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United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
(M.D. Pa.)
MD pa seal.jpg
Middle District of Pennsylvania (map).svg
LocationRonald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse
Appeals toThird Circuit
EstablishedMarch 2, 1901
Chief JudgeChristopher C. Conner
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyDavid Freed

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (in case citations, M.D. Pa.) is a district level federal court with jurisdiction over approximately one half of Pennsylvania. The court was created in 1901 by subdividing the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The court is under the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

Because Harrisburg, the state capital, is located within the district's jurisdiction, most suits against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are filed in the Middle District. Similarly, because York County Prison served as the largest Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) facility in the Northeast, the Middle District also adjudicated many immigration cases. The courts of appeal are now responsible for most judicial review of immigration decisions, bypassing the Middle District and other district courts.

Judge Christopher C. Conner is the Chief Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Martin John Pane is the United States Marshal for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

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The United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789.[1][2] It was subdivided on April 20, 1818, by 3 Stat. 462,[1][2] into the Eastern and Western Districts to be headquartered in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, respectively.[1] Portions of these districts were subsequently subdivided into the Middle District on March 2, 1901, by 31 Stat. 880.[2]

Current judges

As of October 11, 2018:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
20 Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner Harrisburg 1957 2002–present 2013–present G.W. Bush
21 District Judge John E. Jones III Harrisburg 1955 2002–present G.W. Bush
22 District Judge Robert D. Mariani Scranton 1950 2011–present Obama
23 District Judge Malachy E. Mannion Scranton 1953 2012–present Obama
24 District Judge Matthew W. Brann Williamsport 1965 2012–present Obama
25 District Judge vacant
12 Senior Judge Sylvia H. Rambo Harrisburg 1936 1979–2001 1992–1999 2001–present Carter
17 Senior Judge A. Richard Caputo Wilkes-Barre 1938 1997–2009 2009–present Clinton
18 Senior Judge Yvette Kane Harrisburg 1953 1998–2018 2006–2013 2018–present Clinton
19 Senior Judge James Martin Munley Scranton 1936 1998–2009 2009–present Clinton

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior Judge's Duty Station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
5 Harrisburg Yvette Kane Senior status October 11, 2018 Jennifer P. Wilson May 13, 2019

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Robert Wodrow Archbald PA 1848–1926 1901–1911  McKinley elevation to 3d Cir.
2 Charles B. Witmer PA 1862–1925 1911–1925  Taft death
3 Albert Williams Johnson PA 1872–1957 1925–1945  Coolidge resignation
4 Albert Leisenring Watson PA 1876–1960 1929–1955 1948–1955 1955–1960  Hoover death
5 John W. Murphy PA 1902–1962 1946–1962 1955–1962  Truman death
6 Frederick Voris Follmer PA 1885–1971 1946–1967 1962 1967–1971  Truman death
7 Michael Henry Sheridan PA 1912–1976 1961–1976 1962–1976  Kennedy death
8 William Joseph Nealon Jr. PA 1923–2018 1962–1989[Note 1] 1976–1989 1989–2018  Kennedy death
9 Robert Dixon Herman PA 1911–1990 1969–1981 1981–1990  Nixon death
10 Malcolm Muir PA 1914–2011 1970–1984 1984–2011  Nixon death
11 Richard Paul Conaboy PA 1925–2018 1979–1992 1989–1992 1992–2018  Carter death
13 William W. Caldwell PA 1925–2019 1982–1994 1994–2019  Reagan death
14 Edwin Michael Kosik PA 1925–2019 1986–1996 1996–2019  Reagan death
15 James Focht McClure Jr. PA 1931–2010 1990–2001 2001–2010 G.H.W. Bush death
16 Thomas I. Vanaskie PA 1953–present 1994–2010 1999–2006  Clinton elevation to 3d Cir.
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1963, confirmed by the United States Senate on March 15, 1963, and received commission on March 27, 1963.

Chief judges

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

Notable cases

  • Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
  • Whitewood v. Wolf This case struck down Pennsylvania's statutory ban on same-sex marriage on May 20, 2014. This was not appealed to the Third Circuit.
  • Lozano et al. v. City of Hazleton, M.D. Pa. No. 3:06-cv-01586-JMM (2006) (affirmed in part by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, No. 07-3531 (September 9, 2010)).

List of U.S. Attorneys

The people in the district are represented by the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

  • Samuel McCarrell (1901–1908)
  • Charles B. Witmer (1908–1911)
  • Andrew B. Dunsmore (1911–1914)
  • Rogers L. Burnett (1914–1921)
  • Andrew B. Dunsmore (1921–1934)
  • Frank J. McDonnell (1934–1935)
  • Frederick V. Follmer (1935–1946)
  • Arthur A. Maguire (1946–1953)
  • Joseph C. Kreder (1953)
  • Julius Levy (1953–1957)
  • Robert J. Hourigan (1957–1958)
  • Daniel Jenkins (1958–1961)
  • Bernard J. Brown (1961–1969)
  • John Cottone (1969–1979)
  • Carlon M. O'Malley, Jr. (1979–1982)
  • David Dart Queen (1982–1985)
  • James J. West (1985–1993)
  • Wayne P. Samuelson (1993)
  • David Barasch (1993–2001)
  • Martin Carlson (2001–2002)
  • Tom Marino (2002–2007)
  • Martin Carlson (2007–2009)
  • Dennis Pfannenschmidt (2009–2010)
  • Peter J. Smith (2010–2016)[3]
  • David Freed (2017–present)


Within the Middle District, federal courthouses are located in:

Counties of jurisdiction

The Court's jurisdiction includes the following counties:

See also


  1. ^ a b c Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 388.
  2. ^ a b c U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ "Listing of U.S. Attorneys | USAO-MDPA | Department of Justice". Retrieved 2015-12-02.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 September 2019, at 12:24
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