|United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana|
|Appeals to||Fifth Circuit|
|Established||December 18, 1971|
|Chief Judge||Shelly Deckert Dick|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Ronald C. Gathe|
|U.S. Marshal||William Travis Brown Jr.|
The United States Court for the Middle District of Louisiana (in case citations, M.D. La.) comprises the parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana. Court is held at the Russell B. Long United States Courthouse in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth 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 Middle District of Louisiana represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of December 13, 2021[update] the United States Attorney is Ronald C. Gathe.
On March 26, 1804, Congress organized the Territory of Orleans and created the United States District Court for the District of Orleans - the only time Congress provided a territory with a district court equal in its authority and jurisdiction to those of the states. The United States District Court for the District of Louisiana was established on April 8, 1812, by 2 Stat. 701, several weeks before Louisiana was formally admitted as a state of the union. The District was thereafter subdivided and reformed several times. It was first subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on March 3, 1823, by 3 Stat. 774.
On February 13, 1845, Louisiana was reorganized into a single District with one judgeship, by 5 Stat. 722, but was again divided into Eastern and the Western Districts on March 3, 1849, by 9 Stat. 401. Congress again abolished the Western District of Louisiana and reorganized Louisiana as a single judicial district on July 27, 1866, by 14 Stat. 300. On March 3, 1881, by 21 Stat. 507, Louisiana was for a third time divided into Eastern and the Western Districts, with one judgeship authorized for each. The Middle District was formed from portions of those two Districts on December 18, 1971, by 85 Stat. 741, making it one of the youngest districts in the United States.
As of July 18, 2018[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|7||Chief Judge||Shelly Deckert Dick||Baton Rouge||1960||2013–present||2018–present||—||Obama|
|6||District Judge||Brian Anthony Jackson||Baton Rouge||1960||2010–present||2011–2018||—||Obama|
|8||District Judge||John W. deGravelles||Baton Rouge||1949||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Elmer Gordon West||LA||1914–1992||1972–1979[Note 1]||1978–1979||1979–1992||Kennedy/Operation of law||death|
|2||John Victor Parker||LA||1928–2014||1979–1998||1979–1998||1998–2014||Carter||death|
|3||Frank Joseph Polozola||LA||1942–2013||1980–2007||1998–2005||2007–2013||Carter||death|
|4||Ralph E. Tyson||LA||1948–2011||1998–2011||2005–2011||—||Clinton||death|
|5||James J. Brady||LA||1944–2017||2000–2013||—||2013–2017||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.