News Post

Deadline Extended to Jan. 31 for Magistrate Judge Vacancy

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full-time United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama at Montgomery, Alabama. This position will be available to be filled on August 1, 2020. The essential function of courts is to dispense justice. An important component of this function is the creation and maintenance of diversity in the court system. A community’s belief that a court dispenses justice is heightened when the court reflects the community’s racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. This appointment is for a full eight-year term beginning upon appointment.

The duties of the position are demanding and wide ranging and will include: (1) conduct of most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conduct of various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from the judges of the district court; (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants; (5) examination and recommendations to the judges of the district court in regard to prisoner petitions and claims for Social Security benefits; and (6) conduct of mediations.
The basic authority of a United States Magistrate Judge is specified in 28 § U.S.C. 636. To be qualified for appointment, an applicant must:

  1. Be, and have been for at least five years, a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands of the United States;
  2. Have been engaged in the active practice of law for a period of at least five (5) years (with some substitutes authorized);
  3. Be competent to perform all the duties of the office; be of good moral character; be emotionally stable and mature; be committed to the rule of law and to equal justice under the law; be in good health; be patient and courteous; and be capable of deliberation and decisiveness;
  4. Be less than 70 years old; and
  5. Not be related to a Judge of the U.S. District Court.

A Merit Selection Panel composed of attorneys and other members of the community will review all applicants and recommend to the Judges of the District Court in confidence the five persons it considers to be qualified. The Court will make the appointment following an FBI full-field investigation and an IRS tax check of the applicant selected by the court for appointment. The individual selected must comply with the financial disclosure requirements pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-521, 90 Stat. 1824 (1978) (codified at 5 U.S.C. app. 4§§ 101-111) as implemented by the Judicial Conference of the United States. An affirmative effort will be made to give due consideration to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, age (40 and over), gender, religion, national origin, or disability. The current annual salary of the position is $194,028.00. The term of office is eight (8) years.

Magistrate Judge Application forms may be obtained on the U.S. District Court’s website.  Further information on the magistrate judge position may be obtained from Debra P. Hackett, Clerk of the District Court, One Church St. Montgomery, Alabama 36104. Application packets should include the completed application, a cover letter and resume and no more than three letters of recommendation. The cover letter is limited to two pages and should address why you want to be a United States Magistrate Judge. To ensure impartiality please do not have references contact the court or members of the merit selection panel directly. The original signed application packet and 10 copies must be received no later than the extended date of January 31, 2020, by Debra P. Hackett, Clerk of the Court. Application packets may be delivered personally to the Clerk’s office in a sealed envelope addressed to Debra P. Hackett, Clerk of Court or they may be mailed to Clerk, U.S. District Court, Attention: Debra P. Hackett, One Church St. Montgomery, Alabama 36104.

All applications will be kept confidential, unless the applicant consents to disclosure, and all applications will be examined only by members of the merit selection panel and judges of the district court. The panel’s deliberations will remain confidential.