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United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida

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Northern District of Florida
Eleventh Circuit
Judges: 4
Posts: 4
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Margaret Rodgers
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The district operates out of courthouses in Gainesville, Panama City, Pensacola and Tallahassee, 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 Northern District of Florida represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Pamela C. Marsh.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida's vacancy warning level is green. There are no vacancies for the court.

Pending nominations

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

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Robert Hinkle1951Apalachicola, FLClinton 8/1/1996 - Present2004 - 2009William StaffordFlorida State U., B.A., 1972Harvard School of Law, J.D., 1976
Judge John Smoak1943Columbus, GAW. Bush 11/3/2005 - PresentClyde VinsonWest Point, B.A., 1965University of Florida Law, J.D., 1972
Chief Judge Margaret Rodgers1964Pensacola, FLW. Bush 11/21/2003 - Present2011 - PresentLacey CollierUniversity of West Florida, B.A., 1989California Western Law, J.D., 1992
Judge Mark E. Walker 12/6/2012-PresentStephan MickleUniversity of Florida, 1989University of Florida Law, 1992

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 Maurice PaulReagan 6/21/1982 - 7/31/19971993 - 19977/31/1997 - PresentUniversity of Florida, B.A., 1954University of Florida College of Law, LL.B., 1960
Senior Judge Clyde Roger VinsonReagan 10/5/1983 - 3/31/20051997 - 20043/31/2005 - PresentNaval Academy, B.A., 1962Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1971
Senior Judge Lacey CollierH.W. Bush 11/18/1991 - 11/20/200311/20/2003 - PresentU.S. Naval Academy Post-Graduate School, B.A., 1970, University of West Florida, B.A., 1975Florida State College of Law, J.D., 1977
Senior Judge William StaffordFord 5/14/1975 - 5/31/19961981 - 19935/31/1996 - PresentTemple University, B.A., 1953Temple University, J.D., 1956
Senior judge Stephan MickleClinton 5/22/1998 - 6/22/20112009-20116/22/2011 - PresentUniversity of Florida, B.A., 1965University of Florida, J.D., 1970

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 Charles Kahn03/04/2011 - PresentVanderbilt U., 1973University of Florida, J.D., 1977
Magistrate Judge Gary Jones (Florida)09/01/2010 - PresentBoston U., B.A., 1975University of Miami Law, J.D., 1981
Magistrate Judge Larry Bodiford
Magistrate Judge Gordon M. Davis
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Timothy
Magistrate Judge Charles A. Stampelos


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

The Northern 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.

The four courthouses in which it hears cases are Gainesville, Panama City, Pensacola and Tallahassee.

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

The Gainesville Division, covering Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, and Levy counties.

The Panama City Division, covering Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties.

The Pensacola Division, covering Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties.

The Tallahassee Division, covering Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties.




Federal Court Caseload Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 2078249145692563 20066.56.749 (3.1%)2.229
2012 2136236845042439 20656.57.661 (3.6%)1229
2011 1927237142982185 21135.8760 (3.4%)3.332
2010 1901215140522137 19155.8857 (3.8%)039
2009 1913218540982210 18885.8841 (2.8%)039
2008 1737226139982097 19015.57.745 (3.1%)044
2007166921563825220116245.17.538 (2.8%)049
*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 Northern District of Florida.


The District of Florida was established by Congress on March 3, 1845, with one post to cover the entire state. On February 23, 1847, Congress divided the district into the Northern District of Florida and the Southern District of Florida with one judicial post for each district. Over time, three additional judicial posts were added for a total of four current posts.[7]

Judicial posts

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

Year Statute Total Seats
March 3, 1845 5 Stat. 788 1
May 24, 1940 54 Stat. 219 2(Temporary)
1947 Temporary expired 1
August 3, 1949 63 Stat. 493 2
March 18, 1966 80 Stat. 75 2 (1 New post, 1 Reassigned
to Middle District of Florida)
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.[8][9]

Former judges

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

See also

External links