United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia

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United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
Seal of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
Appeals to Fourth Circuit
Established February 4th, 1819
Judges assigned 4
Chief judge Glen E. Conrad
Official site
Map of the United States District Courts in Virginia, showing the boundaries of the Eastern and Western Districts, and their divisions.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia (in case citations, W.D. Va.) is a United States district court.

Appeals from the Western District of Virginia are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth 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 is seated at multiple locations in Virginia: Abingdon, Big Stone Gap, Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg and Roanoke.


The United States District Court for the District of Virginia was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789.[1][2]

On February 13, 1801, the Judiciary Act of 1801, 2 Stat. 89, divided Virginia into three judicial districts: the District of Virginia, which included the counties west of the Tidewater and south of the Rappahannock River; the District of Norfolk, which included the Tidewater counties south of the Rappahannock; and the District of Potomac, which included the counties north and east of the Rappahannock as well as Maryland counties along the Potomac.[2] Just over a year later, on March 8, 1802, the Judiciary Act of 1801 was repealed and Virginia became a single District again, 2 Stat. 132, effective July 1, 1802.[2]

The District of Virginia was subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on February 4, 1819, by 3 Stat. 478.[1][2] At that time, West Virginia, was still part of Virginia, and was encompassed in Virginia's Western District, while the Eastern District essentially covered what is now the entire state of Virginia. With the division of West Virginia from Virginia during the American Civil War, the Western District of Virginia became the District of West Virginia, and those parts of the Western District that were not part of West Virginia were combined with the Eastern District to form again a single District of Virginia on June 11, 1864, by 13 Stat. 124.[2] Congress again divided Virginia into Eastern and the Western Districts on February 3, 1871, by 16 Stat. 403.[2]

Judges, U.S. Attorney, and Jurisdiction

Current judges

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
25 Chief Judge Glen E. Conrad Roanoke 1949 2003–present 2010–present G.W. Bush
23 District Judge James Parker Jones Abingdon 1940 1996–present 2004–2010 Clinton
26 District Judge Michael F. Urbanski Roanoke 1956 2011–present Obama
27 District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon Roanoke 1960 2014–present Obama
21 Senior Judge Jackson L. Kiser Danville 1929 1981–present 1993–1997 1997–present Reagan
24 Senior Judge Norman K. Moon Lynchburg 1936 1997–present 2010–present Clinton

U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal

The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia represents the federal government in the court. The current United States Attorney is John Fishwick, Jr..[3]

The current U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Virginia is Wayne Pike.

Former U.S. Attorneys

Thomas B. Mason (1961–1969)
John S. Edwards (1980–1981)
John P. Alderman (1981–1990)
E. Montgomery Tucker (1990–1993)
Morgan E. Scott, Jr. (1993)
Robert P. Crouch, Jr. (1993–2001)
John L. Brownlee (2001–2008)
Timothy J. Heaphy (2009–2015)

Counties of jurisdiction

The Western District of Virginia covers the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Buckingham, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Clarke, Craig, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dickenson, Floyd, Fluvanna, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Greene, Halifax, Henry, Highland, Lee, Louisa, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Orange, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Tazewell, Warren, Washington, Wise, and Wythe; and the independent cities of Bedford, Bristol, Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington, Danville, Galax, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Norton, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Winchester.

Former judges

# Judge State Born/Died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Jackson, John G.John G. Jackson VA 1777–1825 1819–1825 Monroe, Monroe death
2 Pendleton, Philip C.Philip C. Pendleton VA 1779–1863 1825–1825[4] Adams, J.Q.J.Q. Adams resignation
3 Caldwell, AlexanderAlexander Caldwell VA 1774–1839 1825–1839[5] Adams, J.Q.J.Q. Adams death
4 Pennybacker, Isaac S.Isaac S. Pennybacker VA 1805–1847 1839–1845[6] Van Buren, Van Buren death
5 Brockenbrough, John WhiteJohn White Brockenbrough VA 1806–1877 1846–1861 Polk, Polk resignation
6 Jackson Jr., John JayJohn Jay Jackson Jr. VA 1824–1907 1861–1864 Lincoln, Lincoln reassignment
7 Rives, AlexanderAlexander Rives VA 1806–1885 1871–1882 Grant, Grant retirement
8 Paul, JohnJohn Paul VA 1839–1901 1883–1901 Arthur, Arthur death
9 McDowell, Jr., Henry C.Henry C. McDowell, Jr. VA 1861–1933 1901–1931[7] 1931–1933 Roosevelt, T.T. Roosevelt death
10 Paul, JohnJohn Paul VA 1883–1964 1932–1958 1948–1958 1958–1964 Hoover, Hoover death
11 Roberts, Floyd H.Floyd H. Roberts VA 1879–1967 1938–1939[8] Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt not confirmed
12 Dobie, Armistead MasonArmistead Mason Dobie VA 1881–1962 1939–1940 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt reappointment
13 Barksdale, Alfred D.Alfred D. Barksdale VA 1892–1972 1939–1957[9] 1957–1972 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
14 Thompson, Roby C.Roby C. Thompson VA 1898–1960 1957–1960 1958–1960 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
15 Dalton, Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt Dalton VA 1901–1989 1959–1976 1960–1971 1976–1989 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
16 Michie, Thomas J.Thomas J. Michie VA 1896–1973 1961–1973 Kennedy, Kennedy death
17 Widener Jr., Hiram EmoryHiram Emory Widener Jr. VA 1923–2007 1969–1972 1971–1972 Nixon, Nixon reappointment
18 Turk, James ClintonJames Clinton Turk VA 1923–2014 1972–2014 1973–1993 2002–2014 Nixon, Nixon death
19 Williams, Glen MorganGlen Morgan Williams VA 1920–2012 1976–1988 1988–2012 Ford, Ford death
20 Michael Jr., James HarryJames Harry Michael Jr. VA 1918–2005 1980–1995 1995–2005 Carter, Carter death
22 Samuel Grayson Wilson VA 1949–present 1990–2014 1997–2004 G.H.W. Bush retirement

Succession of seats

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 388.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 U.S. District Courts of Virginia, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. http://www.justice.gov/usao/vaw/us_attorney/index.html
  4. Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment.
  5. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 13, 1825, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 3, 1826, and received commission on January 3, 1826.
  6. Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 29, 1840, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 17, 1840, and received commission on February 17, 1840.
  7. Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 5, 1901, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 18, 1901, and received commission on December 18, 1901.
  8. Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment.
  9. Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 11, 1940, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 1, 1940, and received commission on February 5, 1940.

External links