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Case Assignment and Numbering

Civil and criminal actions are assigned by a random selection process in order to ensure that the identity of the judge is not disclosed before the case is officially filed. The Clerk's Office uses an automated case assignment system to randomly assign cases to judges. When a new case is filed, the clerk's office will draw a new judge from the system. A judge is assigned to each new criminal case, and a judge and magistrate is assigned to each new civil action.

Case Numbers

In referring to the case number in your pleadings please use the following format:

A two digit indicator of the year the case is filed - 99

The notation CV (Civil), CR (Criminal), or MC (Miscellaneous) - 99-CV

An individualized four digit (civil), or three digit (criminal and miscellaneous), case number which begins anew at the beginning of each year - 99-CV-0001

A three letter designation signifies the District Judge's assignment - 99-CV-0001-TCK

  • Judge Gregory K. Frizzell - GKF
  • Judge Claire V. Eagan - CVE
  • Judge John E. Dowdell - JED
  • Judge James H. Payne - JHP
  • Judge Terence C. Kern - TCK


Civil Only - Followed by a three letter designation for the assigned Magistrate: 99-CV-0001-TCK-FHM

  • Magistrate Frank H. McCarthy - FHM
  • Magistrate Paul J. Cleary - PJC
  • Magistrate Gerald B. Cohn - GBC



On civil cases consented to proceed before a Magistrate Judge, the District Court Judge's initial is no longer required as part of the case number and just the Magistrate Judge's initial would be used (e.g. - 99-CV-0001-FHM).