United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
(E.D. Mich.)
LocationTheodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toSixth Circuit
EstablishedFebruary 24, 1863
Chief JudgeSean Cox
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyDawn N. Ison
U.S. MarshalOwen M. Cypher
Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in Detroit, taken January 2010.
Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Port Huron, taken August 2003.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (in case citations, E.D. Mich.) is the federal district court with jurisdiction over of the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula of the State of Michigan. The Court is based in Detroit, with courthouses also located in Ann Arbor, Bay City, Flint, and Port Huron. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over the court (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 21, 2021, the United States attorney is Dawn N. Ison.[1]


The United States District Court for the District of Michigan was established on July 1, 1836, by 5 Stat. 61, with a single judgeship.[2] The district court was not assigned to a judicial circuit, but was granted the same jurisdiction as United States circuit courts, except in appeals and writs of error, which were the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Due to the so-called "Toledo War", a boundary dispute with Ohio, Michigan did not become a state of the Union until January 26, 1837. On March 3, 1837, Congress passed an act that repealed the circuit court jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of Michigan, assigned the District of Michigan to the Seventh Circuit, and established a U.S. circuit court for the district, 5 Stat. 176.[2]

On July 15, 1862, Congress reorganized the circuits and assigned Michigan to the Eighth Circuit by 12 Stat. 576,[2] and on January 28, 1863, the Congress again reorganized Seventh and Eight Circuits and assigned Michigan to the Seventh Circuit, by 12 Stat. 637.[2] On February 24, 1863, Congress divided the District of Michigan into the Eastern and the Western Districts, with one judgeship authorized for each district, by 12 Stat. 660. Ross Wilkins, who had been the only district judge to serve the District of Michigan, was reassigned to the Eastern District.[2][3] Finally, on July 23, 1866, by 14 Stat. 209, Congress assigned the two Districts in Michigan to the Sixth Circuit, where they remain.[2]


The Eastern District comprises two divisions.[4]

Northern Division

The Northern Division comprises the counties of Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Iosco, Isabella, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Saginaw, and Tuscola.[4]

Court for the Northern Division is held in Bay City.[4]

Southern Division

The Southern Division comprises the counties of Genesee, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Saint Clair, Sanilac, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, and Wayne.[4]

Court for the Southern Division is held in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, and Port Huron.[4]

Notable cases

Some of the notable cases that have come before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan include:

Current judges

As of November 13, 2023:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
57 Chief Judge Sean Cox Detroit 1957 2006–present 2022–present G.W. Bush
58 District Judge Thomas Lamson Ludington Bay City 1953 2006–present G.W. Bush
59 District Judge Stephen Murphy III Detroit 1962 2008–present G.W. Bush
60 District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith Detroit 1952 2010–present Obama
62 District Judge Terrence Berg Detroit 1959 2012–present Obama
63 District Judge Matthew F. Leitman Detroit 1968 2014–present Obama
64 District Judge Judith E. Levy Ann Arbor 1958 2014–present Obama
65 District Judge Laurie J. Michelson Detroit 1967 2014–present Obama
66 District Judge Linda Vivienne Parker Detroit 1958 2014–present Obama
68 District Judge Shalina D. Kumar Flint 1971 2021–present Biden
69 District Judge F. Kay Behm Flint 1969 2022–present Biden
70 District Judge Jonathan J. C. Grey Detroit 1982 2023–present Biden
71 District Judge Susan K. DeClercq Detroit 1974 2023–present Biden
72 District Judge Brandy R. McMillion Detroit 1979 2023–present Biden
73 District Judge vacant
44 Senior Judge Bernard A. Friedman Detroit 1943 1988–2009 2004–2009 2009–present Reagan
47 Senior Judge Robert Hardy Cleland Port Huron 1947 1990–2013 2013–present G.H.W. Bush
48 Senior Judge Nancy Garlock Edmunds Detroit 1947 1992–2012 2012–present G.H.W. Bush
49 Senior Judge Denise Page Hood Detroit 1952 1994–2022 2015–2022 2022–present Clinton
50 Senior Judge Paul D. Borman Detroit 1939 1994–2023 2023–present Clinton
51 Senior Judge John Corbett O'Meara inactive 1933 1994–2007 2007–present Clinton
52 Senior Judge George Caram Steeh III Detroit 1947 1998–2013 2013–present Clinton
56 Senior Judge David M. Lawson Detroit 1951 2000–2021 2021–present Clinton
61 Senior Judge Gershwin A. Drain Detroit 1949 2012–2022 2022–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
12 Detroit Paul D. Borman Senior status August 1, 2023 Robert J. White February 1, 2024

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Ross Wilkins MI 1799–1872 1863–1870[Note 1] Jackson/Operation of law retirement
2 John W. Longyear MI 1820–1875 1870–1875 Grant death
3 Henry Billings Brown MI 1836–1913 1875–1890 Grant elevation to Supreme Court
4 Henry Harrison Swan MI 1840–1916 1891–1911 B. Harrison retirement
5 Alexis Caswell Angell MI 1857–1932 1911–1912 Taft resignation
6 Arthur J. Tuttle MI 1868–1944 1912–1944 Taft death
7 Charles C. Simons MI 1876–1964 1923–1932 Harding elevation to 6th Cir.
8 Edward Julien Moinet MI 1873–1952 1927–1946[Note 2] 1946–1952 Coolidge death
9 Ernest Aloysius O'Brien MI 1880–1948 1931–1948 Hoover death
10 Arthur F. Lederle MI 1887–1972 1936–1960 1948–1959 1960–1972 F. Roosevelt death
11 Frank Albert Picard MI 1889–1963 1939–1959 1959 1959–1963 F. Roosevelt death
12 Arthur A. Koscinski MI 1887–1957 1945–1957 1957 Truman death
13 Theodore Levin MI 1897–1970 1946–1970 1959–1967 Truman death
14 Thomas Patrick Thornton MI 1898–1985 1949–1966 1966–1985 Truman death
15 Ralph M. Freeman MI 1902–1990 1954–1973 1967–1972 1973–1990 Eisenhower death
16 Clifford Patrick O'Sullivan MI 1897–1975 1957–1960 Eisenhower elevation to 6th Cir.
17 Frederick William Kaess MI 1910–1979 1960–1975 1972–1975 1975–1979 Eisenhower death
18 John Feikens MI 1917–2011 1960–1961[Note 3] Eisenhower not confirmed
18.1 John Feikens MI 1917–2011 1970–1986 1979–1986 1986–2011 Nixon death
19 Thaddeus M. Machrowicz MI 1899–1970 1961–1970 Kennedy death
20 Wade H. McCree MI 1920–1987 1961–1966 Kennedy elevation to 6th Cir.
21 Talbot Smith MI 1899–1978 1961–1971[Note 4] 1971–1978 Kennedy death
22 Stephen John Roth MI 1908–1974 1962–1974 Kennedy death
23 Damon Keith MI 1922–2019 1967–1977 1975–1977 L. Johnson elevation to 6th Cir.
24 Lawrence Gubow MI 1919–1978 1968–1978 L. Johnson death
25 Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy MI 1923–2014 1970–1979 1977–1979 Nixon elevation to 6th Cir.
26 Philip Pratt MI 1924–1989 1970–1989 1986–1989 Nixon death
27 Robert Edward DeMascio MI 1923–1999 1971–1988 1988–1999 Nixon death
28 Charles Wycliffe Joiner MI 1916–2017 1972–1984 1984–2017 Nixon death
29 R. James Harvey MI 1922–2019 1973–1984 1984–2019 Nixon death
30 James Paul Churchill MI 1924–2020 1974–1989 1989 1989–2020 Ford death
31 Ralph B. Guy Jr. MI 1929–present 1976–1985 Ford elevation to 6th Cir.
32 Patricia Boyle MI 1937–2014 1978–1983 Carter resignation
33 Julian A. Cook MI 1930–2017 1978–1996 1989–1996 1996–2017 Carter death
34 Avern Cohn MI 1924–2022 1979–1999 1999–2022 Carter death
35 Stewart Albert Newblatt MI 1927–2022 1979–1993 1993–2022 Carter death
36 Anna Diggs Taylor MI 1932–2017 1979–1998 1996–1998 1998–2017 Carter death
37 Horace Weldon Gilmore MI 1918–2010 1980–1991 1991–2010 Carter death
38 George E. Woods MI 1923–2007 1983–1993 1993–2004 Reagan retirement
39 Richard Fred Suhrheinrich MI 1936–present 1984–1990 Reagan elevation to 6th Cir.
40 George La Plata MI 1924–2010 1985–1996 Reagan retirement
41 Lawrence Paul Zatkoff MI 1939–2015 1986–2004 1999–2004 2004–2015 Reagan death
42 Barbara Kloka Hackett MI 1928–2018 1986–1997 1997–2000 Reagan retirement
43 Patrick J. Duggan MI 1933–2020 1986–2000 2000–2020 Reagan death
45 Paul V. Gadola MI 1929–2014 1988–2001 2001–2014 Reagan death
46 Gerald Ellis Rosen MI 1951–present 1990–2016 2009–2015 2016–2017 G.H.W. Bush retirement
53 Arthur Tarnow MI 1942–2022 1998–2010 2010–2022 Clinton death
54 Victoria A. Roberts MI 1951–present 1998–2021 2021–2023 Clinton retirement
55 Marianne Battani MI 1944–2021 2000–2012 2012–2021 Clinton death
67 Stephanie D. Davis MI 1967–present 2019–2022 Trump elevation to 6th Cir.
  1. ^ Reassigned from the District of Michigan.
  2. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1927, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 19, 1927, and received commission the same day.
  3. ^ Recess appointment; the Senate later rejected the appointment.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the Senate on February 5, 1962, and received commission on February 9, 1962.

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

See also


  1. ^ "Dawn N. Ison Sworn in As United States Attorney". The United States Attorney's Office. December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f U.S. District Courts of Michigan, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ Judges of the District of Michigan, Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ a b c d e 28 U.S.C. § 102

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