The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (in case citations, S.D.N.Y. ) is a federal district court. Appeals from the Southern District of New York are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The Southern District is one of the most influential and active federal district courts in the United States, largely because of its jurisdiction over New York's major financial centers. On March 12, 2015 Michael Greco was confirmed as U.S. Marshal. [2]


The Court's jurisdiction comprises the following counties: New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan. The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current Acting United States Attorney is Joon H. Kim. The court sits in the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse and Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, both in Manhattan, and in the Charles L. Brieant Federal Building and Courthouse in White Plains.


The United States District Court for the District of New York was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. It first sat at the old Merchants Exchange on Broad Street in November 1789, the first federal court to do so. [3] [4] The Act of April 9, 1814, 3 Stat. 120, divided the District of New York into Northern and Southern Districts. [4] The subdivision of the district was reportedly instigated by Matthias Burnett Tallmadge, out of antipathy for fellow district judge William P. Van Ness. [5] These Districts were later further subdivided with the creation of Eastern District on February 25, 1865 by 13 Stat. 438, [4] and the Western District on May 12, 1900, by 31 Stat. 175. [4]

For the first hundred years of its existence, the case load of the District was dominated first by admiralty cases, and then by a mix of admiralty and bankruptcy cases. [5] The primary responsibility for hearing bankruptcy cases has since been transferred to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, with the District Court only reviewing cases already decided by a bankruptcy judge.

Since its creation, the Southern District of New York has had 149 judges, more than any other District. Nineteen judges from the Southern District of New York have been elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Samuel Blatchford, Charles Merrill Hough, Learned Hand, Julius Marshuetz Mayer, Augustus Noble Hand, Martin Thomas Manton, Robert P. Patterson, Harold Medina, Irving Kaufman, Wilfred Feinberg, Walter R. Mansfield, Murray Gurfein, Lawrence W. Pierce, Pierre N. Leval, John M. Walker, Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, Denny Chin, Barrington Daniels Parker, Jr., and Gerard E. Lynch. Two judges, Samuel Blatchford and Sonia Sotomayor, were elevated from the Southern District of New York to serve as Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit and were later elevated to the Supreme Court of the United States. The longest serving judge, David Norton Edelstein, served as an active judge for 43 years to the day, and in senior status for an additional six years.

Judges of the Court have gone on to other high governmental positions. Robert P. Patterson, Sr. served as Under Secretary of War under President Franklin Roosevelt and the Secretary of War under President Harry S. Truman. Louis Freeh served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from September 1993 to June 2001. Michael Mukasey served the 81st Attorney General of the United States under President George W. Bush.

Notable cases

The injury and loss of life claims from the sinking of the Titanic, the torpedo attack on the Lusitania and the fire aboard the General Slocum were heard in the S.D.N.Y. The espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and the perjury trial of Alger Hiss were also heard in the S.D.N.Y.

Judge John M. Woolsey of the S.D.N.Y. rejected government efforts to censor on obscenity grounds the distribution of James Joyce ’s Ulysses. Judge Murray Gurfein of the Court rejected government efforts to enjoin the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers. Defamation suits were heard in the S.D.N.Y. against CBS and Time Magazine by General William Westmoreland and Israeli General Ariel Sharon.

Two former Attorneys General of the United States were indicted and tried in the S.D.N.Y. for crimes while in office – Harry Daugherty of the Teapot Dome era and John Mitchell of the Watergate era. Juries were unable to reach verdicts in the two trials against Daugherty and John Mitchell was acquitted.

Financial frauds have been prosecuted in the S.D.N.Y., among them the cases against Bernard Madoff, Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken.

The trials of those accused of the 1998 United States embassy bombings in East Africa, those alleged to have been responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and Omar Abdel Rahman, known in the press as “The Blind Sheikh,” occurred in the District. More recently, the prosecution arising out of the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt and the prosecution of Abduwali Muse, the so-called Somali Pirate, were heard in the Court.

The criminal cases against Bess Myerson, Leona Helmsley and Martha Stewart were heard in the S.D.N.Y., as was the U.S. case against Imelda Marcos.

The Deflategate controversy concerning National Football League's Tom Brady was heard in the S.D.N.Y.

District Judges

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has 28 authorized judgeships, filled by judges appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Eighteen judges who have taken senior status are eligible to continue hearing cases. As of June 1, 2016, the Chief Judge of the District is Judge Colleen McMahon, succeeding Judge Loretta Preska, whose seven-year term as Chief Judge expired. Senior Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. sits by designation with the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The District Judges (active and senior) sitting are:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
119 Chief Judge Colleen McMahon New York City 1951 1998–present 2016–present Clinton
110 District Judge John G. Koeltl New York City 1945 1994–present Clinton
120 District Judge William H. Pauley III New York City 1952 1998–present Clinton
123 District Judge George B. Daniels New York City 1953 2000–present Clinton
125 District Judge Laura Taylor Swain New York City 1958 2000–present Clinton
129 District Judge Kenneth M. Karas White Plains 1964 2004–present G.W. Bush
131 District Judge Richard J. Sullivan New York City 1964 2007–present G.W. Bush
132 District Judge Cathy Seibel White Plains 1960 2008–present G.W. Bush
133 District Judge Paul G. Gardephe New York City 1957 2008–present G.W. Bush
134 District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti White Plains 1954 2011–present Obama
135 District Judge J. Paul Oetken New York City 1965 2011–present Obama
136 District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer New York City 1961 2011–present Obama
137 District Judge Katherine B. Forrest New York City 1964 2011–present Obama
138 District Judge Alison J. Nathan New York City 1972 2011–present Obama
139 District Judge Edgardo Ramos New York City 1960 2011–present Obama
140 District Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. New York City 1969 2011–present Obama
141 District Judge Jesse M. Furman New York City 1972 2012–present Obama
142 District Judge Ronnie Abrams New York City 1968 2012–present Obama
143 District Judge Lorna G. Schofield New York City 1956 2012–present Obama
144 District Judge Katherine Polk Failla New York City 1969 2013–present Obama
145 District Judge Analisa Torres New York City 1959 2013–present Obama
146 District Judge Nelson S. Roman White Plains 1960 2013–present Obama
147 District Judge Vernon S. Broderick New York City 1963 2013–present Obama
148 District Judge Gregory Howard Woods New York City 1969 2013–present Obama
149 District Judge Valerie E. Caproni New York City 1955 2013–present Obama
150 District Judge vacant
151 District Judge vacant
152 District Judge vacant
70 Senior Judge Thomas P. Griesa New York City 1930 1972–2000 1993–2000 2000–present Nixon
79 Senior Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. New Haven, CT 1930 1976–1995 1995–present Ford
83 Senior Judge Robert W. Sweet New York City 1922 1978–1991 1991–present Carter
89 Senior Judge John F. Keenan New York City 1929 1983–1996 1996–present Reagan
91 Senior Judge Louis L. Stanton New York City 1927 1985–1996 1996–present Reagan
97 Senior Judge Kimba Wood New York City 1944 1988–2009 2006–2009 2009–present Reagan
100 Senior Judge Lawrence M. McKenna inactive 1933 1990–2002 2002–present G.H.W. Bush
102 Senior Judge Loretta A. Preska New York City 1949 1992–2017 2009–2016 2017–present G.H.W. Bush
105 Senior Judge Deborah A. Batts New York City 1947 1994–2012 2012–present Clinton
108 Senior Judge Denise Cote New York City 1946 1994–2011 2011–present Clinton
109 Senior Judge Lewis A. Kaplan New York City 1944 1994–2011 2011–present Clinton
113 Senior Judge Sidney H. Stein New York City 1945 1995–2010 2010–present Clinton
115 Senior Judge Jed S. Rakoff New York City 1943 1996–2010 2010–present Clinton
117 Senior Judge Richard M. Berman New York City 1943 1998–2011 2011–present Clinton
118 Senior Judge Alvin Hellerstein New York City 1933 1998–2011 2011–present Clinton
121 Senior Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald New York City 1944 1999–2012 2012–present Clinton
122 Senior Judge Victor Marrero New York City 1941 1999–2010 2010–present Clinton
126 Senior Judge P. Kevin Castel New York City 1950 2003–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush
130 Senior Judge Paul A. Crotty New York City 1941 2005–2015 2015–present G.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
25 Paul A. Crotty Senior Status August 1, 2015
1 Loretta A. Preska Senior Status March 1, 2017
19 P. Kevin Castel Senior Status August 5, 2017

Past judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Van Ness, William Peter William Peter Van Ness NY 1778–1826 1812–1826 Madison, Madison death
2 Betts, Samuel Rossiter Samuel Rossiter Betts NY 1786–1868 1826–1867 Adams, J.Q. J.Q. Adams resignation
3 Blatchford, Samuel Samuel Blatchford NY 1820–1893 1867–1878 Johnson, A. A. Johnson appointment to 2nd Cir.
4 Choate, William Gardner William Gardner Choate NY 1830–1920 1878–1881 Hayes, Hayes resignation
5 Brown, Addison Addison Brown NY 1830–1913 1881–1901 Garfield, Garfield retirement
6 Adams, George Bethune George Bethune Adams NY 1845–1911 1901–1911 McKinley, McKinley death
7 Holt, George Chandler George Chandler Holt NY 1843–1931 1903–1914 Roosevelt, T. T. Roosevelt retirement
8 Hough, Charles Merrill Charles Merrill Hough NY 1858–1927 1906–1916 Roosevelt, T. T. Roosevelt appointment to 2nd Cir.
9 Hand, Learned Learned Hand NY 1872–1961 1909–1924 Taft, Taft appointment to 2nd Cir.
10 Mayer, Julius Marshuetz Julius Marshuetz Mayer NY 1865–1925 1912–1921 Taft, Taft appointment to 2nd Cir.
11 Hand, Augustus Noble Augustus Noble Hand NY 1869–1954 1914–1927 Wilson, Wilson appointment to 2nd Cir.
12 Manton, Martin Thomas Martin Thomas Manton NY 1880–1946 1916–1918 Wilson, Wilson appointment to 2nd Cir.
13 Knox, John C. John C. Knox NY 1881–1966 1918–1955 1948–1955 1955–1966 Wilson, Wilson death
14 Goddard, Henry W. Henry W. Goddard NY 1876–1955 1923–1954 1954–1955 Harding, Harding death
15 Winslow, Francis A. Francis A. Winslow NY 1866–1932 1923–1929 Harding, Harding resignation
16 Bondy, William William Bondy NY 1870–1964 1923–1956 1955–1956 1956–1964 Harding, Harding death
17 Thacher, Thomas D. Thomas D. Thacher NY 1881–1950 1925–1930 Coolidge, Coolidge resignation
18 Coleman, Frank Joseph Frank Joseph Coleman NY 1886–1934 1927–1934 [2] Coolidge, Coolidge death
19 Woolsey, John M. John M. Woolsey NY 1877–1945 1929–1943 1943–1945 Hoover, Hoover death
20 Caffey, Francis Gordon Francis Gordon Caffey NY 1868–1951 1929–1947 1947–1951 Hoover, Hoover death
21 Coxe Jr., Alfred Conkling Alfred Conkling Coxe Jr. NY 1880–1957 1929–1951 1951–1957 Hoover, Hoover death
22 Patterson, Robert P. Robert P. Patterson NY 1891–1952 1930–1939 Hoover, Hoover appointment to 2nd Cir.
23 Hulbert, G. Murray G. Murray Hulbert NY 1881–1950 1934–1950 Roosevelt, F. F. Roosevelt death
24 Leibell, Vincent L. Vincent L. Leibell NY 1883–1968 1936–1954 1954–1968 Roosevelt, F. F. Roosevelt death
25 Clancy, John William John William Clancy NY 1899–1969 1936–1959 1956–1959 1959–1969 Roosevelt, F. F. Roosevelt death
26 Mandelbaum, Samuel Samuel Mandelbaum NY 1884–1946 1936–1946 Roosevelt, F. F. Roosevelt death
27 Conger, Edward Edward Conger NY 1882–1963 1938–1954 1954–1963 Roosevelt, F. F. Roosevelt death
28 Bright, John John Bright NY 1884–1948 1941–1948 Roosevelt, F. F. Roosevelt death
29 Rifkind, Simon Hirsch Simon Hirsch Rifkind NY 1901–1995 1941–1950 Roosevelt, F. F. Roosevelt resignation
30 Medina, Harold Harold Medina NY 1888–1990 1947–1951 Truman, Truman appointment to 2nd Cir.
31 Ryan, Sylvester J. Sylvester J. Ryan NY 1896–1981 1947–1973 [2] 1959–1966 1973–1981 Truman, Truman death
32 Kaufman, Samuel H. Samuel H. Kaufman NY 1893–1960 1948–1955 [2] 1955–1960 Truman, Truman death
33 Kaufman, Irving Irving Kaufman NY 1910–1992 1949–1961 [2] Truman, Truman appointment to 2nd Cir.
34 McGohey, John F. X. John F. X. McGohey NY 1894–1972 1949–1970 [2] 1970–1972 Truman, Truman death
35 Noonan, Gregory Francis Gregory Francis Noonan NY 1906–1964 1949–1964 [2] Truman, Truman death
36 Sugarman, Sidney Sidney Sugarman NY 1904–1974 1949–1971 [2] 1966–1971 1971–1974 Truman, Truman death
37 Weinfeld, Edward Edward Weinfeld NY 1901–1988 1950–1988 Truman, Truman death
38 Murphy, Thomas Francis Thomas Francis Murphy NY 1905–1995 1951–1970 1970–1995 Truman, Truman death
39 Dimock, Edward Jordan Edward Jordan Dimock NY 1890–1986 1951–1961 1961–1986 Truman, Truman death
40 Edelstein, David Norton David Norton Edelstein NY 1910–2000 1951–1994 [2] 1971–1980 1994–2000 Truman, Truman death
41 Dawson, Archie Owen Archie Owen Dawson NY 1898–1964 1954–1964 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
42 Walsh, Lawrence Edward Lawrence Edward Walsh NY 1912–2014 1954–1957 Eisenhower, Eisenhower resignation
43 Bicks, Alexander Alexander Bicks NY 1901–1963 1954–1963 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
44 Palmieri, Edmund Louis Edmund Louis Palmieri NY 1907–1989 1954–1972 1972–1989 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
45 Herlands, William Bernard William Bernard Herlands NY 1905–1969 1955–1969 [2] Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
46 Cashin, John M. John M. Cashin NY 1892–1970 1955–1965 [2] 1965–1970 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
47 Levet, Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Levet NY 1894–1980 1956–1966 1966–1976 Eisenhower, Eisenhower retirement
48 Bryan, Frederick van Pelt Frederick van Pelt Bryan NY 1904–1978 1956–1972 1972–1978 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
49 MacMahon, Lloyd Francis Lloyd Francis MacMahon NY 1912–1989 1959–1982 1980–1982 1982–1989 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
50 Metzner, Charles Miller Charles Miller Metzner NY 1912–2009 1959–1977 1977–2009 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
51 Croake, Thomas Francis Thomas Francis Croake NY 1902–1978 1961–1972 1972–1978 Kennedy, Kennedy death
52 Bonsal, Dudley Baldwin Dudley Baldwin Bonsal NY 1906–1995 1961–1976 1976–1995 Kennedy, Kennedy death
53 Cooper, Irving Ben Irving Ben Cooper NY 1902–1996 1961–1972 [3] 1972–1996 Kennedy, Kennedy death
54 Feinberg, Wilfred Wilfred Feinberg NY 1920–2014 1961–1966 Kennedy, Kennedy appointment to 2nd Cir.
55 Tyler, Jr., Harold R. Harold R. Tyler, Jr. NY 1922–2005 1962–1975 Kennedy, Kennedy resignation
56 McLean, Edward Cochrane Edward Cochrane McLean NY 1903–1972 1962–1972 Kennedy, Kennedy death
57 Wyatt, Inzer Bass Inzer Bass Wyatt NY 1907–1990 1962–1977 1977–1990 Kennedy, Kennedy death
58 Cannella, John Matthew John Matthew Cannella NY 1908–1996 1963–1977 1977–1996 Kennedy, Kennedy death
59 Tenney, Charles Henry Charles Henry Tenney NY 1911–1994 1963–1979 1979–1994 Kennedy, Kennedy death
60 Frankel, Marvin E. Marvin E. Frankel NY 1920–2002 1965–1978 Johnson, L. L. Johnson resignation
61 Mansfield, Walter R. Walter R. Mansfield NY 1911–1987 1966–1971 Johnson, L. L. Johnson appointment to 2nd Cir.
62 Motley, Constance Baker Constance Baker Motley NY 1921–2005 1966–1986 1982–1986 1986–2005 Johnson, L. L. Johnson death
63 Pollack, Milton Milton Pollack NY 1906–2004 1967–1983 1983–2004 Johnson, L. L. Johnson death
64 Lasker, Morris E. Morris E. Lasker NY 1917–2009 1968–1983 1983–2009 Johnson, L. L. Johnson death
65 Gurfein, Murray Murray Gurfein NY 1907–1979 1971–1974 Nixon, Nixon appointment to 2nd Cir.
66 Pierce, Lawrence W. Lawrence W. Pierce NY 1924–present 1971–1981 Nixon, Nixon appointment to 2nd Cir.
67 Brieant, Charles L. Charles L. Brieant NY 1923–2008 1971–2007 1986–1993 2007–2008 Nixon, Nixon death
68 Bauman, Arnold Arnold Bauman NY 1914–1989 1971–1974 Nixon, Nixon resignation
69 Gagliardi, Lee Parsons Lee Parsons Gagliardi NY 1918–1998 1971–1985 1985–1998 Nixon, Nixon death
71 Knapp, Whitman Whitman Knapp NY 1909–2004 1972–1987 1987–2004 Nixon, Nixon death
72 Stewart, Jr., Charles E. Charles E. Stewart, Jr. NY 1916–1994 1972–1985 1985–1994 Nixon, Nixon death
73 Carter, Robert L. Robert L. Carter NY 1917–2012 1972–1986 1986–2012 Nixon, Nixon death
74 Duffy, Kevin Thomas Kevin Thomas Duffy NY 1933–present 1972–1998 1998–2016 Nixon, Nixon retirement
75 Ward, Robert Joseph Robert Joseph Ward NY 1926–2003 1972–1991 1991–2003 Nixon, Nixon death
76 Conner, William C. William C. Conner NY 1920–2009 1973–1987 1987–2009 Nixon, Nixon death
77 Owen, Richard Richard Owen NY 1922–2015 1973–1989 1989–2015 Nixon, Nixon death
78 Werker, Henry Frederick Henry Frederick Werker NY 1920–1984 1974–1984 Nixon, Nixon death
80 Goettel, Gerard Louis Gerard Louis Goettel NY 1928–2011 1976–1993 1993–2011 Ford, Ford death
81 Broderick, Vincent Lyons Vincent Lyons Broderick NY 1920–1995 1976–1988 1988–1995 Ford, Ford death
82 Leval, Pierre N. Pierre N. Leval NY 1936–present 1977–1993 Carter, Carter appointment to 2nd Cir.
84 Sand, Leonard B. Leonard B. Sand NY 1928–2016 1978–1993 1993–2016 Carter, Carter death
85 Lowe, Mary Johnson Mary Johnson Lowe NY 1924–1999 1978–1991 1991–1999 Carter, Carter death
86 Sofaer, Abraham David Abraham David Sofaer NY 1938–present 1979–1985 Carter, Carter resignation
87 Sprizzo, John E. John E. Sprizzo NY 1934–2008 1981–2000 2000–2008 Reagan, Reagan death
88 Kram, Shirley Wohl Shirley Wohl Kram NY 1922–2009 1983–1993 1993–2009 Reagan, Reagan death
90 Peter K. Leisure NY 1929–2013 1984–1997 1997–2013 Reagan death
92 Walker, Jr., John M. John M. Walker, Jr. NY 1940–present 1985–1989 Reagan, Reagan appointment to 2nd Cir.
93 Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum NY 1929–2016 1986–1998 1998–2016 Reagan death
94 Daronco, Richard J. Richard J. Daronco NY 1931–1988 1987–1988 Reagan, Reagan death
95 Mukasey, Michael Michael Mukasey NY 1941–present 1987–2006 2000–2006 2006 Reagan, Reagan retirement
96 Conboy, Kenneth Kenneth Conboy NY 1938–present 1987–1993 Reagan, Reagan resignation
98 Patterson, Jr., Robert P. Robert P. Patterson, Jr. NY 1923–2015 1988–1998 1998–2015 Reagan death
99 Martin Jr., John S. John S. Martin Jr. NY 1935–present 1990–2003 2003–2003 Bush, G.H.W. G.H.W. Bush retirement
101 Freeh, Louis Louis Freeh NY 1950–present 1991–1993 Bush, G.H.W. G.H.W. Bush resignation
103 Sotomayor, Sonia Sonia Sotomayor NY 1954–present 1992–1998 Bush, G.H.W. G.H.W. Bush appointment to 2nd Cir.
104 Schwartz, Allen G. Allen G. Schwartz NY 1934–2003 1993–2003 Clinton, Clinton death
106 Harold Baer, Jr. NY 1933–2014 1994–2004 2004–2014 Clinton, Clinton death
107 Chin, Denny Denny Chin NY 1954–present 1994–2010 Clinton, Clinton appointment to 2nd Cir.
111 Parker, Jr., Barrington Daniels Barrington Daniels Parker, Jr. NY 1944–present 1994–2001 Clinton, Clinton appointment to 2nd Cir.
112 Scheindlin, Shira A. Shira A. Scheindlin NY 1946–present 1994–2011 2011–2016 Clinton, Clinton retirement
114 Jones, Barbara S. Barbara S. Jones NY 1947–present 1995–2012 Clinton, Clinton retirement
116 Casey, Richard C. Richard C. Casey NY 1933–2007 1997–2007 Clinton, Clinton death
124 Lynch, Gerard E. Gerard E. Lynch NY 1951–present 2000–2009 Clinton, Clinton appointment to 2nd Cir.
127 Holwell, Richard J. Richard J. Holwell NY 1946–present 2003–2012 Bush, G.W. G.W. Bush resignation
128 Robinson, Stephen C. Stephen C. Robinson NY 1957–present 2003–2010 Bush, G.W. G.W. Bush resignation

Succession of seats

See also