Welcome

Welcome to the official website of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Our website was designed to provide attorneys and public users convenient access to current information about our Court and the cases being adjudicated in this District. Our Court's mission is to facilitate the prompt and equitable administration of justice while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and accountability. We believe that this website plays a vital role in achieving that goal, so we welcome your suggestions as to how we might improve this website to better serve your needs.

Court Notices & Important Announcements

12/19/2014
US Probation Officer Assistant
The U.S. Probation Office for the Western District of Tennessee is seeking a Probation officer assistant for compiling criminal histories/profiles, running record checks through local, and national databases and files. Announcement. Job Application - Word, WordPerfect, PDF.

12/19/2014
Official Court Reporter position
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee is seeking an Official Court Reporter for attending and recording verbatim court sessions or other proceedings as specified by statute, rule or order of Court. Announcement. Job Application - Word, WordPerfect, PDF.

12/18/2014
Chief US Probation Officer position
The U.S. Probation Office for the Western District of Tennessee is seeking a Chief U.S. Probation Officer. The Chief U.S. Probation Officer administers and manages the daily operations of the U.S. Probation Office for the Western District of Tennessee in Memphis and a divisional office in Jackson, Tennessee. Announcement. Job Application - Word, WordPerfect, PDF.

9/5/2014
Revised ADR Plan Effective September 1, 2014
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee adopted a new alternative dispute resolution plan on March 1, 2014, with an effective date of September 1, 2014.

Pursuant to the ADR Plan, all civil cases (with limited exceptions) filed on or after September 1, 2014, will be automatically referred for ADR resolution.

The Court invites qualified attorneys and non-attorneys to apply for membership on the Mediation Panel, from which the court will appoint a mediator in the event that parties cannot agree upon the selection of a mediator.

For further information see our ADR Program Introduction and Plan Overview, the ADR Plan itself, and our Mediation Panel application on our ADR Plan Page.

8/15/2014
Investiture of Judge Sheryl H. Lipman
The United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee is pleased to announce that Judge Sheryl H. Lipman will take the Oath of Office in a ceremony at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law on Friday, August 15, 2014. The Investiture begins at 2 p.m. News Release

07/30/2014
Jury Duty Email Scam
A number of federal district courts have reported that citizens in their districts are being targeted by a juror "phishing" email. "Phishing" is an attempt to acquire sensitive information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in email or other electronic communication. These phishing emails ask recipients to provide personal identifiers (Social Security Number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, etc.) on an attached PDF form, which will be emailed back to the originator of the scam.

An actual jury summons from this court, however, will arrive via the US Postal Service, and you will not be asked for SSN, Date of Birth, or other personal identifier, apart from contact information.

If you receive communication that purports to be from this court regarding jury service, you may call 901-495-1500 to verify that it is authentic, or with any other questions you have.

5/19/2014
Update to CM/ECF User Manual
The CM/ECF User Manual has been updated as follows, adding a new section on page 5:

8. Format of Submitted Documents

Unless a document is required to bear an original signature (see section 7), or is a copy of a paper record from an external source (see section 15), the PDF document should be generated directly from its original word-processing format, rather than being printed to paper and scanned into PDF format.

5/1/2014
Sheryl H. Lipman Confirmed as United States District Judge
The United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee is pleased to announce that Sheryl H. Lipman was unanimously approved by the Senate on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 to serve as a federal district judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Ms. Lipman will be sworn in and take office later this month and commence her official duties. News Release

1/21/2014
TNWD One of the Most Productive Federal District Courts
A report recently released by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts lists the Western District of Tennessee as one of America’s Most Productive Federal District Courts for 2013. News Release

1/3/2014
Decrease in Mileage Reimbursement
GSA has announced a decrease in reimbursement mileage rates for privately owned vehicles. The new reimbursement rate, effective January 1, 2014, is $0.56 per mile.

1/1/2014
New 2014 Local Rules
New Local Rules and Local Patent Rules are in effect as of January 1, 2014.

11/25/2013
Amendments to Local Rules 56(e) and 83.13
Amendments to Local Rules 56(e) and 83.13 have been adopted by the Court. The amendments are available for review and public comment for the fourteen day period of December 1-14, 2013. Please submit any comments to PublicComments@tnwd.uscourts.gov.

11/25/2013
Fee Changes Effective December 1, 2013
A revised schedule of Local Fees, effective December 1, 2013, has been posted. The appeal filing fee is increasing to $505; the retrieval of multiple boxes from the FRC will have a fee of $39 for each box after the first; and a $53 fee will apply to any payment returned of denied for insufficient funds.

10/31/2013
REMINDER - Photography and Recording in Courtrooms Prohibited
The taking of photographs of courtroom proceedings, and recording or transmission of courtroom proceedings, except by court personnel, is prohibited by Local Rule 83.2.

8/29/2013
New Chief Judge - the Honorable J. Daniel Breen
Effective, August 26, 2013, the Honorable J. Daniel Breen assumed the position of Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Annoucement

8/19/2013
Jury Phone Scam
There have been reports of phone-based jury scams, in which the scammers claim to be court staff calling about failure to appear for jury service, and asking for financial information to settle a fine. Federal courts employees will never ask jurors to provide sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers. http://1.usa.gov/16qapI6

5/31/2013
2013 Local and Patent Rule Revisions
Revisions to the Local Court Rules and Local Patent Rules have been drafted for adoption by the Court. The proposed changes are available for review and public comment for the thirty day period of June 1-30, 2013. Please submit any comments to PublicComments@tnwd.uscourts.gov.

4/23/2013
Civil Filing Fee Increase on May 1
On May 1, 2013, the fee for filing a new civil case will increase to $400.

3/7/2013
Retroactive Mileage Reimbursement
Due to a retroactive application of the increased mileage reimbursement rate from 55.5 cents to 56.5 cents, there may be a discrepancy between the rate paid for mileage reimbursement and what was actually owed a claimant for the January 1-14, 2013, time period. If you wish to claim reimbursement for the discrepancy, you should submit a Claim for Reimbursement to:

Clerk of Court
U.S. District Court for the Western District of TN
167 N. Main Street, Room 242
Memphis, TN 38103

Memo from Administrative Office of the US Courts

1/16/2013
New Mileage Rate
Effective January 1, 2013, the mileage rate for the use of privately owned vehicles while on official business is 56.5 cents per mile.

10/30/2012
Visting Judge Update - Oct. 2012
The Visiting Judge Update for Oct. 2012 is available here.

10/5/2012
Public Notice Regarding Bankruptcy Judgeship
A Merit Selection Panel considered all applications received and recommended the following five candidates to the Sixth Circuit Judicial Council for consideration for appointment to the Western District of Tennessee bankruptcy judgeship. Notice

8/9/2012
Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr. Sworn in as U.S. District Judge
Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr. Has Been Sworn in as United States District Judge. Announcement

7/25/2012
Notice to Customers Making Payment by Check
Beginning July 25, 2012, the US District Court for the Western District of TN will be processing checks via electronic funds transfer. When you provide a check as payment, you authorize us either to use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction. When we use information from your check to make an electronic fund transfer, funds may be withdrawn from your account as soon as the same day you make your payment. Notice

7/3/2012
Updated Credit Card Authorization Form
An updated Credit Card Authorization form has been posted on the Forms and Applications page. This form is to be used for credit card payments made to the Clerk's Office that are not payable through Pay.gov.

4/17/2012
New Attorney Admission Procedures
Effective May 1, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee will be implementing new admisssion procedures for both regular and pro hac vice admission. Attorneys will register for a CM/ECF login prior to admission, and will pay admission fees via pay.gov in CM/ECF. Updated procedural manuals are forthcoming.

3/27/2012
Notice of Amendment to Local Rules
Local Rule 83.8(a)(1) has been amended to include patent cases as an exception to the case types assigned to a presiding magistrate judge. Full Local Rules

2/22/2012
Visiting Judges Program
The Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee have authorized the development a Visiting Judges Program to provide an opportunity for experienced federal judges to assist with resolving the Court's currently overburdened caseload. More information.

10/26/2011
Local Rule 4.1 and Local Criminal Rule 16.1(c)(2) Amended
Pursuant to Administrative Order 2011-22, Local Rule 4.1 and Local Criminal Rule 16.1(c)(2) have been amended. The new rules became effective October 25, 2011.

10/17/2011
New Fee Schedule Effective November 1, 2011
At its September 2011 session, the Judicial Conference approved changes to the miscellaneous fee schedules for the courts of appeals, district courts, bankruptcy courts, the Court of Federal Claims, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sections 1913, 1914, 1930, 1926, and 1932, respectively. These changes will become effective November 1, 2011. Announcement and new fee schedule.

10/03/2011
Increase in PACER fees April 1, 2012
The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized an increase in the fee charged for access to PACER documents from $.08 per page to $.10 per page. The fee change will take effect April 1, 2012. Press Release

09/23/2011
Discontinuation of CM/ECF helpdesk phoneline
Please be advised that effective October 1, 2011, the US District Court for the Western District of Tennessee will be discontinuing its CM/ECF helpdesk telephone service. Kindly direct all helpdesk requests after October 1, 2011, via email to cmecfhelpdesk@tnwd.uscourts.gov. Thank you.

09/07/2011
Local Patent Rules Effective Sept. 19
The judges of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee have adopted Local Patent Rules which become effective Monday, September 19, 2011. The Local Patent Rules are available for review and public comment for the ten day period of September 5-16, 2011. Please submit any comments to PublicComments@tnwd.uscourts.gov.

09/06/2011
Hon. Bernice B. Donald - Confirmed by U.S. Senate on 9/6/2011 to Judgeship on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
The Honorable Bernice Bouie Donald, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee, was nominated to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals by President Barack Obama on January 5, 2011. The U.S. Senate confirmed the President's nomination on September 6, 2011. (Statement of Honorable Bernice Bouie Donald on the Occasion of her Confirmation)

08/24/2011
Memorandum of Understanding in 2:11cv2101, Board of Education of Shelby County, Tennessee, et al v. Memphis City Board of Education, et al
A memorandum stating the parties' proposed settlement in 2:11cv2101, Board of Education of Shelby County, Tennessee, et al v. Memphis City Board of Education, et al, is available here.

08/08/2011
PRESS RELEASE: Order Filed in 2:11cv2101, Board of Education of Shelby County, Tennessee, et al v. Memphis City Board of Education, et al
The Court's order is available for download here.

07/21/2011
PRESS RELEASE: Cameras In Court
The United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee is proud to announce that recording of the first proceeding in the Cameras in Court Pilot Project will be conducted in Memphis today. The Western District of Tennessee is one of fourteen district courts selected to participate in the three-year national pilot. The proceeding before Chief Judge Jon Phipps McCalla is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. in courtroom #3 on the 9th floor of the Clifford Davis / Odell Horton Federal Building.

Video recording of this proceeding will be available for viewing and/or downloading at www.uscourts.gov. This site is the sole access point for viewing or downloading courtroom recordings.

7/14/2011
Amendment of Local Rules
Local Rule 83.2(a) has been amended in accordance with Administrative Order No. 2011-14, Order Revising Local Rule 83.2(a) Pursuant to the Guidelines for the Cameras Pilot Project in the District Courts, entered June 22, 2011. Local Rule 83.2(a) has been amended to include a limited exception to the ban on recording and publication of district court proceedings. This limited exception becomes effective July 18, 2011 and will remain in effect for the duration of the Project. The full version of the Local Rules is available here. The guidelines for the Cameras in Court Pilot Project are available here.

6/10/2011
Patent Pilot Program
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee is one of fourteen Federal District Courts selected to take part in a 10-year pilot program designed to enhance expertise in patent cases among U.S. district judges. A list of all participating courts is here. The pilot, mandated by Pub. L. No. 111-349, begins in July. Chief Judge Jon P. McCalla and the Honorable S. Hardy Mays are the judges designated to hear patent cases during the pilot. Please direct questions regarding the court's participation in the patent pilot project to the Clerk of Court, Thomas M. Gould.

6/9/2011
Cameras in Court Pilot Study
The US District Court for the Western District of Tennessee is one of fourteen federal trial courts selected to take part in the Federal Judiciary's digital video pilot, also known as the Cameras in Court Pilot Study. The guidelines for the study may be reviewed here. Questions about the Court's participation in the study should be directed to the Clerk of Court, Thomas M. Gould.

2/24/2011
Local Rules Update
The Court has adopted and approved revisions to the Local Rules which become effective Tuesday, March 1, 2011. You may review the revisions here. (Changes in redline here.)

1/6/2011
Mileage rate increased
The General Services Administration has announced an increase in the mileage rates for privately owned automobiles. The new mileage rate is $.51 per mile. This applies to all travel on or after January 1, 2011.

11/30/2010
Public Notice of Reappointment of Magistrate Judge Tu M. Pham
The current term of office of United States Magistrate Judge Tu M. Pham is due to expire in April 2011. Members of the bar and the public are encouraged to comment as to whether the Honorable Tu M. Pham should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the Court. More information

11/30/2010
Public Notice of Reappointment of Magistrate Judge Diane K. Vescovo
The current term of office of United States Magistrate Judge Diane K. Vescovo is due to expire in June 2011. Members of the bar and the public are encouraged to comment as to whether the Honorable Diane K. Vescovo should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the Court. More information

11/30/2010
Release Status Reports to be docketed in CM/ECF
Pursuant to the unanimous decision of the Court in the Western District of Tennessee, an electronic version of Release Status Reports will be accessible through the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system effective December 1, 2010. Access to the report will be limited to Judges, U.S. Attorneys, and counsel of record for the party to which the report applies. Please contact Chief U. S. Pretrial Officer Carolyn W. Moore, Supervisory Officer Murray G. Fullner, or Officer-In-Charge Bruce M. Weidner with any questions regarding the electronic submission of Release Status Reports.

11/19/2010
Judge Vescovo honored as Outstanding Judge of the Year
The Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association has honored Judge Vescovo with their "Outstanding Judge of the Year" award. Press Release.

09/08/2010
Attorney Civil Case Opening
Effective October 4, 2010, attorneys will electronically open new civil cases in the CM/ECF System, and can pay filing fees electronically. Training for attorney civil case opening will be held in Memphis (Sept. 15-17) and Jackson (Sept 21 and 22). Click here to register for training. Case Opening Manual, Case Opening Quick Reference, Guide to adding parties.

08/30/2010
Local Rule Revisions
Revisions to the Local Rules have been drafted for adoption by the Court. The proposed changes are available for review and public comment for the thirty day period of September 1-30, 2010. Please submit any comments to PublicComments@tnwd.uscourts.gov.

06/03/2010
CJA Compensation Limits for Expert Services Increased
CJA compensation limits for expert services performed on or after May 27, 2010, have been increased.

12/30/2009
CJA Compensation Rates Raised
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 raised CJA compensation rates for work performed on or after Jan. 1, 2010. Details.

10/22/2009
Notice of Changes to Local Rules
In accordance with Administrative Orders 2009-20 & 2009-21, the District's Local Rules have been revised to (1) indicate in LR 83.3 that the case reassignment system will be used in both divisional offices of the Western District of Tennessee and to permit referral of certain cases to a magistrate judge for reports and recommendations and (2) amend time deadlines pursuant to the Statutory Time Period Technical Amendments Act of 2009. These revisions are effective November 24, 2009.

7/28/2009
Amendment to Local Rule 77.1 (Places of Holding Court)
Local Rule 77.1(b) has been amended pursuant to the Judicial Administration and Technical Amendments Act of 2008 which moved Dyer County, located in the Western District of Tennessee, from the Western Division (Memphis) to the Eastern Division (Jackson). This change became effective November 20, 2008.

7/6/2009
Notice of new scanning guidelines for CM/ECF
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and the National Archives have issued new guidelines regarding scanned documents filed via CM/ECF. The new guidelines recommend that documents be scanned at 300x300 dpi (dots per inch), in black and white. The old guidelines recommended that documents be scanned at 200x200 dpi.

4/21/2009
Electronic Transcript Release Policy
By Administrative Order 2008-35 the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee implemented a policy regarding remote access to electronic transcripts. Pursuant to that policy, as well as Civil Rule 5.2 and Criminal Rule 49.1, each party's attorney is required to review a transcript for information that should be redacted pursuant to the Judicial Conference's privacy policy which requires: Social Security numbers be redacted to show only the last four digits; birth dates should contain only the year of birth; individuals known to be minors should be referred to with initials; and financial account numbers should be redacted to the last four digits. Additionally, in criminal case files, home addresses should reveal only the city and state of residence. Please be reminded that the responsibility to redact transcript lies with the attorney/party requesting the transcript from the Court Reporter.

The Western District of Tennessee is one of 14 United States District Courts participating in the federal Judiciary's digital video pilot. The pilot, which started July 18, 2011 is scheduled to run through July 2015. To view video recorded in this project, click the Cameras in Courts logo or visit www.uscourts.gov