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Joseph Stadtmueller

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Joseph Stadtmueller
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Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #2
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   6/1/1987-Present
Chief:   1995-2002
Preceded by:   John Reynolds
Personal History
Born:   1942
Hometown:   Oshkosh, WI
Undergraduate:   Marquette University, 1964
Law School:   Marquette University Law School, 1967

Joseph Peter Stadtmueller is an Article III judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He joined the court in 1987 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan.[1]


Stadtmueller received a bachelor's degree from Marquette University in 1964 and his J.D. in 1967.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Eastern District of Wisconsin

On the recommendation of former U.S. Senator Bob Kasten, Stadmueller was nominated to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin by President Ronald Reagan on March 3, 1987, to a seat vacated by Judge John Reynolds. Stadtmueller was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 19, 1987, and received commission on June 1, 1987.[1]

Refusual to hear criminal cases

On August 23, 2009, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentnel reported that Judge Stadtmueller refused to hear new criminal cases. His decision came after conflicts between Stadtmueller and the Office of the U.S. Attorney at the Eastern District of Wisconsin.[2] The newspaper reported that the judge has not taken any new cases since July 22, 2009, while his other colleagues are taking a share of sixteen new criminal cases involving 48 defendants.[2] Legal experts say that this move is unprecedented. Loyola-Marymount law professor Laurie Levenson called it "troubling" because it puts "...a greater burden on his fellow judges."[2]

Notable cases

Guaranty Bank case (2009)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Guaranty Bank, v. Evanston Insurance Company, et al., 09-cv-133)

On July 14, 2009, Judge Stadtmueller ruled against a request from Guaranty Bank that it be allowed to halt payments to an insurance company because they believed that paying the premiums each month threatened their survival.[3] In February of 2009, Guaranty asked the Eastern District of Wisconsin to allow the bank to stop paying premiums to Evanston Insurance Company, but to keep the coverage on its home-equity loan portfolio intact. Guaranty also sought a return of $30 million in paid premiums since 2004 contending the company illegally sold the bank their insurance policy.[3] In Judge Stadtmueller's denial of a preliminary injunction, he wrote that, "Guaranty cannot have its cake and eat it too."[3]

Inappropriate refusal to recuse (2005-2009)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (In Re: United States, Petition for Writ of Mandamus from the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 09-2264)

The Eastern District of Wisconsin US Attorney's office filed an emergency appeal on July 2, 2009 with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals against Judge Stadtmueller on the grounds that Stadtmueller had refused to recuse himself on a gun case. Federal prosecutors in the case believed he should have removed himself.[4]

The case concerned Rashid Salahuddin, who in 2005 was charged by federal prosecutors with felony gun possession. Federal prosecutors believed that Stadtmueller tried to coerce prosecutors into cutting a deal in favor of Rashid Salahuddin. Prosecutors working in the U.S. Attorney's office also claimed that Stadtmueller was not being fair on the case. Stadtmueller dismissed their concerns and accused them of judge shopping.[4] In response to Stadtmueller's refusal to recuse himself, prosecutors filed a writ of mandamus in order to bypass the usual appeal process and request that the higher court immediately overrule a judge. In this case, prosecutors wanted the case moved to a different judge.[4]

Salahuddin pled guilty before Judge Charles Clevert, but then withdrew his plea. Clevert later recused himself. Salahuddin then faced a new trial before federal judge Rudolph Randa. Salahuddin was convicted in Randa's court, but Randa's ruling, on a procedural matter, was reversed by the Seventh Circuit. The case went back to the Eastern District of Wisconsin where Randa removed himself from the case, sending it to Stadtmueller in October 2008.[4] On July 10, 2009, Judge Stadtmueller was ordered by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to not hear the case. In the written opinion, Judge Ken Ripple ruled that Stadtmueller had "misapprehended the limits of his authority."[5]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
John Reynolds
Eastern District of Wisconsin
Seat #2
Succeeded by:

WisconsinWisconsin Supreme CourtWisconsin Court of AppealsWisconsin Circuit CourtsWisconsin Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of WisconsinUnited States District Court for the Western District of WisconsinUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of WisconsinUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of WisconsinUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitWisconsin countiesWisconsin judicial newsWisconsin judicial electionsJudicial selection in WisconsinWisconsinTemplate.jpg