Northern District of Georgia
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is one of three federal judicial districts in the state of Georgia. It covers the northern counties of the state and is an important part of the federal judiciary. The Northern District has a long history, dating back to 1848, and today handles thousands of federal cases each year. Its main courthouse is located in Atlanta.
History and Establishment
The Northern District of Georgia was officially established on August 11, 1848 by an act of Congress. Georgia was originally a single federal judicial district, but as the population grew, Congress decided to split it into two districts – the Northern and Southern Districts. The dividing line was the county of Scriven. The first court session in the Northern District was held on May 29, 1848 in the city of Athens. Additional cities were later designated to hold court sessions as the population spread across the northern counties.
The Northern District of Georgia encompasses the northern portion of the state of Georgia.
The district has jurisdiction over 46 counties in total. These include:
Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, De Kalb, Douglas, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Lumpkin, Meriwether, Murray, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Rabun, Rockdale, Spalding, Stephens, Towns, Troup, Union, Walker, White, Whitfield
This covers many major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Marietta, Gainesville and Rome.
Courthouses and Locations
Main Courthouse in Atlanta
The main courthouse for the Northern District of Georgia is the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and Courthouse located in downtown Atlanta. The address is:
75 Ted Turner Drive Southwest, Suite 1600 Atlanta, GA 30303-3311
This courthouse houses the Atlanta division of the court. It contains courtrooms and judges’ chambers as well as the office of the Clerk of Court.
In addition to Atlanta, the Northern District has divisional offices in Gainesville and Rome. These were established to bring the court closer to the residents in outlying counties within the district. Judges will periodically travel to hold court sessions in Gainesville and Rome. There is also a divisional courthouse in the city of Newnan.
Administration and Staff
The U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia is Thomas E. Brown. The Marshal is responsible for court security and for serving warrants and other court orders.
The phone number for the Northern District court clerk’s office in Atlanta is (404) 464-4300. This number can be used to get information on filings, court calendars, and other administrative matters.
Caseload and Operations
Types of Cases
The Northern District of Georgia handles both civil and criminal matters that fall under federal jurisdiction. On the civil side, these include cases involving federal laws and agencies, maritime law, bankruptcy, patent and copyright issues, and more. Criminal cases range from white collar crimes to drug trafficking, immigration violations, and other federal offenses.
Filings and Trials
The Northern District is one of the busiest federal courts in the country. In recent years, it has handled around 8,000 new case filings per year. Around 200 of these cases will go to trial annually. The court has a reputation for being efficient in clearing its crowded docket.
- Established in 1848
- Headquartered in Atlanta
- Has 3 divisional offices
- 46 counties in its jurisdiction
- Over 8,000 new case filings per year
Importance of the Court
The Northern District of Georgia plays a pivotal role in the administration of justice at the federal level in the northern half of the state. It has a long, rich history and a heavy caseload today. The Northern District courthouse in Atlanta is also home to important Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals cases arising from Georgia. This district court and its judges have played an important part in key moments in Georgia’s history, from civil rights cases to hearing cases related to federal agencies such as the CDC, headquartered in DeKalb County. The Northern District of Georgia will likely continue to take on complex, high-profile cases in the years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many judges are there in the Northern District?
Currently there are 11 authorized district court judgeships, along with magistrate judges.
What types of cases are heard by the Northern District?
It hears a full range of civil and criminal matters falling under federal law. Everything from criminal fraud to patent cases to federal agency disputes and more.
Where are the courthouses located?
The main courthouse is in downtown Atlanta. There are also divisional courthouses in Gainesville, Rome, and Newnan.
How can I access court records for the Northern District?
Court records can be accessed online through PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) or viewed in person at the courthouses.
How can I find information on a particular case?
You can contact the Clerk’s office by phone or search for the case on PACER by party name or case number. The court’s website also has a case locator.