United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

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Northern District of Georgia
Eleventh Circuit
Judges: 10
Posts: 11
Vacancies: 1
Active judges
Chief: Thomas Thrash
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Chief Magistrate: Janet F. King
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The district operates out of courthouses in Atlanta, Gainesville, Newnan and Rome, Ga. 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 Northern District of Georgia represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is John Horn.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia's vacancy warning level is blue. The court currently has one vacancy.

Pending nominations

Michael P. BoggsGeorgia Southern College, 1985Mercer University, 1990

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Richard Story1953Augusta, GAClinton 2/4/1998 - PresentWilliam O'KelleyLaGrange College, B.A., 1975University of Georgia Law, J.D., 1978
Chief judge Thomas Thrash1951Birmingham, ALClinton 8/1/1997-Present2014-PresentRobert ViningUniversity of Virginia, 1973Harvard Law, 1976
Judge Timothy Batten1960W. Bush 3/28/2006 - PresentWillis Hunt, Jr.Georgia Institute of Technology, 1981University of Georgia Law, 1984
Judge William Duffey1952Philadelphia, PAW. Bush 7/1/2004 - PresentOwen ForresterDrake U., BA., 1973University of South Carolina Law, JD., 1977
Judge Harold Murphy1927Haralson County, GACarter 7/29/1977 - PresentJames HillUniversity of Georgia Law, LL.B., 1949
Judge Steve C. Jones1957Athens, GAObama 3/3/2011 - PresentOrinda EvansUniversity of Georgia '78University of Georgia Law '87
Judge Amy Totenberg1950New York, NYObama 2/28/2011 - PresentJack CampHarvard-Radcliffe '74Harvard Law '77
Judge Eleanor L. RossObama 11/18/2014-PresentCharles PannellAmerican University, 1989University of Houston, 1994
Judge Mark Howard Cohen1955Miami, FloridaObama 11/18/2014-PresentEmory, 1976Emory Law, 1979
Judge Leigh Martin May1971Albany, GeorgiaObama 11/13/2014-PresentBeverly MartinGeorgia Inst. of Tech, 1993University of Georgia Law, 1998

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 Orinda EvansCarter 7/24/1979-12/31/20081999-200612/31/2008-PresentDuke University,1965Emory University School of Law, 1968
Senior Judge Marvin ShoobCarter 7/24/1979 - 9/30/19919/30/1991 - PresentUniversity of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1948
Senior Judge Owen ForresterReagan 12/10/1981 - 4/27/20044/27/2004 - PresentGeorgia Institute of Technology, B.A., 1961Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1966
Senior Judge William O'KelleyNixon 10/16/1970 - 10/1/19961988 - 199410/1/1996 - PresentEmory University, B.A., 1951Emory University School of Law, LL.B., 1953
Senior Judge Clarence CooperClinton 5/9/1997-2/9/20092/9/2009-PresentClark College, 1964Emory University School of Law, 1967
Senior Judge Willis HuntClinton 3/24/1995 - 6/30/20056/30/2005 - PresentEmory University, LL.B., 1954University of Virginia School of Law, LL.M.,1990
Senior Judge Charles PannellClinton 8/3/2000 - 1/31/20131/31/2013 - PresentUniversity of Georgia, B.A., 1967University of Georgia Law, J.D., 1970
Senior Judge Robert ViningCarter 7/24/1979 - 3/31/19961995 - 19963/31/1996 - PresentUniversity of Georgia, B.A., 1959University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1959

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 Alan Baverman02/01/2001 - Present
Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn G. Brill
Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson03/19/2002 - Present
Chief Magistrate Judge Janet F. King10/20/1998 - Present
Magistrate Judge Clayton Scofield III
Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard10/23/2006 - Present
Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker1999-PresentSouthern U., B.S., 1983University of Georgia Law, J.D., 1989
Magistrate Judge J. Clay Fuller9/4/2012 - Present


The Counties of the Northern District of Georgia (click for larger map)

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

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

The Atlanta Division, covering Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, and Rockdale counties.

The Gainesville Division, covering Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Fannin, Forsyth, Gilmer, Habersham, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Pickens, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White counties.

The Newnan Division, covering Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Haralson, Heard, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, and Troup counties.

The Rome Division, covering Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Paulding, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield 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 48576120109776056 492110.46.980 (2.1%)31.918
2012 50096348113576472 488510.25.877 (2%)2420
2011 47706511112816185 50968.66.485 (2.2%)33.821
2010 43665903102695580 468910.86.7106 (2.9%)44.321
2009 4304536396675286 438111.36.763 (1.9%)25.527
2008 4167559397605473 428712.96.797 (3.2%)024
20073574482684004868353211.37.770 (2.5%)023
*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

You can find links to Searchable lists of decisions at the courts official page.


The District of Georgia was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789 and established the entire state as one district with one post. On August 11, 1848, Congress reorganized the District of Georgia into the Northern District of Georgia and the Southern District of Georgia, with one post split between the two districts. On April 25, 1882, Congress assigned a new post to the Northern District of Georgia and permanently assigned the previous post to the Southern District of Georgia. Since then, nine additional posts have been added to the court for a total of 11 posts.[10]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Northern District of Georgia:[10]

Year Statute Total Seats
April 25, 1882 22 Stat. 47 1
May 24, 1940 54 Stat. 219 2
1948 Temporary post expired 1
August 3, 1949 63 Stat. 493 2
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 3
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 6
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 11

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.[11][12]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the Northern District of Georgia, see former federal judges of the Northern District of Georgia.

See also

External links