pageok
pageok
pageok
United States District Court Puzzle:

U.S. District Courts are generally known as

The United States District Court for the X District of Y

where X is "Northern," "Southern," "Eastern," "Western," "Middle," or nothing at all, and where Y is the name of the jurisdiction (e.g., Alaska, Texas, Guam, and the like).

Which currently operational U.S. District Courts do not precisely fit this pattern? Partial credit will not be given.

UPDATE: Note that the question is limited (three times!) to U.S. District Courts. If the court you're thinking of isn't a U.S. District Court, it doesn't qualify. If you think some court that isn't called a U.S. District Court is actually a U.S. District Court, please explain your position in any comment you post.

FURTHER UPDATE: If you think some court qualifies because of its nonstandard name -- for instance, one commenter suggests the "Connecticut District Court" -- please point to some evidence that the court is actually called that. The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, for example, actually seems to be called the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut -- which fits the standard format described above -- and not the Connecticut District Court.

Tennessean (mail):
Bankruptcy courts are federal trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Also, the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims.
5.30.2006 6:20pm
Dan Schmutter:
Bankruptcy courts are not district courts. Also they DO follow that same nomenclature. The only difference is substituting "Bankruptcy" for "District" in the name.

Dan
5.30.2006 6:25pm
Legal Thoughts (mail):
Well, if the answer is not limited to Article III courts, one repsonse is the United States Court of Federal Claims.
5.30.2006 6:25pm
A.S.:
where X is "Northern," "Southern," "Eastern," "Western," "Middle," or nothing at all

Is this list intended to be exhaustive? I.e., is the Central District of California responsive, since "Central" is not "Northern," "Southern," "Eastern," "Western," "Middle," or nothing at all?
5.30.2006 6:27pm
ndegani (mail):
"United States District Court for the District of Columbia" is, I think, the most obvious, along with perhaps the "United States Tax Court" and the "United States Court of Federal Claims"
5.30.2006 6:29pm
A.S.:
Should say Central Districts of CA and IL.
5.30.2006 6:30pm
Trover (mail):
1) Central District of California
2) Connecticut District Court
3) District Court for the District of Columbia
4) District Court of Guam
5) Central District of Illinois
6) Massachusetts District Court
7) District Court of the Virgin Islands
5.30.2006 6:31pm
Dan Schmutter:
District of Columbia does fit the pattern. The pattern is X where X is either a compass direction, middle, central or nothing and Y where Y is the jurisdiction.

The District of Columbia is the name of the jurisdiction.

Dan
5.30.2006 6:34pm
Dan Schmutter:
Trover -

If you use the actual official names of those courts, they all fit the pattern.

Dan
5.30.2006 6:35pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Dan: I think that if you look closely at the pattern I gave, you'll find that your analysis is mistaken.
5.30.2006 6:35pm
Tennessean (mail):
Dan: Have any authority for that? They are certainly federal trial courts and they are certainly set up by district? Obviously, that is not final, but I did not find in my quick search an authoritative def'n of district court and I did see that bankruptcy courts are considered "units" of district courts.

Moreover, assuming arguendo that they are district courts, they do not "precisely fit" Mssr. Volokh's pattern.
5.30.2006 6:35pm
Tennessean (mail):
Conceding defeat on the bankruptcy, federal claims, and international trade courts - http://216.152.235.70/webdir.fwx (if that doesn't work, it is the directory of district courts on the U.S. Courts web-page, listing none of the above).
5.30.2006 6:40pm
ndegani:
On the D.C. district court: if the pattern were followed, it would be called the "U.S. District Court for the District of the District of Columbia." Now unless "Columbia" has been added as a state of the Union, the "U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia" is a break in the pattern.
5.30.2006 6:41pm
Tennessean (mail):
Indeed, it does appear to be the

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

according to http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/.
5.30.2006 6:43pm
Traveler:
United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
5.30.2006 6:44pm
Dan Schmutter:
Ah. Got it. How about this:

The Virgin Islands are actually called the United States Virgin Islands, yet the District Court is simply called "The United States District Court for the Virgin Islands" not "The United States District Court for the United States Virgin Islands."

Is that it?

Dan
5.30.2006 6:49pm
Dan Schmutter:
Actually I left out the words "District of" in the above analysis but you get the idea.

Dan
5.30.2006 6:51pm
Dan Schmutter:
Yes, that has to be it. If you visit the Court's website, the seal says "District of Virgin Islands" not District of United States Virgin Islands."

Dan
5.30.2006 6:54pm
Trover (mail):
Conceded!

1) Central District of California
2) District Court for the District of Columbia
3) District Court of Guam
4) Central District of Illinois
5) District Court of the Virgin Islands
5.30.2006 6:55pm
Aaron:
United States District Court for the Northern Marianas Islands.
5.30.2006 6:55pm
ElizabethN:
United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands (no "District of")
http://www.nmid.uscourts.gov/
5.30.2006 6:58pm
Dan Schmutter:
Trover -

No, only the USVI works. All of the others fit the pattern.

Aaron -

Northern Marianas Islands fits the pattern. Northern Marianas Islands is the name of the jurisdication is it not?

Dan
5.30.2006 6:59pm
Dan Schmutter:
Egad! ElizabethN and Aaron you are exactly right.

D'oh!

Dan
5.30.2006 7:00pm
Aaron:
Yes, but the title would have to be "The United States District Court for the DISTRICT of the Northern Marianas Islands". It isn't -- check out the seal.
5.30.2006 7:01pm
Trover (mail):
Yes.
1) Central District of California
2) District Court for the District of Columbia
3) District Court of Guam
4) Central District of Illinois
5) District Court of the Virgin Islands
6) District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands
5.30.2006 7:01pm
Aaron:
Could it be because the sitting Judge doesn't have lifetime tenure? Or did they just forget?
5.30.2006 7:02pm
ElizabethN:
Hey - Aaron got in while I was fighting with your comment form! No fair! :)
5.30.2006 7:03pm
Dan Schmutter:
Trover -

Just out of curiosity, why do you keep including those others? The C.D.C., D.D.C., D. Guam, C.D.Ill. all follow the pattern.

Dan
5.30.2006 7:06pm
Aaron:
Elizabeth, if you play nice with the comment form, it will play nice with you! :^)
5.30.2006 7:08pm
Richard Riley (mail):
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia certainly is a correct answer to Prof. Volokh's quiz, as he indirectly acknowledges above.

I also nominate the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. The official name of the state, as recited in its constitution, is "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," whereas the official name of the court, as far as I can tell based on title 28 U.S.C. as well as the court's website, is "United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island" period.
5.30.2006 7:09pm
Aaron:
The main question is, why doesn't the NM judge have lifetime tenure?
5.30.2006 7:09pm
Tennessean (mail):
Where would I find a list of the official court titles? I can only find various directories and the court web-pages (which may or may not be informal titles).
5.30.2006 7:11pm
Aaron:
Go to their websites and look at their seals. www.uscourts.gov
5.30.2006 7:14pm
Tennessean (mail):
Are we taking their seals to be their "official" names? Kentucky district courts, then, would presumably have to be of the "District of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," no? Likewise, what to do with the many state seals not in English?
5.30.2006 7:30pm
Anonymous coward:
I know that the New Jersey District Courts use the word "vicinage" for the location where the particutlar Court sits (Camden, Trenton and Newark) although all three Courts are technically in one District - the District of New Jersey.
5.30.2006 8:28pm
Dan Schmutter:
I guess Richard Riley has a point. The jurisdiction is "The District of Columbia." If it followed the pattern the court would be called the United States District Court for the District of the District of Columbia. Which its not.

Dan
5.30.2006 9:05pm
BobVDV (mail):

The main question is, why doesn't the NM judge have lifetime tenure?


The court's website says

For further information about the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, please refer to 48 U.S.C. 1821 et seq.

That statute provides:

(b) Appointment, tenure, removal, compensation, etc., of District Court judge; appointment of United States attorney and United States marshal
(1) The President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint a judge for the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands who shall hold office for the term of ten years and until his successor is chosen and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President for cause. The judge shall receive a salary payable by the United States which shall be at the rate prescribed for judges of the United States district courts.
(2) The Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of the United
States may assign justices of the High Court of the Trust Territory
of the Pacific Islands or judges of courts of record of the
Northern Mariana Islands who are licensed attorneys in good
standing or a circuit or district judge of the ninth circuit,
including a judge of the District Court of Guam who is appointed by
the President or a recalled senior judge of the District Court of
Guam or of the District Court of the Northern Mariana Islands, or
the Chief Justice of the United States may assign any other United
States circuit or district judge with the consent of the judge so
assigned and of the chief judge of his circuit to serve temporarily
as a judge in the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands
whenever such an assignment is necessary for the proper dispatch of
the business of the court. Such judges shall have all the powers of
a judge of the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands,
including the power to appoint any person to a statutory position,
or to designate a depository of funds or a newspaper for
publication of legal notices.
(3) The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, a United States attorney and United States
marshal for the Northern Mariana Islands to whose offices the
provisions of chapters 35 and 37 of title 28, respectively, shall
apply.
(4) If the President appoints a judge for the District Court for
the Northern Mariana Islands or a United States attorney or a
United States marshal for the Northern Mariana Islands who at that
time is serving in the same capacity in another district, the
appointment shall, without prejudice to a subsequent appointment,
be for the unexpired term of such judge or officer.
5.30.2006 9:24pm
BobVDV (mail):
Further review of the website of the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands reveals this gem in the rules for prospective jurors:


The United States District Court forthe Northern Mariana Islands has a dress code which is strictly enforced. Shorts, t-shirts, halter tops, zories, sandals, and other inappropriate attire are not permitted. Also, it should be noted that the Courtroom is air conditioned and you may need a jacket or sweater for your comfort.

Possession and chewing of bettlenut in the court building is prohibited.


Bettlenut? Zories? Is this the only court where such terms are in common use?
5.30.2006 9:45pm
Can't find a good name:
Dan: Eugene left out "Central" as a possibility for X in the original question, so any district court with the word "Central" would qualify as not fitting the pattern.
5.30.2006 10:51pm
Dell Adams (mail):
Tennessean: Aaron meant the seals of the courts, not of the states.
5.30.2006 10:53pm
Ira B. Matetsky (mail):
The official names of the territorial courts established by federal statute are "District Court of Guam" (48 U.S.C. sec. 1624), "District Court of the Virgin Islands" (48 U.S.C. sec. 1611), and "District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands" (48 U.S.C. sec. 1821). Plainly none of these is in the form "United States District Court for the X District of Y."

However, I do not believe that these three territorial courts are actually considered "U.S. District Courts" and therefore they may be disqualified as answers to the Professor's question. The Judicial Code provides that "[t]here shall be in each judicial district a court which shall be a court of record known as the United States District Court for the district." (28 U.S.C. sec. 132(a)) Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands of the United States are not created as judicial districts under title 28. (Puerto Rico is. See 28 U.S.C. sec. 119. The District of Columbia also is. 28 U.S.C. sec. 88. Hawaii also was even before statehood. See 28 U.S.C. sec. 91.) References to "a district court of the United States" in the Judicial Code generally do not include the D.V.I., D. Guam, or D.N.M.I. unless expressly specified. (See, e.g., 28 U.S.C. sec. 1291)

Virtually all federal court districts comprise either one state (or other jurisdictional unit) or a portion of one state. However, the District of Wyoming comprises "Wyoming and those portions of Yellowstone National Park situated in Montana and Idado." Conversely, the District of Montana and the District of Idaho comprise less than the total area of the States of Montana and Idaho. (See 28 U.S.C. secs. 92, 106, 131) Therefore, the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming, the United States District Court for the District of Montana, and the United States District Court for the District of Idaho are not in the form "the United States District Court for the X District of Y" because in each case, the "Y" is not a completely accurate description of the court's geographical jurisdiction.

Additionally, the District of Hawaii "includes the Midway Islands, Wake Island, Johnston Island, Sand Island, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Island, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Canton Island, and Enderbury Island." (28 U.S.C. sec. 91) [The United States has relinquished its territorial claims on Canton and Enderbury Islands in the 1979 Treaty of Friendship and Territorial Sovereignty with the Republic of Kiribati, but apparently no one has gotten around to amending title 28 in this respect — the Law Revision Counsel's office should attend to this pronto!] Hence "Hawaii" is not a complete description of this court's jurisdiction either.

To "anonymous coward": What are called "vicinages" in the District of New Jersey are simply places of holding court within the District (the term is borrowed from the state court system). Some Districts in other states are statutorily divided into "divisions," but the District of New Jersey is not.
5.30.2006 11:04pm
FACTSAboutSoCalledDistrictCourts (mail):
A Collection of Court Authorities
in re the
District Court of the United States


by

Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
(All Rights Reserved)



We begin with one of the great masters of Constitution, Chief
Justice John Marshall, writing in the year 1828. Here, Justice
Marshall makes a very clear distinction between judicial courts,
authorized by Article III, and legislative (territorial) courts,
authorized by Article IV. Marshall even utilizes some of the
exact wording of Article IV to differentiate those courts from
Article III "judicial power" courts, as follows:

These [territorial] courts then, are not Constitutional
courts, in which the judicial power conferred by the
Constitution on the general government can be deposited.
They are incapable of receiving it. They are legislative
courts, created in virtue of the general rights of
sovereignty which exists in the government, or in virtue of
that clause which enables Congress to make all needful rules
and regulations, respecting the territory belonging to the
United States. The jurisdiction with which they are
invested, is not a part of that judicial power which is
defined in the 3d article of the Constitution, but is
conferred by Congress, in the execution of those general
powers which that body possesses over the territories of the
United States. Although admiralty jurisdiction can be
exercised in the States in those courts only which are
established in pursuance of the 3d article of the
Constitution, the same limitation does not extend to the
territories. In legislating for them, Congress exercises
the combined powers of the general and of the State
government.

[American Insurance Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton]
[1 Pet. 511 (1828), emphasis added]


Though the judicial system set up in a Territory of the
United States is a part of federal jurisdiction, the phrase
"court of the United States", when used in a federal statute, is
generally construed as not referring to "territorial courts."
See Balzac v. Porto Rico, 258 U.S. 298 at 312 (1921), 42 S.Ct.
343, 66 L.Ed. 627. In Balzac, the high Court stated:

The United States District Court is not a true United States
court established under Article III of the Constitution to
administer the judicial power of the United States therein
conveyed. It is created by virtue of the sovereign
congressional faculty, granted under Article IV, Section 3,
of that instrument, of making all needful rules and
regulations respecting the territory belonging to the United
States. The resemblance of its jurisdiction to that of true
United States courts in offering an opportunity to
nonresidents of resorting to a tribunal not subject to local
influence, does not change its character as a mere
territorial court.

[Balzac v. Porto Rico, 258 U.S. 298 at 312]
[42 S.Ct. 343, 66 L.Ed. 627 (1921)]


Constitutional provision against diminution of compensation
of federal judges was designed to secure independence of
judiciary.
[O'Donoghue v. U.S., 289 U.S. 516 (1933)]
[headnote 2. Judges]


The term "District Courts of the United States," as used in
Criminal Appeals Rules, without an addition expressing a
wider connotation, had its historic significance and
described courts created under article 3 of Constitution,
and did not include territorial courts.

[Mookini et al. v. U.S., 303 U.S. 201]
[headnote 2. Courts, emphasis added]


Where statute authorized Supreme Court to prescribe Criminal
Appeals Rules in District Courts of the United States
including named territorial courts, omission in rules when
drafted of reference to District Court of Hawaii, and
certain other of the named courts, indicated that Criminal
Appeals Rules were not to apply to those [latter] courts.

[Mookini et al. v. U.S., 303 U.S. 201]
[headnote 4. Courts, emphasis added]


The following paragraph from Mookini is extraordinary for several
reasons: (1) it refers to the "historic and proper sense" of the
term "District Courts of the United States", (2) it makes a key
distinction between such courts and application of their rules to
territorial courts; (3) the application of the maxim inclusio
unius est exclusio alterius is obvious here, namely, the omission
of territorial courts clearly shows that they were intended to be
omitted:

Not only did the promulgating order use the term District
Courts of the United States in its historic and proper
sense, but the omission of provisions for the application of
the rules to the territorial courts and other courts
mentioned in the authorizing act clearly shows the
limitation that was intended.

[Mookini et al. v. U.S., 303 U.S. 201]
[emphasis added]


The words "district court of the United States" commonly
describe constitutional courts created under Article III of
the Constitution, not the legislative courts which have long
been the courts of the Territories.

[Int'l Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union et al.]
v. Juneau Spruce Corp., 342 U.S. 237 (1952)]
[emphasis added]


The phrase "court of the United States", without more, means
solely courts created by Congress under Article III of the
Constitution and not territorial courts.


[Int'l Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union et al.]
[v. Wirtz, 170 F.2d 183 (9th Cir. 1948), headnote 1]
[emphasis added]


United States District Courts have only such jurisdiction as
is conferred by an Act of Congress under the Constitution.
U.S.C.A. Const. art. 3, sec. 2; 28 U.S.C.A. 1344]

[Hubbard v. Ammerman, 465 F.2d 1169 (5th Cir., 1972)]
[headnote 2. Courts]


The United States district courts are not courts of general
jurisdiction. They have no jurisdiction except as
prescribed by Congress pursuant to Article III of the
Constitution. [many cites omitted]

[Graves v. Snead, 541 F.2d 159 (6th Cir. 1976)]


The question of jurisdiction in the court either over the
person, the subject-matter or the place where the crime was
committed can be raised at any stage of a criminal
proceeding; it is never presumed, but must always be
proved; and it is never waived by a defendant.

[U.S. v. Rogers, 23 F. 658 (D.C.Ark. 1885)]


In a criminal proceeding lack of subject matter jurisdiction
cannot be waived and may be asserted at any time by
collateral attack.

[U.S. v. Gernie, 228 F.Supp. 329 (D.C.N.Y. 1964)]


Jurisdiction of court may be challenged at any stage of the
proceeding, and also may be challenged after conviction and
execution of judgment by way of writ of habeas corpus.

[U.S. v. Anderson, 60 F.Supp. 649 (D.C.Wash. 1945)]


The United States District Court has only such jurisdiction
as Congress confers.
[Eastern Metals Corp. v. Martin]
[191 F.Supp 245 (D.C.N.Y. 1960)]
5.30.2006 11:34pm
FACTSAboutSoCalledDistrictCourts (mail):
"Karma and the Federal Courts"



by



Paul Andrew Mitchell

All Rights Reserved

(November 1996)



The law of karma is this: what goes around, comes around. When you begin with freedom, freedom comes back to dwell in your house.

And so, we have come to this point in decoding Title 28 of the United States Codes: there are two classes of federal "District Courts" in the federal court system.

One class is for the federal zone; the other class is for the State zone.

Using a very powerful rule of statutory construction, "inclusio unius est exclusio alterius," we show that the phrase "District Court of the United States" refers to federal courts for the State zone; and the phrase "United States District Court" refers to federal courts for the federal zone.

We have this on the authority of the Supreme Court of the United States, most notably in the cases of American Insurance Company v. 356 Bales of Cotton, and Balzac v. Porto Rico [sic].

Now, here's the rub: Since federal courts are creatures of statutes only, they can only cognize subject matters which are assigned to them expressly by statutes.

When it comes to criminal jurisdiction, the controlling statute is 18 U.S.C. 3231.

This statute grants original jurisdiction to the District Courts of the United States (“DCUS”), but does not mention the United States District Courts (“USDC”)!

How about them apples?

Remember this carefully:

Inclusio unius est exclusio alterius (in Latin ).

Inclusion of one is exclusion of others (in English).

Since the USDC is not mentioned, its omission can be inferred as intentional. (Read that again, then confirm it in Black's Law Dictionary, any edition).

So, from the historian's point of view, Congress has permitted the limited territorial and subject matter jurisdiction of the USDC to be extended, unlawfully, into the State zone, and into subject matters over which said court has no jurisdiction whatsoever.

This deception was maintained as long as nobody noticed, but now it is obvious, and quite difficult to change, without bringing down the whole house of cards (which is happening, by the way. The Liege firemen are literally hosing their own corrupt court buildings, so we're not alone in this department of judicial tyranny.)

By the way, the famous Belgian Firemen from Liege have been invited, via the Internet, to discharge the Belgian debt to the United States by moving their talents State-side. They should return home debt free, in about ten years or so, depending on available supplies of soap and water.

Imagine a sheet of Saran Wrap, which has been yanked too far, by pulling it beyond the strict territorial boundaries which surround the federal zone.

This is the United States District Court (“USDC”), in all its limited Honors and tarnished glory.

Further proof of this bad karma can be found by comparing 18 U.S.C. 1964(a) and 1964(c). Both statutes grant authority to issue remedies to restrain racketeering activities prohibited by 18 U.S.C. 1962. Section 1964(a) grants civil jurisdiction to issue injunctive relief to the DCUS; Section 1964(c) grants civil jurisdiction to issue injunctive relief to the USDC. Both refer to the exact same subject matter, namely, RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) activities.

So, when these two statutes are otherwise identical, why did Congress need to enact two separate statutes?

The answer is simple: one authority was needed for the DCUS, and the other was needed for the USDC. Simple, really, when the sedition by syntax is explained in language which penetrates the deception.

Now, if this is truly the case, and nobody has been able to prove us wrong about this matter, the United States (federal government) is in a heap of trouble here, because it has been prosecuting people in the wrong courts ever since the Civil War; furthermore, those courts have no criminal jurisdiction whatsoever, because such an authority is completely lacking from Titles 18 and 28, both of which have been enacted into positive law, unlike Title 26, which has not been enacted into positive law. See Title 1 for details.

What do we do with this earth-shaking discovery? Well, when any federal case is filed, the criminal defendant should submit a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request immediately, for such things as any regulations which have been published in the Federal Register, pursuant to the Federal Register Act, for 18 U.S.C. 3231.

It won't hurt to submit similar FOIA requests for the credentials of all federal employees who have "touched" the case in any way.

Since we already know that there are no regulations for 18 U.S.C. 3231, and that federal employees will usually refuse to produce their credentials, your FOIA requests will be met with silence, whereupon you will file a FOIA appeal. Once the appeal deadline has run, you are in court.

But which court? Guess ...

... the answer is the District Court of the United States. What an amazing discovery, yes? A United States District Judge in Arizona, in late Spring of 1996, ruled that the United States District Court (“USDC”) is not the proper forum to litigate a request under the FOIA. That can only be because FOIA requests must be litigated in the District Court of the United States (“DCUS”).

Now we have the United States checkmated. The proper forum for FOIA is now res judicata. If the DCUS is the proper forum for FOIA, and if the USDC is NOT the proper forum for FOIA, then the USDC is not the proper forum for prosecuting violations of Title 18 either, because the USDC does not show up in 5 U.S.C. 552 or in 18 U.S.C. 3231!

Read that last paragraph again, and again, until you get it. It's okay to admit that you must read it several times; this writer once read a paragraph from Hooven and Allison v. Evatt some 20 different times, until the meaning was finally clear.

Inclusio unius est exclusio alterius. The omission by Congress of the USDC from 18 U.S.C. 3231 must have been intentional; the maxim certainly allows us to infer that it was intentional. Use of this maxim allows for us to exploit one of the most powerful techniques in American jurisprudence. It is called "collateral attack" — a broadside, rather than a head-on, collision.

Knowledge is power, and power is freedom ...

... freedom. Freedom! FREEDOM!!!

Love it.



Common Law Copyright

Paul Andrew Mitchell

Counselor at Law, Federal Witness

and Citizen of Arizona State

All Rights Reserved Without Prejudice

November 2, 1996
5.30.2006 11:42pm
Matt22191 (mail):
I knew the D.D.C. immediately. (Had no clue about the others, though.) I once almost filed a motion in the D.D.C. in which I referred to the court as the United States District Court for the District of the District of Columbia.

Almost.
5.30.2006 11:44pm
Ben Coates (mail):
FACTSAboutSoCalledDistrictCourts:

Assuming that's really you, how's that $2 billion dollar lawsuit against the known universe going?
5.30.2006 11:51pm
Ben Coates (mail):
Looks like the DOJ made that mistake too:

http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3900/3987.pdf
5.30.2006 11:54pm
Steve Vladeck (mail):
What's funny about D.C. is that the Bluebook is wrong -- we routinely cite D.C. district court cases as "(D.D.C. xxxx)," when its official name, as others have noted, only includes one "D." [The same follows for decisions of the old D.C. circuit court, which are routinely cited to "C.C.D.D.C."
5.31.2006 12:54am
Tennessean (mail):
With no further word from the Professor, controveries remain (none of which seemingly have been addressed in whole):

1. What is a district court? (Alt: what criteria are we using to identify a district court?) Are the bankruptcy courts district courts? How about the federal claims and international trade courts? How about the statutory regional federal trial courts?

2. What is the official name of a court?

3. What is the official name of a jurisdiction? "District of Columbia" or "Columbia"? "Commonwealth of Kentucky" or "Kentucky"? "United States Virgin Islands" or "Virgin Islands"?

It seems to me that the least controversial and most interesting answers thus far are the Montana/Idaho/Wyoming and Hawaii responses courtesy of Ira B. Matetsky.
5.31.2006 1:28am
Mox (mail):
U. S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
5.31.2006 8:44am
barracuda:
I practiced in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands ("CNMI") for five years. When I first arrived, I was surprised by the sign outside the Superior Court that said: No smoking, No spitting! What the f***? That was my introduction to bettlenut chewing . . . an activity that produces copious amounts of red saliva and dark red stains all over the sidewalks and streets. Zories, however, were allowed in the Superior Court . . . it wasn't as fancy as the District Court.
5.31.2006 9:18am
Joshua Hosseinof:
1. US District Court for the Arkansas Eastern District
http://www.are.uscourts.gov/default.html - Look at their seal on the website.

2. Northern Mariana Islands - http://www.nmid.uscourts.gov/
Does not say "District of"

3. District of Columbia -
http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/
District of Columbia is the name of the jurisdiction, so it should have said District of "District of Columbia"
5.31.2006 4:15pm
Smokejumper42 (mail):
The District Court of Guam has a seal in its new courtroom which says "United States District Court - District of Guam". However, the Court is announced as the "District Court of Guam".

Betal nut is a common chew in the far islands of Micronesia. I recently tried a case in Yap before the Supreme Court of the FSM where Betal nut chewing was common in the courtroom, and where numerous spit barrels were located all over the room. The witnesses chewed, the court clerks chewed as did the gallery. The only non-chewers (and spitters) were the lawyers and the judge.

The Traders Ridge bar in Colonia makes one heck of a Betal nut martini.....
6.1.2006 1:52am