United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
(C.D. Ill.)
Map indicating the changing Districts of Illinois
More locations
Appeals toSeventh Circuit
EstablishedMarch 31, 1979
Chief JudgeSara Darrow
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyGregory K. Harris
U.S. MarshalBrendan O. Heffner
U.S. Courthouse in downtown Peoria (2008)

The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois (in case citations, C.D. Ill.) serves the residents of forty-six counties, which are divided into four divisions. The counties are: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Kankakee, Knox, Livingston, Logan, McDonough, McLean, Macoupin, Macon, Marshall, Mason, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Tazewell, Vermilion, Warren, and Woodford counties.

The courthouses for the Central District's four divisions are in Peoria, Rock Island, Springfield, and Urbana. In 2018, all court operations for the Rock Island District were moved to the federal courthouse in Davenport, Iowa, due to uninhabitable conditions at the Rock Island courthouse.[1][2]

Appeals are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

As of December 13, 2021, the United States attorney is Gregory K. Harris.[3]


The United States District Court for the District of Illinois was established by a statute passed by the United States Congress on March 3, 1819, 3 Stat. 502.[4][5] The act established a single office for a judge to preside over the court. Initially, the court was not within any existing judicial circuit, and appeals from the court were taken directly to the United States Supreme Court. In 1837, Congress created the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, placing it in Chicago, Illinois and giving it jurisdiction over the District of Illinois, 5 Stat. 176.[5]

On February 13, 1855, by 10 Stat. 606, the District of Illinois was subdivided into Northern and the Southern Districts.[5] An Eastern District was created on March 3, 1905 by 33 Stat. 992,[5] by splitting counties out of the Northern and Southern Districts. It was later eliminated in a reorganization on October 2, 1978 which replaced it with the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois District, 92 Stat. 883.[5] The newly created Central District was formed primarily from parts of the Southern District, and returned some counties to the Northern District. Some judges from both the Eastern and Southern Districts were transferred to the Central District by operation of law.

Current judges

As of July 16, 2023:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
11 Chief Judge Sara Darrow Rock Island 1970 2011–present 2019–present Obama
9 District Judge James Shadid Peoria 1957 2011–present 2012–2019 Obama
12 District Judge Colin S. Bruce Urbana 1965 2013–present Obama
13 District Judge Colleen Lawless Springfield 1983 2023–present Biden
4 Senior Judge Michael M. Mihm Peoria 1943 1982–2009 1991–1998 2009–present Reagan
6 Senior Judge Joe Billy McDade Peoria 1937 1991–2010 1998–2004 2010–present G.H.W. Bush
10 Senior Judge Sue E. Myerscough Springfield 1951 2011–2023 2023–present Obama

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
3 Peoria James Shadid Senior status September 27, 2024[6]

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
Henry Seiler Wise IL 1909–1982 1979–1982[Note 1] L. Johnson / Operation of law death
1 Robert Dale Morgan IL 1912–2002 1979–1982[Note 2] 1979–1982 1982–2002 L. Johnson / Operation of law death
2 J. Waldo Ackerman IL 1926–1984 1979–1984[Note 2] 1982–1984 Ford / Operation of law death
3 Harold Baker IL 1929–2023 1979–1994[Note 1] 1984–1991 1994–2022 Carter / Operation of law retirement
5 Richard Henry Mills IL 1929–2023 1985–1997 1997–2023 Reagan death
7 Michael P. McCuskey IL 1948–present 1998–2013 2004–2012[7] 2013–2014 Clinton retirement
8 Jeanne E. Scott IL 1948–2019 1998–2010 Clinton resignation
  1. ^ a b Reassigned from the Eastern District of Illinois
  2. ^ a b Reassigned from the Southern District of Illinois

Chief judges

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 seats

U.S. Attorneys

See also


  1. ^ "Rock Island". Central District of Illinois. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  2. ^ Anthony Watt (2018-10-25). "Federal courthouse mold problems in Rock Island forces moves". Rock Island Dispatch-Argus. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  3. ^ "Gregory K. Harris Is Sworn In as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois" (Press release). Springfield, Illinois: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. December 14, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  4. ^ Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 393.
  5. ^ a b c d e U.S. District Courts of Illinois, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  6. ^ "Future Judicial Vacancies | United States Courts". www.uscourts.gov.
  7. ^ "Michael McCuskey - Board Chair". Normal, Illinois: Illinois State University. Retrieved 2012-03-16. While Illinois State University's Trustee biography says that McCuskey's chief judge term started on December 14, 2004, Andy Kravetz in the Peoria Journal Star says "since 2005". "Shadid takes oath as chief judge". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois: GateHouse Media. March 13, 2012. p. B1. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  8. ^ "Bicentennial Celebration of the United States Attorneys 1789-1989" (PDF). Department of Justice. 1989. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  9. ^ "The Political Graveyard: U.S. District Attorneys in Illinois". politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved 2024-04-13.
  10. ^ Office (USAO), U. S. Attorney's. "U.S. Attorney's Office - U.S. Department of Justice". www.justice.gov. Retrieved 2024-04-13.

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