United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

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Southern District of Ohio
Sixth Circuit
Judges: 8
Posts: 8
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Edmund Sargus
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Chief Magistrate: Sharon Ovington
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Cincinnati at the Potter A. Stewart Federal Courthouse and Building.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Carter M. Stewart.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio's vacancy warning level is green. The court currently has zero vacancies out of its eight posts.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Chief judge Susan Dlott1949Dayton, OHClinton 12/26/1995-Present2009-2014Arthur SpiegelUniversity of Pennsylvania, 1970Boston University School of Law, 1973
Judge Edmund Sargus1953Wheeling, WVClinton 8/1/1996-Present1/1/2015-PresentCarl RubinBrown University, 1975Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1978
Judge Algenon Marbley1954Morehead City, NCClinton 11/7/1997 - PresentJohn HolschuhUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, B.A., 1976Northwestern U. School of Law, J.D., 1979
Judge Thomas Rose1948Circleville, OHW. Bush 5/10/2002 - PresentHerman WeberOhio U., B.S., 1970University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1973
Judge Gregory Frost1949Newark, OH 03/11/2003-PresentGeorge SmithWittenberg University, 1971Ohio Northern University Law, 1974
Judge Michael Watson (Ohio)1956Akron, OHW. Bush 9/10/2004 - PresentJames GrahamOhio State U., B.A., 1983Capital U. School of Law, J.D., 1987
Judge Michael Barrett (Ohio)1951Cincinnati, OHW. Bush 5/5/2006 - PresentWalter RiceUniversity of Cincinnati, B.A., 1974University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1977
Judge Timothy S. Black1953Brookline, MAObama 5/13/2010-PresentSandra BeckwithHarvard University, 1975Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University, 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 judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Sandra BeckwithH.W. Bush 2/10/1992 - 1/1/20092004 - 20091/1/2009 - PresentUniversity of Cincinnati, B.A., 1965University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1968
Senior Judge Herman WeberReagan 4/4/1985 - 1/1/20021/1/2002 - PresentOtterbein College, B.A., 1949Ohio State U. College of Law, J.D., 1952
Senior Judge George SmithReagan 11/9/1987 - 1/1/20021/1/2002 - PresentOhio State U., B.A., 1957Ohio State U. College of Law, J.D., 1959
Senior Judge James Graham 9/26/1986-8/31/20042003-20048/31/2004-PresentOhio State University, 1962Ohio State University College of Law, 1962
Senior Judge Walter RiceCarter 5/23/1980 - 11/30/20041996-200311/30/2004 - PresentNorthwestern U., B.A., 1958Columbia Law School, J.D., 1962

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 (Recalled) Michael Merz1984 - 03/29/2011Harvard, A.B., 1967Harvard Law, J.D., 1970
Magistrate Judge (Recalled) Mark Abel05/01/1971 - PresentOhio U., B.A., 1966Ohio State U. Law, J.D., 1969
Magistrate Judge Norah King06/1992 - PresentRosary College, B.A., 1971Ohio State U. Law, J.D., 1975
Chief Magistrate Judge Terence Kemp09/1987 - PresentBrown U. A.B., 1974University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1977
Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovington10/28/2002 - PresentUniversity of Cincinnati, B.A., 1978University of Dayton Law, J.D., 1981
Magistrate Judge Karen L. Litkovitz12/20/2010 - PresentBowling Green State U., B.S.University of Cincinnati Law, J.D., 1984
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers
Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman (Ohio)
Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman


The Counties of the Southern District of Ohio (click for larger map)

The Southern District of Ohio 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 Southern District of Ohio consists of all the following counties in the southern part of the state of Ohio.

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

The Eastern Division, covering Athens, Belmont, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Union, Vinton, and Washington counties.

The Western Division, covering Adams, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Lawrence, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Scioto, Shelby, and Warren 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 3383364970323492 35407.89.9144 (5.4%)025
2012 3521354970703684 33868.39.8149 (5.7%)026
2011 3645357072153677 35388.510.3163 (6.1%)026
2010 3708356072683609 36597.910.4192 (6.9%)7.320
2009 3523361171343427 37079.110.6187 (6.7%)8.921
2008 3789354973383853 34858.610.3196 (7.2%)022
2007342237197141353036118.610.6197 (6.5%)024
*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 and Filings-Southern District of Ohio.


Court history

On February 19, 1803, the state of Ohio was organized as a judicial district with one judgeship authorized for this U.S. district court. This district court was not yet assigned to a judicial circuit and was therefore granted the same jurisdiction as the United States circuit courts, excluding appeals and writs of error, which are the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

On February 24, 1807, Statute 2 Stat. 420 repealed the authority of the district court in Ohio to exercise the jurisdiction of the U.S. circuit courts. The district of Ohio was reassigned to the newly organized Seventh Circuit and provided for a United States circuit court for the District of Ohio.

The State of Ohio divided into two judicial districts on February 10, 1855. These judicial districts were known as the Northern District of Ohio and the Southern District of Ohio. One judgeship was assigned to each of these districts, with the district judge serving the District of Ohio being reassigned to serve the Southern District of Ohio.

Congress went on to reorganize the circuits on July 23, 1866, and assigned the state of Ohio to the Sixth Circuit. Over time, seven additional judicial posts were added for a total of eight current posts.[9]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Southern District of Ohio:[9]

Year Statute Total Seats
February 10, 1855 10 Stat. 604 1
February 25, 1907 34 Stat. 928 2(1 temporary)
February 24, 1910 36 Stat. 202 2
August 25, 1937 50 Stat. 805 3
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 4
March 18, 1966 80 Stat. 75 4
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 5
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 6
July 10, 1984 98 Stat. 347 7
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 8

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.[10][11]

Former judges

For more information on the judges of the Southern District of Ohio, see former federal judges of the Southern District of Ohio.

Federal courthouse

Three separate courthouses serve the Southern District of Ohio.

See also

External links