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Magistrate Judges History

When Congress created the current three-tiered system of courts under Article III of the Constitution in 1896, United States Commissioners could be appointed by district judges to handle preliminary matters in criminal cases, like receiving bonds. In 1940, Congress expanded the duties of Commissioners to include trial of petty criminal offenses by consent. The Federal Magistrates Act of 1968 replaced the Commissioner with a position of Magistrate. In 1990, the title magistrate was changed to magistrate judge.

Magistrate judges are appointed by judges of the district court for a term of eight years. They may dispose of minor criminal offenses and may hold bench or jury trials in civil actions on consent of the parties. In addition, magistrate judges handle preliminary proceedings in felony matters, report and recommend to the district court on dispositive matters in civil cases, act as masters when appointed, and manage and rule on nondispositive matters in civil cases.

A total of 43 people have served as magistrate judges in this district.

 

Brownsville Corpus Christi Galveston Houston Laredo McAllen
Fidencio Garza
1981 - 1998
James Martin
1971 - 1975
Charles Smith
1985 - 1991
Ronald Blask
1971 - 1979
Tom Goodwin
1973 - 1981
William Mallet
1971 - 1996
Robert Guerra
1989 - 1992
Philip Schraub
1975 - 1980
John Froeschner 1991 - Lingo Platter
1971 - 1991
Marcel Notzon
1982 - 2006
Jose Cisneros
1974 - 1974
John Black
1992 - 2008
Eduardo de Ases
1980 - 1996
  Norman Black
1976 - 1979
Adriana Arce-Flores 2000 - 2008 Cruz Tijerina
1974 - 1980
Felix Recio
1999 - 2013
B. Janice Ellington
1996 -
  Calvin Botley
1979 - 2009
Diana Saldaña
2006 - 2010
Susan Williams
1982 - 1987
Ronald G. Morgan 2009 - Jane Cooper-Hill
1997 - 2005
  Frank Waltermire
1979 - 1984
James Scott Hacker 2008 - Peter Ormsby
1992 - 2001
Ignacio Torteya, III
2014-
Brian Owsley
2005 - 2013
  Ray J. McQuary
1982 -1983
Guillermo Garcia
2010 -
Dorina Ramos
1996 -
  Jason B. Libby
2013 -
  Karen Brown
1984 - 1990
Diana Song Quiroga 2011 - Tracey Caperton
2002 - 2004
      George A. Kelt
1984 - 1992
  Peter Ormsby
2005 -
      Frances H. Stacy 1989 -    
      Nancy K. Johnson 1990 -    
      Marcia Crone
1992 - 2003
   
      Mary Milloy
1992 -
   
      Stephen W. Smith 2004 -    
      George Hanks Jr. 2010 -