United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
(W.D. Ark.)
LocationJudge Isaac C. Parker Federal Building
Appeals toEighth Circuit
EstablishedMarch 3, 1851
Chief JudgeSusan Owens Hickey
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyDavid Clay Fowlkes
U.S. MarshalGregory Tabor

The United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas (in case citations, W.D. Ark.) is a federal court in the Eighth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The District was established on March 3, 1851, with the division of the state into an Eastern and Western district.[1]

The U.S. Courthouse & Post Office in Texarkana is shared with the Eastern District of Texas, making it the sole federal courthouse located in two states and a location of two federal districts.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current Acting United States Attorney is David Clay Fowlkes.

Organization of the court

The United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas is one of two federal judicial districts in Arkansas.[2] Court for the District is held at El Dorado, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Harrison, Hot Springs, and Texarkana.

El Dorado Division comprises the following counties: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Columbia, Ouachita, and Union.

Fayetteville Division comprises the following counties: Benton, Madison, and Washington.

Fort Smith Division comprises the following counties: Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Polk, Scott, and Sebastian.

Harrison Division comprises the following counties: Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton, and Searcy.

Hot Springs Division comprises the following counties: Clark, Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, and Pike.

Texarkana Division comprises the following counties: Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, and Sevier.

Current judges

As of November 10, 2021:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
24 Chief Judge Susan O. Hickey El Dorado 1955 2011–present 2019–present Obama
25 District Judge Timothy L. Brooks Fayetteville 1964 2014–present Obama
26 District Judge vacant
20 Senior Judge Jimm Larry Hendren inactive 1940 1992–2012 1997–2012 2012–present G.H.W. Bush
22 Senior Judge Robert T. Dawson Fort Smith 1938 1998–2009 2009–present Clinton
23 Senior Judge Paul K. Holmes III Fort Smith 1951 2011–2021 2012–2019 2021–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
2 Fort Smith Paul K. Holmes III Senior status November 10, 2021

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Daniel Ringo AR 1803–1873 1851–1861[Note 1][Note 2] Taylor/Operation of law resignation
2 Henry Clay Caldwell AR 1832–1915 1864–1871[Note 2] Lincoln seat abolished
3 William Story AR 1843–1921 1871–1874 Grant resignation
4 Isaac Charles Parker AR 1838–1896 1875–1896 Grant death
5 John Henry Rogers AR 1845–1911 1896–1911[Note 3] Cleveland death
6 Frank A. Youmans AR 1860–1932 1911–1932 Taft death
7 Heartsill Ragon AR 1885–1940 1933–1940 F. Roosevelt death
8 Harry Jacob Lemley AR 1883–1965 1939–1958[Note 2] 1948–1958 1958–1965 F. Roosevelt death
9 John E. Miller AR 1888–1981 1941–1967 1958–1967 1967–1981 F. Roosevelt death
10 J. Smith Henley AR 1917–1997 1959–1975[Note 2] Eisenhower elevation to 8th Cir.
11 Oren Harris AR 1903–1997 1965–1976[Note 2] 1967–1973 1976–1997 L. Johnson death
12 Paul X. Williams AR 1908–1994 1967–1981 1973–1981 1981–1994 L. Johnson death
13 Terry Shell AR 1922–1978 1975–1978 Ford death
14 Elsijane Trimble Roy AR 1916–2007 1977–1989[Note 2] 1989–1990[Note 4] Carter seat abolished
15 Richard S. Arnold AR 1936–2004 1978–1980[Note 2] Carter elevation to 8th Cir.
16 George Howard Jr. AR 1924–2007 1980–1990[Note 5] Carter seat abolished
17 Hugh Franklin Waters AR 1932–2002 1981–1997 1981–1997 1997–2002 Reagan death
18 Morris S. Arnold AR 1941–present 1985–1992 Reagan elevation to 8th Cir.
19 Susan Webber Wright AR 1948–present 1990–1990[Note 6] G.H.W. Bush seat abolished
21 Harry F. Barnes AR 1932–2019 1993–2008 2008–2019 Clinton death
  1. ^ Reassigned from the District of Arkansas
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 8, 1896, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 15, 1896, and received commission the same day
  4. ^ From 1989 to 1990, Judge Roy served as a Senior Judge of the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.
  5. ^ From 1980 to 1990, Judge Howard was jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.
  6. ^ From 1990 to 1990, Judge Wright was jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.

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. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_ar.html U.S. District Courts of Arkansas, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
  2. ^ "28 U.S.C. § 83 - U.S. Code Title 28. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure § 83". Findlaw.