D. Brock Hornby

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D. Brock Hornby
David Brock Hornby.jpg
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Maine
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #2
Service:
Appointed by:   George H.W. Bush
Active:   04/30/1990 - 05/01/2010
Chief:   1996 - 2003
Senior:   05/01/2010 - Present
Preceded by:   Conrad Cyr
Succeeded by:   Nancy Torresen
Past post:   Associate justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Past term:   1988 - 1990
Past post 2:   U.S. magistrate judge, District of Maine
Past term 2:   1982 - 1988
Personal History
Born:   1944
Hometown:   Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Undergraduate:   University of Western Ontario, 1965
Law School:   Harvard Law, 1969
David Brock Hornby (b. 1944), is a federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. He joined the court in 1990 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. At the time of appointment, Hornby served as an associate justice for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. From 1996 to 2003, he was the court's chief judge. Hornby assumed senior status on May 1, 2010.[1][2]

Early life and education

Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, Hornby earned his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in 1965, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1969. While at Harvard Law, he served as Supreme Court Note and Developments Editor for the Harvard Law Review (Vol. 83).[2][3]

Professional career

Judicial career

District of Maine

Hornby was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Maine in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush to fill the seat made vacant by the resignation of Conrad Cyr. Hornby was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27, 1990.[4] Hornby served as chief judge of the court from 1996 to 2003. He assumed senior status on May 1, 2010. Hornby was succeeded in his position by Nancy Torresen.[2]

District of Maine, Magistrate

Hornby served as a federal magistrate judge for the District of Maine from 1982-1988.[2]

Awards and associations

Notable cases

Maine’s campaign contribution limits found unconstitutional (2014)

     United States District Court for the District of Maine (Woodhouse, et al v. Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, et al)

On August 22, 2014, Judge Hornby ruled in favor of plaintiffs who supported a non-party candidate in a lawsuit concerning campaign contribution limits. At issue in the case was whether non-party candidates could draw contributions for both primary and general elections. Pursuant to Maine’s election laws, while party candidates were permitted to draw up to $3,000 from their donors, non-party candidates were limited to a single draw of $1,500 from each donor. Four plaintiffs filed suit against the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, contending that non-party candidates were unfairly prejudiced by the state’s law.[6]


In his 18-page ruling, Judge Hornby noted that he “[d]id not lightly find a state statute unconstitutional,” but that those who filed suit would likely be successful in proving that they had “suffered unconstitutional discrimination as compared to contributors to party candidates.” Judge Hornby issued a preliminary injunction, effectively putting non-party candidates on the same financial footing as party candidates.[6]

GMAC Mortgage Co. case (2011)

     United States District Court for the District of Maine (Nicolle Bradbury, et al. v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, cv-10-458-P-H)

In February 2011, Judge Hornby threw out two of three counts that were brought against GMAC Mortgage Co. in a case related to "robo-signing" of documents in foreclosure proceedings. GMAC is a subsidiary of Ally Financial.

Several Maine homeowners filed a suit alleging that the mortgage company used fraudulent paperwork to speed foreclosure cases through the state's court systems, in violation of the law. The case was initiated after a GMAC processor admitted under oath to "robo-signing"--a common practice wherein a processor would sign more than 10,000 foreclosure documents a month without verifying the information therein, a requirement of the law in many states.[7] This so-called "robo-signing" caused the attorneys general of all 50 states to initiate investigations into the practices of GMAC, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and other huge mortgage companies.[7]

Judge Hornby dismissed the plaintiffs' allegations of fraud on the court and abuse of process. He allowed one count to continue, the defendant's alleged violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.[7]

The case, on the issue of the one remaining count, then went to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The court upheld a lower state court ruling allowing GMAC to foreclose on the plaintiffs' home despite the admission to the flawed practices.[8][9]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Conrad Cyr
District of Maine
1990–present
Seat #2
Succeeded by:
Nancy Torresen


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