Judges of the Court


The Court has grown from its original three judges in 1966 to its current thirteen active and four senior judges. The court has a total of thirtheen authorized judgeships, with one seat remaining vacant since the passing of Judge Judith N. Keep in 2004. Under Article III of the United States Constitution, the President appoints United States district judges, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Judgeship 1 & 2 were created by 80 Stat. 75 on September 18, 1966 when the Southern District of California, consisting of San Diego and Imperial Counties, became its own judicial district.
Hon. James M. Carter
Commission: 10/18/1949
Nominated By: Harry S. Truman
Chief Judge: 1966 - 1967
Elevated to 9th Circuit: 11/16/1967
Deceased 11/18/1979
Hon. Edward J. Schwartz
Commission: 3/28/1968
Nominated By: Lyndon B. Johnson
Chief Judge: 1969 - 1982
Senior Status: 3/26/1982
Deceased 11/18/1979
Hon. J. Lawrence Irving
Commission: 7/28/1982
Nominated By: Ronald Reagan
Resigned 12/31/1990
Hon. Irma E. Gonzalez
Commission: 8/12/1992
Nominated By: George H. W. Bush
Chief Judge: 2005 - 2012
Senior Status: 3/29/2013
Retired: 10/25/2013
Hon. Cynthia A. Bashant
Commission: 5/8/2014
Nominated By: Barack H. Obama

Hon. Fred Kunzel
Commission: 9/10/1959
Nominated By: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Chief Judge: 1967 - 1969
Deceased: 11/19/1969
Hon. Howard B. Turrentine
Commission: 4/24/1970
Nominated By: Richard M. Nixon
Chief Judge: 1982 - 1984
Senior Status: 1/22/1984
Deceased: 10/20/2010
Hon. Rudi M. Brewster
Commission: 6/15/1984
Nominated By: Ronald Reagan
Chief Judge: 1982 - 1984
Senior Status: 7/1/1998
Deceased: 9/7/2012
Hon. M. James Lorenz
Commission: 10/5/1999
Nominated By: William J. Clinton
Senior Status: 10/25/2009
Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia
Commission: 3/10/2011
Nominated By: Barack H. Obama

Judgeship 3, 4 & 5 were created on June 2, 1970, by 84 Stat. 294.
Hon. Gordon Thompson Jr.
Commission: 10/16/1970
Nominated By: Richard M. Nixon
Chief Judge: 1984 - 1981
Senior Status: 12/28/1994
Deceased: 7/5/2015
Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller
Commission: 5/27/1997
Nominated By: William J. Clinton
Senior Status: 6/6/2010
Hon. Cathy Ann Bencivengo
Commission: 2/10/2012
Nominated By: Barack H. Obama

Hon. J. Clifford Wallace
Commission: 10/16/1970
Nominated By: Richard M. Nixon
Elevated to 9th Circuit Court: 6/28/1972
Senior Status: 4/8/1996
Hon. William B. Enright
Commission: 6/30/1972
Nominated By: Richard M. Nixon
Senior Status: 7/12/1990
Hon. Marilyn L. Huff
Commission: 5/14/1991
Nominated By: George H.W. Bush
Chief Judge: 1998 - 2005
Senior Status: 9/30/2016

Hon. Leland C. Nielsen
Commission: 5/20/1971
Nominated By: Richard M. Nixon
Senior Status: 6/14/1985
Deceased: 9/23/1999
Hon. John S. Rhoades
Commission: 10/29/1985
Nominated By: Ronald Reagan
Senior Status: 11/4/1995
Deceased: 9/3/2007
Hon. Thomas J. Whelan
Commission: 10/22/1988
Nominated By: William J. Clinton
Senior Status: 8/15/2010
Hon. Gonzalo P. Curiel
Commission: 10/1/2012
Nominated By: Barack H. Obama

Judgeship 6 & 7 were created on October 20, 1978, by 92 Stat. 1629.
Hon. Earl B. Gilliam
Commission: 8/20/1980
Nominated By: Jimmy Carter
Senior Status: 4/2/1993
Deceased: 1/28/2001
Hon. Napoleon A. Jones Jr.
Commission: 9/15/1994
Nominated By: William J. Clinton
Senior Status: 9/19/2007
Deceased: 12/12/2009
Hon. Michael M. Anello
Commission: 10/31/2018
Nominated By: George W. Bush

Hon. Judith N. Keep
Commission: 6/30/1980
Nominated By: Jimmy Carter
Chief Judge: 1991 - 1998
Deceased: 9/14/2004
Hon. Janis L. Sammartino
Commission: 9/21/2007
Nominated By: George W. Bush

Judgeship 8 were created on December 1, 1990, by 104 Stat. 5089.
Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz
Commission: 12/26/1995
Nominated By: William J. Clinton
Chief Judge: 2012 - 1/22/2019

Judgeship 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 were created on November 2, 2002, by 116 Stat. 1758.
Hon. Larry Alan Burns
Commission: 9/25/2003
Nominated By: George W. Bush
Chief Judge: 1/22/2019 - Present

Hon. Dana M. Sabraw
Commission: 9/26/2003
Nominated By: George W. Bush

Hon. William Q. Hayes
Commission: 10/6/2003
Nominated By: George W. Bush

Hon. John A. Houston
Commission: 10/7/2003
Nominated By: George W. Bush
Senior Status: 2/6/2018

Hon. Roger T. Benitez
Commission: 6/21/2004
Nominated By: George W. Bush
Senior Status: 12/31/2017

M agistrate judges serve as judicial officers of the U.S. district courts and exercise the jurisdiction delegated to the by law and assigned by the district judges. Magistrate judges may be authorized to preside in almost every type of federal trial proceeding except for felony cases. The position of magistrate was established by Congress in 1968 to replace the position of commissioner, a position that had served the federal judiciary since the 1790s.

Hon. J. Edward Harris
Appointed On: 6/21/2004
Retired On: 1/4/1984
Hon. Irma E. Gonzalez
Appointed On: 4/10/1984
Resigned On: 1/4/1991
Hon. Louisa S Porter
Appointed On: 6/19/1991
Presiding Magistrate Judge:
4/1997 to 4/2002
Retired On: 3/31/2012
Hon. David H. Bartick
Appointed On: 4/2/2012
Deceased: 2/18/2018
Hon. Michael S. Berg
Appointed On: 11/5/2018

Hon. Harry R. McCue
Appointed On: 9/15/1970
Presiding Magistrate Judge:
11/1984 - 10/1993
Retired On: 12/1/93
Deceased: 7/3/2016
Hon. Cynthia G. Aaron
Appointed On: 5/24/1994
Resigned On: 1/11/2003
Hon. Jan M. Adler
Appointed On: 7/8/2003
Presiding Magistrate Judge:
2017 to 9/28/2018
Retired On: 9/28/2018
Hon. Lynda Lopez
Appointed On: 10/26/2018

Hon. Edward Infante
Appointed On: 9/6/1972
Resigned On: 4/17/1986
Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz
Appointed On: 9/2/1986
Elavated to District Judge: 1/2/1996
Hon. James F. Stiven
Appointed On: 8/5/1996
Retired On: 10/5/2005
Hon. Cathy Ann Bencivengo
Appointed On: 12/5/2005
Elavated to District Judge: 2/9/2012
Hon. Karen S. Crawford
Appointed On: 3/5/2012

Hon. Roger Curtis McKee
Appointed On: 3/30/1983
Presiding Magistrate Judge: 11/1993 - 3/1997
Retired On: 3/31/1997
Hon. Larry Alan Burns
Appointed On: 6/6/1997
Elavated to District Judge: 9/29/2003
Hon. Barbara L. Major
Appointed On: 1/4/2004
Presiding Magistrate Judge:
9/29/2018 to Present

Hon. Leo S. Papas
Appointed On: 6/26/1991
Presiding Magistrate Judge:
4/1/2002 to 3/31/2007
Retired On: 7/31/2009
Hon. William V. Gallo
Appointed On: 10/15/2009

Hon. Ruben B. Brooks
Appointed On: 9/2/1993
Presiding Magistrate Judge:
4/1/2007 to 3/31/2012
Retired On: 8/12/2016
Recalled: 8/13/2016
Hon. Andrew G. Schopler
Appointed On: 9/30/2016

Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia
Appointed On: 11/15/1993
Elavated to District Judge: 3/10/2011
Hon. Mitchell D. Dembin
Appointed On: 3/18/2011

Hon. John A. Houston
Appointed On: 4/27/1998
Elavated to District Judge: 10/7/2003
Hon. William McCurine
Appointed On: 1/5/2004
Retired On: 2/5/2014
Hon. Jill L. Burkhardt
Appointed On: 3/11/2014

Hon. Nita L. Stormes
Appointed On: 1/3/2000
Presiding Magistrate Judge:
4/1/2012 to 2017
Hon. Allison H. Goddard
Appointed On: 8/1/2019

Hon. Roger T. Benitez
Appointed On: 1/2/2001
Elavated to District Judge: 6/21/2004
Hon. Peter C. Lewis
Appointed On: 6/28/2004
Hon. Ruth Bermudez Montenegro
Appointed On: 8/15/2018

Hon. Bernard G. Skomal
Appointed On: 4/28/2010

I n 1966, when the Southern District of California was created as its own separate judicial district, the work of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court was part and parcel of the duties of the U.S. District Court. Bankruptcy Referees Arline Rossi and Louis Karp handled all aspects of bankruptcy case processing including supervising the work of the trustees. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged the growing judicial nature of the referee’s work, and the title “Bankruptcy Judge” began to find its way into the national rules. The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 established United States Bankruptcy Courts in each federal judicial district and made the new panels courts of record with their own clerks and other staff. Herbert Katz, Ross Pyle, and James W. Meyers became the district’s first bankruptcy judges, and Bill Parker became the first Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court.

Hon. Arline Rossi
Appointed On:
Hon. Charles Fox, Jr.
Appointed On:
Hon. Keith McWilliams
Appointed On:
Hon. James W. Meyers
Appointed On:
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge: 1985-1995
Retired On: 2/28/2010
Hon. Margaret M. Mann
Appointed On:

Hon. Louis Karp
Appointed On:
Hon. Herbert Katz
Appointed On:
Hon. Louise DeCarl Adler
Appointed On:
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge:

Hon. Ross Pyle
Appointed On:
7/14/1975 to a new position
Hon. John J. Hargrove
Appointed On:
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge 2001-2006
Hon. Laura S. Taylor
Appointed On:
Chief U.S. Bankcruptcy Judge: 10/1/2012 to Present

Hon. Peter W. Bowie
Appointed On:
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge 2006-2012
Retired On: 10/1/2012
Hon. Christppher B. Latham
Appointed On: