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. The current U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is Preet Bharara. On March 12, 2015 Michael Greco was confirmed as US Marshal.
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 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.〔http://history.nysd.uscourts.gov/〕〔Asbury Dickens, ''A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America'' (1852), p. 386.〕〔(U.S. District Courts of New York, Legislative history ), ''Federal Judicial Center''.〕 According to historian Jeffrey B. Morris, "()hen Judge () Duane convened the district court for the District of New York—at the former Royal Exchange at the foot of Broad Street on November 3, 1789, it was the first meeting of a court ever held under the sovereignty of the U.S." The Act of April 9, 1814, 3 Stat. 120, divided the District of New York into Northern and Southern Districts.〔〔
The subdivision of the district was reportedly instigated by Matthias Burnett Tallmadge, out of antipathy for fellow district judge William P. Van Ness.〔H. Paul Burak, ''(History of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York )'' (1962).〕 These Districts were later further subdivided with the creation of Eastern District on February 25, 1865 by 13 Stat. 438,〔 and the Western District on May 12, 1900, by 31 Stat. 175.〔
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.〔 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 142 judges, more than any other District. Twelve judges from the Southern District of New York have been elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit—Augustus Noble Hand, Barrington Daniels Parker, Jr., Charles Merrill Hough, Irving Kaufman, John M. Walker, Jr., Julius Marshuetz Mayer, Learned Hand, Pierre N. Leval, Sonia Sotomayor, Wilfred Feinberg, Gerard E. Lynch, and Denny Chin. 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.
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