The United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi is a federal court in the Fifth Circuit with jurisdiction over the southern half of Mississippi. The court is located in Jackson, Mississippi, and it is one of the most active federal district courts in the country. The court is presided over by Chief Judge Daniel P. Jordan III, and its judges are appointed by the President of the United States. The court has jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases, including bankruptcy, copyright, patent, and other matters. The court also handles appeals from state court decisions.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

United States federal district court in Mississippi
Appeals to Fifth Circuit Established June 18, 1838 Judges 6 Chief Judge Daniel Porter Jordan III Officers of the court U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca (acting) U.S. Marshal Mark B. Shepherd

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi (in case citations, S.D. Miss.) is a federal court in the Fifth Circuit with facilities in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Natchez, and Jackson.

Appeals from cases brought in the Southern District of Mississippi are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of January 20, 2021[update] the Acting United States Attorney is Darren LaMarca.


Jurisdiction (Counties): Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Issaquena, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson, and Yazoo.

Current judges

As of January 8, 2021[update]:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
18 Chief Judge Daniel Porter Jordan III Jackson 1964 2006–present 2017–present G.W. Bush
12 District Judge Henry Travillion Wingate Jackson 1947 1985–present 2003–2010 Reagan
19 District Judge Halil Suleyman Ozerden Gulfport 1966 2007–present G.W. Bush
20 District Judge Carlton W. Reeves Jackson 1964 2010–present Obama
21 District Judge Kristi Haskins Johnson Jackson 1980 2020–present Trump
22 District Judge Taylor B. McNeel Gulfport 1983 2020–present Trump
11 Senior Judge Tom Stewart Lee Jackson 1941 1984–2006 1996–2003 2006–present Reagan
15 Senior Judge David C. Bramlette Natchez 1939 1991–2006 2006–present G.H.W. Bush
16 Senior Judge Louis Guirola Jr. Gulfport 1951 2004–2018 2010–2017 2018–present G.W. Bush
17 Senior Judge Keith Starrett Hattiesburg 1951 2004–2019 2019–present G.W. Bush

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 George Adams MS 1784–1844 1838 Jackson/Operation of law resignation
2 Samuel J. Gholson MS 1808–1883 1839–1861 Van Buren resignation
3 Robert Andrews Hill MS 1811–1900 1866–1891 A. Johnson retirement
4 Henry Clay Niles MS 1850–1918 1891–1918 B. Harrison death
5 Edwin R. Holmes MS 1878–1961 1918–1936 Wilson elevation to 5th Cir.
6 Sidney Carr Mize MS 1888–1965 1937–1965 1961–1962 F. Roosevelt death
7 William Harold Cox MS 1901–1988 1961–1982 1962–1971 1982–1988 Kennedy death
8 Dan Monroe Russell Jr. MS 1913–2011 1965–1983 1971–1982 1983–2011 L. Johnson death
9 Walter Nixon MS 1928–present 1968–1989 1982–1989 L. Johnson impeachment and conviction
10 William Henry Barbour Jr. MS 1941–2021 1983–2006 1989–1996 2006–2021 Reagan death
13 Walter J. Gex III MS 1939–2020 1986–2004 2004–2020 Reagan death
14 Charles W. Pickering MS 1937–present 1990–2004 G.H.W. Bush elevation to 5th Cir.

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

Seat 1
Seat reassigned from District of Mississippi on June 18, 1838 by 5 Stat. 247 (concurrent with Southern District)
Adams 1838
Gholson 1839–1861
Hill 1866–1891
Niles 1892–1918
Holmes 1918–1936
Seat reassigned solely to Southern District on March 1, 1929 by 45 Stat. 1422
Mize 1937–1965
Russell Jr. 1965–1983
Lee 1984–2006
Jordan III 2006–present
Seat 2
Seat established on May 19, 1961 by 75 Stat. 80
Cox 1961–1982
Barbour Jr. 1983–2006
Reeves 2010–present
Seat 3
Seat established on May 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75
Nixon Jr. 1968–1989
Pickering, Sr. 1990–2004
Starrett 2004–2019
Johnson 2020–present
Seat 4
Seat established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
Wingate 1985–present
Seat 5
Seat established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
Gex III 1986–2004
Guirola Jr. 2004–2018
McNeel 2020–present
Seat 6
Seat established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089
Bramlette III 1991–2006
Ozerden 2007–present

See also


Further reading

  • David M. Hargrove, Mississippi’s Federal Courts: A History. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2019.

External links

Active district judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
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American Samoa does not have a district court or federal territorial court; federal matters there go to the District of Columbia, Hawaii, or its own Supreme Court.

Coordinates: 32°17′41″N 90°11′02″W / 32.294765°N 90.183771°W / 32.294765; -90.183771