United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

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District of New Jersey
Third Circuit
Judges: 14
Posts: 17
Vacancies: 3
Active judges
Chief: Jerome Simandle
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

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.

The United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Paul J. Fishman.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey's vacancy warning level is yellow. The court currently has three vacancies.

Pending nominations

Julien Xavier NealsMorehouse College, 1982Emory University of Law, 1991
John Michael VazquezRutgers University, 1992Seton Hall University School of Law, 1996

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Freda Wolfson1954Vineland, NJW. Bush 2002-PresentNicholas PolitanRutgers University, 1976Rutgers University Law, 1979
Judge Stanley Chesler1947Brooklyn, NYW. Bush 12/04/2002 - PresentAnne ThompsonHarpur College, 1968St. Johns University Law, 1974
Judge Jose Linares1953Havana, CubaW. Bush 12/03/2002-PresentAlfred LechnerJersey City State University, 1975Temple Law,, 1978
Judge Peter Sheridan1950Cambridge, MAW. Bush 06/12/2006 - PresentStephen OrlofskySt. Peter's College, B.S., 1972Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1977
Judge Susan Wigenton1962Neptune, NJW. Bush 06/12/2006 - PresentJohn BissellNorfolk State U., B.A., 1984College of William and Mary, J.D., 1987
Judge Renee Bumb1960Bellevue, OHW. Bush 06/12/2006 - PresentWilliam WallsOhio State U., B.A., 1981Rutgers U. Law, J.D., 1987
Judge Noel Hillman1956Red Bank, NJW. Bush 06/12/2006 - PresentWilliam BasslerMonmouth U., B.A., 1981Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1985
Judge Robert Kugler1950Camden, NJW. Bush 12/04/2002 - PresentJoseph IrenasSyracuse U., B.A., 1975Rutgers U. Camden Law School, J.D., 1978
Chief Judge Jerome Simandle1949Binghamton, NYH.W. Bush 05/26/1992 - Present2012 - PresentNew Seat|104 Stat. 5089Princeton, B.S.E., 1971University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1976
Judge Madeline Arleo1963Jersey City, New Jersey 11/20/2014-PresentDennis CavanaughRutgers College, 1985Seton Hall Law, 1989
Judge Claire Cecchi1964Queens, NYObama 6/14/2011 - PresentJoseph GreenawayBarnard College, Columbia U., B.A., 1982Fordham U. Law, J.D., 1989
Judge Esther Salas1968Los Angeles, CAObama 6/14/2011-PresentKatharine HaydenRutgers University '91Rutgers University Law '94
Judge Michael Shipp1965Paterson, NJObama 7/23/2012 - PresentMary CooperRutgers U., B.S., 1987Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1994
Judge Kevin McNulty1954Elizabeth, NJObama 7/16/2012 - PresentGarrett BrownYale, B.A., 1976New 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 judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior judge Mary CooperH.W. Bush 03/02/1992 - 8/31/20118/31/2011 - PresentBryn Mawr College, A.B., 1968Villanova U. Law, J.D., 1972
Senior Judge Anne ThompsonCarter 11/02/1979 - 05/31/20011994 - 200106/01/2001 - PresentHoward U., B.A., 1955Howard U. Law, LL.B., 1964
Senior Judge Dickinson DebevoiseCarter 11/02/1979 - 04/30/199405/01/1994 - PresentWilliams College, B.A., 1948Columbia Law, LL.B., 1951
Senior Judge Katharine HaydenClinton 09/29/1997 - 05/29/201005/30/2010 - PresentMarymount Manhattan College, B.A., 1963Seton Hall U. Law, J.D., 1975
Senior Judge William MartiniW. Bush 11/19/2002-2/10/20152/10/2015-PresentVillanova University, 1968Rutgers University Law, 1972
Senior Judge William WallsClinton 10/11/1994 - 01/30/200501/31/2005 - PresentDartmouth College, A.B., 1954Yale Law, LL.B., 1957
Senior Judge Joseph IrenasH.W. Bush 04/13/1992 - 06/30/200207/01/2002 - PresentPrinceton, A.B., 1962Harvard Law, J.D., 1965
Senior Judge Joseph RodriguezReagan 05/10/1985 - 05/21/199805/22/1998 - PresentLaSalle U., A.B., 1955Rutgers 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 judges

Magistrate Judge Tonianne Bongiovanni05/30/2003 - PresentNew Jersey City U., B.S.Seton Hall Law, J.D., 1988
Magistrate Judge Mark Falk03/01/2002 - PresentAntioch College, B.A.New York U. Law, J.D.
Magistrate Judge Ann Donio03/24/2003 - PresentRutgers U. Law, J.D.
Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider10/2006 - PresentVillanova Law, J.D.
Magistrate Judge Karen Williams2009-Present
Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert2009-PresentFranklin & Marshall CollegeEmory U. Law
Magistrate Judge Lois GoodmanNew York U. Law
Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson
Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer
Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor
Judge Steven C. Mannion2012-Present
Magistrate Judge James B. Clark, III7/15/2013-PresentUniversity of Notre DameSt. John's University School of Law


The Counties of New Jersey (click for larger map)

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.

Federal courthouses

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*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 79199215171348562 857211.66.2402 (5.2%)08
2012 73239693170169189 782711.76321 (4.7%)16.110
2011 68778979158568676 718011.66328 (5.2%)17.811
2010 70627992150548296 675812.36.8306 (5.2%)11.711
2009 73178108154258460 696510.97.6307 (5.1%)012
2008 71487839149877843 714411.67.6362 (5.8%)013
200768557843146987921677710.77.6316 (5.3%)013
*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 a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions of the District of New Jersey.


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.[5]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of New Jersey:[5]

Year Statute Total Seats
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)
1972 Expiration 9
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.[6][7]

Former judges

For more information on judges of the District of New Jersey, see former federal judges for the District of New Jersey.

See also

External links


New JerseyNew Jersey Supreme CourtNew Jersey Superior Court, Appellate DivisionNew Jersey Superior CourtsNew Jersey Municipal CourtsNew Jersey Tax CourtUnited States District Court for the District of New JerseyUnited States bankruptcy court, District of New JerseyUnited States Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitNew Jersey countiesNew Jersey judicial newsNew Jersey judicial electionsJudicial selection in New JerseyNewJerseyTemplate.jpg