United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
(S.D. Ind.)
LocationBirch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
More locations
  • United States Courthouse (Terre Haute, Indiana)
  • Winfield K. Denton Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
  • Lee H. Hamilton Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
Appeals toSeventh Circuit
EstablishedApril 21, 1928
Chief JudgeTanya Walton Pratt
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyZachary A. Myers
U.S. MarshalJoseph D. McClain

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (in case citations, S.D. Ind.) is a federal district court in Indiana. It was created in 1928 by an act of Congress that split Indiana into two separate districts, northern and southern. The Southern District is divided into four divisions, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Evansville, and New Albany. Appeals from the Southern District of Indiana are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit). The court has five judges, four full-time United States magistrate judges and two part-time magistrate judges.

The courtrooms are located in the Birch Bayh Federal Building in Indianapolis.


The United States District Court for the District of Indiana was established on March 3, 1817, by 3 Stat. 390.[1][2] The District was subdivided into Northern and Southern Districts on April 21, 1928, by 45 Stat. 437.[2] Of all district courts to be subdivided, Indiana existed for the longest time as a single court, 111 years.

Divisions of the Southern District

Indianapolis: Bartholomew County, Boone County, Brown County, Clinton County, Decatur County, Delaware County, Fayette County, Fountain County, Franklin County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Hendricks County, Henry County, Howard County, Johnson County, Madison County, Marion County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Morgan County, Randolph County, Rush County, Shelby County, Tipton County, Union County, and Wayne County.[3]

Terre Haute: Clay County, Greene County, Knox County, Owen County, Parke County, Putnam County, Sullivan County, Vermillion County, and Vigo County.

Evansville: Daviess County, Dubois County, Gibson County, Martin County, Perry County, Pike County, Posey County, Spencer County, Vanderburgh County, and Warrick County.[4]

New Albany: Clark County, Crawford County, Dearborn County, Floyd County, Harrison County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, Jennings County, Lawrence County, Ohio County, Orange County, Ripley County, Scott County, Switzerland County, and Washington County.[5]

Current judges

As of July 1, 2024:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
14 Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt Indianapolis
New Albany
1959 2010–present 2021–present Obama
15 District Judge James R. Sweeney II Indianapolis
Terre Haute
1961 2018–present Trump
16 District Judge J. P. Hanlon Indianapolis
Terre Haute
1970 2018–present Trump
17 District Judge Matthew P. Brookman Evansville
1968 2023–present Biden
18 District Judge vacant
7 Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker Indianapolis
New Albany
1943 1984–2014 1994–2000 2014–present Reagan
11 Senior Judge Richard L. Young Evansville
1953 1998–2023 2009–2016 2023–present Clinton
12 Senior Judge William T. Lawrence inactive 1947 2008–2018 2018–present G.W. Bush
13 Senior Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson Indianapolis
Terre Haute
New Albany
1958 2010–2024 2016–2021 2024–present Obama

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
1 Indianapolis
Terre Haute
New Albany
Jane Magnus-Stinson Senior status July 1, 2024

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Robert C. Baltzell IN 1879–1950 1928–1950[Note 1] 1950 Coolidge/Operation of law death
2 William Elwood Steckler IN 1913–1995 1950–1986 1954–1982 1986–1995 Truman death
3 Cale James Holder IN 1912–1983 1954–1983 Eisenhower death
4 Samuel Hugh Dillin IN 1914–2006 1961–1993 1982–1984 1993–2006 Kennedy death
5 James Ellsworth Noland IN 1920–1992 1966–1986 1984–1986 1986–1992 L. Johnson death
6 Gene Edward Brooks IN 1931–2004 1979–1996 1987–1994 Carter retirement
8 Larry J. McKinney IN 1944–2017 1987–2009 2001–2007 2009–2017 Reagan death
9 John Daniel Tinder IN 1950–present 1987–2007 Reagan elevation to 7th Cir.
10 David Hamilton IN 1957–present 1994–2009 2008–2009 Clinton elevation to 7th Cir.
  1. ^ Reassigned from the District of Indiana.

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 since 1929

Name Term started Term ended Presidents served under
George Jeffrey[6] 1929 1933 Herbert Hoover
Val Nolan 1933 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt
B. Howard Caughran 1940 1950 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman
Matthew E. Welsh 1950 1952 Harry S. Truman
Marshall Hanley 1952 1953 Harry S. Truman
Jack Brown 1953 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Don Tabbert 1957 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Richard P. Stein 1961 1967 John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
K. Edwin Applegate 1967 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon
Stanley B. Miller 1970 1974 Richard M. Nixon
John E. Hirschman 1974 1975 Richard M. Nixon and Gerald Ford
James B. Young 1975 1977 Gerald Ford
Virginia Dill McCarty 1977 1981 Jimmy Carter
Sarah Evans Barker 1981 1984 Ronald Reagan
Richard L. Darst 1984 1984 Ronald Reagan
John Daniel Tinder 1984 1987 Ronald Reagan
Bradley L. Williams 1987 1988 Ronald Reagan
Deborah J. Daniels 1988 1993 Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush
John J. Thar 1993 1993 George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton
Judith A. Stewart[7][8] 1993 2000 Bill Clinton
Timothy M. Morrison[9] 2000 2001 Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
Susan Brooks 2001 2007 George W. Bush
Timothy M. Morrison 2007 2010 George W. Bush and Barack Obama
Joe Hogsett 2010 2014 Barack Obama
Joshua Minkler 2015 2021 Barack Obama and Donald Trump
Zachary A. Myers 2021 present Joe Biden

See also


  1. ^ Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 392.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Indiana". Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  3. ^ "Indianapolis | Southern District of Indiana | United States District Court". www.insd.uscourts.gov. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  4. ^ "Evansville | Southern District of Indiana | United States District Court". www.insd.uscourts.gov. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  5. ^ "New Albany | Southern District of Indiana | United States District Court". www.insd.uscourts.gov. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  6. ^ "The Political Graveyard: U.S. District Attorneys in Indiana". politicalgraveyard.com.
  7. ^ "4 Feb 2000, Page 38 - The Indianapolis Star at Newspapers.com". Indianapolis Star.
  8. ^ "22 May 2000, Page 13 - The Indianapolis Star at Newspapers.com". Indianapolis Star.
  9. ^ "Respected leaders in U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District retire". www.theindianalawyer.com. March 29, 2011.

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