Magistrate Judges

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MAGISTRATE JUDGES OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA

The position of United States Magistrate Judge is relatively new in the federal judicial system.  For many years the federal system had United States Commissioners who handled a variety of preliminary criminal matters, such as initial appearances, bonds, search warrants and arrest warrants.  In 1971 the name “Commissioner” was changed to “Magistrate,” however, the range of duties performed was not greatly altered.  The name was changed again in 1990 to “United States Magistrate Judge.”

 In 1976 the magistrate system was revamped and the position of magistrate was redrawn into the form we see today.  The duties which could be performed by magistrates were greatly broadened to include a number of civil functions as well as a broader range of criminal proceedings.  Today a magistrate judge may conduct virtually all types of civil proceedings, although some, such as trials, require consent of the parties.  In criminal matters, a magistrate judge can perform all pre-indictment functions and a great number of post-indictment matters.  A magistrate judge cannot conduct criminal felony trials.

 In 1971, when the office of United States Magistrate was created, a number of individuals who had previously served as “Commissioners” were appointed to the position of “Magistrate.”  These included:

R. W. Farrar, Jr, who served as a part-time magistrate judge in Lake Charles until 1978;

Jack L. Simms, Jr., who served as a part-time magistrate judge in Leesville until 1980;

John W. Wilson, who served as a part-time magistrate judge in Monroe until retiring in 1996; and

James M. Barton, who served in Shreveport as a part-time magistrate judge from 1971 to 1974 and as a full-time magistrate judge from 1974 until his retirement in 1987.

Also appointed in 1971 were the following who had not served previously as commissioners:

Michael M. Wahlder, who served as a part-time magistrate judge in Alexandria until 1987; and

Charles J. Boudreaux, who served as a part time magistrate in Lafayette until 1975.

 As the years passed, a number of other individuals served as magistrate judges in this district.  Those who served in the past as magistrate judges are as follows:

Alexandria

John F. Simon, who served as a full-time magistrate judge from 1987 until his retirement in 1997;

Lafayette

Byron J. Hebert, who served as a part-time magistrate judge from 1975 through 1980;

William L. Goode, who served as a full-time magistrate judge from 1980 through 1983;

Kathleen M. Overcash, who served as a part-time magistrate judge from January of 1988 through July of 1988;

Pamela A. Tynes, who served as a part-time magistrate judge from 1988 through 1991, and as full-time magistrate judge from 1991 through 2001;

Mildred E. Methvin, who served as a full-time magistrate judge from 1983 through 2009;

Lake Charles

Joseph J. Tritico, who served as a part-time magistrate judge from 1978 through 1986;

James T. Trimble, Jr. who served as a full-time magistrate judge from 1986 until he was elevated to the position of District Judge in 1991;

Alonzo P. Wilson, who was appointed full-time magistrate judge in 1991 and served until 2007;

Shreveport

Roy S. Payne, who served as full-time magistrate judge from 1987 through 2005;

Robert H. Shemwell, who served as a part-time magistrate judge from 1984 until 2009.

 At the present time there are six (6) full-time magistrate judges in the district.

By division, the following magistrate judges are presently serving in the district:

Alexandria

James D. Kirk, who was appointed full-time magistrate judge in 1997;

Lafayette

Patrick J. Hanna, who was appointed full-time magistrate judge in 2009;

C. Michael Hill, who was appointed full-time magistrate judge in 2001;

Lake Charles

Kathleen Kay, who was appointed full-time magistrate judge in 2007;

Monroe

Karen Hayes, who was appointed part-time magistrate judge in 1997, and was appointed full-time magistrate judge in 2005;

Shreveport

Mark L. Hornsby, who was appointed full-time magistrate judge in 2005.