United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
(D. Conn.)
LocationRichard C. Lee U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toSecond Circuit
EstablishedSeptember 24, 1789
Chief JudgeMichael P. Shea
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyVanessa R. Avery
U.S. MarshalLawrence Bobnick (acting)

The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (in case citations, D. Conn.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Connecticut. The court has offices in Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven. Appeals from the court are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789.[1] The Court initially had a single judge, and remained so composed until March 3, 1927, when a second judge was added by 1927 44 Stat. 1348.[1] Six additional judgeships were created between 1961 and 1990 to bring about the current total of eight judges.[1] Court offices at Hartford and New Haven are located in the Abraham A. Ribicoff Federal Building and the Richard C. Lee United States Courthouse.

Cases decided by the District of Connecticut are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of May 9, 2022 the United States attorney is Vanessa R. Avery.[2]

The United States marshal for the District of Connecticut is Lawrence Bobnick.

Current judges

As of December 31, 2023:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
36 Chief Judge Michael P. Shea Hartford 1967 2012–present 2022–present Obama
37 District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer New Haven 1963 2014–present Obama
38 District Judge Victor Allen Bolden New Haven 1965 2014–present Obama
39 District Judge Kari A. Dooley Bridgeport 1963 2018–present Trump
41 District Judge Sarala Nagala Hartford 1983 2021–present Biden
42 District Judge Omar A. Williams Hartford 1977 2021–present Biden
43 District Judge Vernon D. Oliver Hartford 1971 2023–present Biden
44 District Judge vacant
26 Senior Judge Alfred V. Covello inactive 1933 1992–2003 1998–2003 2003–present G.H.W. Bush
27 Senior Judge Robert Chatigny Hartford 1951 1994–2016 2003–2009 2016–present Clinton
29 Senior Judge Alvin W. Thompson Hartford 1953 1994–2018 2009–2013 2018–present Clinton
30 Senior Judge Janet Bond Arterton inactive 1944 1995–2014 2014–present Clinton
32 Senior Judge Janet C. Hall New Haven 1948 1997–2021 2013–2018 2021–present Clinton
33 Senior Judge Stefan R. Underhill Bridgeport 1956 1999–2022 2018–2022 2022–present Clinton
35 Senior Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant inactive 1954 2007–2021 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 New Haven Sarah A. L. Merriam Elevation September 28, 2022 Sarah F. Russell October 4, 2023

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Richard Law CT 1733–1806 1789–1806 Washington death
2 Pierpont Edwards CT 1750–1826 1806–1826 Jefferson death
3 William Bristol CT 1779–1836 1826–1836 J.Q. Adams death
4 Andrew T. Judson CT 1784–1853 1836–1853 Jackson death
5 Charles A. Ingersoll CT 1798–1860 1853–1860 Pierce death
6 William Davis Shipman CT 1818–1898 1860–1873 Buchanan resignation
7 Nathaniel Shipman CT 1828–1906 1873–1892[Note 1] Grant elevation to 2d Cir.
8 William Kneeland Townsend CT 1849–1907 1892–1902 B. Harrison elevation to 2d Cir.
9 James Perry Platt CT 1851–1913 1902–1913 T. Roosevelt death
10 Edwin Stark Thomas CT 1872–1952 1913–1939 Wilson resignation
11 Warren Booth Burrows CT 1877–1952 1928–1930 Coolidge resignation
12 Carroll C. Hincks CT 1889–1964 1931–1953 1948–1953 Hoover elevation to 2d Cir.
13 J. Joseph Smith CT 1904–1980 1941–1960 1953–1960 F. Roosevelt elevation to 2d Cir.
14 Robert P. Anderson CT 1906–1978 1954–1964 1960–1964 Eisenhower elevation to 2d Cir.
15 William H. Timbers CT 1915–1994 1960–1971 1964–1971 Eisenhower elevation to 2d Cir.
16 Mosher Joseph Blumenfeld CT 1904–1988 1961–1977 1971–1974 1977–1988 Kennedy death
17 T. Emmet Clarie CT 1913–1997 1961–1983 1974–1983 1983–1997 Kennedy death
18 Robert C. Zampano CT 1928–2004 1964–1977 1977–1994 L. Johnson retirement
19 Jon O. Newman CT 1932–present 1971–1979 Nixon elevation to 2d Cir.
20 T. F. Gilroy Daly CT 1931–1996 1977–1996 1983–1988 Carter death
21 Ellen Bree Burns CT 1923–2019 1978–1992 1988–1992 1992–2019 Carter death
22 Warren William Eginton CT 1924–2019 1979–1992 1992–2019 Carter death
23 José A. Cabranes CT 1940–present 1979–1994 1992–1994 Carter elevation to 2d Cir.
24 Peter Collins Dorsey CT 1931–2012 1983–1998 1994–1998 1998–2012 Reagan death
25 Alan Harris Nevas CT 1928–present 1985–1997 1997–2009 Reagan retirement
28 Dominic J. Squatrito CT 1938–2021 1994–2004 2004–2021 Clinton death
31 Christopher F. Droney CT 1954–present 1997–2011 Clinton elevation to 2d Cir.
34 Mark R. Kravitz CT 1950–2012 2003–2012 G.W. Bush death
40 Sarah A. L. Merriam CT 1971–present 2021–2022 Biden elevation to 2d Cir.
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 2, 1873, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 8, 1873, and received commission the same day.

Chief judges

Chief Judge
Hincks 1948–1953
Smith 1953–1960
Anderson 1960–1964
Timbers 1964–1971
Blumenfeld 1971–1974
Clarie 1974–1983
Daly 1983–1988
Burns 1988–1992
Cabranes 1992–1994
Dorsey 1994–1998
Covello 1998–2003
Chatigny 2003–2009
Thompson 2009–2013
Hall 2013–2018
Underhill 2018–2022
Shea 2022–present

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

List of U.S. attorneys

U.S. Attorney Term started Term ended Presidents served under
Pierpont Edwards[3] 1789 1806 George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson
Hezekiah Huntington 1806 1829 Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams
Nathan Smith 1829 1829 Andrew Jackson
Asa Child 1829 1834 Andrew Jackson
William S. Holabird 1834 1841 Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and William Henry Harrison
Charles Chapman 1841 1844 John Tyler
Jonathan Stoddard 1844 1849 John Tyler and James K. Polk
Thomas Clap Perkins 1849 1853 Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore
Elisha S. Abernethy 1853 1853 Franklin Pierce
William Davis Shipman 1853 1860 Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan
Tilton E. Doolittle 1860 1861 James Buchanan
Hiram Willey 1861 1869 Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant
Calvin G. Child 1870 1880 Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes
Daniel Chadwick 1880 1884 Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, and Chester A. Arthur
Lewis E. Stanton 1884 1888 Chester A. Arthur and Grover Cleveland
George G. Sill 1888 1892 Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison
George P. McLean 1892 1896 Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland
Charles W. Comstock 1896 1900 Grover Cleveland and William McKinley
Francis H. Parker 1900 1908 William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt
John T. Robinson 1908 1912 Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft
Frederick A. Scott 1912 1915 William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson
Thomas J. Spellacy 1915 1918 Woodrow Wilson
John F. Crosby 1918 1919 Woodrow Wilson
Edward L. Smith 1919 1923 Woodrow Wilson and Warren Harding
Allan K. Smith 1923 1925 Calvin Coolidge
John Buckley 1925 1933 Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover
Frank Bergin 1933 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt
George H. Cohen 1934 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Robert P. Butler 1934 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Adrian W. Maher 1945 1953 Harry Truman
Simon S. Cohen 1953 1958 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Harry W. Hultgren Jr. 1958 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert C. Zampano 1961 1964 John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
F. Owen Eagan 1964 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson
Jon O. Newman 1964 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Stewart H. Jones 1969 1974 Richard Nixon
Harold J. Pickerstein 1974 1974 Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
Peter Collins Dorsey 1974 1977 Gerald Ford
Richard Blumenthal 1977 1981 Jimmy Carter
Alan Harris Nevas 1981 1985 Ronald Reagan
Stanley A. Twardy Jr. 1985 1991 Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush
Richard N. Palmer 1991 1991 George H. W. Bush
Albert S. Dabrowski 1991 1993 George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton
Christopher F. Droney 1993 1997 Bill Clinton
John H. Durham 1997 1998 Bill Clinton
Stephen C. Robinson 1998 2001 Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
John A. Danaher III 2001 2002 George W. Bush
Kevin J. O’Connor 2002 2008 George W. Bush
Nora R. Dannehy 2008 2010 George W. Bush and Barack Obama
David B. Fein 2010 2013 Barack Obama
Deirdre M. Daly 2013 2017 Barack Obama and Donald Trump
John H. Durham 2017 2021 Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Vanessa R. Avery 2022 present Joe Biden

See also


  1. ^ a b c U.S. District Courts of Connecticut, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ "Vanessa Roberts Avery Sworn in as United States Attorney" (Press release). New Haven, Connecticut: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. May 9, 2022. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  3. ^ "About the Office". www.justice.gov. March 18, 2015.