United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey is one of ninety-four United States district courts. It was established in 1789. The court operates out of three locations, Camden, Newark and Trenton, New Jersey. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, based in downtown Philadelphia at the James Byrne Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
|Julien Xavier Neals||Morehouse College, 1982||Emory University of Law, 1991|
|John Michael Vazquez||Rutgers University, 1992||Seton Hall University School of Law, 1996|
Article III judges
|Judge Freda Wolfson||1954||Vineland, NJ||W. Bush||2002-Present||Nicholas Politan||Rutgers University, 1976||Rutgers University Law, 1979|
|Judge Stanley Chesler||1947||Brooklyn, NY||W. Bush||12/04/2002 - Present||Anne Thompson||Harpur College, 1968||St. Johns University Law, 1974|
|Judge Jose Linares||1953||Havana, Cuba||W. Bush||12/03/2002-Present||Alfred Lechner||Jersey City State University, 1975||Temple Law,, 1978|
|Judge Peter Sheridan||1950||Cambridge, MA||W. Bush||06/12/2006 - Present||Stephen Orlofsky||St. Peter's College, B.S., 1972||Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1977|
|Judge Susan Wigenton||1962||Neptune, NJ||W. Bush||06/12/2006 - Present||John Bissell||Norfolk State U., B.A., 1984||College of William and Mary, J.D., 1987|
|Judge Renee Bumb||1960||Bellevue, OH||W. Bush||06/12/2006 - Present||William Walls||Ohio State U., B.A., 1981||Rutgers U. Law, J.D., 1987|
|Judge Noel Hillman||1956||Red Bank, NJ||W. Bush||06/12/2006 - Present||William Bassler||Monmouth U., B.A., 1981||Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1985|
|Judge Robert Kugler||1950||Camden, NJ||W. Bush||12/04/2002 - Present||Joseph Irenas||Syracuse U., B.A., 1975||Rutgers U. Camden Law School, J.D., 1978|
|Chief Judge Jerome Simandle||1949||Binghamton, NY||H.W. Bush||05/26/1992 - Present||2012 - Present||New Seat|104 Stat. 5089||Princeton, B.S.E., 1971||University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Madeline Arleo||1963||Jersey City, New Jersey||11/20/2014-Present||Dennis Cavanaugh||Rutgers College, 1985||Seton Hall Law, 1989|
|Judge Claire Cecchi||1964||Queens, NY||Obama||6/14/2011 - Present||Joseph Greenaway||Barnard College, Columbia U., B.A., 1982||Fordham U. Law, J.D., 1989|
|Judge Esther Salas||1968||Los Angeles, CA||Obama||6/14/2011-Present||Katharine Hayden||Rutgers University '91||Rutgers University Law '94|
|Judge Michael Shipp||1965||Paterson, NJ||Obama||7/23/2012 - Present||Mary Cooper||Rutgers U., B.S., 1987||Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1994|
|Judge Kevin McNulty||1954||Elizabeth, NJ||Obama||7/16/2012 - Present||Garrett Brown||Yale, B.A., 1976||New York U. Law, J.D., 1983|
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 Mary Cooper||H.W. Bush||03/02/1992 - 8/31/2011||8/31/2011 - Present||Bryn Mawr College, A.B., 1968||Villanova U. Law, J.D., 1972|
|Senior Judge Anne Thompson||Carter||11/02/1979 - 05/31/2001||1994 - 2001||06/01/2001 - Present||Howard U., B.A., 1955||Howard U. Law, LL.B., 1964|
|Senior Judge Dickinson Debevoise||Carter||11/02/1979 - 04/30/1994||05/01/1994 - Present||Williams College, B.A., 1948||Columbia Law, LL.B., 1951|
|Senior Judge Katharine Hayden||Clinton||09/29/1997 - 05/29/2010||05/30/2010 - Present||Marymount Manhattan College, B.A., 1963||Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1975|
|Senior Judge William Martini||W. Bush||11/19/2002-2/10/2015||2/10/2015-Present||Villanova University, 1968||Rutgers University Law, 1972|
|Senior Judge William Walls||Clinton||10/11/1994 - 01/30/2005||01/31/2005 - Present||Dartmouth College, A.B., 1954||Yale Law, LL.B., 1957|
|Senior Judge Joseph Irenas||H.W. Bush||04/13/1992 - 06/30/2002||07/01/2002 - Present||Princeton, A.B., 1962||Harvard Law, J.D., 1965|
|Senior Judge Joseph Rodriguez||Reagan||05/10/1985 - 05/21/1998||05/22/1998 - Present||LaSalle U., A.B., 1955||Rutgers U. Law, LL.B., 1958|
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 Tonianne Bongiovanni||05/30/2003 - Present||New Jersey City U., B.S.||Seton Hall Law, J.D., 1988|
|Magistrate Judge Mark Falk||03/01/2002 - Present||Antioch College, B.A.||New York U. Law, J.D.|
|Magistrate Judge Ann Donio||03/24/2003 - Present||Rutgers U. Law, J.D.|
|Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider||10/2006 - Present||Villanova Law, J.D.|
|Magistrate Judge Karen Williams||2009-Present|
|Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert||2009-Present||Franklin & Marshall College||Emory U. Law|
|Magistrate Judge Lois Goodman||New York U. Law|
|Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson|
|Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer|
|Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor|
|Judge Steven C. Mannion||2012-Present|
|Magistrate Judge James B. Clark, III||7/15/2013-Present||University of Notre Dame||St. John's University School of Law|
The District of New Jersey 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 federal courthouses that serve the District of New Jersey.
The District of New Jersey is divided into three vicinages: Newark, Trenton, and Camden. In Newark, the court operates from two courthouses: The "old" courthouse is the United States Post Office and Court House at One Federal Square; across Walnut Street is the "new" courthouse -- the Martin Luther King, Jr. U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building (50 Walnut Street). The Newark vicinage's clerk's office is located in the Martin Luther King building. In Trenton, the Court operates from the Clarkson S. Fisher Building and U.S. Courthouse (402 East State Street). In Camden, the Court is located at the Mitchell H. Cohen Building and U.S. Courthouse (4th and Cooper Streets).
|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 Opinions of the District of New Jersey.
|• Federal judge issues temporary restraining order blocking New Jersey law allowing legalized sports betting (2014)||Click for summary→|
|The NFL and other professional sports leagues sued the state of New Jersey to prevent it from authorizing legalized gambling on sporting events and asked for a temporary restraining order until the case was decided. Judge Michael Shipp issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the law from taking effect. If it had, venues like casinos and race-tracks would have been authorized by the state of New Jersey to accept bets on sporting events. The sports leagues that sued, however, said that the New Jersey law violated a federal ban on sports gambling. Shipp did not hesitate in issuing the restraining order; he said it was in the public's interest to preserve the status quo until the case could be sorted out in court.
| • Suit over death benefits for disabled veterans allowed to continue (2014)|
Judge(s):Kevin McNulty (Hamilton, et al v. Prudential Insurance Co. of America, et al, 2:12-4196 (KM)(MAH))
|Click for summary→|
|In this case, the families of William Hamilton and Carey Seymour filed suit, alleging that Prudential Insurance failed to tell former soldiers that their insurance policies would lapse after they left active duty. Both Hamilton and Seymour were considered disabled after their time of military deactivation, with insurance benefits ranging from $250,000 to $400,000 under the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Act. Both men suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and committed suicide after leaving active duty. Their families contended that, by virtue of their ongoing disabilities, their insurance coverage should have been extended for two additional years. Plaintiffs claimed equal protection violations, contending that the defendants denied some beneficiaries' claims while granting others. Even though the service members were not completely disabled, the two-year disability extension had long passed, and the service members failed to convert their policy to a veteran's policy. Plaintiffs also alleged fraud by omission as to claims of intentional withholding of vital information regarding their loved ones' insurance benefits.
Judge McNulty ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding their claims "sufficient to sustain" the allegations made against the defendants.
| • FAA inspector bribery case (2011-2012)|
Judge(s):Robert Kugler (USA v. Bishop, 1:11-cr-00742-RBK)
|Click for summary→|
|On October 27, 2011, FAA safety inspector Harrington Bishop pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges before Judge Kugler. Bishop was charged with receiving illegal gratuities for taking pilots up on test flights while he was off duty. This resulted in those pilots being officially licensed, certified, certificated, or otherwise by the FAA, even though the flights were not authorized. He was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. For the full story, please see here.|
The District of New Jersey was established by Congress on September 24, 1789, with one post to cover the entire state. On February 13, 1801, Congress divided the district into Eastern and Western districts, with one post each. The District was reunited into one district with one post on March 8, 1802, effective the following July 1. Over time, sixteen additional judicial posts were added to the court for a total of seventeen current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of New Jersey:
|September 24, 1789||1 Stat. 73||1|
|February 13, 1801||2 Stat. 89||2 (1 for each District)|
|March 8, 1802||2 Stat. 132||1|
|March 3, 1905||33 Stat. 987||2|
|April 11, 1916||39 Stat. 48||3|
|September 14, 1922||42 Stat. 837||4 (1 temporary)|
|May 20, 1932||47 Stat. 161||4|
|March 24, 1940||54 Stat. 219||5 (1 temporary)|
|December 22, 1944||58 Stat. 887||5|
|August 3, 1949||63 Stat. 493||6|
|February 10, 1954||68 Stat. 8||7|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||8|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||10 (1 temporary)|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||11|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||14|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||17|
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 on judges of the District of New Jersey, see former federal judges for the District of New Jersey.
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey Official Website
- United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey Official Website
- Judges of the District of New Jersey-Trenton Division
- Judges of the District of New Jersey-Camden Division
- Judges of the District of New Jersey-Newark Division
- Opinions of the District of New Jersey
- Thomas Library of Congress
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, "Official list," accessed February 10, 2015
- Sacramento Bee, "Judge upholds NJ suit over veteran death benefits," April 30, 2014 (dead link)
- Gloucester County Times, "FAA inspector pleads guilty in Camden to accepting bribes for test flights," October 27, 2011
- AirForce Times, "Retired pilot sentenced to 1 year over FAA tips," April 28, 2012
- History of the District of New Jersey on the Federal Judicial Center website
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
Chief Judge: Jerome Simandle • Freda Wolfson • Stanley Chesler • Jose Linares • Peter Sheridan • Susan Wigenton • Renee Bumb • Noel Hillman • Robert Kugler • Madeline Arleo • Claire Cecchi • Esther Salas • Michael Shipp • Kevin McNulty
|Magistrate judges||Tonianne Bongiovanni • Mark Falk • Ann Donio • Joel Schneider • Karen Williams • Douglas Arpert • Lois Goodman • Joseph A. Dickson • Michael A. Hammer • Cathy L. Waldor • Steven C. Mannion • James B. Clark, III •|
|Former Article III judges||
Garrett Brown • Joel Pisano • Harold Ackerman • Dennis Cavanaugh • Joseph Greenaway • Faith Hochberg • Stanley Brotman • David Brearley • Robert Morris • William Sanford Pennington • William Rossell • Mahlon Dickerson • Philemon Dickerson • Richard Stockton Field • John Thompson Nixon • Andrew Kirkpatrick • Leonard Garth • Robert Cowen • Maryanne Barry • Lee Sarokin • Edward Green • Joseph Cross • William Mershon Lanning • John Rellstab • Joseph Lamb Bodine • John Warren Davis (Third Circuit) • Thomas Griffith Haight • Charles Francis Lynch • William Nelson Runyon • William Clark • Guy Laverne Fake • James William McCarthy • John Boyd Avis • Phillip Forman • Anthony Augelli • George Barlow • William Bassler • John Bissell • Vincent Biunno • Mitchell Cohen • James Coolahan • John Gerry • Richard Hartshorne • John Kitchen • Frederick Lacey • Arthur Lane • Alfred Lechner • John Lifland • Thomas Madden • Thomas Meaney • Henry Meanor • Alfred Modarelli • Mendon Morrill • Stephen Orlofsky • Nicholas Politan • Robert Shaw (New Jersey) • William Francis Smith • Herbert Stern • Thomas Walker (New Jersey) • Lawrence Whipple • Alfred Wolin • Reynier Wortendyke • Clarkson Sherman Fisher •
|Former Chief judges||
Garrett Brown • Anne Thompson • Guy Laverne Fake • Phillip Forman • Anthony Augelli • George Barlow • John Bissell • Mitchell Cohen • James Coolahan • John Gerry • Thomas Madden • William Francis Smith • Lawrence Whipple • Clarkson Sherman Fisher •