The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (in case citations, E.D. Va.) is one of two United States district courts serving the Commonwealth of Virginia. It has jurisdiction over the Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Richmond metro areas and surrounding locations with courthouses located in Alexandria, Norfolk, Richmond and Newport News (whose judges are shared with Norfolk).
Appeals from the Eastern District of Virginia are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The United States District Court for the District of Virginia was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789.
On February 13, 1801, the Judiciary Act of 1801, 2 Stat. 89, divided Virginia into three judicial districts: the District of Virginia, which included the counties west of the Tidewater and south of the Rappahannock River; the District of Norfolk, which included the Tidewater counties south of the Rappahannock; and the District of Potomac, which included the counties north and east of the Rappahannock as well as Maryland counties along the Potomac. Just over a year later, on March 8, 1802, the Judiciary Act of 1801 was repealed and Virginia became a single District again, 2 Stat. 132, effective July 1, 1802.
The District of Virginia was subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on February 4, 1819, by 3 Stat. 478. At that time, West Virginia was still part of Virginia, and was encompassed in Virginia's Western District, while the Eastern District essentially covered what is now the entire state of Virginia. With the division of West Virginia from Virginia during the American Civil War, the Western District of Virginia became the District of West Virginia, and those parts of the Western District that were not part of West Virginia were combined with the Eastern District to again form a single District of Virginia on June 11, 1864, by 13 Stat. 124. Congress again divided Virginia into Eastern and the Western Districts on February 3, 1871, by 16 Stat. 403.
During the 1960s, Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. ran the Alexandria court, often ruled cases on the spot after motions were argued. The court earned the nickname of "rocket docket" for the speed and efficiency for which it processes its cases. Since 1997, the court has processed civil cases the fastest of the 94 federal districts, and eighth fastest in dealing with criminal cases. Courts at Richmond are located in the Spottswood W. Robinson III and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Federal Courthouse, having previously been held in the historic Lewis F. Powell, Jr. United States Courthouse.
The Eastern District of Virginia has within its jurisdiction the following counties: Accomack, Amelia, Arlington, Brunswick, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Gloucester, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Loudoun, Lunenburg, Mathews, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Surry, Sussex, Westmoreland, York County. The district also has jurisdiction over independent cities that are geographically located with these counties, but that are not politically part of them.
The Eastern District of Virginia court's jurisdiction covers slightly over six million people, comprising approximately 85% of the state's population.
The current U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia is Dana J. Boente, serving as prosecution for criminal cases brought by the Federal government, and representing the United States in civil cases in the court. He served in an acting capacity until he was confirmed on December 15, 2015. The U.S. Attorney's office also manages the Project Safe Neighborhoods program within the district to reduce gun violence (part of a nationwide program), and is involved with federal initiatives on drug trafficking, terrorism, cybercrime, and the prevention/combating of elder care abuse. Neil H. MacBride and Chuck Rosenberg previously served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|30||Chief Judge||Rebecca Beach Smith||Norfolk||1949||1989–present||2011–present||—||G.H.W. Bush|
|33||District Judge||Leonie Brinkema||Alexandria||1944||1993–present||—||—||Clinton|
|34||District Judge||Raymond Alvin Jackson||Norfolk||1949||1993–present||—||—||Clinton|
|36||District Judge||Gerald Bruce Lee||Alexandria||1952||1998–present||—||—||Clinton|
|37||District Judge||Henry E. Hudson||Richmond||1947||2002–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|39||District Judge||Liam O'Grady||Alexandria||1950||2007–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|40||District Judge||Mark Steven Davis||Norfolk||1962||2008–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|41||District Judge||Anthony John Trenga||Alexandria||1949||2008–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|42||District Judge||John A. Gibney, Jr.||Richmond||1951||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|43||District Judge||Arenda L. Wright Allen||Norfolk||1960||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|44||District Judge||M. Hannah Lauck||Richmond||1963||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|21||Senior Judge||Albert Vickers Bryan Jr.||inactive||1926||1971–present||1985–1991||1991–present||Nixon|
|25||Senior Judge||James C. Cacheris||Alexandria||1933||1981–1998||1991–1997||1998–present||Reagan|
|26||Senior Judge||Robert G. Doumar||Norfolk||1930||1981–1997||—||1997–present||Reagan|
|27||Senior Judge||Claude M. Hilton||Alexandria||1940||1985–2005||1997–2004||2005–present||Reagan|
|29||Senior Judge||T. S. Ellis, III||Alexandria||1940||1987–2007||—||2007–present||Reagan|
|31||Senior Judge||Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.||Norfolk||1935||1992–2004||—||2004–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|32||Senior Judge||Robert E. Payne||Richmond||1941||1992–2007||—||2007–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|Seat||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|8||Gerald Bruce Lee||Retirement||September 30, 2017||–||–|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for
|1||Tucker, St. GeorgeSt. George Tucker||VA||1752–1827||1813–1825||—||—||Madison, Madison||resignation|
|2||Hay, GeorgeGeorge Hay||VA||1765–1830||1825–1830||—||—||Adams, J.Q.J.Q. Adams||death|
|3||Barbour, Philip PendletonPhilip Pendleton Barbour||VA||1783–1841||1830–1836||—||—||Jackson, Jackson||appointment to Supreme Court|
|4||Daniel, Peter VivianPeter Vivian Daniel||VA||1784–1860||1836–1841||—||—||Jackson, Jackson||appointment to Supreme Court|
|5||Mason, John Y.John Y. Mason||VA||1799–1859||1841–1844||—||—||Van Buren, Van Buren||resignation|
|6||Halyburton, James DandridgeJames Dandridge Halyburton||VA||1803–1879||1844–1861||—||—||Tyler, Tyler||resignation|
|7||Underwood, John CurtissJohn Curtiss Underwood||VA||1809–1873||1863–1873||—||—||Lincoln, Lincoln||death|
|8||Hughes, Robert WilliamRobert William Hughes||VA||1821–1901||1874–1898||—||—||Grant, Grant||retirement|
|9||Waddill Jr., EdmundEdmund Waddill Jr.||VA||1855–1931||1898–1921||—||—||McKinley, McKinley||appointment to 4th Cir.|
|10||Groner, Duncan LawrenceDuncan Lawrence Groner||VA||1873–1957||1921–1931||—||—||Harding, Harding||appointment to D.C. Cir.|
|11||Way, Luther B.Luther B. Way||VA||1879–1943||1931–1943||—||—||Hoover, Hoover||death|
|12||Pollard, Robert NelsonRobert Nelson Pollard||VA||1880–1954||1936–1947||—||1947–1954||Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt||death|
|13||Hutcheson, Charles SterlingCharles Sterling Hutcheson||VA||1894–1969||1944–1959||1948–1959||1959–1969||Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt||death|
|14||Bryan, Albert VickersAlbert Vickers Bryan||VA||1899–1984||1947–1961||1959–1961||—||Truman, Truman||appointment to 4th Cir.|
|15||Hoffman, Walter EdwardWalter Edward Hoffman||VA||1907–1996||1954–1974||1961–1973||1974–1996||Eisenhower, Eisenhower||death|
|16||Lewis, Oren RitterOren Ritter Lewis||VA||1902–1983||1960–1974||—||1974–1983||Eisenhower, Eisenhower||death|
|17||Butzner Jr., John DeckerJohn Decker Butzner Jr.||VA||1917–2006||1962–1967||—||—||Kennedy, Kennedy||appointment to 4th Cir.|
|18||Kellam, Richard BoykinRichard Boykin Kellam||VA||1909–1996||1967–1981||1973–1979||1981–1996||Johnson, L.L. Johnson||death|
|19||MacKenzie, John AshtonJohn Ashton MacKenzie||VA||1917–2010||1967–1985||1979–1985||1985–1998||Johnson, L.L. Johnson||retirement|
|20||Merhige Jr., Robert ReynoldRobert Reynold Merhige Jr.||VA||1919–2005||1967–1986||—||1986–1998||Johnson, L.L. Johnson||retirement|
|22||Warriner, David DortchDavid Dortch Warriner||VA||1929–1986||1974–1986||—||—||Nixon, Nixon||death|
|23||Clarke Jr., Joseph CalvittJoseph Calvitt Clarke Jr.||VA||1920–2004||1974–1991||—||1991–2004||Ford, Ford||death|
|24||Williams, Richard LeroyRichard Leroy Williams||VA||1923–2011||1980–1992||—||1992–2011||Carter, Carter||death|
|28||Spencer, James R.James R. Spencer||VA||1949–present||1986–2014||2004–2011||2014–2017||Reagan, Reagan||retirement|
|35||Friedman, Jerome B.Jerome B. Friedman||VA||1943–present||1997–2010||—||2010–2011||Clinton, Clinton||retirement|
|38||Kelley Jr., Walter DeKalbWalter DeKalb Kelley Jr.||VA||1955–present||2004–2008||—||—||Bush, G.W.G.W. Bush||resignation|
The Eastern District of Virginia has handled many notable cases, including:
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