United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
(N.D. Miss.)
More locations
Appeals toFifth Circuit
EstablishedJune 18, 1838
Chief JudgeDebra M. Brown
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyClay Joyner (acting)
U.S. MarshalDaniel McKittrick

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi (in case citations, N.D. Miss.) is a federal court in the Fifth Circuit with facilities in Aberdeen, Greenville, and Oxford.

Appeals from cases brought in the Northern District of Mississippi are taken to 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 for the Northern District of Mississippi represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of March 1, 2021 the acting United States attorney is Clay Joyner.[1]


The northern district comprises three divisions.

  1. The Aberdeen Division comprises the counties of Alcorn, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Prentiss, Tishomingo, Webster, and Winston.
    The court for the Aberdeen Division is held at Aberdeen, Ackerman, and Corinth.
  2. The Oxford Division comprises the counties of Benton, Calhoun, DeSoto, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Pontotoc, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tunica, Union, and Yalobusha.
    The court for the Oxford Division is held at Oxford, Pittsboro, and Pontotoc.
  3. The Greenville Division comprises the counties of Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, Grenada, Humphreys, Leflore, Montgomery, Sunflower, and Washington.
    The court for the Greenville Division is held at Clarksdale, Cleveland, and Greenville.

Current judges

As of November 1, 2021:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
16 Chief Judge Debra M. Brown Greenville 1963 2013–present 2021–present Obama
15 District Judge Sharion Aycock Aberdeen 1955 2007–present 2014–2021 G.W. Bush
17 District Judge vacant
12 Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson Aberdeen 1941 1985–2007 2000–2007 2007–present Reagan
14 Senior Judge Michael P. Mills Oxford 1956 2001–2021 2007–2014 2021–present G.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
3 Oxford Michael P. Mills Senior status November 1, 2021

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 George Adams MS 1784–1844 1838[Note 1][Note 2] Jackson/Operation of law resignation
2 Samuel J. Gholson MS 1808–1883 1839–1861[Note 2] Van Buren resignation
3 Robert Andrews Hill MS 1811–1900 1866–1891[Note 2] A. Johnson retirement
4 Henry Clay Niles MS 1850–1918 1891–1918[Note 3][Note 2] B. Harrison death
5 Edwin R. Holmes MS 1878–1961 1918–1929[Note 2] Wilson seat abolished
6 Elijah Allen Cox MS 1887–1974 1929–1957 1957–1974 Coolidge death
7 Claude Feemster Clayton MS 1909–1969 1958–1967 1966–1967 Eisenhower elevation to 5th Cir.
8 William Colbert Keady MS 1913–1989 1968–1983 1968–1982 1983–1989 L. Johnson death
9 Orma Rinehart Smith MS 1904–1982 1968–1978 1978–1982 L. Johnson death
10 Lyonel Thomas Senter Jr. MS 1933–2011 1979–1998 1982–1998 1998–2011 Carter death
11 Neal Brooks Biggers Jr. MS 1935–2023 1984–2000 1998–2000 2000–2023 Reagan death
13 W. Allen Pepper Jr. MS 1941–2012 1999–2012 Clinton death
  1. ^ Reassigned from the District of Mississippi
  2. ^ a b c d e Jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 10, 1891, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 11, 1892, and received commission the same day

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

List of U.S. Attorneys

The U.S. Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer for the Northern District of Mississippi.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "US Attorney Lamar Resigns After Decades of Service" (Press release). Oxford, Mississippi: United States Attorney's Office. March 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Executive Office for United States Attorneys (1989). Bicentennial Celebration of United States Attorneys, 1789–1989 (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Justice.

Further reading

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