United States District Court for the District of Alaska
(D. Alaska)
Seal of the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.gif
Alaska Locator Map.PNG
LocationAnchorage
More locations
Appeals toNinth Circuit
EstablishedJanuary 3, 1959
Judges3
Chief JudgeSharon L. Gleason
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyS. Lane Tucker
U.S. MarshalRobert Heun
www.akd.uscourts.gov

The United States District Court for the District of Alaska (in case citations, D. Alaska) is a federal court in 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).

The District was established on July 7, 1958, pending Alaska statehood on January 3, 1959.[1]

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Alaska represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of April 25, 2022 the United States Attorney is S. Lane Tucker.[2]

Organization of the court

The United States District Court for the District of Alaska is the sole federal judicial district in Alaska.[3] Court for the District is held at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Nome.

Anchorage Division comprises the following borough/census areas: Aleutians East, Aleutians West, Anchorage, Bethel, Bristol Bay, Dillingham, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Lake and Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna, and Valdez-Cordova.

Fairbanks Division comprises the following borough/census areas: Denali, Fairbanks North Star, North Slope, Southeast Fairbanks, and Yukon-Koyukuk.

Juneau Division comprises the following borough/census areas: Haines, Hoonah-Angoon, Juneau, Petersburg, Sitka, Skagway, and Yakutat.

Ketchikan Division comprises the following borough/census areas: Ketchikan Gateway, Prince of Wales, and Wrangell.

Nome Division comprises the following borough/census areas: Nome, Northwest Arctic, and Kusilvak.

Current judges

As of January 1, 2022:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
11 Chief Judge Sharon L. Gleason Anchorage 1957 2012–present 2022–present Obama
12 District Judge Joshua M. Kindred Anchorage 1977 2020–present Trump
13 District Judge vacant
5 Senior Judge H. Russel Holland Anchorage 1936 1984–2001 1989–1995 2001–present Reagan
7 Senior Judge James K. Singleton Anchorage 1939 1990–2005 1995–2002 2005–present G.H.W. Bush
8 Senior Judge John W. Sedwick Anchorage 1946 1992–2011 2002–2009 2011–present G.H.W. Bush
9 Senior Judge Ralph R. Beistline Fairbanks 1948 2002–2015 2009–2015 2015–present G.W. Bush
10 Senior Judge Timothy M. Burgess Anchorage 1956 2006–2021 2015–2021 2021–present G.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
2 Anchorage Timothy M. Burgess Senior status December 31, 2021

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 Walter Hartman Hodge AK 1896–1975 1960–1966 1961–1966 1966–1975 Eisenhower death
2 Raymond Eugene Plummer AK 1913–1987 1961–1973 1966–1973 1973–1987 Kennedy death
3 James von der Heydt AK 1919–2013 1966–1984 1973–1984 1984–2013 L. Johnson death
4 James Martin Fitzgerald AK 1920–2011 1974–1989 1984–1989 1989–2011 Ford death
6 Andrew Kleinfeld AK 1945–present 1986–1991 Reagan elevation to 9th Cir.

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

Territorial District Court

From 1884 through 1959, the highest court in Alaska was a United States territorial court. In 1900, the court was enlarged from one to three judges, with each judge having a district. From 1900 till 1909, the districts were Juneau (First), Nome (Second), and Fairbanks (Third). In 1909, a fourth district and judge was added. From 1909 till 1959, the districts were Juneau (First), Nome (Second), Valdez and Anchorage (Third), and Fairbanks (Fourth).[4]

# District Seat Judge State Born–died Active service Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 Sitka and Wrangell Ward McAllister Jr. CA 1855–1908 1884–1885 Arthur dismissal
2 Sitka and Wrangell E. J. Dawne OR 1844–? 1885 Cleveland dismissal
3 Sitka and Wrangell Lafayette Dawson MO 1839–1897 1885–1888 Cleveland resignation
4 Sitka and Wrangell John H. Keatley IA 1838–1905 1888–1889 Cleveland resignation
5 Sitka and Wrangell John S. Bugbee 1840–1896 1889–1892 B. Harrison
6 Sitka and Wrangell Warren D. Truitt 1855–1935 1892–1897 B. Harrison
7 Sitka and Wrangell Arthur Delaney 1841–1905 1895–1897 Cleveland dismissal
8 Sitka and Wrangell Charles S. Johnson 1854–1906 1897–1900 McKinley
9
1
Sitka and Wrangell Melville C. Brown 1838–1928 1900
1900–1904
McKinley
10 2 Nome Arthur H. Noyes 1853–1915 1900–1902 McKinley
11 3 Fairbanks James Wickersham 1857–1939 1900–1907 McKinley
12 2 Nome Alfred S. Moore 1846–1920 1902–1910 T. Roosevelt
13 1 Sitka and Wrangell (to 1906)
Juneau (from 1906)
Royal Arch Gunnison 1873–1918 1904–1909 T. Roosevelt
14 3 Fairbanks Silas H. Reid 1870–1911 1908–1909 T. Roosevelt
15 1 Juneau Thomas R. Lyons 1867–1941 1909–1913 Taft
16 3 Valdez and Anchorage Edward E. Cushman 1865–1944 1909–1912 Taft
17 4
3
Fairbanks
Valdez and Anchorage
Pete Overfield 1874–1959 1909–1912
1912–1913
Taft
18 2 Nome Cornelius D. Murane 1867–1951 1910–1913 Taft
19 4 Fairbanks Frederic E. Fuller 1868–1953 1912–1914 Taft
20 1 Juneau Robert W. Jennings 1864–1937 1913–1921 Wilson
21 3 Valdez and Anchorage Frederick M. Brown 1864–1946 1913–1921 Wilson
22 2 Nome John Randolph Tucker 1854–1926 1913–1917 Wilson
23 4 Fairbanks Charles E. Bunnell 1878–1956 1915–1921 Wilson
24 2 Nome William A. Holzheimer 1870–1948 1917–1921 Wilson
25 3 Valdez and Anchorage Elmer E. Ritchie 1861–1941 1921–1927 Harding
26 2 Nome Gudbrand J. Lomen 1854–1934 1921–1932 Harding
27 1 Juneau Thomas M. Reed 1857–1928 1921–1928 Harding
28 4
3
Fairbanks
Valdez and Anchorage
Cecil H. Clegg 1873–1956 1921–1932
1932–1934
Harding
29 3
4
Valdez and Anchorage
Fairbanks
E. Coke Hill 1866–1961 1927–1932
1932–1935
Coolidge
30 1 Juneau Justin Woodward Harding 1888–1976 1929–1934 Coolidge
31 2 Nome Lester O. Gore 1890–1965 1932–1934 Hoover
32 1 Juneau George F. Alexander 1882–1948 1933–1947 F. Roosevelt
33 3 Valdez and Anchorage Simon Hellenthal 1877–1955 1935–1945 F. Roosevelt
34 4 Fairbanks Harry Emerson Pratt 1884–1957 1935–1954 F. Roosevelt
35 2 Nome J. H. S. Morison 1864–1952 1935–1944 F. Roosevelt
36 2 Nome Joseph W. Kehoe 1890–1959 1944–1951 F. Roosevelt
37 3 Valdez and Anchorage Anthony Dimond 1881–1953 1945–1953 F. Roosevelt
38 1 Juneau George W. Folta 1893–1955 1947–1955 Truman death
39 2 Nome J. Earl Cooper 1907–1964 1952–1953 Truman
40 3 Valdez and Anchorage J. L. McCarrey Jr. 1906–1992 1953–1959 Eisenhower court dissolution
41 2 Nome Walter Hartman Hodge 1896–1975 1954–1959 Eisenhower court dissolution
42 4 Fairbanks Vernon D. Forbes 1905–1990 1954–1959 Eisenhower court dissolution
43 1 Juneau Raymond J. Kelly 1894–1979 1955–1959 Eisenhower court dissolution

See also

References

  1. ^ "U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska: Legislative History". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  2. ^ "Meet the U.S. Attorney". www.justice.gov. April 25, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  3. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 81A
  4. ^ Naske, Claus-M. (July 1985). "A History of the Alaska Federal District Court System 1884-1959, and the Creation of the State Court System" (PDF). Retrieved December 15, 2021.