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United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
Appeals to First Circuit
Established September 12, 1966
Judges assigned 7
Chief judge Jose Antonio Fuste
Official site

The United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (in case citations, D.P.R.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The court is based in San Juan. The main building is the Clemente Ruiz Nazario U.S. Courthouse located in the Hato Rey district of San Juan. The magistrate judges are located in the adjacent Federico Degetau Federal Building, and several senior district judges hold court at the old courthouse in Old San Juan. The old courthouse also houses the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Most appeals from this court are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which is headquartered in Boston but hears appeals at the Old San Juan courthouse for two sessions each year. Patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act are appealed to the Federal Circuit.


Current Judges

There are seven authorized active judgeships in the Puerto Rico District Court. Seven active judges are currently sitting, together with four senior judges who may elect to supervise reduced caseloads.

Judge Appointed by Began active
Ended active
Ended senior
End reason
Carmen Consuelo Cerezo Jimmy Carter 01980-06-30 June 30, 1980 Incumbent
José A. Fusté Ronald Reagan 01985-10-28 October 28, 1985 Incumbent
Daniel R. Dominguez Bill Clinton 01994-09-29 September 29, 1994 Incumbent
Jay A. Garcia-Gregory Bill Clinton 02000-07-11 July 11, 2000 Incumbent
Francisco Besosa George W. Bush 02006-09-27 September 27, 2006 Incumbent
Aida Delgado-Colon George W. Bush 02006-03-17 March 17, 2006 Incumbent
Gustavo Antonio Gelpi Jr. George W. Bush 02006-08-01 August 1, 2006 Incumbent
Juan Manuel Perez-Gimenez Jimmy Carter 01979-12-06 December 6, 1979 02006-03-28 March 28, 2006 Incumbent
Raymond L. Acosta Ronald Reagan 01982-09-30 September 30, 1982 01994-06-01 June 1, 1994 Incumbent
Jaime Pieras Jr. Ronald Reagan 01982-07-15 July 15, 1982 01993-08-01 August 1, 1993 Incumbent
Salvador E. Casellas Bill Clinton 01994-09-29 September 29, 1994 02005-06-10 June 10, 2005 Incumbent

United States Magistrate Judges

  • Chief Magistrate Judge Justo Arenas
  • Magistrate Judge Camille L. Velez-Rive
  • Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin
  • Magistrate Judge Marcos López

Former Judges

Judge Appointed by Began active
Ended active
Ended senior
End reason
Hiram Rafael Cancio Lyndon B. Johnson 01967-06-12 June 12, 1967 01974-01-31 January 31, 1974 resignation
Juan B. Fernandez-Badillo Lyndon B. Johnson 01967-10-12 October 12, 1967 01972-06-30 June 30, 1972 01989-10-16 October 16, 1989 death
Gilberto Gierbolini-Ortiz Jimmy Carter 01980-02-20 February 20, 1980 01993-12-27 December 27, 1993 02004-03-23 March 23, 2004 retirement
Hector Manuel Laffitte Ronald Reagan 01983-07-27 July 27, 1983 02005-11-15 November 15, 2005 02007-02-16 February 16, 2007 retirement
Hernan Gregorio Pesquera Richard Nixon 01972-10-17 October 17, 1972 01982-09-08 September 8, 1982 death
Jose Victor Toledo Richard Nixon 01970-12-01 December 1, 1970 01980-02-03 February 3, 1980 death
Juan R. Torruella Gerald Ford 01974-12-20 December 20, 1974 01984-10-30 October 30, 1984 reappointment

Judges who served on the Court from 1900 to 1966, before it became an Article III court, were:

During this period, judges for the District of Puerto Rico were appointed by the President for 4-year terms until 1938, and thereafter for 8-year terms. The court statutorily comprised a single judge until 1961, when a second judgeship was authorized by Congress, although the position was not actually filled until 1965. Until the 1950s, when the District Court judgeship was vacant, when the judge was away from Puerto Rico, or when the court's docket became overly backlogged, sitting judges of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico were designated to act as judges of the federal court.

Judge Ruiz-Nazario, appointed by President Harry Truman in 1952, was the first Puerto Rican to serve as a judge of Puerto Rico's federal court.

External links


Guillermo A. Baralt, History of the Federal Court in Puerto Rico: 1899-1999 (2004) (also published in Spanish as Historia del Tribunal Federal de Puerto Rico)


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