United States District Court for the District of Nebraska
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The United States District Court for the District of Nebraska is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The main courthouse is located in Omaha, with other locations in Lincoln and North Platte. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, at the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse and Building.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.
Article III judges
|Judge John Gerrard||1953||Schuyler, NE||Obama||1/23/2012 - Present||Richard Kopf||Nebraska Wesleyan University, 1976||University of the Pacific Law, 1981|
|Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp||1953||Omaha, NE||W. Bush||10/24/2001-Present||2011-Present||William Cambridge||Stanford University, 1974||University of Nebraska College of Law, 1977|
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 Judge Joseph Bataillon||Clinton||9/18/1997-10/3/2014||2004-2011||10/3/2014-Present||Creighton University, 1971||Creighton University School of Law, 1974|
|Senior Judge Richard Kopf||H.W. Bush||05/26/1992-12/01/2011||1999-2004||12/01/2011-Present||Kearney State College (now U. of Nebraska at Kearney), 1969||University of Nebraska College of Law, 1972|
|Senior Judge Lyle Strom||10/28/1985-11/2/1995||1987-1994||11/2/1995-Present||Creighton University, 1950||Creighton University School of Law, 1953|
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 Judge Thomas Thalken|
|Magistrate Judge F.A. Gossett III||1998 - Present||Midland U., 1967||Creighton U., 1972|
|Magistrate Judge Cheryl Renae Zwart|
The District of Nebraska has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
The main courthouse is located in Omaha, with other locations in Lincoln and North Platte.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*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.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see The Guide to Nebraska Court Records.
|• "Boys Don't Cry" killer gets new attorneys appointed (2014)||Click for summary→|
|In January 2014, Judge Richard Kopf permitted John Lotter, a Nebraska death row inmate, to get new attorneys in his case. Lotter had been on the state's death row since 1996, after the 1993 murders of Lisa Lambert, Philip DeVine and Brandon Teena. The movie "Boys Don't Cry" was based on Lotter's nefarious exploits.
| • Out-of-state petition signers ruling (2011)|
Judge(s):Joseph Bataillon (Citizens in Charge v. Gale, No. 4:09CV3255)
|Click for summary→|
|In 2011, a debate erupted about petitions urging people to recall Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle. Some in the debate said it was too easy to get all the signatures needed, and others said it was too hard. The Nebraska law that dealt with citizen-based ballot issues ranging from recalls to referendums was under Judge Bataillon's review. Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled that people from other states could come into Nebraska and circulate petitions. In the case of Citizens in Charge v. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale, Bataillon ruled as unconstitutional the law that said only Nebraska citizens of at least eighteen years could circulate petitions.|
The District of Nebraska was established by Congress and assigned to the Eighth Circuit on March 25, 1867, with one post to cover the entire state. Over time, two additional judicial posts were added for a total of three current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Nebraska:
|March 25, 1867||15 Stat. 5||1|
|February 27, 1907||34 Stat. 997||2|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||3|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||4 (1 temporary)|
|2004||Temporary post removed||3|
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.
For more information about judges of the District of Nebraska, see former federal judges of the District of Nebraska.
Three separate courthouses serve the District of Nebraska.
- United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, "Official Website"
- District of Nebraska, "Judges' Information"
- United States Attorney's Office for the District of Nebraska, "Official Website"
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, "U.S. Attorneys Listing," accessed on August 5, 2014
- Nebraska Watchdog, "Ruling Makes Ballot Fights in Nebraska A Bit Easier," August 31, 2011
- Federal Judicial Center, "History of the District of Nebraska," accessed on August 5, 2014
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Thomas Thalken • F.A. Gossett III • Cheryl Renae Zwart •|
|Former Article III judges||
Warren Urbom • William Cambridge • Arlen Beam • Elmer Scipio Dundy • William Douglas McHugh • William Henry Munger • Thomas Charles Munger • Joseph William Woodrough • James Donohoe • Thomas Shanahan • John Delehant • Robert Denney • Richard Dier • Albert Schatz • Robert Van Pelt • Richard Robinson •
|Former Chief judges|