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United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
(N.D. Iowa)
The Northern (shades of red) and Southern (shades of blue) Districts of Iowa
LocationCedar Rapids
More locations
Appeals toEighth Circuit
EstablishedJuly 20, 1882
Chief JudgeC. J. Williams
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyTimothy T. Duax (acting)
U.S. MarshalChris Barther (acting)

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa (in case citations, N.D. Iowa) has jurisdiction over fifty-two of Iowa's ninety-nine counties. It is subject to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (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 District Court for the District of Iowa, established on March 3, 1845, by 5 Stat. 789,[1][2] was subdivided into the current Northern and Southern Districts on July 20, 1882, by 22 Stat. 172.[2]

Presently, the court has two district judges, Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand and Judge C. J. Williams, one senior judge, Linda R. Reade, and two magistrate judges, Kelly Mahoney and Mark A. Roberts.

The court is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, with a satellite courthouse in Sioux City.

As of February 1, 2022, the acting United States attorney is Timothy T. Duax.[3]


Federal judicial districts and divisions in Iowa.
Northern District of Iowa
  Western Division
  Central Division
  Eastern Division
  Cedar Rapids Division
Southern District of Iowa
  Western Division
  Central Division
  Davenport Division

The Northern District of Iowa has four court divisions, each covering the following counties:

The Cedar Rapids Division, covering Benton, Cedar, Grundy, Hardin, Iowa, Jones, Linn, and Tama counties.

The Central Division, covering Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cerro Gordo, Emmet, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Humboldt, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Webster, Winnebago, Worth, and Wright counties.

The Eastern Division, covering Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Jackson, Mitchell, and Winneshiek counties.

The Western Division, covering Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Ida, Lyon, Monona, O'Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sac, Sioux, and Woodbury counties.

Current judges

As of February 12, 2024:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
13 Chief Judge C. J. Williams Cedar Rapids 1963 2018–present 2024–present Trump
12 District Judge Leonard T. Strand Sioux City 1965 2016–present 2017–2024 Obama
11 Senior Judge Linda R. Reade Cedar Rapids 1948 2002–2017 2007–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Oliver Perry Shiras IA 1833–1916 1882–1903 Arthur retirement
2 Henry Thomas Reed IA 1846–1924 1904–1921 1921–1924 T. Roosevelt death
3 George Cromwell Scott IA 1864–1948 1922–1943 1943–1948 Harding death
4 Henry Norman Graven IA 1893–1970 1944–1961 1961 1961–1970 F. Roosevelt death
5 Edward Joseph McManus IA 1920–2017 1962–1985 1962–1985 1985–2017 Kennedy death
6 William Cook Hanson IA 1909–1995 1962–1977[Note 1] 1977–1995 Kennedy death
7 Donald E. O'Brien IA 1923–2015 1978–1992[Note 2] 1985–1992 1992–2015 Carter death
8 David R. Hansen IA 1938–present 1986–1991 Reagan elevation to 8th Cir.
9 Michael Joseph Melloy IA 1948–present 1992–2002 1992–1999 G.H.W. Bush elevation to 8th Cir.
10 Mark W. Bennett IA 1950–present 1994–2015 1999–2006 2015–2019 Clinton retirement
  1. ^ Jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa.
  2. ^ From 1978–1990, Judge O’Brien was jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa.

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. ^ Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 394.
  2. ^ a b U.S. District Courts of Iowa, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ "Meet the U.S. Attorney". February 1, 2022. Retrieved February 1, 2022.

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