United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
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.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Article III judges
|Chief judge Susan Dlott||1949||Dayton, OH||Clinton||12/26/1995-Present||2009-2014||Arthur Spiegel||University of Pennsylvania, 1970||Boston University School of Law, 1973|
|Judge Edmund Sargus||1953||Wheeling, WV||Clinton||8/1/1996-Present||1/1/2015-Present||Carl Rubin||Brown University, 1975||Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1978|
|Judge Algenon Marbley||1954||Morehead City, NC||Clinton||11/7/1997 - Present||John Holschuh||University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, B.A., 1976||Northwestern U. School of Law, J.D., 1979|
|Judge Thomas Rose||1948||Circleville, OH||W. Bush||5/10/2002 - Present||Herman Weber||Ohio U., B.S., 1970||University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1973|
|Judge Gregory Frost||1949||Newark, OH||03/11/2003-Present||George Smith||Wittenberg University, 1971||Ohio Northern University Law, 1974|
|Judge Michael Watson (Ohio)||1956||Akron, OH||W. Bush||9/10/2004 - Present||James Graham||Ohio State U., B.A., 1983||Capital U. School of Law, J.D., 1987|
|Judge Michael Barrett (Ohio)||1951||Cincinnati, OH||W. Bush||5/5/2006 - Present||Walter Rice||University of Cincinnati, B.A., 1974||University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1977|
|Judge Timothy S. Black||1953||Brookline, MA||Obama||5/13/2010-Present||Sandra Beckwith||Harvard University, 1975||Salmon 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 Judge Sandra Beckwith||H.W. Bush||2/10/1992 - 1/1/2009||2004 - 2009||1/1/2009 - Present||University of Cincinnati, B.A., 1965||University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1968|
|Senior Judge Herman Weber||Reagan||4/4/1985 - 1/1/2002||1/1/2002 - Present||Otterbein College, B.A., 1949||Ohio State U. College of Law, J.D., 1952|
|Senior Judge George Smith||Reagan||11/9/1987 - 1/1/2002||1/1/2002 - Present||Ohio State U., B.A., 1957||Ohio State U. College of Law, J.D., 1959|
|Senior Judge James Graham||9/26/1986-8/31/2004||2003-2004||8/31/2004-Present||Ohio State University, 1962||Ohio State University College of Law, 1962|
|Senior Judge Walter Rice||Carter||5/23/1980 - 11/30/2004||1996-2003||11/30/2004 - Present||Northwestern U., B.A., 1958||Columbia 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 Judge (Recalled) Michael Merz||1984 - 03/29/2011||Harvard, A.B., 1967||Harvard Law, J.D., 1970|
|Magistrate Judge (Recalled) Mark Abel||05/01/1971 - Present||Ohio U., B.A., 1966||Ohio State U. Law, J.D., 1969|
|Magistrate Judge Norah King||06/1992 - Present||Rosary College, B.A., 1971||Ohio State U. Law, J.D., 1975|
|Chief Magistrate Judge Terence Kemp||09/1987 - Present||Brown U. A.B., 1974||University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1977|
|Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovington||10/28/2002 - Present||University of Cincinnati, B.A., 1978||University of Dayton Law, J.D., 1981|
|Magistrate Judge Karen L. Litkovitz||12/20/2010 - Present||Bowling 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 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.
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.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time (Criminal)**:||Median time (Civil)**:||Three-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.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Justia.com-Dockets and Filings-Southern District of Ohio.
| • Ohio suspends use of lethal injection for death penalty executions (2014)|
|Click for summary→|
|On May 31, 2014, Judge Gregory Frost ordered stays of execution in the cases of Ronald Phillips and William Montgomery following a drug-related mishap that occurred during the execution death of Dennis McGuire in January 2014.
Judge Frost ordered that the stays be lifted on August 15, 2014, but only after Ohio lawmakers adopted a new protocol for death penalty executions.
| • Same-sex marriage must be recognized on death certificates in Ohio (2013)|
Judge(s):Timothy S. Black (Barrett, et al v. Claycomb, et al, 1:13-cv-501)
|Click for summary→|
|On December 23, 2013, Judge Timothy S. Black ruled that Ohio authorities must recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates. Ohio law prohibits recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states, and in the underlying case, two gay men who were married in states allowing such unions wanted to be recognized on the death certificates of their recently deceased spouses. Judge Black had previously issued temporary restraining orders preventing the state from accepting death certificates unless they reflected the decedents’ status as “married,” with their male partners listed as “surviving spouse.” Judge Black ruled that to treat same-sex marriages differently than opposite-sex marriages would be a violation of American citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed equal protection rights. He went on to compare the many different types of marriages that are legally recognized in Ohio, even if not authorized in Ohio, such as marriages between cousins and between minors. Pursuant to Judge Black’s order, “once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away,” regardless of whether it is a same-sex marriage. Judge Black’s ruling was limited only to death certificates, but the language he used was so sweeping that it may be applied to other Ohio same-sex marriage litigation proceedings in the future. On the same day Judge Black handed down his ruling, Ohio's Attorney General said he would file an appeal with the Sixth Circuit.|
| • Residency requirement for political petition circulators blocked (2013)|
Judge(s):Michael Watson (Ohio) (Citizens in Charge, Inc., et al and Libertarian Party of Ohio, et al v. Husted, 2:13-cv-00935)
|Click for summary→|
|On November 13, 2013, Judge Michael Watson (Ohio) granted a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Ohio's Senate Bill 47, a measure which sought to prohibit non-residents from collecting political petition signatures, except in the case of presidential candidates. S.B. 47 was signed into law by Ohio Governor John Kasich in March 2013, and enacted as of June 2013. In the underlying case, separate suits were filed in September 2013 by conservative and libertarian political groups, each contesting the constitutionality of the bill as a violation of their First Amendment rights. In his decision granting the preliminary injunction, Watson noted that S.B. 47 not only "substantially burdens core political speech," but that "it is well-established that even a temporary violation of First Amendment rights constitutes irreparable harm."|
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.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Southern District of Ohio:
|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.
For more information on the judges of the Southern District of Ohio, see former federal judges of the Southern District of Ohio.
Three separate courthouses serve the Southern District of Ohio.
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- Official Website of Southern District of Ohio Official
- U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio
- Opinions of the Southern District of Ohio
- Judges of the Southern District of Ohio
- Sixth Circuit Blog, accessed June 6, 2014
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Liberty Voice, "Lethal Injection Suspended by Ohio Federal Judge Stirs Controversy," May 31, 2014
- Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Judge's order in same-sex marriage case could put validity of Ohio's laws in question," July 23, 2013
- Miami Herald, "Ohio gay marriage ban is rejected in narrow ruling," December 23, 2013 (dead link)
- Northeast Ohio Media Group, "Federal judge rules Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates," December 23, 2013
- Associated Press, "Ohio Gay Marriage Ruling May Just Be Beginning," December 23, 2013
- ABC 22 News, "Ohio Attorney General to Appeal Gay Marriage Death Certificate Ruling," December 23, 2013 (dead link)
- Northeast Ohio Media Group, "Federal judge blocks enforcement of new state restrictions on petition gatherers," November 14, 2013
- History of the Southern District of Ohio on the Federal Judicial Center website
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Michael Merz • Mark Abel • Norah King • Terence Kemp • Sharon Ovington • Karen L. Litkovitz • Elizabeth Preston Deavers • Stephanie Bowman (Ohio) • Michael J. Newman •|
|Former Article III judges||
S. Arthur Spiegel • John Holschuh • Humphrey Howe Leavitt • Philip Bergen Swing • George Read Sage • Albert Clifton Thompson • John Elbert Sater • Howard Clark Hollister • John Weld Peck • Smith Hickenlooper • Benson Hough • Robert Reasoner Nevin • Mell Underwood • John Druffel • Lester Cecil • Robert Duncan (Ohio) • Timothy Hogan (Ohio) • Joseph Kinneary • John Peck II • David S. Porter • Carl Rubin • Carl Weinman •
|Former Chief judges|
State of Ohio
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor of State | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Director of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Superintendent of Industrial Compliance and Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |