United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 History
- 6 Federal courthouse
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina is one of ninety-four United States district courts. It consists of five divisions with a headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Richmond, Virginia at the Lewis F. Powell Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Article III judges
|Judge Thomas Schroeder||1959||Atlanta, GA||W. Bush||01/08/2008 - Present||Frank Bullock||Kansas U., 1981||Notre Dame Law, 1984|
|Chief Judge William Osteen||1960||Greensboro, NC||W. Bush||09/19/2007 - Present||11/1/2012-Present||William Osteen, Sr.||University of North Carolina, B.S., 1983||University of North Carolina Law, J.D., 1987|
|Judge Catherine Eagles||1958||Memphis, TN||Obama||12/16/2010 - Present||Norwood Tilley||Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), 1979||National Law Center, George Washington University, 1982|
|Judge Loretta Copeland Biggs||1954||Atlanta, GA||Obama||12/16/2014-Present||James Beaty||Spelman College, 1976||Howard University School of Law, 1979|
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 James Beaty||Clinton||10/11/1994-6/30/2014||2006-10/31/2012||6/30/2014-Present||Western Carolina U., 1971||University of North Carolina Law, 1974|
|Senior Judge Norwood Tilley||Reagan||10/17/1988 - 12/15/2008||1999 - 2006||12/16/2008 - Present||Wake Forest, B.S., 1966||Wake Forest Law, J.D., 1969|
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 (Recall) Wallace Dixon||University of North Carolina||Wake Forest University|
|Magistrate Judge L. Patrick Auld|
|Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake||2/5/2012-Present||Furman University, 1994||UNC Chapel Hill, 1998|
|Magistrate Judge Joe L. Webster||2012-Present||Howard University, 1976||Howard University School of Law, 1979|
The Middle District of North Carolina 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:
|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.
|• Judge refuses to halt North Carolina voter ID law (2014)||Click for summary→|
|Finding it inappropriate for a federal judge to enjoin a law passed by elected representatives of the state, Judge Thomas Schroeder declined to interfere with the implementation of a new election law in North Carolina. The League of Women Voters, the NAACP and other groups challenged the law in federal court, claiming it would suppress minority turnout at the polls. The groups asked for a trial to determine if the law violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 or other federal law. The state's motion to dismiss was denied by Judge Schroeder, leaving open the possibility of a trial on the matter in 2015.
The law requires voters to show a government-issued ID, prohibits same-day voter registrations, scales back the early-voting period and ends a high school civics program encouraging students to register to vote as they near their 18th birthday. Supporters of the law claim that it is necessary to prevent voter fraud and to keep elections fair. The voter ID portion of the law does not take effect until the November 2016 election. Additionally, college IDs, even if issued by a state-run university, are insufficient as government identification.
| • Ultrasound law struck down as unconstitutional (2014)|
Judge(s):Catherine Eagles (Stuart, et al v. Loomis, et al, 1:11-cv-00804-CCE-LPA)
|Click for summary→|
|On January 17, 2014, Judge Catherine Eagles struck down a North Carolina law which required that doctors administer a "narrated ultrasound" to women seeking abortions, regardless of whether the patient had any objections to such a procedure. The underlying case was spurred by the North Carolina legislature's 2011 passage of the Women's Right to Know Act, a law which contained a "speech-and-display provision" that physicians must adhere to. Eagles issued a preliminary injunction against the law's enactment in 2011 after it was constitutionally challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of North Carolina, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of physicians and healthcare providers in the state. In her most recent decision, Eagles issued a permanent injunction against North Carolina's enactment of the law, citing various First Amendment and free speech violations. Eagles noted in her decision that "[t]he Supreme Court has never held that a state has the power to compel a healthcare provider to speak, in his or her own voice, the state's ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term," and that to force doctors to recite state-compelled speech "to women who take steps not to hear it and to women who will be harmed by receiving it” is considered unconstitutional. North Carolina government officials may appeal the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.|
| • Edwards alleged campaign violations (2012)|
|Click for summary→|
|Judge Eagles presided over the trial of former presidential candidate and Senator John Edwards. He was accused of misusing funds from his 2008 presidential campaign to hide his mistress and child. A jury in North Carolina found Edwards not guilty on one charge of violating campaign finance law in May 2012. With the jury deadlocked on five other counts, Judge Eagles declared a mistrial and the U.S. Department of Justice eventually dropped its case against Edwards.|
The District of North Carolina was established by Congress on June 4, 1790, with one post to cover the entire state. On June 4, 1872, Congress divided the district into the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Western District of North Carolina with one post for each district. On March 2, 1927, Congress split the Middle District of North Carolina off from the existing districts. Over time congress added three posts to the Western District of North Carolina to reach the current total of four posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Western District of North Carolina:
|June 4, 1790||1 Stat. 126||1 (Whole state)|
|March 2, 1927||44 Stat. 1339||1|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||2|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||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 judges of the Middle District of North Carolina, see former federal judges of the Middle District of North Carolina.
There are three federal courthouses that serve the Middle District of North Carolina.
- United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
- U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of North Carolina
- Opinions of the Middle District of North Carolina
- Judges of the Middle District of North Carolina
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- News Observer, "Federal judge strikes down NC's ultrasound abortion law, citing free speech," January 17, 2014
- USA Today, "Judge: N.C. abortion ultrasound law illegal," January 18, 2014
- CNN, "Judge strikes down North Carolina ultrasound abortion law," January 19, 2014
- ABC News, "John Edwards Won't Be Retried on Campaign Finance Charges," June 13, 2012
- Fox News, "Judge: John Edwards has serious heart condition," January 13, 2012
- History of the Districts of North Carolina from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Wallace Dixon • L. Patrick Auld • Joi Elizabeth Peake • Joe L. Webster •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|
State of North Carolina
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Utilities |