United States District Court for the District of Utah

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District of Utah
Tenth Circuit
Judges: 4
Posts: 5
Vacancies: 1
Active judges
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Chief Magistrate: Brooke Wells
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the District of Utah is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The court is based in Salt Lake City, with another courtroom in Ogden. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Denver at the Byron White Federal Courthouse.

The United States Attorney for the District of Utah represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Carlie Christensen.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the District of Utah's vacancy warning level is Orange County. The court currently has one vacancy.

Pending nominations

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

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Jill Parrish1961Ogden, UT Dee BensonWeber State College, 1982Yale Law School, 1985
Judge Clark Waddoups1946Arco, ID 10/21/2008-PresentPaul CassellBrigham Young University, 1970University of Utah Law, 1973
Judge David Nuffer1952Portland, ORObama 3/22/2012 - PresentDale KimballBrigham Young U., 1975Brigham Young U. Law, 1978
Judge Robert ShelbyMarch 13, 1970WisconsinObama 9/22/2012-presentTena CampbellUtah State U., B.A., 1944University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1948

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 Tena CampbellClinton 6/30/1995-1/1/20112006-20111/1/2011-PresentUniversity of Idaho, 1967Arizona State University College of Law, 1977
Senior Judge Bruce JenkinsCarter 9/22/1978 - 9/30/19941984 - 19939/30/1994 - PresentUniversity of Utah, B.A., 1949University of Utah College of Law, LL.B., 1952
Senior Judge David SamReagan 10/16/1985 - 11/1/19991997 - 199911/1/1999 - PresentBrigham Young University, B.S., 1957University of Utah College of Law, J.D., 1960
Senior Judge Dee BensonH.W. Bush 9/16/1991-1/1/20141999-20061/2/2014-PresentBrigham Young University, 1973Brigham Young University Law, 1976
Senior Judge Dale KimballClinton 11/30/2009 - PresentBrigham Young University, 1964University of Utah College of Law, 1967
Senior Judge Brian Stewart (Utah)Clinton 11/11/1999-9/1/20142011-9/1/20149/2/2014-PresentUtah State University, 1972University of Utah Law, 1975

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 Paul Warner02/19/2006 - PresentBrigham Young U., B.A., 1973Brigham Young U. Law, J.D., 1976
Magistrate Judge Robert Braithwaite05/07/2003 - PresentUniversity of Utah Law, J.D., 1976
Chief Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells06/04/2003 - PresentUniversity of Utah, B.A.University of Utah Law, J.D., 1977
Magistrate Judge Evelyn J. Furse05/01/2012 - PresentUniversity of North Carolina, 1993New York U. Law, 1996
Magistrate Judge Dustin B. Pead08/20/2012 - PresentUniversity of Utah, 1995University of Miami Law, 1998


The Counties of Utah (click for larger map)

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

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

The Central Division, covering Beaver, Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Piute, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, Washington, and Wayne counties

The Northern Division, covering Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Morgan, Rich, and Weber counties




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 2234238846222419 22036.912.2106 (6.4%)023
2012 2345236747122444 22687.59.9127 (7.8%)17.719
2011 2427271951462835 23115.18.4115 (6.9%)20.922
2010 2218269049082468 24406.18108 (6.5%)1019
2009 2057236344202173 22477.39.398 (6.5%)023
2008 2052231343652283 20827.18.595 (7.3%)10.720
2007195923274286247318137.89.581 (6.5%)025
*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 for the District of Utah.


Court history

The District of Utah was established by Congress on July 16, 1894, with one post to cover the entire state. Over time, four additional judicial posts were added for a total of five current posts.[21]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Utah:[21]

Year Statute Total Seats
July 16, 1894 28 Stat. 107 1
February 10, 1954 68 Stat. 8 2(Temporary)
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 2(Made Permanent)
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 3
July 10, 1984 98 Stat. 333 4
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 5

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.[22][23]

Former judges

For more information on the judges of the District of Utah, see former federal judges of the District of Utah.

See also

External links


  1. Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 New York Times, "Defendant Killed by Court Officer at Utah Trial," April 21, 2014
  3. Deseret News, "Utah among several states with marriage laws under legal challenge," March 26, 2013
  4. Deseret News, "Challenge to Utah's same-sex marriage ban," December 4, 2013
  5. KSL TV, "Federal judge overturns Utah same-sex marriage ban," December 22, 2013
  6. MSNBC, "Utah officials request emergency stay over gay marriage ruling," December 22, 2013
  7. Associated Press, "Federal Court: No Halt to Gay Marriages in Utah," December 24, 2013
  8. Los Angeles Times, "Utah vows to appeal gay marriage ruling to Supreme Court," December 24, 2013
  9. Reuters, "Utah seeks U.S. Supreme Court suspension of gay marriage ruling," December 31, 2013
  10. Washington Post, "Gay marriage supporters ask Sotomayor to reject Utah’s request for a ban," January 3, 2014
  11. New York Times, "Justices Block Gay Marriage in Utah During Appeal of Case," January 6, 2014
  12. Washington Times, "Supreme Court puts gay marriage on hold in Utah," January 6, 2014
  13. New York Times, "Utah Says It Won’t Recognize Same-Sex Marriages It Licensed," January 8, 2014
  14. Salt Lake Tribune, "'Sister Wives' polygamy lawsuit tackles privacy in Utah," July 14, 2011
  15. Christian News Network, "Federal Judge Will Not Dismiss Suit Against Utah Bigamy Law," August 19, 2012
  16. Salt Lake Tribune, "Federal judge declares Utah polygamy law unconstitutional, "December 14, 2013
  17. CNN, "Judge strikes down part of Utah polygamy law in 'Sister Wives' case," December 16, 2013
  18. Fox 13 Now, "Incoming Utah AG weighs in on gay marriage, polygamy," December 26, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Salt Lake City Examiner, "Federal judge orders Utah judge to appear in court," April 15, 2011
  20. Newport Television LLC, "UPDATE: In the battle of the judges, score one for Judge Lindberg," April 16, 2011
  21. 21.0 21.1 History of the District of Utah on the Federal Judicial Center website
  22. United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
  23. United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009