The Southern District of Iowa utilizes both district court judges and magistrate judges. District court judges are appointed by the President of the United States, confirmed by the Senate and serve a lifetime term. Presidents typically select private or public sector attorneys, magistrate judges, bankruptcy judges, judges from state courts or law professors to fill these positions. District court judges can be removed from their position only through impeachment and conviction by Congress. District court judges are authorized to hear all federal civil and criminal cases. Judges in appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, hear federal cases in which the original ruling has been appealed. This district has seven district court judges, including, Chief District Judge James E. Gritzner, District Judge John A. Jarvey, District Judge Stephanie M. Rose, Senior District Judge Harold D. Vietor, Senior District Judge Charles E. Wolle, Senior District Judge Ronald E. Longstaff, and Senior District Judge Robert W. Pratt.
The Magistrate Judge position was established in 1968 through the Federal Magistrates Act. Magistrate judges are appointed to 8 year terms by the district court judges in their district and may be reappointed to serve additional terms. Magistrate judges may preside over plea hearings, evidentiary hearings, initial appearances, pretrial conferences, probation/supervised release hearings, Social Security appeals, arraignments, and criminal misdemeanor cases and certain civil cases. The Southern District of Iowa currently has 3 magistrate judges: Chief Magistrate Judge Celeste F. Bremer, Magistrate Judge Ross A. Walters, and Magistrate Judge Helen C. Adams.
For additional information regarding a specific judge, click on the judge name in the list on the left.