United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
- 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 Eastern District of Washington is one of ninety-four United States district courts. It has jurisdiction over the cities of Richland, Spokane and Yakima. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown San Francisco at the James R. Browning Federal Courthouse, but hears initial appeals at the Pioneer Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
Article III judges
|Chief Judge Rosanna Peterson||1951||Salt Lake City, Utah||Obama||1/26/2010-Present||2011-Present||Frederick Van Sickle||University of North Dakota School, 1977||University of North Dakota School of Law, 1991|
|Judge Thomas Rice||1960||Spokane, WA||3/6/2012-Present||Robert Whaley||Gonzaga University, 1983||Gonzaga University Law, 1983|
|Judge Sal Mendoza, Jr.||1971||Pacoima, California||Obama||6/17/2014-Present||Lonny Suko||University of Washington, 1994||UCLA School of Law, 1997|
|Judge Stanley Bastian||1958||Wenatchee, Washington||5/1/2014-Present||University of Oregon, 1980||University of Washington Law, 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 Robert Whaley||6/30/1995-7/12/2009||2005-2009||7/12/2009-Present||Princeton University 1965||Emory University School of Law, 1968|
|Senior Judge Justin Quackenbush||Carter||6/18/1980 - 6/27/1995||1989 - 1995||6/27/1995 - Present||University of Idaho, B.A., 1951||Gonzaga U. School of Law, LL.B., 1957|
|Senior Judge William Nielsen||H.W. Bush||5/14/1991 - 5/30/2003||1995 - 2000||5/30/2003 - Present||University of Washington, B.A., 1956||University of Washington School of Law, LL.B., 1962|
|Senior Judge Frederick Van Sickle||H.W. Bush||5/14/1991 - 5/1/2008||2000 - 2005||5/1/2008 - Present||University of Wisconsin, B.S., 1965||University of Washington School of Law, J.D., 1968|
|Senior Judge Edward Shea||Clinton||4/8/1998-6/7/2012||6/7/2012-Present||Boston State College, B.S.Ed., 1965||Georgetown U. Law Center, J.D., 1970|
|Senior Judge Lonny Suko||W. Bush||7/16/2003-11/1/2013||2009-2011||11/1/2013-Present||Washington State U., B.A., 1965||University of Idaho College of Law, J.D., 1968|
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 James Hutton||1/14/2008-1/2016||University of Washington, 1972||Gonzaga University School of Law, 1976|
|Magistrate Judge John T. Rodgers||9/1/2013 - Present||University of Washington, 1975||Gonzaga U. Law, 1978|
The Eastern District of Washington has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
The geographic jurisdiction of the Eastern District of Washington consists of all the following counties in the eastern part of the state of Washington. The court's headquarters are in Spokane, with courthouses in Yakima and Richland.
- Adams County
- Asotin County
- Benton County
- Chelan County
- Columbia County
- Douglas County
- Ferry County
- Franklin County
- Garfield County
- Grant County
- Kittitas County
- Klickitat County
- Lincoln County
- Okanogan County
- Pend Oreille County
- Spokane County
- Stevens County
- Walla Walla County
- Whitman County
- Yakima County
|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 Justia.com Dockets and Filings.
|• Judge declares workers a class in lawsuit against farm (2015)||Click for summary→|
|Judge Stanley Bastian found that domestic farm workers were denied employment in favor of foreign workers illegally.
Under the H-2A program, operated by the U.S. Department of Labor, farms may hire guest (foreign) workers only if there are not enough domestic workers. The plaintiffs in the case are domestic workers who either attempted to work for Mercer Canyons, the farm being sued, or were existing employees who received lower pay than the foreign workers. The plaintiffs claim they have suffered economic harm because the farm did not properly recruit domestic workers, instead hiring guest workers in contravention to the law.
Advocates for the farm workers claim that farms often use the H-2A program to hire guest workers who are often more complacent than domestic workers; they fear deportation and, therefore, do not ruffle feathers over wages or living conditions. The defendant denies the allegation.
Judge Bastian also certified the farm workers as a class. Currently there are 44 members in the class, but the plaintiffs suggested that it could grow to 600 workers before the end.
|• U.S. Marshals use of deadly force at issue (2015)||Click for summary→|
|In January 2012, Jimmy Georgeson had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. When cornered by U.S. Marshals, however, Georgeson tried to run away. At one point, he rammed the car he was driving into U.S. Marshals cruisers. In the parking of the West Medford Albertsons, the Marshals opened fire as Georgeson attempted to drive away. Georgeson was hit and killed. He was just 20 years old.
Georgeson's family brought a wrongful death suit against the U.S. government. The government filed a motion to dismiss, which U.S. District Court Judge Robert Whaley granted in part and denied in part. The family argued that the Marshals should not have attempted to arrest Georgeson in a crowded parking lot as it violated the Marshals' own policies. The judge, however, found that the policy was not mandatory. At best, Judge Whaley said the Marshals' decision to attempt to arrest Georgeson in a parking lot of a grocery store was negligent. Unfortunately for the family, negligence is not a consideration in claims against the government in these types of cases. Because the policy of avoiding crowded areas when making arrests was not mandatory, the Marshals acted within their discretion, and this portion of the family's lawsuit was dismissed.
The family also argued that the Marshals acted wrongly when using deadly force in an effort to stop Georgeson from fleeing. Judge Whaley said that the Marshals have a mandatory policy of not using deadly force when a suspect is fleeing.
Judge Whaley's full written opinion is available here.
The State of Washington was established by Congress as one judicial district on April 5, 1890 with one post to cover the entire state and it was assigned over to the Ninth Circuit. On March 2, 1905, the State of Washington was divided into two judicial districts, the Eastern District and the Western District, with a post assigned to each. The post existing before the division was assigned over to the Western District. Over time three additional judicial posts were added for a total of four current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Eastern District of Washington:
|April 5, 1890||26 Stat. 45||1|
|March 2, 1905||33 Stat. 824||1|
|January 20, 1940||63 Stat. 493||1|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||1|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||2|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||3|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||4|
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 the judges of the Eastern District of Washington, see former federal judges of the Eastern District of Washington.
Three separate courthouses serve the Eastern District of Washington.
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- News: Federal Courts, Empty Benches:The Wednesday Vacancy Count 3/7/2012, March 7, 2012
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington Official Website
- United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Official Website
- Opinions of the Eastern District of Washington
- Judges of the Eastern District of Washington (dead link)
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- KOBI5, "Federal judge issues order in 2012 officer-involved shooting," April 8, 2015
- History of the Eastern District of Washington from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||James Hutton • John T. Rodgers •|
|Former Article III judges||
Edward Whitson • Frank Rudkin • John Stanley Webster • Lloyd Black • Samuel Driver • William Goodwin • William Lindberg • Alan McDonald • Robert McNichols • Marshall Neill • Charles Powell • Lewis Schwellenbach • Jack Tanner •
|Former Chief judges|
State of Washington
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Commissioner of Public Lands | Director of Labor and Industries | Chairman of Utilities and Transportation |