From the Office
of Chief Judge
People do not find themselves
litigants in federal court because they want to be. Those of us
who serve in this Court know that plaintiffs and defendants alike
are here because they either seek redress for some wrong or defend
against charges of wrong-doing. No matter the reason for
litigation or the presence of the litigator, it is the objective
of everyone who serves this constituency in this District Court to
do our absolute best to make the experience as problem free and as
efficient as we can possibly make it.
This website is just one
convenience that we utilize to assist everyone who seeks help in
traveling through the maze of rules and procedures governing
federal litigation as they are applied in the Southern District of
Illinois. For example, each judge has published helpful hints
regarding practice before that judge and everyone is encouraged to
check out those website pages from time to time as a refresher and
to alert oneself to changes. [I also publish my equity conflict
list and would appreciate lawyers checking that list for their
clients’ names to assist me in avoiding conflicts, especially
with hard to spot subsidiaries.] Other vital, district-wide
information is imparted on this website and updated regularly.
If you feel there is something we
can include on this website that would be helpful or would, in
some way, improve efficiencies, contact our Webmaster by e-mail at
by telephone, 618-482-9371, during normal business hours.
For our litigants without lawyers,
please understand that federal courts are best described as courts
of limited jurisdiction. We only have such jurisdiction as the
U.S. Congress sees fit to grant or is conveyed to us naturally by
operation of the U.S. Constitution. So we hear cases involving
violations of the Constitution, federal laws, bankruptcy cases,
admiralty and maritime cases, as well as state law cases, but only
if they involve a dispute valued at more than seventy-five
thousand dollars and the parties on one side are citizens of a
state or states different than the party or parties on the other
side of the lawsuit. Consequently, many cases must be dismissed,
or sent back to state courts, for lack of jurisdiction, since we
can only handle those cases which we are legally entitled to
Thank you for utilizing our
Hon. David R. Herndon, Chief Judge
Procedures for Filing a Judicial Misconduct Complaint
Congress has created a procedure that permits any person to file a
complaint in the courts about the behavior of federal judges, but not about the decisions federal judges make in deciding cases.
Below is a link to the rules that explain what may be complained about, who may be complained about,
where to file a complaint, and how the complaint will be processed. There is also a link to the form
you must use.
Almost all complaints in recent years have been dismissed because they do
not follow the law about such complaints. The law says that complaints with no evidence to support them
must be dismissed. If you are a litigant in a case and believe the judge made a wrong decision, even a very wrong decision,
you may not use this procedure to complain about the decision. An attorney can explain the rights you have as a
litigant to seek review of a judicial decision.
If you have comments about the Clerks' Office,
please do not hesitate to contact Clerk of Court Norbert G.
Jaworski directly by phone at 618-482-9390 or on e-mail