Open main menu

United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (in case citations, N.D. Okla.) is a federal court in the Tenth Circuit (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 Northern District of Oklahoma
(N.D. Okla.)
More locations
Appeals toTenth Circuit
EstablishedFebruary 16, 1925
Chief JudgeJohn E. Dowdell
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyR. Trent Shores

The District was established on February 16, 1925, with the transfer of a judgeship in the Eastern District to the newly established Northern district.[1]


Organization of the courtEdit

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma is one of three federal judicial districts in Oklahoma.[2] Court for the District is held at Tulsa.

The court's jurisdiction comprises the following counties: Craig, Creek, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers, Tulsa, and Washington.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma is R. Trent Shores.

Current judgesEdit

As of March 14, 2019:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
19 Chief Judge John E. Dowdell Tulsa 1955 2012–present 2019–present Obama
16 District Judge Claire Eagan Tulsa 1950 2001–present 2005–2012 G.W. Bush
18 District Judge Gregory Kent Frizzell Tulsa 1956 2007–present 2012–2019 G.W. Bush
20 District Judge vacant
14 Senior Judge Terence C. Kern Tulsa 1944 1994–2010 1996–2003 2010–present Clinton
17 Senior Judge James H. Payne[Note 1] Tulsa 1941 2001–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush
  1. ^ Judge Payne is jointly appointed to the Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma.

Vacancies and pending nominationsEdit

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
2 James H. Payne Senior Status August 1, 2017

Former judgesEdit

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Franklin Elmore Kennamer OK 1879–1960 1924–1940 1940–1960 Coolidge death
2 Alfred P. Murrah OK 1904–1975 1937–1940 F. Roosevelt elevation to 10th Cir.
3 Bower Slack Broaddus OK 1888–1949 1940–1949 F. Roosevelt death
4 Royce H. Savage OK 1904–1993 1940–1961 1949–1961 F. Roosevelt resignation
5 William Robert Wallace OK 1886–1960 1950–1960 Truman death
6 Luther L. Bohanon OK 1902–2003 1961–1974 1974–2003 Kennedy death
7 Frederick Alvin Daugherty OK 1914–2006 1961–1982[Note 1] 1982–2006 Kennedy death
8 Allen Edward Barrow OK 1914–1979 1962–1979 1962–1979 Kennedy death
9 H. Dale Cook OK 1924–2008 1974–1992 1979–1992 1992–2008 Ford death
10 James O. Ellison OK 1929–2014 1979–1994 1992–1994 1994–2014 Carter death
11 Thomas Rutherford Brett OK 1931–present 1979–1996 1994–1996 1996–2003 Carter retirement
12 David Lynn Russell OK 1942–present 1981–1990 Reagan seat abolished
13 Michael Burrage OK 1950–present 1994–2001 Clinton resignation
15 Sven Erik Holmes OK 1951–present 1994–2005 2003–2005 Clinton resignation
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 7, 1962, and received commission on February 17, 1962

Chief judgesEdit

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

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit