United States District Court for the Central District of California

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Central District of California
Ninth Circuit
Judges: 27
Posts: 28
Vacancies: 1
Active judges
Chief: George King
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Central District of California is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The court serves about seventeen million people in southern and central California, making it the largest federal judicial district by population. The district operates out of courthouses in Santa Ana, Riverside and two locations in Los Angeles. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in downtown San Francisco at the James R. Browing Federal Courthouse. Initial appeals are heard in Pasadena at the Richard Chambers Courthouse.

The United States Attorney for the Central District of California represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Stephanie Yonekura[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Central District of California's vacancy warning level is blue. The court currently has no vacancies.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge James Selna1945San Jose, CAW. Bush 3/27/2003 - PresentSpencer LettsStanford U., A.B., 1967Stanford Law School, J.D., 1970
Judge Dean Pregerson1951Los Angeles, CAClinton 8/1/1996-PresentWallace TashimaUniversity of California, Los Angeles, 1972University of California, Davis, 1976
Judge John Walter1944Buffalo, NYW. Bush 5/1/2002-PresentJohn DaviesLoyola University of Los Angeles, 1966Loyola University of Los Angeles School of Law, 1969
Judge Otis Wright1944Tuskegee, ALW. Bush 4/16/2007 - PresentGary TaylorCalifornia State U. at Los Angeles, B.A., 1976Southwestern School of Law, J.D., 1980
Judge George Wu1950New York, NYW. Bush 4/17/2007 - PresentRonald LewPomona College, B.A., 1972University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1975
Judge Percy Anderson1948Long Beach, CAW. Bush 5/1/2002 - PresentKim McLane WardlawUniversity of California, Los Angeles, A.B., 1970University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1975
Judge Cormac Carney1959Detroit, MIW. Bush 04/09/2003 - PresentCarlos R. MorenoUniversity of California-Los Angeles, 1983Harvard Law School, 1987
Judge David Carter1944Providence, RI 10/22/1998-PresentWilliam ReaUniversity of California, Los Angeles, 1967University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1972
Judge Dale Fischer1951Orange, NJW. Bush 11/5/2003 - PresentNew Seat|116 Stat. 1758University of South Florida, B.A., 1977Harvard Law School, J.D., 1980
Judge Andrew Guilford1950Santa Monica, CAW. Bush 6/26/2006 - PresentDickran TevrizianUniversity of California, Los Angeles, A.B., 1972University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1975
Judge Philip Gutierrez1959Los Angeles, CAW. Bush 2/16/2007 - PresentTerry HatterUniversity of Notre Dame, B.A., 1981UCLA School of Law, J.D., 1984
Judge Virginia Phillips1957Orange, CAClinton 11/15/1999 - PresentWilliam Byrne, Jr.University of California, Riverside, B.A., 1979University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1982
Chief judge George King1951Shanghai, ChinaClinton 6/30/1995 - present10/1/2012-presentNew Seat|104 Stat. 5089University of California, Los Angeles, A.B., 1971University of Southern California Law School, J.D., 1974
Judge Robert Klausner1941Los Angeles, CAW. Bush 11/15/2002 - PresentWilliam KellerUniversity of Notre Dame, B.A., 1963; U. of Notre Dame, B.S., 1964Loyola Law School, J.D., 1967
Judge James Otero1951Los Angeles, CAW. Bush 02/12/2003 - PresentRichard PaezCalifornia State U., 1973Stanford Law School, 1976
Judge Manuel Real1924San Pedro, CAL.B. Johnson November 3, 1966 - Present1982 - 1993New Seat|80 Stat. 75University of Southern California, B.S., 1944Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA, LL.B., 1951
Judge Christina Snyder1947Los Angeles, CAClinton 11/10/1997 - PresentEdward RafeediePomona College, B.A., 1969Stanford Law School, J.D., 1972
Judge Stephen V. Wilson1941New York, NYReagan 10/17/1985 - PresentNew Seat|98 Stat. 333Lehigh U., B.A., 1963Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1967
Judge Margaret Morrow1950Columbus, NEClinton 2/24/1998 - PresentRichard GadboisBryn Mawr College, A.B., 1971Harvard Law School, J.D., 1974
Judge Fernando OlguinObama 12/17/2012 - PresentJacqueline NguyenHarvard, 1985University of California, Berkeley Law, J.D., 1989
Judge Dolly Gee1959Hawthorne, CAObama 1/4/2010 - PresentGeorge SchiavelliUniversity of California at Los Angeles, B.A., 1981University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1984
Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell1965Ventura, CAObama 4/11/2013 - PresentValerie Baker FairbankUniversity of California, Los Angeles, B.A. 1986Pepperdine U. Law, J.D., 1990
Judge John A. Kronstadt1951Washington, D.C.Obama 4/14/2011 - PresentFlorence-Marie CooperCornell University, B.A., 1973Yale Law School, J.D., 1976
Judge Josephine S. Tucker1961St. Louis, MOObama 6/22/2010 - PresentAlicemarie StotlerWilliam Jewell College, B.A., 1983Harvard Law School, J.D., 1986
Judge Michael Fitzgerald (California)1959Los Angeles, CAObama 3/15/2012 - PresentHoward MatzHarvard, A.B., 1981University of California, Berkeley Law, J.D., 1985
Judge Jesus Bernal1963Culiacan, Sinaloa, MexicoObama 12/11/2012 - PresentStephen LarsonYale, B.A., 1986Stanford Law, J.D., 1989
Judge André Birotte, Jr.1966Newark, New JerseyObama 7/22/2014-PresentGary FeessTufts University, 1987Pepperdine University Law School, 1991

Active Article III judges by appointing political party

This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.


Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Valerie Baker FairbankW. Bush 2/16/2007 - 3/1/20123/1/2012 -PresentUC Santa Barbara, 1971UCLA School of Law, J.D.
Judge Gary FeessClinton 7/7/1999-3/13/20143/13/2014-PresentOhio State University, 1970University of California at Los Angeles, 1974
Senior Judge Terry HatterCarter 12/20/1979 - 4/22/20051998 - 20014/22/2005 - PresentWesleyan U., B.A., 1954University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1960
Senior Judge Bill KellerReagan 10/4/1984 - 10/29/1999University of California, Berkeley, B.S., 1956University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, LL.B., 1960
Senior Judge Ronald LewReagan 5/7/1987 - 9/19/20069/19/2006 - PresentLoyola U., Los Angeles, CA, B.A., 1964Southwestern U. School of Law, J.D., 1971
Senior Judge Consuelo MarshallCarter 9/30/1980 - 10/24/20052001 - 200510/24/2005 - PresentHoward University, B.A., 1958Howard University, LL.B., 1961
Senior Judge Mariana PfaelzerCarter 9/23/1978 - 12/31/199712/31/1997 - PresentUniversity of California, Santa Barbara, A.B., 1949University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1957
Senior Judge Robert TimlinClinton 9/15/1994 - 2/1/2005Georgetown University, 1954Georgetown University Law Center, 1959

Senior judges by appointing political party

This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.


Magistrate judges

Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick01/29/1988 - PresentTulane U., B.A., 1975University of Texas Law, J.D., 1978
Magistrate Judge Stephen Hillman07/16/1992 - PresentUniversity of California, B.A., 1972University of Washington Law, J.D., 1975
Magistrate Judge Paul Abrams01/14/2002 - PresentUniversity of California at Berkeley, B.A., 1979University of California at Berkeley Law, J.D., 1983
Magistrate Judge Robert Block02/17/1995 - PresentUniversity of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1972University of California, Los Angeles Law, B.A., 1978
Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian01/09/2006 - PresentUniversity of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1982University of Southern California Law, B.A., 1986
Magistrate Judge Victor Kenton07/02/2001 - PresentUniversity of Connecticut, B.A., 1969University of California, Los Angeles Law, J.D., 1974
Magistrate Judge Fred Mumm04/03/2006 - PresentUniversity of Virginia, B.S., 1976College of William and Mary Law, J.D., 1979
Magistrate Judge Margaret Nagle7/25/1997-PresentBoston College, 1972Columbia Law, 1975
Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato08/13/1996 - PresentUniversity of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1975Temple U. Law, J.D., 1978
Magistrate Judge Alicia Rosenberg03/13/2007 - PresentWellesley College, B.A., 1982University of California, Los Angeles Law, J.D., 1985
Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal07/31/2002 - PresentClaremont McKenna College, B.A., 1982Cornell Law, J.D., 1987
Magistrate Judge Patrick Walsh05/14/2004 - PresentUniversity of Texas, B.B.A., 1966University of Arizona Law, J.D., 1969
Magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich04/04/1994 - PresentUniversity of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1972University of Chicago Law, J.D., 1976
Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle06/10/1996 - PresentPomona College, B.A., 1972Loyola U. - Los Angeles Law, J.D., 1977
Magistrate Judge Ralph Zarefsky07/30/1997 - PresentNorthwestern U., B.A., 1972Stanford Law, J.D., 1976
Magistrate Judge Vijay Chand Gandhi04/14/2010 - PresentCalifornia State U., Fullerton, B.A., 1994University of Southern California, J.D., 1997
Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym04/19/2011 - PresentWilliams College, B.A., 1989University of California, Los Angeles, Law, J.D., 1994
Magistrate Judge David Bristow6/25/2009 - PresentCalifornia State University, 1985University of the Pacific, 1993
Magistrate Judge John McDermott (California)7/2/2009-PresentOhio Wesleyan University, 1968Harvard Law, 1971
Magistrate Judge Jean Rosenbluth
Magistrate Judge Michael Wilner4/1/2011-PresentDartmouth College, 1988University of Pennsylvania Law, 1991
Magistrate Judge Douglas McCormick8/23/2013 - PresentUC Irvine, 1991UCLA School of Law, 1995
Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar9/1/2013 - PresentUCLA, 1981UCLA School of Law, 1984
Magistrate Judge Kenly Kiya Kato7/1/2014-PresentUCLA, 1993Harvard School of Law, 1996
Magistrate Judge Louise A. LaMothe1/10/2014-PresentStanford School of Law, 1971


The Counties of the Central District of California (click for larger map)

The Central District of California has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.

There are three court divisions, each covering the following counties:

The Eastern Division, covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties.[2]

The Southern Division, covering Orange County.[2]

The Western Division, covering Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.[2]




Federal Court Caseload Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time (Criminal)**:Median time (Civil)**:Three-year civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 14044171543119817861 1333711.65.9575 (5.6%)6.413
2012 13899184443234318332 1401110.35.2591 (5.5%)29.213
2011 13763179873175017870 1388010.85.6667 (6.3%)2113
2010 13902167913069316830 1386311.35.7822 (7.9%)32.813
2009 13451171873063816541 140978.95.7774 (7.6%)32.612
2008 12677159552863215167 134657.37821 (8.1%)1211
2007124011451926920141731274711.96.8712 (7.2%)31.212
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September.

**Time in months from filing to completion.
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts.

##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.

Notable cases

For cases in the Central District of California, see United States Department of Justice-California or Recently Issued Opinions and Orders-Central District of California (dead link).


The Central District of California was established by Congress on March 18, 1966. Following this act, ten judicial posts were transferred from the Southern District of California, with the addition of three new judicial posts. Over time, fifteen more judicial posts were added for a total of twenty-eight posts.[38]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Central District of California:[38]

Year Statute Total Seats
March 18, 1966 80 Stat. 75 13
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 16
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 17
July 10, 1984 98 Stat. 333 22
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 27
November 2, 2002 116 Stat. 1758 28

Former chief judges

In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, 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 in the office of chief judge 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. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[39][40]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the Central District of California, see former federal judges of the Central District of California.

Federal courthouse

Four separate courthouses serve the Central District of California.[41]

See also

External links


  1. Offices of the United States Attorneys, "U.S. Attorneys Listing," accessed July 31, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 United States District Court for the Central District of California, Jurisdiction
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 New York Times, "California Death Penalty System Is Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules," July 16, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Los Angeles Times, "Federal judge rules California death penalty is unconstitutional," July 16, 2014
  5. Jones v. Chappell, C.D. Cal. 2:09-cv-02158-CJC (2014)
  6. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  7. The Braiser, "Foie Gras Farmers And Restaurants File Lawsuit To Strike Down ‘Vague’ Ban In California," July 5, 2012
  8. San Francisco Chronicle, "Foie gras ban triggers California lawsuit," July 3, 2012
  9. Los Angeles Times, "Judge denies effort to stop California foie gras ban," July 18, 2012
  10. ABC 7, "Group wants online foie gras ordering nixed in California," June 12, 2013
  11. The Braiser, "Court of Appeals Rules that California Can Ban Foie Gras Production," September 2, 2013
  12. Los Angeles Times, "California ban on foie gras upheld by federal appeals court," August 30, 2013
  13. Ventura County Star, "In brief: SoCal federal court to hear Toyota lawsuits," April 10, 2010
  14. Beasley Allen Legal News, "Beasley Allen's Miles appointed by court to lead Toyota litigation," May 14, 2010
  15. MarketWatch, "Kirtland & Packard LLP: Toyota Judge Appoints Michael Louis Kelly to Lead Counsel Committee," May 17, 2010 (dead link)
  16. LexisNexis: Litigation Resource Community, "Toyota Agrees to Fund Settlement of Unintended Acceleration Cases Worth Up to $1.4 Billion," December 28, 2012
  17. New York Times, "Judge Rules That Military Policy Violates Rights of Gays," September 9, 2010
  18. Associated Press, "Judge says she’s inclined to reject government request," October 18, 2010
  19. Google, "Judge orders bus firm to stop interstate service," March 7, 2010
  20. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Erin Andrews Stalker Gets Jail Time," March 15, 2010 (dead link)
  21. San Jose-Mercury News, "Probation ordered in SoCal supermarket labor fraud," March 22, 2010 (dead link)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Los Angeles Times, "Medical Capital Holdings' securities sales blocked," July 21, 2009
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 The Examiner, "Lawsuit over Proposition 8 is tossed by federal judge," July 17, 2009
  24. Associated Press, "Judge: Immigrant kids who 'age out' lose place," October 14, 2009 (dead link)
  25. TopNews, "Federal judge temporarily restrains Beat.com from selling or streaming Beatles songs," November 6, 2009
  26. Billboard, "BlueBeat.com to Pay EMI Nearly $1 Million for Illegally Selling Beatles Hits," March 29, 2011
  27. 27.0 27.1 ChinaNet, "Federal judge acquits Missouri woman charged with computer fraud," July 2, 2009
  28. Wall Street Journal, "Judge Officially Reverses Lori Drew’s Conviction," August 31, 2009
  29. San Jose Mercury News, "No appeal of dismissed conviction in MySpace case," November 20, 2009 (dead link)
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Associated Press, "Chinese-born engineer guilty of economic espionage," July 17, 2009 (dead link)
  31. Los Angeles Times, "Federal judge hands L.A. a billboard lawsuit victory," November 12, 2009 (dead link)
  32. Associated Press, "Federal judge ends LAPD consent decree," July 17, 2009
  33. Merced Sun-Star, "LA news outlets challenge sealed federal lawsuit," August 4, 2009
  34. CaliforniansAware, "Judge Closes Entire Civil Trial in Los Angeles," July 24, 2009
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Courthouse News Service, "Court blocks 10 percent cut on Medi-Cal payments," July 10, 2009 (dead link)
  36. San Francisco Chronicle, "Cut in Medi-Cal payments to pharmacies blocked," February 28, 2009
  37. Los Angeles Times, "Fed's actions 'beyond cruel,'" March 18, 2008
  38. 38.0 38.1 Federal Judicial Center, "History of the Central District of California," accessed July 31, 2014
  39. United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
  40. United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
  41. U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, "Court Locations," accessed on August 20, 2014