|United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts|
|Location||John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse|
|Appeals to||First Circuit|
|Established||September 24, 1789|
|Chief Judge||F. Dennis Saylor IV|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Joshua S. Levy (acting)|
|U.S. Marshal||Brian A. Kyes|
The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (in case citations, D. Mass.) is the federal district court whose territorial jurisdiction is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States. The first court session was held in Boston in 1789. The second term was held in Salem in 1790 and court session locations alternated between the two cities until 1813. That year, Boston became the court's permanent home. A western division was opened in Springfield in 1979 and a central division was opened in Worcester in 1987. The court's main building is the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse on Fan Pier in South Boston.
Appeals from the District of Massachusetts are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, also located in the Moakley courthouse (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The District of Massachusetts has three court divisions:
The Eastern Division, covering Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk counties. Cases filed in the Eastern Division are heard in Boston.
The Central Division, covering Worcester county. Cases filed in the Central Division are heard in Worcester.
The Western Division, covering Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. Cases filed in the Western Division are heard in Springfield.
The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of May 19, 2023[update] the acting U.S. attorney is Joshua S. Levy.
The Federal Public Defender's Office represents individuals who cannot afford to hire a lawyer in federal criminal cases and related matters. The office is assigned to cases by the district courts in three districts (New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts), and by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
As of July 14, 2023[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|42||Chief Judge||F. Dennis Saylor IV||Boston||1955||2004–present||2020–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|35||District Judge||Nathaniel M. Gorton||Boston||1938||1992–present||—||—||G.H.W. Bush|
|37||District Judge||Patti B. Saris||Boston||1951||1993–present||2013–2019||—||Clinton|
|38||District Judge||Richard G. Stearns||Boston||1944||1993–present||—||—||Clinton|
|43||District Judge||Denise J. Casper||Boston||1968||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|45||District Judge||Indira Talwani||Boston||1960||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|46||District Judge||Mark G. Mastroianni||Springfield||1964||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|47||District Judge||Leo T. Sorokin||Boston||1961||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|48||District Judge||Allison D. Burroughs||Boston||1961||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|49||District Judge||Angel Kelley||Boston||1967||2021–present||—||—||Biden|
|50||District Judge||Margaret R. Guzman||Worcester||1960||2023–present||—||—||Biden|
|51||District Judge||Myong J. Joun||Boston||1971||2023–present||—||—||Biden|
|30||Senior Judge||Rya W. Zobel||Boston||1931||1979–2014||—||2014–present||Carter|
|31||Senior Judge||William G. Young||Boston||1940||1985–2021||1999–2005||2021–present||Reagan|
|32||Senior Judge||Mark L. Wolf||Boston||1946||1985–2013||2006–2012||2013–present||Reagan|
|33||Senior Judge||Douglas P. Woodlock||Boston||1947||1986–2015||—||2015–present||Reagan|
|34||Senior Judge||Edward F. Harrington||Boston||1933||1988–2001||—||2001–present||Reagan|
|40||Senior Judge||Michael Ponsor||Springfield||1946||1994–2011||—||2011–present||Clinton|
|41||Senior Judge||George A. O'Toole Jr.||Boston||1947||1995–2018||—||2018–present||Clinton|
|44||Senior Judge||Timothy S. Hillman||Worcester||1948||2012–2022||—||2022–present||Obama|
|Seat||Prior judge's duty station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|12||Boston||William G. Young||Senior status||July 1, 2021||Julia Kobick||August 1, 2022|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||John Lowell||MA||1743–1802||1789–1801||—||—||Washington||elevation to 1st Cir.|
|2||John Davis||MA||1761–1847||1801–1841||—||—||J. Adams||resignation|
|4||John Lowell||MA||1824–1897||1865–1879||—||—||Lincoln||elevation to 1st Cir.|
|5||Thomas Leverett Nelson||MA||1827–1897||1879–1897||—||—||Hayes||death|
|6||Francis Cabot Lowell||MA||1855–1911||1898–1905||—||—||McKinley||elevation to 1st Cir.|
|7||Frederic Dodge||MA||1847–1927||1905–1912||—||—||T. Roosevelt||elevation to 1st Cir.|
|8||James Madison Morton Jr.||MA||1869–1940||1912–1932||—||—||Taft||elevation to 1st Cir.|
|9||Elisha Hume Brewster||MA||1871–1946||1922–1941||—||1941–1946||Harding||death|
|10||James Arnold Lowell||MA||1869–1933||1922–1933||—||—||Harding||death|
|11||Hugh Dean McLellan||MA||1876–1953||1932–1941||—||—||Hoover||resignation|
|12||George Clinton Sweeney||MA||1895–1966||1935–1966||1948–1965||1966||F. Roosevelt||death|
|13||Francis Ford||MA||1882–1975||1938–1972||—||1972–1975||F. Roosevelt||death|
|14||Arthur Daniel Healey||MA||1889–1948||1941–1948||—||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|15||Charles Edward Wyzanski Jr.||MA||1906–1986||1941–1971||1965–1971||1971–1986||F. Roosevelt||death|
|16||William T. McCarthy||MA||1885–1964||1949–1960||—||1960–1964||Truman||death|
|17||Bailey Aldrich||MA||1907–2002||1954–1959||—||—||Eisenhower||elevation to 1st Cir.|
|19||Andrew Augustine Caffrey||MA||1920–1993||1960–1986[Note 1]||1972–1986||1986–1993|| Eisenhower[Note 2]
|20||W. Arthur Garrity Jr.||MA||1920–1999||1966–1985||—||1985–1999||L. Johnson||death|
|21||Frank Jerome Murray||MA||1904–1995||1967–1977||—||1977–1995||L. Johnson||death|
|22||Levin H. Campbell||MA||1927–present||1971–1972||—||—||Nixon||elevation to 1st Cir.|
|23||Frank Harlan Freedman||MA||1924–2003||1972–1992||1986–1992||1992–2003||Nixon||death|
|24||Joseph L. Tauro||MA||1931–2018||1972–2013||1992–1999||2013–2018||Nixon||death|
|25||Walter Jay Skinner||MA||1927–2005||1973–1992||—||1992–2005||Nixon||death|
|26||A. David Mazzone||MA||1928–2004||1978–1993||—||1993–2004||Carter||death|
|28||John J. McNaught||MA||1921–1994||1979–1991||—||—||Carter||retirement|
|29||David Sutherland Nelson||MA||1933–1998||1979–1991||—||1991–1998||Carter||death|
|36||Reginald C. Lindsay||MA||1945–2009||1993–2009||—||—||Clinton||death|
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.