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United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
(S.D. Fla.)
Appeals to Eleventh Circuit
Established February 23, 1847
Judges assigned 18
Chief judge Kevin Michael Moore
Official site

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (in case citations, S.D. Fla. or S.D. Fl.) is the federal United States district court with jurisdiction over the southern part of the state of Florida.

Appeals from cases brought in the Southern District of Florida are to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).


  • History 1
  • Jurisdiction 2
  • United States Attorney and United States Marshal 3
  • Current judges 4
  • Vacancies and pending nominations 5
  • Former judges 6
  • Succession of seats 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


On the same day that Florida was admitted as a state, March 3, 1845, Congress enacted legislation creating the United States District Court for the District of Florida, 5 Stat. 788.[1][2] On February 23, 1847, this District was subdivided into Northern and Southern Districts, by 9 Stat. 131.[1][2] The statute effecting this division set forth the boundaries of the Districts:

[T]hat part of the State of Florida lying south of a line drawn due east and west from the northern point of Charlotte Harbor, including the islands, keys, reefs, shoals, harbors, bays and inlets, south of said line, shall be erected into a new judicial district, to be called the Southern District of Florida; a District Court shall be held in said Southern District, to consist of one judge, who shall reside at Key West, in said district...

On July 30, 1962 the Middle District was created from portions of these districts by 76 Stat. 247.[2]

Famous cases that have been heard in the district include Bush v. Gore, United States v. Noriega (the prosecution of the former Manuel Noriega), González v. Reno (the Elián González case), notorious Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, and United States v. José Padilla (the prosecution of José Padilla).


The court's jurisdiction comprises the nine counties of Broward, Highlands, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie. The district includes the South Florida metropolitan area of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. It comprises 15,197 square miles (39,360 km2) and approximately 6.3 million people. Courthouses, corresponding to the five divisions of the district, are located in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Key West, Miami, and West Palm Beach. The court's offices are located in Miami.

United States Attorney and United States Marshal

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current United States Attorney for the district is Wifredo A. Ferrer.

On February 12, 2014 Amos Rojas, Jr. was confirmed to be the United States Marshal.[3]

Current judges

The Court has 18 authorized judgeships, filled by judges appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. This federal district has the dubious distinction of having had more judges removed through impeachment than any other district, with a total of two, one-third of all federal district judges so removed.

The District Judges (active and senior) sitting are:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
45 Chief Judge Kevin Michael Moore Miami 1951 1992–present 2014–present G.H.W. Bush
40 District Judge William J. Zloch Ft. Lauderdale 1944 1985–present 2000–2007 Reagan
42 District Judge Federico A. Moreno Miami 1952 1990–present 2007–2014 G.H.W. Bush
46 District Judge Ursula Mancusi Ungaro Miami 1951 1992–present G.H.W. Bush
49 District Judge Joan A. Lenard Miami 1952 1995–present Clinton
50 District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks West Palm Beach 1946 1997–present Clinton
52 District Judge William Dimitrouleas Ft. Lauderdale 1951 1998–present Clinton
56 District Judge Kenneth Marra West Palm Beach 1951 2002–present G.W. Bush
57 District Judge Jose E. Martinez Miami 1941 2002–present G.W. Bush
58 District Judge Cecilia Altonaga Miami 1962 2003–present G.W. Bush
59 District Judge James I. Cohn Ft. Lauderdale 1948 2003–present G.W. Bush
60 District Judge Marcia G. Cooke Miami 1954 2004–present G.W. Bush
61 District Judge Kathleen M. Williams Miami 1956 2011–present Obama
62 District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. Miami 1955 2011–present Obama
64 District Judge Darrin P. Gayles Miami 1966 2014–present Obama
65 District Judge Beth Bloom Ft. Lauderdale 1962 2014–present Obama
66 District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg Ft. Pierce 1962 2014–present Obama
District Judge vacant
27 Senior District Judge James Lawrence King Miami 1927 1970–1992 1984–1991 1992–present Nixon
30 Senior District Judge William Hoeveler inactive 1922 1977–1991 1991–present Carter
31 Senior District Judge Jose Alejandro Gonzalez, Jr. Ft. Lauderdale 1931 1978–1996 1996–present Carter
41 Senior District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp West Palm Beach 1932 1986–2000 2000–present Reagan
43 Senior District Judge Donald L. Graham Miami 1948 1991–2013 2013–present G.H.W. Bush
44 Senior District Judge Shelby Highsmith inactive 1929 1991–2002 2002–present G.H.W. Bush
48 Senior District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley West Palm Beach 1943 1994–2009 2009–present Clinton
51 Senior District Judge Alan Stephen Gold inactive 1944 1997–2010 2010–present Clinton
53 Senior District Judge Patricia A. Seitz Miami 1946 1998–2012 2012–present Clinton
55 Senior District Judge Paul Huck Miami 1940 2000–2010 2010–present Clinton

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
9 Robin S. Rosenbaum appointment to 11th Cir. June 2, 2014

Former judges

# Judge State Born/Died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Marvin, WilliamWilliam Marvin FL 1808–1902 1847–1863 Polk,Polk resignation
2 Boynton, Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson Boynton FL 1838–1871 1864–1870 Lincoln,Lincoln resignation
3 McKinney, JohnJohn McKinney FL 1829–1871 1871 Grant,Grant death
4 Locke, James WilliamJames William Locke FL 1837–1922 1872–1912 Grant,Grant retirement
5 Cheney, John MosesJohn Moses Cheney FL 1859–1922 1912–1913 Taft,Taft not confirmed[4]
6 Call, Rhydon MaysRhydon Mays Call FL 1858–1927 1913–1927 Wilson,Wilson death
7 Jones, LakeLake Jones FL 1867–1930 1924–1930 Coolidge,Coolidge death
8 Akerman, AlexanderAlexander Akerman FL 1869–1948 1929–1939 1939–1948 Coolidge,Coolidge death
9 Ritter, Halsted L.Halsted L. Ritter FL 1868–1957 1929–1936 Coolidge,Coolidge impeachment and conviction
10 Strum, Louie WillardLouie Willard Strum FL 1890–1954 1931–1950 1948–1950 Hoover,Hoover appointment to 5th Cir.
11 Holland, John W.John W. Holland FL 1883–1969 1936–1955 1950–1955 1955–1969 F.Roosevelt,F.Roosevelt death
12 Barker, William JuliusWilliam Julius Barker FL 1886–1968 1940–1959 1955–1959 1959–1968 F.Roosevelt,F.Roosevelt death
13 Waller, Curtis L.Curtis L. Waller FL 1887–1950 1940–1943 F.Roosevelt,F.Roosevelt appointment to 5th Cir.
14 DeVane, Dozier A.Dozier A. DeVane FL 1883–1963 1943–1958 1958–1963 F.Roosevelt,F.Roosevelt death
15 Whitehurst, George WilliamGeorge William Whitehurst FL 1891–1974 1950–1961 1959–1961 1961–1974 Truman,Truman death
16 Simpson, John Milton BryanJohn Milton Bryan Simpson FL 1903–1987 1950–1962 1961–1962 Truman,Truman reassignment to M.D.Fla
17 Choate, Emett ClayEmett Clay Choate FL 1891–1974 1954–1965 1965–1974 Eisenhower,Eisenhower death
18 Lieb, Joseph PatrickJoseph Patrick Lieb FL 1901–1971 1956–1962 Eisenhower,Eisenhower reassignment to M.D.Fla
18 McRae, WilliamWilliam McRae FL 1909–1973 1961–1962 Kennedy,Kennedy reassignment to M.D.Fla
19 Dyer, David W.David W. Dyer FL 1909–1973 1961–1966 1962–1966 Kennedy,Kennedy appointment to 5th Cir.
20 Young, George C.George C. Young FL 1916–present 1961–1962 Kennedy,Kennedy reassignment to M.D.Fla
21 Fulton, Charles B.Charles B. Fulton FL 1910–1996 1963–1978 1966–1977 1977–1996 Kennedy,Kennedy death
22 Mehrtens, William O.William O. Mehrtens FL 1905–1980 1965–1975 1975–1980 L. Johnson,L. Johnson death
23 Atkins, C. ClydeC. Clyde Atkins FL 1914–1999 1966–1982 1977–1982 1982–1999 L. Johnson,L. Johnson death
24 Cabot, TedTed Cabot FL 1917–1971 1966–1971 L. Johnson,L. Johnson death
25 Eaton, Joe OscarJoe Oscar Eaton FL 1920–2008 1967–1985 1982–1984 1985–2008 L. Johnson,L. Johnson death
26 Fay, Peter T.Peter T. Fay FL 1929–present 1970–1976 Nixon,Nixon appointment to 5th Cir.
28 Roettger, Jr., Norman CharlesNorman Charles Roettger, Jr. FL 1930–2003 1972–1997 1991–1997 1997–2003 Nixon,Nixon death
29 Aronovitz, Sidney M.Sidney M. Aronovitz FL 1920–1997 1976–1988 1988–1997 Ford,Ford death
32 Davis, Edward B.Edward B. Davis FL 1933–2010 1979–2000 1997–2000 Carter,Carter retirement
33 Kehoe, James W.James W. Kehoe FL 1925–1998 1979–1992 1992–1998 Carter,Carter death
34 Paine, James CarrigerJames Carriger Paine FL 1924–2010 1979–1992 1992–2010 Carter,Carter death
35 Spellman, Eugene P.Eugene P. Spellman FL 1930–1991 1979–1991 Carter,Carter death
36 Hastings, AlceeAlcee Hastings FL 1936–present 1979–1989 Carter,Carter impeachment and conviction
37 Nesbitt, Lenore CarreroLenore Carrero Nesbitt FL 1932–2001 1983–1998 1998–2001 Reagan,Reagan death
38 Marcus, StanleyStanley Marcus FL 1946–present 1985–1997 Reagan,Reagan appointment to 11th Cir.
39 Scott, Jr., Thomas E.Thomas E. Scott, Jr. FL 1948–present 1985–1990 Reagan,Reagan resignation
47 Ferguson, Wilkie D.Wilkie D. Ferguson FL 1938–2003 1993–2003 Clinton,Clinton death
54 Adalberto Jordan FL 1961–present 1999–2012 Clinton appointment to 11th Cir.
63 Robin S. Rosenbaum FL 1966-present 2012–2014 Obama appointment to 11th Cir.

Succession of seats

See also


  1. ^ a b Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 393.
  2. ^ a b c U.S. District Courts of Florida, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ "United States Senate Periodical Press Gallery". Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Recess appointment; the United States Senate did not confirm the appointment.

External links

  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida official website
  • Southern District of Florida Blog - By attorney David Markus
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