US District Court • Southern District of New York

Welcome to the Southern District of New York

Foley Square Courthouse

White Plains Courthouse

History of the
Southern District

News and Events

2nd Circuit Judicial Misconduct Procedures

Welcome to the Southern District of New York.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York encompasses the counties of New York, Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan and draws jurors from those counties. The Court hears cases in Manhattan, White Plains, and Poughkeepsie, New York.

The District of New York held its first session on the first Tuesday of November 1789 at the Old Royal Exchange in lower Manhattan presided over by Judge James Duane, who was appointed by President Washington. It was the first court to sit under the new United States Constitution, preceding the United States Supreme Court by a few months. The District and its successor, the Southern District of New York, have sat continuously in New York, NY, since 1789. Those who have served as judges of the Court include Justice Sonia Sotomayor, former Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, Sr., former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh. Among the cases of historical interest heard in the Court have been claims arising from the sinking of the Titanic and the Lusitania, the Cold War espionage cases of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Alger Hiss, and the government's challenges to the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses and the New York Times's Pentagon Papers.

Modern cases include the prosecutions of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, the "Somali Pirate" Abduwali Muse, and Martha Stewart for her financial crimes. In addition, the court has heard a number of civil claims regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the contentious Westway plan, which was set to replace the West Side Highway, and the Tenerife Aircrash litigation, which followed the devastating collision of two Boeing 747 aircrafts on a runway in Tenerife, Spain.

For a listing of current U. S. District Judges and U.S. Magistrate Judges, click on Judges. Prior to appearing before the Court, parties should be familiar with the Individual Practices of the judge who has been assigned to their case.

The Southern District of New York has implemented Electronic Case Filing (ECF) and publishes the Electronic Case Filing Rules and Instructions to assist the bar. Documents filed in ECF cases must be filed electronically and will not be accepted in paper form, unless authorized. For more information, please visit ECF or contact the ECF Help Desk. For assistance in filing non-ECF cases, contact the Clerk’s Office.

The Clerk of Court publishes information on this web site to assist the public and the Bar in conducting business with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. New and noteworthy information is available by clicking onto the Notice to the Bar or the News and Events links. Please note that in addition to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court’s Local Rules govern the conduct of all actions filed in this Federal Court.