[T]hat part of the State of Florida lying south of a line drawn due east and west from the northern point of Charlotte Harbor, including the islands, keys, reefs, shoals, harbors, bays and inlets, south of said line, shall be erected into a new judicial district, to be called the Southern District of Florida; a District Court shall be held in said Southern District, to consist of one judge, who shall reside at Key West, in said district...
On July 30, 1962, the Middle District was created from portions of these districts by 76 Stat.247.
This federal district has the dubious distinction of having had more judges removed through impeachment than any other district, with a total of two, one fourth of all federal judges so removed.
United States attorney and the United States marshal
The United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of January 9, 2023[update], the United States attorney is Markenzy Lapointe.
The United States Attorney's office has a staff of approximately 233 assistant United States attorneys and 227 support personnel. The main office is located in Miami, Florida, with three staffed branch offices located in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce and one unstaffed branch office located in Key West. There is also a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office in West Miami-Dade and a Health Care Fraud Facility in Miramar.
On August 28, 2018, Gadyaces S. Serralta was confirmed by the United States Senate to be the United States marshal.
Organization of the court
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is one of three federal judicial districts in Florida. The District has five divisions:
^Recess appointment; formally nominated on April 12, 1913, confirmed by the Senate on April 24, 1913, and received commission the same day.
^ abJointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida.
^From 1943-1947, Judge DeVane was jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida.
^Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 12, 1956, confirmed by the Senate on March 1, 1956, and received commission the same day.
^From 1961-1962, Judge Young was jointly appointed to the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida. From 1962-1966, Judge Young was jointly appointed to the Middle, Northern, and Southern Districts of Florida.
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
Seat established on February 23, 1847 by 9 Stat. 131