United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

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Eastern District of Arkansas
Eighth Circuit
Judges: 5
Posts: 5
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Brian Miller (Arkansas)
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas is one of ninety-four United States district courts. It is divided into six divisions with courthouses in Little Rock, Batesville, Helena, Jonesboro and Pine Buff, Arkansas. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis at the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse and Building.

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Christopher R. Thyer.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas's vacancy warning level is green. The court currently has no vacancies.

Pending nominations

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

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Leon Holmes1951Hazen, ARW. Bush 7/7/2004 - Present2005 - 7/22/2012Stephen ReasonerArkansas State U., B.A., 1973University of Arkansas, J.D., 1982
Chief Judge Brian Miller (Arkansas)1967Pine Bluff, ARW. Bush 4/17/2008 - Present7/23/2012 - PresentGeorge HowardUniversity of Central Arkansas, B.S., 1992Vanderbilt Law School, J.D., 1995
Judge D.P. Marshall1963Memphis, TNObama 5/6/2010 - PresentWilliam WilsonArkansas State U., B.A., 1985Harvard Law School, J.D., 1989
Judge James Moody (Arkansas) 2/25/2014-PresentSusan CarterUniversity of Arkansas, 1986University of Arkansas Law, 1989
Judge Kristine Gerhard Baker1971Colorado Springs, CO 5/7/2012-PresentJames M. MoodySt. Louis University, 1993University of Arkansas Law, 1996

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 Garnett EiseleNixon 8/6/1970 - 8/1/19911975 - 19918/1/1991 - PresentWashington U. in St. Louis, A.B., 1947Harvard Law School, LL.B., 1950
Senior Judge Susan CarterH.W. Bush 1/24/1990-8/22/20131998-20058/22/2013-PresentRandolph-Macon Woman`s College, 1970University of Arkansas at Fayetteville School of Law, 1975
Senior Judge William WilsonClinton 10/1/1993 - 10/1/200810/1/2008 - PresentHendrix College, B.A., 1962Vanderbilt U. Law School, J.D., 1965

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 H. David Young
Magistrate Judge Jerry Cavaneau
Chief Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray
Magistrate Judge Beth Deere01/04/2007 - PresentHenderson State U., B.A., 1974University of Arkansas Law, J.D., 1986
Magistrate Judge Jerome Kearney04/16/2010 - Present
Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe07/2009 - PresentWest Point, B.S., 1988University of Arkansas Law, J.D., 1996


The Counties of the Eastern District of Arkansas (click for larger map)

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

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

The Eastern Division, covering Cross, Lee, Monroe, Phillips, St. Francis, and Woodruff counties.

The Jonesboro Division, covering Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Greene, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, and Randolph counties.

The Northern Division, covering Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Sharp, and Stone counties.

The Pine Bluff Division, covering Arkansas, Chicot, Cleveland, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Grant, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties.

The Western Division, covering Conway, Faulkner, Lonoke, Perry, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, Van Buren, White, and Yell counties.




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 7113239695096140 336913.654.11170 (42.5%)1.327
2012 95222671121935095 709814.745.33742 (57.8%)7.228
2011 91552899120542519 953512.912.75412 (60.2%)1223
2010 84433213116562467 91891314.42989 (34.4%)19.123
2009 84722981114532875 857813.67.52657 (33.5%)2429
2008 53595306106652183 848212.410.91630 (20.7%)6.323
20074782266874502256519412.612.7381 (8%)5.334
*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 Justia.com-Dockets & Filings-Eastern District of Arkansas.


The District of Arkansas was organized by Congress on June 15, 1836 with one post to cover the entire state. The district court in Arkansas was not yet assigned to a judicial circuit, and thus had the same jurisdiction as the United States circuit courts, excluding appeals and writs of error, which are the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court.

On March 3, 1851, statute 5 Stat. 176, 177 divided the federal judiciary into nine circuits. This act assigned the district of Arkansas over to the Ninth Circuit,and repealed the district court of Arkansas's right to exercise the trial jurisdiction of a United States circuit court. The act established annual sessions of the U.S. circuit court in the district of Arkansas. Statute 5 Stat. 680 on June 17, 1844, extended the jurisdiction of the district of Arkansas over Indian territory previously annexed to the Territory of Arkansas.

Statute 9 Stat. 594 on March 3, 1851, divided the State of Arkansas into two judicial districts, known as the Eastern and the Western, with one judgeship serving both. The Indian territory was under the jurisdiction of the Western District of Arkansas, while the Eastern District remained in the Ninth Circuit and the Western District of Arkansas was granted that same jurisdiction as the United States circuit courts.

On July 23, 1866, Congress assigned Arkansas to the Sixth Circuit, and then to the Eighth Circuit by July 15, 1862. After this, a judgeship was authorized to the Western District on March 3, 1871, and the judgeship previously assigned to serve both districts was made into a judgeship for the Eastern District only.

In 1889, the U.S. circuit court for the Western District of Arkansas was established by statute.

Over time, four additional judicial posts were added for a total of six current posts.[13]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Eastern District of Arkansas:[13]

Year Statute Total Seats
June 15, 1836 5 Stat. 50, 51 1
March 3, 1851 9 Stat. 594 1
March 3, 1871 16 Stat. 471 2
May 31, 1938 52 Stat. 584 3
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 4
October 20, 1978 92 Stat, 1629 6
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 6

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.[14][15]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the Eastern District of Arkansas, see former federal judges of the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Federal courthouse

Five separate courthouses serve the Eastern District of Arkansas.

See also

External links


ArkansasArkansas Supreme CourtArkansas Court of AppealsArkansas Circuit CourtsArkansas District CourtsArkansas City CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of ArkansasUnited States District Court for the Western District of ArkansasUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern and Western Districts of ArkansasUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitArkansas countiesArkansas judicial newsArkansas judicial electionsJudicial selection in ArkansasArkansasTemplate.jpg