United States District Court for the Central District of California

The United States District Court for the Central District of California (in case citations, C.D. Cal.; commonly referred to as the CDCA or CACD) serves over 19 million people in Southern and Central California, making it the most populous federal judicial district.[1] The district was created on September 18, 1966. Cases from the Central District are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the United States government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

United States District Court for the Central District of California
(C.D. Cal.)
Divisions of the Central District of California : Eastern (yellow), Southern (red), and Western (blue)
LocationEdward R. Roybal Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toNinth Circuit
EstablishedSeptember 18, 1966
Chief JudgeVirginia A. Phillips
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyNicola T. Hanna


California was admitted as a state on September 9, 1850, and was initially divided into two districts, the Northern and the Southern, by Act of Congress approved September 28, 1850, 9 Stat. 521.[2] The boundary line was at the 37th parallel of North Latitude.[3] The Southern District of California was abolished and the State made to constitute a single district – the United States District Court for the District of California – by Act of Congress approved July 27, 1866, 14 Stat. 300.[2][3] Twenty years later, on August 5, 1886, Congress re-created the Southern District of California by 24 Stat. 308,[3] but it was not until March 18, 1966, that the Eastern and Central Districts were created from portions of the Northern and Southern Districts by 80 Stat. 75.[2]


The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California is divided into three divisions, with jurisdiction over seven counties: Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

The Eastern Division covers Riverside and San Bernardino Counties at the Riverside courthouse.

The Southern Division covers Orange County from the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana.

The Western Division covers Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. Cases are heard in two courthouses in downtown Los Angeles. All but two district judges are located in the new First Street Courthouse, whereas magistrate judges and two district judges maintain chambers in the Edward R. Roybal Courthouse.

United States Attorney for the Central District

The United States Attorney for the Central District represents the United States Government in civil and criminal cases before the court. The United States Attorney has been Nicola T. Hanna since January 5, 2018. United States Attorneys are appointed to their positions by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. They work in the Executive Branch of government under the Department of Justice and are not officials in the Judicial Branch. United States Attorneys report to the Attorney General of the United States.[4]

Current judges

As of July 5, 2019:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
60 Chief Judge Virginia A. Phillips Los Angeles 1957 1999–present 2016–present Clinton
37 District Judge Stephen Victor Wilson Los Angeles 1941 1985–present Reagan
56 District Judge David O. Carter Santa Ana 1944 1998–present Clinton
61 District Judge Percy Anderson Los Angeles 1948 2002–present G.W. Bush
62 District Judge John F. Walter Los Angeles 1944 2002–present G.W. Bush
63 District Judge R. Gary Klausner Los Angeles 1941 2002–present G.W. Bush
65 District Judge James V. Selna Santa Ana 1945 2003–present G.W. Bush
66 District Judge Cormac J. Carney Los Angeles 1959 2003–present G.W. Bush
67 District Judge Dale S. Fischer Los Angeles 1951 2003–present G.W. Bush
72 District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez Los Angeles 1959 2007–present G.W. Bush
73 District Judge Otis D. Wright II Los Angeles 1944 2007–present G.W. Bush
74 District Judge George H. Wu Los Angeles 1950 2007–present G.W. Bush
76 District Judge Dolly M. Gee Los Angeles 1959 2010–present Obama
77 District Judge Josephine L. Staton Santa Ana 1961 2010–present Obama
78 District Judge John A. Kronstadt Los Angeles 1951 2011–present Obama
79 District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald Los Angeles 1959 2012–present Obama
80 District Judge Jesus G. Bernal Riverside 1963 2012–present Obama
81 District Judge Fernando M. Olguin Los Angeles 1961 2013–present Obama
83 District Judge André Birotte Jr. Los Angeles 1966 2014–present Obama
84 District Judge vacant
85 District Judge vacant
86 District Judge vacant
87 District Judge vacant
88 District Judge vacant
89 District Judge vacant
90 District Judge vacant
91 District Judge vacant
92 District Judge vacant
23 Senior Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr. Los Angeles 1933 1979–2005 1998–2001 2005–present Carter
26 Senior Judge Consuelo Bland Marshall Los Angeles 1936 1980–2005 2001–2005 2005–present Carter
35 Senior Judge William Duffy Keller Los Angeles 1934 1984–1999 1999–present Reagan
41 Senior Judge Ronald S. W. Lew Los Angeles 1941 1987–2006 2006–present Reagan
51 Senior Judge Dean D. Pregerson Los Angeles 1951 1996–2016 2016–present Clinton
52 Senior Judge Christina A. Snyder Los Angeles 1947 1997–2016 2016–present Clinton
64 Senior Judge S. James Otero Los Angeles 1951 2003–2018 2018–present G.W. Bush
70 Senior Judge Andrew J. Guilford Santa Ana 1950 2006–2019 2019–present G.W. Bush
71 Senior Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank inactive 1949 2007–2012 2012–present G.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
10 Audrey B. Collins Retirement August 1, 2014 Stanley Blumenfeld February 6, 2019
8 Margaret M. Morrow Senior status October 29, 2015 Jeremy B. Rosen
11 Dean Pregerson January 28, 2016 John W. Holcomb November 21, 2019
1 Christina A. Snyder November 23, 2016 Sandy N. Leal October 17, 2019
27 George H. King Retirement January 6, 2017 Mark C. Scarsi February 6, 2019
4 Beverly Reid O'Connell Death October 8, 2017 Steve Kim November 21, 2019
12 Manuel Real Senior status November 4, 2018 Rick Richmond October 17, 2019
25 S. James Otero December 30, 2018 Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha
22 Andrew J. Guilford July 5, 2019

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
Leon Rene Yankwich CA 1888–1975 1966–1975[Note 1] Operation of law death
William Matthew Byrne, Sr. CA 1896–1974 1966–1974[Note 1] Operation of law death
1 Peirson Mitchell Hall CA 1894–1979 1966–1968[Note 1] 1968–1979 Operation of law death
2 Thurmond Clarke CA 1902–1971 1966–1970[Note 1] 1966–1970 1970–1971 Operation of law death
3 Albert Lee Stephens, Jr. CA 1913–2001 1966–1979[Note 1] 1970–1979 1979–2001 Operation of law death
4 Charles Hardy Carr CA 1903–1976 1966–1973[Note 1] 1973–1976 Operation of law death
5 Jesse William Curtis, Jr. CA 1905–2008 1966–1975[Note 1] 1975–1990 Operation of law retirement
6 Elisha Avery Crary CA 1905–1978 1966–1975[Note 1] 1975–1978 Operation of law death
7 Francis C. Whelan CA 1907–1991 1966–1978[Note 1] 1978–1991 Operation of law death
8 Irving Hill CA 1915–1998 1966–1980[Note 1] 1979–1980 1980–1998 Operation of law death
9 A. Andrew Hauk CA 1912–2004 1966–1982[Note 1] 1980–1982 1982–2004 Operation of law death
10 William Percival Gray CA 1912–1992 1966–1982[Note 1] 1982–1992 Operation of law death
11 Warren J. Ferguson CA 1920–2008 1966–1979 L. Johnson elevation to 9th Cir.
12 Manuel Real CA 1924–2019 1966–2018 1982–1993 2018–2019 L. Johnson death
13 Harry Pregerson CA 1923–2017 1967–1979 L. Johnson elevation to 9th Cir.
14 David W. Williams CA 1910–2000 1969–1981 1981–2000 Nixon death
15 Robert J. Kelleher CA 1913–2012 1970–1983 1983–2012 Nixon death
16 William Matthew Byrne, Jr. CA 1930–2006 1971–1998 1994–1998 1998–2006 Nixon death
17 Malcolm M. Lucas CA 1927–2016 1971–1984 Nixon resignation
18 Lawrence Tupper Lydick CA 1916–1995 1971–1984 1984–1995 Nixon death
19 Robert Firth CA 1918–1984 1974–1979 1979–1984 Nixon death
20 Robert Mitsuhiro Takasugi CA 1930–2009 1976–1996 1996–2009 Ford death
21 Laughlin Edward Waters, Sr. CA 1914–2002 1976–1986 1986–2002 Ford death
22 Mariana Pfaelzer CA 1926–2015 1978–1997 1997–2015 Carter death
24 A. Wallace Tashima CA 1934–present 1980–1996 Carter elevation to 9th Cir.
25 David Vreeland Kenyon CA 1930–2015 1980–1995 1995–1997 Carter retirement
27 Cynthia Holcomb Hall CA 1929–2011 1981–1984 Reagan elevation to 9th Cir.
28 Richard Arthur Gadbois, Jr. CA 1932–1996 1982–1996 1996–1996 Reagan death
29 Edward Rafeedie CA 1929–2008 1982–1996 1996–2008 Reagan death
30 Pamela Ann Rymer CA 1941–2011 1983–1989 Reagan elevation to 9th Cir.
31 Harry Lindley Hupp CA 1929–2004 1984–1997 1997–2004 Reagan death
32 Alicemarie Huber Stotler CA 1942–2014 1984–2009 2005–2009 2009–2014 Reagan death
33 James M. Ideman CA 1931–present 1984–1998 1998 Reagan retirement
34 William J. Rea CA 1920–2005 1984–1998 1998–2005 Reagan death
36 Ferdinand Francis Fernandez CA 1937–present 1985–1989 Reagan elevation to 9th Cir.
38 John Spencer Letts CA 1934–2014 1985–2000 2000–2014 Reagan death
39 Dickran M. Tevrizian, Jr. CA 1940–present 1985–2005 2005–2007 Reagan retirement
40 John Davies CA 1929–present 1986–1998 Reagan retirement
42 Robert C. Bonner CA 1942–present 1989–1990 G.H.W. Bush resignation
43 Gary L. Taylor CA 1938–present 1990–2004 2004–2005 G.H.W. Bush retirement
44 Lourdes Gillespie Baird CA 1935–present 1992–2004 2004–2005 G.H.W. Bush retirement
45 Linda Hodge McLaughlin CA 1942–1999 1992–1999 G.H.W. Bush death
46 Audrey B. Collins CA 1945–present 1994–2014 2009–2012 Clinton retirement
47 Richard Paez CA 1947–present 1994–2000 Clinton elevation to 9th Cir.
48 Robert Timlin CA 1932–2017 1994–2005 2005–2017 Clinton death
49 George H. King CA 1951–present 1995–2017 2012–2016 Clinton retirement
50 Kim McLane Wardlaw CA 1954–present 1995–1998 Clinton elevation to 9th Cir.
53 Carlos R. Moreno CA 1948–present 1998–2001 Clinton resignation
54 Margaret M. Morrow CA 1950–present 1998–2015 2015–2016 Clinton retirement
55 Howard Matz CA 1943–present 1998–2011 2011–2013 Clinton retirement
57 Nora Margaret Manella CA 1951–present 1998–2006 Clinton resignation
58 Gary Allen Feess CA 1948–present 1999–2014 2014–2015 Clinton retirement
59 Florence-Marie Cooper CA 1940–2010 1999–2010 Clinton death
68 George P. Schiavelli CA 1948–2019 2004–2008 G.W. Bush resignation
69 Stephen G. Larson CA 1964–present 2006–2009 G.W. Bush resignation
75 Jacqueline Nguyen CA 1965–present 2009–2012 Obama elevation to 9th Cir.
82 Beverly Reid O'Connell CA 1965–2017 2013–2017 Obama death
  1. Reassigned from the Southern District of California

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. Our District – USAO-CDCA
  2. U.S. District Courts of California, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. Willoughby Rodman, History of the Bench and Bar of Southern California (1909), p. 46.
  4. “Organizational Chart.” The United States Department of Justice, www.justice.gov/agencies/chart.
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