United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
(E.D. La.)
Appeals to Fifth Circuit
Established March 3, 1849
Judges assigned 12
Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown
U.S. Marshal Scott Patrick Illing
Official court website

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (in case citations, E.D. La.) is a federal trial court based in New Orleans. Like all U.S. district courts, the court has original jurisdiction over civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States;[1] certain civil actions between citizens of different states;[2] civil actions within the admiralty or maritime jurisdiction of the United States;[3] criminal prosecutions brought by the United States;[4] and many other types of cases and controversies.[5] It also has appellate jurisdiction over a very limited class of judgments, orders, and decrees.[6]

Appeals from the Eastern District of Louisiana are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).


This district comprises the following parishes: Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington.[7]


On March 26, 1804, Congress organized the Territory of Orleans and created the United States District Court for the District of Orleans — the only time Congress provided a territory with a district court equal in its authority and jurisdiction to those of the states.[8] The United States District Court for the District of Louisiana was established on April 8, 1812, by 2 Stat. 701,[8][9] several weeks before Louisiana was formally admitted as a state of the union. The District was thereafter subdivided and reformed several times, it was first subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on March 3, 1823, by 3 Stat. 774.[8][9]

On February 13, 1845, Louisiana was reorganized into a single District with one judgeship, by 5 Stat. 722,[8] but was again divided into Eastern and the Western Districts on March 3, 1849, by 9 Stat. 401.[8] Congress again abolished the Western District of Louisiana and reorganized Louisiana as a single judicial district on July 27, 1866, by 14 Stat. 300.[8] On March 3, 1881, by 21 Stat. 507, Louisiana was for a third time divided into Eastern and the Western Districts, with one judgeship authorized for each.[8] The Middle District was formed from portions of those two Districts on December 18, 1971, by 85 Stat. 741.[8]

Current judges[edit]

The court has twelve authorized judgeships; in addition to the active district judges, the court currently has three senior district judges and six magistrate judges.

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
53 District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown New Orleans 1963 2011–present 2018–present Obama
38 District Judge Martin Leach-Cross Feldman New Orleans 1934 1983–present Reagan
43 District Judge Sarah Vance New Orleans 1950 1994–present 2008–2015 Clinton
46 District Judge Eldon Fallon New Orleans 1939 1995–present Clinton
49 District Judge Carl Barbier New Orleans 1944 1998–present Clinton
51 District Judge Jay Zainey New Orleans 1951 2002–present G.W. Bush
52 District Judge Lance Africk New Orleans 1951 2002–present G.W. Bush
54 District Judge Jane Margaret Triche Milazzo New Orleans 1957 2011–present Obama
55 District Judge Susie Morgan New Orleans 1953 2012–present Obama
56 District Judge vacant
57 District Judge vacant
58 District Judge vacant
41 Senior Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan inactive 1948 1994–2016 2001–2008 2016–present Clinton
47 Senior Judge Mary Ann Lemmon New Orleans 1941 1996–2011 2011–present Clinton
48 Senior Judge Ivan Lemelle New Orleans 1950 1998–2015 2015–present Clinton

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
13 Ivan Lemelle Senior Status June 29, 2015 Barry W. Ashe January 8, 2018
11 Helen Ginger Berrigan August 23, 2016 Wendy Vitter January 23, 2018
8 Kurt D. Engelhardt Elevation May 15, 2018

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Dick, JohnJohn Dick LA 1788–1824 1823[10]–1824 Monroe, Monroe death
2 Robertson, Thomas B.Thomas B. Robertson LA 1779–1828 1824–1828 Monroe, Monroe death
3 Harper, Samuel HaddenSamuel Hadden Harper LA 1783–1837 1829–1837 Jackson, Jackson death
4 Lawrence, Philip KissickPhilip Kissick Lawrence LA unknown–1841 1837–1841 Van Buren, Van Buren death
5 McCaleb, Theodore HowardTheodore Howard McCaleb LA 1810–1864 1841–1845 Tyler, Tyler reassignment to D. La.
5.1 McCaleb, Theodore HowardTheodore Howard McCaleb LA 1810–1864 1849–1861 Tyler, Tyler resignation
6 Durell, Edward HenryEdward Henry Durell LA 1810–1887 1863[11]–1866 Lincoln, Lincoln reassignment to D. La.
7 Billings, Edward CokeEdward Coke Billings LA 1829–1893 1876–1893 Grant, Grant death
8 Parlange, CharlesCharles Parlange LA 1851–1907 1894–1907 Cleveland, Cleveland death
9 Saunders, Eugene DavisEugene Davis Saunders LA 1853–1914 1907–1909 Roosevelt, T.T. Roosevelt resignation
10 Foster, Rufus EdwardRufus Edward Foster LA 1871–1942 1909–1925 Roosevelt, T.T. Roosevelt appointment to 5th Cir.
11 Beattie, Charlton ReidCharlton Reid Beattie LA 1869–1925 1925 Coolidge, Coolidge death
12 Burns, Louis HenryLouis Henry Burns LA 1878–1928 1925–1928 Coolidge, Coolidge death
13 Borah, Wayne G.Wayne G. Borah LA 1891–1966 1928–1949 Coolidge, Coolidge appointment to 5th Cir.
14 Caillouet, Adrian JosephAdrian Joseph Caillouet LA 1883–1946 1940–1946 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
15 Christenberry, Herbert WilliamHerbert William Christenberry LA 1897–1975 1947–1975 1949–1967 Truman, Truman death
16 Wright, J. SkellyJ. Skelly Wright LA 1911–1988 1949[12]–1962 Truman, Truman appointment to D.C. Cir.
17 West, Elmer GordonElmer Gordon West LA 1914–1992 1961–1972 1967–1972 Kennedy, Kennedy reassignment to M.D. La.
18 Ainsworth Jr., Robert AndrewRobert Andrew Ainsworth Jr. LA 1910–1981 1961–1966 Kennedy, Kennedy appointment to 5th Cir.
19 Ellis, Frank BurtonFrank Burton Ellis LA 1907–1969 1962–1965 1965–1969 Kennedy, Kennedy death
20 Reagan Heebe, Frederick JacobFrederick Jacob Reagan Heebe LA 1922–2014 1966–1992 1972–1992 1992–2014 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
21 Boyle Sr., Edward JamesEdward James Boyle Sr. LA 1913–2002 1966–1981 1981–2002 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
22 Cassibry, Fred JamesFred James Cassibry LA 1918–1996 1966–1984 1984–1987 Johnson, L.L. Johnson retirement
23 Mitchell, Lansing LeroyLansing Leroy Mitchell LA 1914–2001 1966–1981 1981–2001 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
24 Rubin, Alvin BenjaminAlvin Benjamin Rubin LA 1920–1991 1966–1977 Johnson, L.L. Johnson appointment to 5th Cir.
25 Comiskey, James AugustJames August Comiskey LA 1926–2005 1967–1975 Johnson, L.L. Johnson resignation
26 Gordon, Jack MurphyJack Murphy Gordon LA 1931–1982 1971–1982 Nixon, Nixon death
27 West, Roger BlakeRoger Blake West LA 1928–1978 1971–1978 Nixon, Nixon death
28 Schwartz Jr., CharlesCharles Schwartz Jr. LA 1922–2012 1976–1991 1991–2012 Ford, Ford death
29 Sear, Morey LeonardMorey Leonard Sear LA 1929–2004 1976–2000 1992–1999 2000–2004 Ford, Ford death
30 Collins, Robert FrederickRobert Frederick Collins LA 1931–present 1978–1993 Carter, Carter resignation
31 Duplantier, Adrian G.Adrian G. Duplantier LA 1929–2007 1978–1994 1994–2007 Carter, Carter death
32 Arceneaux Jr., GeorgeGeorge Arceneaux Jr. LA 1928–1993 1979–1993 Carter, Carter death
33 Carr, Patrick EugenePatrick Eugene Carr LA 1922–1998 1979–1991 1991–1998 Carter, Carter death
34 Wicker, Veronica DiCarloVeronica DiCarlo Wicker LA 1930–1994 1979–1994 Carter, Carter death
35 Beer, Peter HillPeter Hill Beer LA 1928–2018 1979–1994 1994–2018 Carter, Carter death
36 McNamara, A.J.A.J. McNamara LA 1936–2014 1982–2001 1999–2001 2001–2014 Reagan, Reagan death
37 Mentz, HenryHenry Mentz LA 1920–2005 1982–1992 1992–2001 Reagan, Reagan retirement
39 Livaudais Jr., MarcelMarcel Livaudais Jr. LA 1925–2009 1984–1996 1996–2008 Reagan, Reagan retirement
40 Clement, Edith BrownEdith Brown Clement LA 1948–present 1991–2001 2001 Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bush appointment to 5th Cir.
42 Duval, StanwoodStanwood Duval LA 1942–present 1994–2008 2008–2017 Clinton, Clinton retirement
44 Jones II, OklaOkla Jones II LA 1945–1996 1994–1996 Clinton, Clinton death
45 Porteous, ThomasThomas Porteous LA 1946–present 1994–2010 Clinton, Clinton impeachment and conviction
50 Engelhardt, Kurt D.Kurt D. Engelhardt LA 1960–present 2001–2018 2015–2018 Bush, G.W.G.W. Bush appointment to 5th Cir.

Chief judges[edit]

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court, and preside over any panel on which they serve unless circuit judges are also on the panel. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, 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 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.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge, after August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats[edit]

United States Attorney[edit]

The current Interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana is Duane A. Evans since January 5, 2018.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 1331
  2. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 1332
  3. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 1333
  4. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 3231
  5. ^ Title 28, United States Code, Chapter 85
  6. ^ Under 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1), for example, the U.S. district courts are authorized to hear appeals from final judgments, orders, and decrees of U.S. bankruptcy judges.
  7. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 98(a)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h U.S. District Courts of Louisiana, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  9. ^ a b Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 392.
  10. ^ Dick was appointed to the District of Louisiana on March 2, 1821; when the District was subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts, he was reassigned to both by operation of law.
  11. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on February 8, 1864, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 17, 1864, and received commission on February 17, 1864.
  12. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1950, confirmed by the United States Senate on March 8, 1950, and received commission on March 9, 1950.

External links[edit]