United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky (in case citations, E.D. Ky.) is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises approximately the Eastern half of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio maintains appellate jurisdiction for the district (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
|United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky|
|Location||United States Post Office and Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Sixth Circuit|
|Established||February 12, 1901|
|Chief Judge||Danny C. Reeves|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Carlton S. Shier, IV (acting)|
|U.S. Marshal||Norman Arflack|
The Eastern District of Kentucky encompasses the following counties: Anderson, Bath, Bell, Boone, Bourbon, Boyd, Boyle, Bracken, Breathitt, Campbell, Carroll, Carter, Clark, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Fayette, Fleming, Floyd, Franklin, Gallatin, Garrard, Grant, Greenup, Harlan, Harrison, Henry, Jackson, Jessamine, Johnson, Kenton, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Mason, Menifee, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owen, Owsley, Pendleton, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Scott, Shelby, Trimble, Wayne, Whitley, Wolfe, and Woodford.
The United States District Court for the District of Kentucky was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. At the time, Kentucky was not yet a state, but was within the territory of the state of Virginia. The District was unchanged when Kentucky became a state on June 1, 1792. On February 13, 1801, the Judiciary Act of 1801, 2 Stat. 89, abolished the U.S. district court in Kentucky, but the repeal of this Act restored the District on March 8, 1802, 2 Stat. 132. The District was subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on February 12, 1901, by 31 Stat. 781.
The court is based in Lexington and also holds sessions in Federal Courthouses in Ashland, Covington, Frankfort, London and Pikeville. The court also meets in Richmond and Jackson. From 1911 to 1985, the court held sessions in downtown Catlettsburg at the Federal Courthouse and Post Office building which still stands on the corner of 25th and Broadway. By 1980, the Eastern District had long outgrown the historic Catlettsburg facility and it was decided that a new facility should be constructed. City officials in neighboring Ashland requested that the new facility be located there instead of in Catlettsburg. They argued that Ashland, by being a larger city, was a superior choice to the much smaller Catlettsburg with more services and amenities such as lodging for overnight guests and better restaurant options. As a result, the Carl D. Perkins Federal Building and United States Courthouse was built in Ashland on U.S. Routes 23 and 60 (Greenup Avenue).
The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current Acting United States Attorney is Carlton S. Shier, IV, since January 24, 2021.
As of August 1, 2019[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|15||Chief Judge||Danny C. Reeves||Lexington||1957||2001–present||2019–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|14||District Judge||Karen K. Caldwell||Lexington||1956||2001–present||2012–2019||—||G.W. Bush|
|16||District Judge||David L. Bunning||Covington||1966||2002–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|17||District Judge||Gregory Van Tatenhove||Frankfort||1960||2006–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|19||District Judge||Claria Horn Boom[Note 1]||London||1969||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|20||District Judge||Robert E. Wier||Lexington||1967||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|8||Senior Judge||William Odis Bertelsman||Covington||1936||1979–2001||1991–1998||2001–present||Carter|
|10||Senior Judge||Henry Rupert Wilhoit Jr.||Ashland||1935||1981–2000||1998–2000||2000–present||Reagan|
|12||Senior Judge||Joseph Martin Hood||Lexington||1942||1990–2007||2005–2007||2007–present||G.H.W. Bush|
- Judge Boom is jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Andrew McConnell January Cochran||KY||1854–1934||1901–1934[Note 1]||—||—|| McKinley[Note 2]
T. Roosevelt[Note 3]
|2||Hiram Church Ford||KY||1884–1969||1935–1963||1948–1963||1963–1969||F. Roosevelt||death|
|3||Mac Swinford||KY||1899–1975||1937–1975[Note 4]||1963–1969||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|4||Bernard Thomas Moynahan Jr.||KY||1918–1999||1963–1984||1969–1984||1984–1999||Kennedy||death|
|5||Howard David Hermansdorfer||KY||1931–2003||1972–1981||—||—||Nixon||resignation|
|6||Eugene Edward Siler Jr.||KY||1936–present||1975–1991[Note 4]||1984–1991||—||Ford||elevation to 6th Cir.|
|7||Scott Elgin Reed||KY||1921–1994||1979–1988||—||1988–1994||Carter||death|
|9||Green Wix Unthank||KY||1923–2013||1980–1988||—||1988–2013||Carter||death|
|11||Karl Spillman Forester||KY||1940–2014||1988–2005||2001–2005||2005–2014||Reagan||death|
|13||Jennifer B. Coffman||KY||1948–present||1993–2013[Note 4]||2007–2012||—||Clinton||retirement|
|18||Amul Thapar||KY||1969–present||2008–2017||—||—||G.W. Bush||elevation to 6th Cir.|
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 5, 1901, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 17, 1901, and received commission the same day.
- Judge Cochran was given a recess appointment by President McKinley.
- Judge Cochran was nominated by President McKinley but was appointed to the Court by (i.e., received his commission from) President Roosevelt.
- Jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.
Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. 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 seatsEdit
- Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 391.
- U.S. District Courts of Kentucky, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
- "Carlton S. Shier, IV to Serve as Acting United States Attorney" (Press release). Lexington, Kentucky: United States Attorney's Office. January 22, 2021.
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky Official Website
- United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky Official Website