clinton|
|26||Senior Judge||Robert G. James||Monroe||1946||1998–2016||2009–2012||2016–present||Clinton|
|27||Senior Judge||Dee D. Drell||Alexandria||1947||2003–2017||2012–2017||2017–present||G.W. Bush|
Vacancies and pending nominations
|Seat||Prior Judge's Duty Station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|6||Alexandria||Dee D. Drell||Senior status||November 30, 2017||David C. Joseph||January 6, 2020|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||John Dick||LA||1788–1824||1823–1824[Note 1][Note 2]||—||—||Operation of law||death|
|2||Thomas B. Robertson||LA||1779–1828||1824–1828[Note 2]||—||—||Monroe||death|
|3||Samuel Hadden Harper||LA||1783–1837||1829–1837[Note 2]||—||—||Jackson||death|
|4||Philip Kissick Lawrence||LA||c.1793–1841||1837–1841[Note 2]||—||—||Van Buren||death|
|5||Theodore Howard McCaleb||LA||1810–1864||1841–1845[Note 2]||—||—||Tyler||reassignment to D. La.|
|6||Henry Boyce||LA||1797–1873||1849–1861[Note 3]||—||—|| Taylor[Note 4]
|8||George W. Jack||LA||1875–1924||1917–1924||—||—||Wilson||death|
|9||Benjamin C. Dawkins Sr.||LA||1881–1966||1924–1953||1948–1953||1953–1966||Coolidge||death|
|10||Gaston Louis Noel Porterie||LA||1885–1953||1939–1953||—||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|11||Benjamin Cornwell Dawkins Jr.||LA||1911–1984||1953–1973||1953–1973||1973–1984||Eisenhower||death|
|12||Edwin Ford Hunter Jr.||LA||1911–2002||1953–1976[Note 6]||1973–1976||1976–2002||Eisenhower||death|
|13||Richard Johnson Putnam||LA||1913–2002||1961–1975||—||1975–2002||Kennedy||death|
|16||W. Eugene Davis||LA||1936–present||1976–1983||—||—||Ford||elevation to 5th Cir.|
|17||Earl Ernest Veron||LA||1922–1990||1977–1990||—||1990||Carter||death|
|18||John Malach Shaw||LA||1931–1999||1979–1996||1991–1996||1996–1999||Carter||death|
|19||John Malcolm Duhé Jr.||LA||1933–present||1984–1988||—||—||Reagan||elevation to 5th Cir.|
|20||F. A. Little Jr.||LA||1936–present||1984–2002||1996–2002||2002–2006||Reagan||retirement|
|22||Richard T. Haik||LA||1950–present||1991–2015||2002–2009||2015–2016||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|28||Patricia Head Minaldi||LA||1959–2018||2003–2017||—||2017–2018||G.W. Bush||death|
- Reassigned from the District of Louisiana.
- Jointly appointed to both the Eastern and the Western Districts of Louisiana.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 21, 1849, confirmed by the United States Senate on August 2, 1850, and received commission the same day.
- Judge Boyce was given a recess appointment by President Taylor.
- Judge Boyce was nominated by President Taylor but was appointed to the Court by (i.e., received his commission from) President Fillmore.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 11, 1954, confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 1954, and received commission on February 10, 1954.
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
A partial list of United States attorneys in Louisiana, including some serving during territorial status:
- James Brown - Appointed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1805
- James R. Grymes - Appointed by President James Madison in 1811
- John Dick - 1815
- Henry Boyce - Appointed by President Zachary Taylor in March 1849
- Harvey Locke Carey - Appointed in 1950 by President Harry Truman
- Lawrence P. Chain
- Harvey Fields - Appointed in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
- William J. Fleniken - Appointed by President Truman to succeed Harvey Carey early in 1952
- George W. Jack - Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913
- Malcolm Lafargue - Appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 to succeed Harvey Fields
- Donald Ellsworth Walter - Appointed by President Richard M. Nixon, served 1969 to 1977; later U.S. district judge in 1985
- Donald W. Washington - Appointed by President George W. Bush in September 2001
- Stephanie A. Finley - Appointed by President Barack Obama in January 2010. Took oath of office on June 2, 2010.
- Alexander C. Van Hook - Interim January 5, 2018 – March 30, 2018
- David C. Joseph - March 30, 2018 – present
- Courts of Louisiana
- List of current United States District Judges
- List of United States federal courthouses in Louisiana
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. District Courts of Louisiana, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
- Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 392.
- "Office of the United States Attorneys". Executive Office for United States Attorneys. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Official Website of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
- United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana