United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
(M.D. La.)
LocationBaton Rouge
Appeals toFifth Circuit
EstablishedDecember 18, 1971
Chief JudgeShelly Dick
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyRonald C. Gathe
U.S. MarshalWilliam 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.[1] 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 the United States attorney is Ronald C. Gathe.[2]


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.[3] The United States District Court for the District of Louisiana was established on April 8, 1812, by 2 Stat. 701,[3][4] 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.[3][4]

On February 13, 1845, Louisiana was reorganized into a single District with one judgeship, by 5 Stat. 722,[3] but was again divided into Eastern and the Western Districts on March 3, 1849, by 9 Stat. 401.[3] Congress again abolished the Western District of Louisiana and reorganized Louisiana as a single judicial district on July 27, 1866, by 14 Stat. 300.[3] 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.[3] The Middle District was formed from portions of those two Districts on December 18, 1971, by 85 Stat. 741,[3] making it one of the youngest districts in the United States.

Current judges

As of July 18, 2018:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
7 Chief Judge Shelly Dick Baton Rouge 1960 2013–present 2018–present Obama
6 District Judge Brian A. Jackson Baton Rouge 1960 2010–present 2011–2018 Obama
8 District Judge John W. deGravelles Baton Rouge 1949 2014–present Obama

Former judges

# 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
  1. ^ Reassigned from the Eastern District of Louisiana

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

U.S. Attorneys

See also


  1. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 98
  2. ^ "Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. Sworn in as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana" (Press release). U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana. December 13, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h U.S. District Courts of Louisiana, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ a b Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 392.
  5. ^ "The Political Graveyard: U.S. District Attorneys in Louisiana". politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  6. ^ "Baton Rouge Complex Civil & Commercial Litigation Lawyer". FindLaw. November 10, 2023. Retrieved April 16, 2024.
  7. ^ "PN1099 — David R. Dugas — Department of Justice". Congress.gov. Retrieved April 16, 2024.
  8. ^ Auzenne, Josh (2010-04-21). "David Dugas releases statement on leaving U.S. attorney post". WAFB9. Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  9. ^ "Middle District of Louisiana | President Obama Nominates Two To Serve As U.S. Attorneys | United States Department of Justice". www.justice.gov. 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  10. ^ "U.S. Attorneys Listing | USAO | Department of Justice". web.archive.org. 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  11. ^ "U.S. Attorneys Listing | USAO | Department of Justice". web.archive.org. 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  12. ^ "U.S. Attorneys Listing | USAO | Department of Justice". web.archive.org. 2018-01-30. Retrieved 2024-04-17.