United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
|Appeals to||Ninth Circuit|
|Established||August 5, 1886|
|Chief judge||Claudia Ann Wilken|
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California (in case citations, N.D. Cal.) is the federal United States district court whose jurisdiction comprises following counties of California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma. The court hears cases in its courtrooms in Eureka, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. It is headquartered in San Francisco.
Cases from the Northern District of California are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
California was admitted as a state on September 9, 1850, and was initially divided into two districts, the Northern and the Southern, by Act of Congress approved September 28, 1850, 9 Stat. 521. The boundary line was at the 37th parallel of North Latitude. The creating act provided that:
- In addition to the ordinary jurisdiction and powers of a District Court of the United States, with which the Southern District Court of New York has been invested, the said Courts be and hereby are invested respectively within the limits of its district with the exercise of concurrent jurisdiction and power in all civil cases now exercised by the Circuit Courts of the United States; and that in all cases where said Courts shall exercise such jurisdiction, appeals may be taken from the judgments, orders or decrees of said Courts to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Act of August 31, 1852 made the Judge of the Northern District be Judge of the Southern District as well until otherwise provided, by 10 Stat. 76, 84, effectively creating a single District in all but name until an Act of January 18, 1854 provided for the appointment of a Judge for the Southern District. The Southern District of California was abolished and the State made to constitute a single district – the United States District Court for the District of California – by Act of Congress approved July 27, 1866, 14 Stat. 300.
Twenty years later, on August 5, 1886, Congress re-created the Southern District of California by 24 Stat. 308. Erskine M. Ross was appointed Judge of the new district and served until his promotion to the Circuit Judgeship, when he was succeeded by Olin Wellborn. On March 18, 1966, the Eastern and Central Districts were created from portions of the Northern and Southern Districts by 80 Stat. 75.
The court has become known as the presumptive destination for major cases (such as large class actions and multi-district litigation) involving defendants based in East Asia and the high tech sector. 
- Fogel remains on the court as an active judge, despite his appointment to head the FJC. However, a temporary judgeship was created, effective the day of his appointment to the FJC, which will terminate automatically upon Fogel's death, retirement or senior status. Additionally, if he terminates his FJC service and returns to regular duty on the court, the temporary judgeship will terminate upon the first death, retirement or senior status of any active service judge on the court.
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|50||Chief Judge||Claudia Ann Wilken||Oakland||1949||1993–present||2012–present||—||Clinton|
|55||District Judge||Jeremy Fogel||San Francisco||1949||1998–present||—||—||Clinton|
|56||District Judge||William Haskell Alsup||San Francisco||1945||1999–present||—||—||Clinton|
|57||District Judge||Phyllis Jean Hamilton||Oakland||1952||2000–present||—||—||Clinton|
|58||District Judge||Jeffrey White||Oakland||1945||2002–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|59||District Judge||Richard G. Seeborg||San Francisco||1956||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|60||District Judge||Lucy H. Koh||San Jose||1968||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|61||District Judge||Edward J. Davila||San Jose||1952||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|62||District Judge||Edward M. Chen||San Francisco||1953||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|63||District Judge||Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers||Oakland||1965||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|64||District Judge||Jon S. Tigar||San Francisco||1962||2013–present||—||—||Obama|
|65||District Judge||William H. Orrick, III||San Francisco||1953||2013–present||—||—||Obama|
|66||District Judge||James Donato||San Francisco||1960||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|67||District Judge||Beth Labson Freeman||San Jose||1953||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|68||District Judge||Vince Girdhari Chhabria||San Francisco||1969||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|30||Senior Judge||Samuel Conti||San Francisco||1922||1970–1987||—||1987–present||Nixon|
|36||Senior Judge||William W Schwarzer||inactive||1925||1976–1991||—||1991–present||Ford|
|38||Senior Judge||Thelton Henderson||San Francisco||1933||1980–1998||1990–1997||1998–present||Carter|
|43||Senior Judge||Delwen Lowell Jensen||San Jose||1928||1986–1997||—||1997–present||Reagan|
|47||Senior Judge||Saundra Brown Armstrong||Oakland||1947||1991–2012||—||2012–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|49||Senior Judge||Ronald M. Whyte||San Jose||1942||1992–2009||—||2009–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|51||Senior Judge||Maxine M. Chesney||San Francisco||1942||1995–2009||—||2009–present||Clinton|
|52||Senior Judge||Susan Illston||San Francisco||1948||1995–2013||—||2013–present||Clinton|
|53||Senior Judge||Charles R. Breyer||San Francisco||1941||1997–2011||—||2011–present||Clinton|
Vacancies and pending nominations
|Seat||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|17||Claudia Ann Wilken||senior status||December 2014||Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr.||September 8, 2014|
|#||Judge||State||Born/Died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||
|1||Hoffman, Jr., OgdenOgden Hoffman, Jr.||CA||1822–1891||
|2||Morrow, William W.William W. Morrow||CA||1843–1929||1891–1897||—||—||Harrison,Harrison||reappointment|
|3||Haven, John J. DeJohn J. De Haven||CA||1849–1913||1897–1913||—||—||McKinley,McKinley||death|
|4||Van Fleet, William CaryWilliam Cary Van Fleet||CA||1852–1923||1907–1923||—||—||Roosevelt, T.T. Roosevelt||death|
|5||Dooling, Maurice TimothyMaurice Timothy Dooling||CA||1860–1924||1913–1924||—||—||Wilson,Wilson||death|
|6||Partridge, John SlaterJohn Slater Partridge||CA||1870–1926||1923–1926||—||—||Harding,Harding||death|
|7||Kerrigan, Frank HenryFrank Henry Kerrigan||CA||1868–1935||1924–1935||—||—||Coolidge,Coolidge||death|
|8||St. Sure, Adolphus FredericAdolphus Frederic St. Sure||CA||1869–1949||1925–1947||—||1947–1949||Coolidge,Coolidge||death|
|9||Louderback, HaroldHarold Louderback||CA||1881–1941||1928–1941||—||—||Coolidge,Coolidge||death|
|10||Roche, Michael JosephMichael Joseph Roche||CA||1878–1964||1935–1958||1948–1958||1958–1964||Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt||death|
|11||Welsh, Martin IgnatiusMartin Ignatius Welsh||CA||1882–1953||1939–1946||—||1946–1953||Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt||death|
|12||Goodman, Louis EarlLouis Earl Goodman||CA||1892–1961||1942–1961||1958–1961||—||Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt||death|
|13||Harris, George BernardGeorge Bernard Harris||CA||1901–1983||1946–1970||1961–1970||1970–1983||Truman,Truman||death|
|14||Lemmon, Dal MillingtonDal Millington Lemmon||CA||1887–1958||1947–1954||—||—||Truman,Truman||reappointment|
|15||Erskine, Herbert WilsonHerbert Wilson Erskine||CA||1888–1951||1949–1951||—||—||Truman,Truman||death|
|16||Carter, Oliver JesseOliver Jesse Carter||CA||1911–1976||1950–1976||1970–1976||1976||Truman,Truman||death|
|17||Murphy, Edward PrestonEdward Preston Murphy||CA||1904–1958||1950–1958||—||—||Truman,Truman||death|
|18||Friedman, Monroe MarkMonroe Mark Friedman||CA||1895–1978||1952–1953||—||—||Truman,Truman||not confirmed|
|19||Hamlin, Jr., Oliver DevetaOliver Deveta Hamlin, Jr.||CA||1892–1973||1953–1958||—||—||Eisenhower,Eisenhower||reappointment|
|20||Halbert, SherrillSherrill Halbert||CA||1901–1991||1954–1966||—||—||Eisenhower,Eisenhower||reassignment|
|21||Wollenberg, Albert CharlesAlbert Charles Wollenberg||CA||1900–1981||1958–1975||—||1975–1981||Eisenhower,Eisenhower||death|
|22||Burke, Lloyd HudsonLloyd Hudson Burke||CA||1916–1988||1958–1979||—||1979–1988||Eisenhower,Eisenhower||death|
|23||Sweigert, William ThomasWilliam Thomas Sweigert||CA||1900–1983||1959–1973||—||1973–1983||Eisenhower,Eisenhower||death|
|24||MacBride, Thomas JamisonThomas Jamison MacBride||CA||1914–2000||1961–1966||—||—||Kennedy,Kennedy||reassignment|
|25||Zirpoli, Alfonso JosephAlfonso Joseph Zirpoli||CA||1905–1995||1961–1975||—||1975–1995||Kennedy,Kennedy||death|
|26||Weigel, Stanley AlexanderStanley Alexander Weigel||CA||1905–1999||1962–1982||—||1982–1997||Kennedy,Kennedy||retirement|
|27||Peckham, Robert FrancisRobert Francis Peckham||CA||1920–1993||1966–1988||1976–1988||1988–1993||Johnson, L.L. Johnson||death|
|28||Levin, Gerald SanfordGerald Sanford Levin||CA||1906–1971||1969–1971||—||—||Nixon,Nixon||death|
|29||Schnacke, Robert HowardRobert Howard Schnacke||CA||1913–1994||1970–1983||—||1983–1994||Nixon,Nixon||death|
|31||Williams, Spencer MortimerSpencer Mortimer Williams||CA||1922–2008||1971–1987||—||1987–2008||Nixon,Nixon||death|
|32||Renfrew, Charles ByronCharles Byron Renfrew||CA||1928–present||1971–1980||—||—||Nixon,Nixon||resignation|
|33||Orrick Jr., William HorsleyWilliam Horsley Orrick Jr.||CA||1915–2003||1974–1985||—||1985–2003||Nixon,Nixon||death|
|34||Ingram, William AustinWilliam Austin Ingram||CA||1924–2002||1976–1990||1988–1990||1990–2002||Ford,Ford||death|
|35||Poole, Cecil F.Cecil F. Poole||CA||1914–1997||1976–1980||—||—||Ford,Ford||reappointment|
|37||Aguilar, Robert PeterRobert Peter Aguilar||CA||1931–present||1980–1996||—||1996||Carter,Carter||retirement|
|39||Hall Patel, MarilynMarilyn Hall Patel||CA||1938–present||1980–2009||1997–2004||2009–2012||Carter||retirement|
|40||Lynch, Eugene F.Eugene F. Lynch||CA||1931–present||1982–1997||—||1997||Reagan,Reagan||retirement|
|41||Vukasin Jr., John P.John P. Vukasin Jr.||CA||1928–1993||1983–1993||—||—||Reagan,Reagan||death|
|42||Legge, Charles A.Charles A. Legge||CA||1930–present||1984–2001||—||—||Reagan,Reagan||retirement|
|44||Smith, Fern M.Fern M. Smith||CA||1933–present||1988–2003||—||2003–2005||Reagan,Reagan||retirement|
|45||Walker, VaughnVaughn Walker||CA||1944–present||1989–2011||2004–2010||—||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|46||Ware, JamesJames Ware||CA||1946–present||1990–2012||2011–2012||—||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|48||Caulfield, Barbara A.Barbara A. Caulfield||CA||1947–2010||1991–1994||—||—||Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bush||resignation|
|54||Jenkins, MartinMartin Jenkins||CA||1954–present||1997–2008||—||—||Clinton,Clinton||resignation|
United States Attorney
The United States Attorney for the Northern District of California represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. Melinda Haag was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California on March 25, 2010, confirmed by the Senate on August 5, and sworn in on August 13, 2010.
- U.S. District Courts of California, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
- Willoughby Rodman, History of the Bench and Bar of Southern California (1909), p. 46.
- "Chief Judge Wilken to Take Senior Status In December 2014". United States District Court: Northern District of California. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "Future Judicial Vacancies". United States Courts. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 10, 1891, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 11, 1892, and received commission on January 11, 1892.
- Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment.
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California Official Main, misconduct and ombudsperson websites
- United States Attorney for the Northern District of California Official Website
- Community History Exhibits at SanFrancisco Court facilities