United States district court

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The United States district courts are the trial courts of the federal court system.

How they work[change | change source]

United States district courts hold trials, like state courts do.[1] However, the Constitution only gives federal courts the power to hear certain kinds of cases. For example, federal courts can hear cases about:[1]

Each trial is heard by a judge and decided by a jury.[2]

Organization[change | change source]

There are 94 U.S. district courts in the United States.[1] Every district court also includes a bankruptcy court.[2]

Each state (and Washington, D.C.) has at least one district court. So do four U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.[2]

Appeals[change | change source]

The next-most powerful federal courts are the United States Courts of Appeals. They are also called "appellate courts." There are 13 Courts of Appeals. The 94 district courts are organized into 12 larger areas, called "circuits." Each Court of Appeals deals with appeals filed in their circuit.[2]

For example, the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico are grouped together into the "First Circuit." If, for example, somebody wanted to appeal a decision made by the District Court of Massachusetts, they would write an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

The last choice for appealing a court decision is to file an appeal asking the United States Supreme Court to hear the case.[2]

Locations of District Courts[change | change source]

Here is a map that shows which circuit each United States District Court is in. States that are the same color are in the same circuit. Each circuit has a number on it – for example, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are in the 5th Circuit.

The dotted lines on the map also show the areas which the District Courts cover. On the map, some states have no dotted lines in them. This means there is only one District Court in that state. For example, Alaska has only one District Court: the District Court of Alaska. This court covers the entire state of Alaska.

Other states are divided into more than one district. The dotted lines on the map show where one district ends and another begins. For example, on the map, Washington is divided down the middle by a dotted line. Washington has two District Courts: the District Court for the Western District of Washington, and the District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

Map of the United States District Courts, and which circuit each District Court is in

List of District Courts[change | change source]

Here is a list of information about all of the United States District Courts.[3][4] Just like with the map, districts that are in the same circuit are the same color. The colors are the same as the map (for example, districts in the 8th Circuit are orange on the map and on the list). To sort this table, click on the little triangle on the top row of the table, in the column you want to sort by.

Name of District Abbreviation Circuit Created In
Northern District of Alabama N.D. Ala. 11th 1820
Middle District of Alabama M.D. Ala. 11th 1839
Southern District of Alabama S.D. Ala. 11th 1820
District of Alaska D. Alaska 9th 1958
District of Arizona D. Ariz. 9th 1910
Eastern District of Arkansas E.D. Ark. 8th 1836
Western District of Arkansas W.D. Ark. 8th 1836
Central District of California C.D. Cal. 9th 1966
Eastern District of California E.D. Cal. 9th 1966
Northern District of California N.D. Cal. 9th 1850
Southern District of California S.D. Cal. 9th 1850
District of Colorado D. Col. or D. Colo. 10th 1876
District of Connecticut D. Conn. 2nd 1789
District of Delaware D. Del. 3rd 1789
District of Columbia D.D.C. DC 1802
Northern District of Florida N.D. Fla. or N.D. Fl. 11th 1845
Middle District of Florida M.D. Fla. or M.D. Fl. 11th 1962
Southern District of Florida S.D. Fla. or S.D. Fl. 11th 1845
Northern District of Georgia N.D. Ga. 11th 1789
Middle District of Georgia M.D. Ga. 11th 1926
Southern District of Georgia S.D. Ga. 11th 1789
District of Guam D. Guam 9th 1951
District of Hawaii D. Haw. 9th 1959
District of Idaho D. Idaho 9th 1890
Northern District of Illinois N.D. Ill. 7th 1819
Central District of Illinois C.D. Ill. 7th 1978
Southern District of Illinois S.D. Ill. 7th 1819
Northern District of Indiana N.D. Ind. 7th 1817
Southern District of Indiana S.D. Ind. 7th 1817
Northern District of Iowa N.D. Iowa 8th 1845
Southern District of Iowa S.D. Iowa 8th 1845
District of Kansas D. Kan. 10th 1861
Eastern District of Kentucky E.D. Ky. 6th 1789
Western District of Kentucky W.D. Ky. 6th 1789
Eastern District of Louisiana E.D. La. 5th 1804
Middle District of Louisiana M.D. La. 5th 1971
Western District of Louisiana W.D. La. 5th 1804
District of Maine D. Me. 1st 1789
District of Maryland D. Md. 4th 1789
District of Massachusetts D. Mass. 1st 1789
Eastern District of Michigan E.D. Mich. 6th 1836
Western District of Michigan W.D. Mich. 6th 1836
District of Minnesota D. Minn. 8th 1858
Northern District of Mississippi N.D. Miss. 5th 1818
Southern District of Mississippi S.D. Miss. 5th 1818
Eastern District of Missouri E.D. Mo. 8th 1822
Western District of Missouri W.D. Mo. 8th 1822
District of Montana D. Mont. 9th 1889
District of Nebraska D. Neb. 8th 1867
District of Nevada D. Nev. 9th 1865
District of New Hampshire D.N.H. 1st 1789
District of New Jersey D.N.J. 3rd 1798
District of New Mexico D.N.M. 10th 1910
Eastern District of New York E.D.N.Y. 2nd 1865
Northern District of New York N.D.N.Y. 2nd 1789
Southern District of New York S.D.N.Y. 2nd 1789
Western District of New York W.D.N.Y. 2nd 1900
Eastern District of North Carolina E.D.N.C. 4th 1790
Middle District of North Carolina M.D.N.C. 4th 1927
Western District of North Carolina W.D.N.C. 4th 1790
District of North Dakota D.N.D. 8th 1890
District of the Northern Mariana Islands D.N. Mar. I. 9th 1977
Northern District of Ohio N.D. Ohio 6th 1803
Southern District of Ohio S.D. Ohio 6th 1803
Eastern District of Oklahoma E.D. Ok. or E.D. Okla. 10th 1906
Northern District of Oklahoma N.D. Ok. or N.D. Okla. 10th 1925
Western District of Oklahoma W.D. Ok. or W.D. Okla. 10th 1906
District of Oregon D. Or. or D. Ore. 9th 1859
Eastern District of Pennsylvania E.D. Pa. 3rd 1789
Middle District of Pennsylvania M.D. Pa. 3rd 1901
Western District of Pennsylvania W.D. Pa. 3rd 1789
District of Puerto Rico D.P.R. 1st 1966
District of Rhode Island D.R.I. 1st 1790
District of South Carolina D.S.C. 4th 1789
District of South Dakota D.S.D. 8th 1889
Eastern District of Tennessee E.D. Tenn. 6th 1797
Middle District of Tennessee M.D. Tenn. 6th 1839
Western District of Tennessee W.D. Tenn. 6th 1797
Eastern District of Texas E.D. Tex. 5th 1845
Northern District of Texas N.D. Tex. 5th 1879
Southern District of Texas S.D. Tex. 5th 1902
Western District of Texas W.D. Tex. 5th 1845
District of Utah D. Utah 10th 1894
District of Vermont D. Vt. 2nd 1791
District of the Virgin Islands D.V.I. 3rd 1936
Eastern District of Virginia E.D. Va. 4th 1789
Western District of Virginia W.D. Va. 4th 1789
Eastern District of Washington E.D. Wash. 9th 1890
Western District of Washington W.D. Wash. 9th 1890
Northern District of West Virginia N.D. W. Va. 4th 1864
Southern District of West Virginia S.D. W. Va. 4th 1864
Eastern District of Wisconsin E.D. Wis. 7th 1848
Western District of Wisconsin W.D. Wis. 7th 1848
District of Wyoming D. Wyo. 10th 1890

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Comparing Federal and State Courts". United States Courts. Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Federal Judiciary. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Court Role and Structure". United States Courts. Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Federal Judiciary. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  3. "U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts". United States Courts. Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Federal Judiciary. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  4. "The U.S. District Courts and the Federal Judiciary". History of the Federal Judiciary. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved March 29, 2016. [Note: To find the year when each District Court was created, you must click on the “Select by State” drop-down menu at the left of the page, under “U.S. District Courts”]