United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
(M.D. Pa.)
Appeals to: Third Circuit
Established: March 2, 1901
Judges assigned: 6
Chief Judge: Christopher C. Conner

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (in case citations, M.D. Pa.) is district level federal court with jurisdiction over approximately one half of Pennsylvania. The court was created in 1901 by subdividing the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The court is under the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

Because Harrisburg, the state capital, is located within the district's jurisdiction, most suits against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are filed in the Middle District. Similarly, because York County Prison served as the largest Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) facility in the Northeast, the Middle District also adjudicated a large number of immigration cases. The courts of appeal are now responsible for most judicial review of immigration decisions, bypassing the Middle District and other district courts.

Judge Christopher C. Conner is the Chief Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Martin John Pane is the United States Marshal for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.


The United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789.[1][2] It was subdivided on April 20, 1818, by 3 Stat. 462,[1][2] into the Eastern and Western Districts to be headquartered in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, respectively.[1] Portions of these districts were subsequently subdivided into the Middle District on March 2, 1901, by 31 Stat. 880.[2]

Current judges

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
20 Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner Harrisburg 1957 2002–present 2013–present G.W. Bush
18 District Judge Yvette Kane Harrisburg 1953 1998–present 2006–2013 Clinton
21 District Judge John E. Jones III Harrisburg 1955 2002–present G.W. Bush
22 District Judge Robert D. Mariani Scranton 1950 2011–present Obama
23 District Judge Malachy E. Mannion Scranton 1953 2012–present Obama
24 District Judge Matthew W. Brann Williamsport 1965 2012–present Obama
8 Senior Judge William Joseph Nealon, Jr. Scranton 1923 1962[3]–1989 1976–1989 1989–present Kennedy
11 Senior Judge Richard Paul Conaboy Scranton 1925 1979–1992 1989–1992 1992–present Carter
12 Senior Judge Sylvia H. Rambo Harrisburg 1936 1979–2001 1992–1999 2001–present Carter
13 Senior Judge William W. Caldwell Harrisburg 1925 1982–1994 1994–present Reagan
14 Senior Judge Edwin Michael Kosik Scranton 1925 1986–1996 1996–present Reagan
17 Senior Judge A. Richard Caputo Wilkes-Barre 1938 1997–2009 2009–present Clinton
19 Senior Judge James Martin Munley Scranton 1936 1998–2009 2009–present Clinton

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Archbald, Robert W.Robert W. Archbald PA 1848–1926 1901–1911 McKinley, McKinley reappointment
2 Witmer, Charles B.Charles B. Witmer PA 1862–1925 1911–1925 Taft, Taft death
3 Johnson, Albert WilliamsAlbert Williams Johnson PA 1872–1957 1925–1945 Coolidge, Coolidge resignation
4 Watson, Albert LeisenringAlbert Leisenring Watson PA 1876–1960 1929–1955 1948–1955 1955–1960 Hoover, Hoover death
5 Murphy, John W.John W. Murphy PA 1902–1962 1946–1962 1955–1962 Truman, Truman death
6 Follmer, Frederick VorisFrederick Voris Follmer PA 1885–1971 1946–1967 1962 1967–1971 Truman, Truman death
7 Sheridan, Michael HenryMichael Henry Sheridan PA 1912–1976 1961–1976 1962–1976 Kennedy, Kennedy death
9 Herman, Robert DixonRobert Dixon Herman PA 1911–1990 1969–1981 1981–1990 Nixon, Nixon death
10 Muir, MalcolmMalcolm Muir PA 1914–2011 1970–1984 1984–2011 Nixon death
15 James Focht McClure, Jr. PA 1931–2010 1990–2001 2001–2010 G.H.W. Bush death
16 Vanaskie, Thomas I.Thomas I. Vanaskie PA 1953–present 1994–2010 1999–2006 Clinton, Clinton reappointment

Succession of seats

Seat 1
Seat established on March 2, 1901 by 31 Stat. 880
Archbald 1901–1911
Witmer 1911–1925
Johnson 1925–1945
Murphy 1946–1962
Nealon, Jr. 1963–1989
McClure, Jr. 1990–2001
Jones, III 2002–present

Seat 2
Seat established on February 28, 1929 by 45 Stat. 1344
Watson 1929–1955
Seat abolished on May 31, 1955 pursuant to 68 Stat. 8

Seat 3
Seat established on July 24, 1946 by 60 Stat. 654 (temporary)
Seat became permanent upon the abolishment of Seat 2 on May 31, 1955.
Follmer 1946–1967
Herman 1969–1981
Caldwell 1982–1994
Munley 1998–2009
Mariani 2011–present

Seat 4
Seat established on May 19, 1961 by 75 Stat. 80
Sheridan 1961–1976
Seat abolished on August 23, 1976 (Temporary judgeship expired)

Seat 5
Seat established on June 2, 1970 by 84 Stat. 294 (temporary)
Seat became permanent upon the abolishment of Seat 4 on August 23, 1976.
Muir 1970–1984
Kosik 1986–1996
Kane 1998–present

Seat 6
Seat established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Conaboy 1979–1992
Caputo 1997–2009
Mannion 2012–present

Seat 7
Seat established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Rambo 1979–2001
Conner 2002–present

Seat 8
Seat established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089
Vanaskie 1994–2010
Brann 2012–present

Notable cases

List of U.S. Attorneys

The people in the district are represented by the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.


Within the Middle District, federal courthouses are located in:

Counties of jurisdiction

The Court's jurisdiction includes the following counties:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 388.
  2. 1 2 3 U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1963, confirmed by the United States Senate on March 15, 1963, and received commission on March 27, 1963.
  4. http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/opinions/munley/06v1586-op.pdf Opinion in Lozano v. Hazleton
  5. "Listing of U.S. Attorneys | USAO-MDPA | Department of Justice". justice.gov. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
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