United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida

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Middle District of Florida
Eleventh Circuit
Judges: 15
Posts: 15
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Anne Conway
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The district has courthouse in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando and Tampa Bay, Fla. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Atlanta at the Elbert P. Tuttle Federal Courthouse.

The United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Lee Bentley.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida's vacancy warning level is green. The court currently has no vacancies of its fifteen posts.

Pending nominations

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

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich1936Canton, ILReagan 3/9/1982 - Present1996 - 2002George YoungUniversity of Miami, B.A., 1958Stetson U. Law, J.D., 1961
Chief judge Anne Conway1950Cleveland, OH 11/25/1991-Present2008-PresentGeorge CarrJohn Carroll University, 1972University of Florida Law, 1975
Judge Steven Merryday1950Palatka, FLH.W. Bush 2/10/1992 - PresentNew Seat|104 Stat. 5089University of Florida, B.A., 1972University of Florida Law, J.D., 1975
Judge James Whittemore1952Walterboro, SCClinton 5/25/2000-PresentNew Seat|113 Stat. 1501University of Florida, 1974Stetson University Law, 1977
Judge John Steele1949Detroit, MI 7/26/2000-PresentNew Seat|113 Stat. 1501University of Detroit, 1971University of Detroit Law, 1973
Judge Tim Corrigan1956Jacksonville, FLW. Bush 9/13/2002 - PresentNew Seat|113 Stat. 1501Notre Dame, B.A., 1978Duke Law, J.D., 1981
Judge Virginia Covington1955Tampa, FLW. Bush 9/10/2004 - PresentRalph NimmonsUniversity of Tampa, B.A., 1976Georgetown U. Law, 1980
Judge Marcia Howard1965Jacksonville, FLW. Bush 2/20/2007 - PresentHarvey SchlesingerVanderbilt U., B.A., 1987University of Florida Law, B.A., 1990
Judge Mary Scriven1962Atlanta, GAW. Bush 09/30/2008 - PresentPatricia FawsettDuke U., B.A., 1983Florida State U. Law, J.D., 1987
Judge Sheri Chappell1962Sheboygan, WIObama 5/20/2013 - PresentUniversity of Wisconsin, B.A., 1984Nova Southeastern U., J.D., 1987
Judge Charlene Honeywell1957Deerfield Beach, FLObama 11/12/2009 - PresentSusan BucklewHoward U., B.A., 1979University of Florida Law, J.D., 1981
Judge Roy Bale Dalton, Jr.1952Jacksonville, FLObama 5/2/2011 - PresentHenry AdamsUniversity of Florida, B.A., 1974University of Florida Law, J.D., 1976
Judge Carlos E. MendozaObama 6/24/2014-PresentWest Virginia University, 1993West Virginia University, 1997
Judge Brian J. DavisJanuary 28, 1953Jacksonville, FLObama 12/20/2013 - PresentRichard LazzaraPrinceton, 1974University of Florida Law, 1980
Judge Paul G. Byron1959Queens, New YorkObama 6/24/2014-PresentJames S. MoodyUniversity of Michigan, 1983LSU Law, 1986

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 Patricia FawsettReagan 6/9/1986-8/25/20082003-20088/25/2008-PresentUniversity of Florida, 1965Florida Law School, 1973
Senior Judge Howell MeltonCarter 4/26/1977-2/1/19912/1/1991-PresentUniversity of Florida, 1943University of Florida College of Law, 1948
Senior Judge William CastagnaCarter 7/24/1979 - 6/29/19926/29/1992 - PresentUniversity of Florida, 1949University of Florida, 1967
Senior Judge John Moore (Florida)Reagan 12/1/1981 - 12/31/19951992 - 199512/31/1995 - PresentSyracuse University, B.S., 1952University of Florida College of Law, J.D., 1961
Senior Judge William HodgesNixon 12/15/1971 - 5/2/19991982 - 19895/2/1999 - PresentUniversity of Florida, B.S.B.A., 1956University of Florida College of Law, J.D., 1958
Senior Judge George SharpReagan 11/16/1983 - 1/1/20001/1/2000 - PresentYale University, B.A., 1957University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1963
Senior Judge Harvey SchlesingerH.W. Bush 7/2/1991 - 6/5/20066/5/2006 - PresentThe Citadel, B.A., 1962T.C. Williams School of Law, J.D., 1965
Senior Judge Susan BucklewClinton 11/24/1993 - 8/1/20088/1/2008 - PresentFlorida State University, B.A., 1964Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 1977
Senior Judge Henry AdamsClinton 11/24/1993 - 4/8/20104/8/2010 - PresentFlorida Agricultural and Mechanical University, B.A., 1966Howard University School of Law, J.D., 1969
Senior Judge Richard LazzaraClinton 9/27/1997 - 12/17/201112/17/2011 - PresentLoyola U.-New Orleans, B.A., 1967University of Florida Law, J.D., 1970
Senior Judge John Antoon 5/31/2000-6/3/20136/3/2013-PresentFlorida Southern College, 1968Florida State University Law, 1971
Senior Judge James S. MoodyClinton 7/28/2000-3/31/2014University of Florida, 1969University of Florida Law, 1972
Senior Judge Gregory PresnellClinton 7/31/2000 - 4/1/20124/1/2012 - PresentCollege of William and Mary, 1964University of Florida Law, 1966

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 Thomas G. Wilson04/1979 - PresentMichigan State U., B.A., 1961Duke U. Law, L.L.B., 1964
Magistrate Judge Thomas McCoun, III02/01/1994 - PresentGeorgia Tech U., B.S., 1973Stetson U. Law, J.D., 1977
Magistrate Judge David A. Baker1991 - PresentUniversity of North Carolina, B.A., 1973University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1976
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins1985 - PresentVanderbilt U., B.A., 1971University of Florida Law, J.D., 1976
Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo05/1995 - PresentLoyola U., B.A., 1974Loyola U. Law, JD., 1977
Magistrate Judge Karla Spaulding12/1997 - PresentWestern Michigan U., B.A., 1975Northwestern U. Law, J.D., 1980
Magistrate Judge Doug Frazier01/08/2000 - PresentU.S. Naval Academy, B.A., 1972University of Mississippi Law, J.D., 1979
Magistrate Judge Greg Kelley01/14/2008 - PresentSUNY at Buffalo, B.S., 1984University of Toledo Law, J.D., 1988
Magistrate Judge James Klindt10/31/2007 - Present
Magistrate Judge Monte Richardson06/02/2003 - Present
Magistrate Judge Thomas B. Smith7/25/2011 - PresentUniversity of Florida College of Law, 1977
Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli08/08/2009 - Present
Magistrate Judge Joel Toomey7/6/2010 - PresentDuke Law School, 1982
Magistrate Judge Philip Lammens07/02/2012 - PresentUniversity of FloridaUniversity of Florida
Magistrate Judge Carol Mirando1/21/2014-Present
Magistrate Judge Patricia D. Barksdale11/1/2013-Present


The Counties of the Middle District of Florida (click for larger map)

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

It holds court in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando and Tampa Bay.

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

The Fort Myers Division, covering Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties.

The Jacksonville Division, covering Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, and Union counties.

The Ocala Division, covering Citrus, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties.

The Orlando Division, covering Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties.

The Tampa Division, covering Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota 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 10383103992078211669 91137.49.21423 (18.9%)19.122
2012 1753495262706016800 102607.838.42571 (29.8%)15.424
2011 17997100602805710535 175226.99.58971 (57.5%)721
2010 1392597662369110208 134837.17.46164 (37.8%)725
2009 13853101332398610076 139107.28.21067 (8.8%)1220
2008 136169918235349788 137466.88.7220 (1.8%)3.122
2007663114593212249440117847.36.8107 (.9%)4.521
*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 Middle District of Florida.


The George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building in Orlando, FL

The District of Florida was established by Congress on March 3, 1845, with one post to cover the entire state. On July 30, 1962, Congress established the Middle District of Florida with four seats, transferring posts from the then Southern District of Florida and assigning the judges of the Northern and Southern districts to help cover the Middle District of Florida. Over time, eleven additional judicial posts were added for a total of fifteen current posts.[7]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Middle District of Florida:[7]

Year Statute Total Seats
March 3, 1845 5 Stat. 788 1(District of Florida)
July 30, 1962 76 Stat. 247 4
March 18, 1966 80 Stat. 75 5
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 6
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 9
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 11
November 29, 1999 113 Stat. 1501 15

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.[8][9]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the Middle District of Florida, see former federal judges of the Middle District of Florida.

See also

External links