United States District Court for the District of Maine
The United States District Court for the District of Maine, often referred to as the District of Maine, is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The District of Maine was one of the original thirteen district courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, even though Maine was not a separate state from Massachusetts until 1820. The court is headquartered in Portland, Maine and has a second courthouse in Bangor, Maine. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Boston at the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
|Jon Levy||Syracuse University, B.S., 1976||West Virginia University College of Law, J.D., 1979|
Article III judges
|Chief judge John Woodcock||1950||Bangor, ME||W. Bush||6/16/2003-Present||2009-Present||Gene Carter||Bowdoin College, B.A., 1972||University of Maine School of Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Nancy Torresen||1959||Ridgewood, NJ||Obama||10/3/2011 - Present||D. Brock Hornby||Hope College, B.A., 1981||U. of Michigan Law, J.D., 1987|
|Senior Judge George Singal||Clinton||7/11/2000 - 7/31/2013||2003 - 2009||7/31/2013 - Present||University of Maine, B.A., 1967||Harvard Law School, J.D., 1970|
|Senior Judge D. Brock Hornby||H.W. Bush||4/30/1990 - 5/1/2010||1996 - 2003||5/1/2010 - Present||U. of Western Ontario, B.A., 1965||Harvard Law, J.D., 1969|
|Senior Judge Gene Carter||Reagan||6/23/1983-1/2/2003||1989-1996||1/2/2003-Present||University of Maine, B.A., 1958||New York University School of Law, LL.B., 1961|
|Magistrate Judge John Rich||4/02/2008||Bowdoin College, A.B., 1978||U. of Pennsylvania Law, J.D., 1982|
The District of Maine has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
|Federal Court Case Load Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions for the District of Maine.
| • GMAC Mortgage Co. case (2011) Judge(s):D. Brock Hornby|
*Nicolle Bradbury, et al. v. Gmac Mortgage, LLC. CIVIL NO. 10-458-P-H
|In February 2011, Judge Hornby threw out two of three counts that had been brought against GMAC Mortgage Co. in a case related to "robo-signing" of documents in foreclosure proceedings. Brock said that the lawsuit could not proceed on counts related to abuse of process and fraud. However, he allowed a lawsuit to proceed on a count that robo-signing violates Maine's Unfair Trade Practices Act.|
| • Occupy Augusta Protestors Eviction (2011) Judge(s):Nancy Torresen|
*Freeman v. Morris 11-cv-00452-NT
|In late November 2011, federal judge Nancy Torresen brokered a deal that allowed Occupy Augusta protesters to remain in a public park for an additional week. Torresen issued the order on November 28, after protesters said they would face arrest rather than leave Augusta's Capitol Park. Attorney Lynne Williams, acting on behalf of the protesters, had sought a temporary restraining order to prevent police from shutting down the protests. The protesters did not apply for a permit. The lawsuit alleged that requiring protesters to obtain a permit violates their First Amendment rights. A hearing to determine what happens after the week-long reprieve took place on December 5th.|
UpdateOn December 9, 2011, Torrensen ruled against the tent city in Augusta, affirming the right of the state to evict the Occupy protesters. While she held that the protesters were protected by the First Amendment, the state was within its rights to place restrictions on the time and place of the protest by requiring a permit. The protesters opted not to appeal the decision or apply for a permit and instead broke down the camp and vacated the premises.
The District of Maine was one of the original thirteen district courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789. A district court was created in each of the eleven states that had ratified the Constitution by September, 1789, as well as in Maine (then part of Massachusetts) and Kentucky (then still part of Virginia). The court only had one judge until an additional judgeship was authorized in 1978. A third judgeship was authorized in 1990.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Maine:
|September 24, 1789||1 Stat. 73||1|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||2|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||3|
Former Chief Judges
In order to qualify for the office of Chief Judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as Chief Judge. A vacancy in the office of Chief Judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The Chief Judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a Chief Judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information about the judges of the District of Maine, see former federal judges of the District of Maine.
- United States District Court for the District of Maine Official Website
- Judges of the District of Maine
- United States Attorney for the District of Maine
- Opinions of the District of Maine
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- U.S. Marshals' website
- Miami Herald, "Maine foreclosure lawsuit to proceed," February 18, 2011
- Portland Press Herald, "Judge lets Occupy Augusta stay another week," November 29, 2011
- Bangor Daily News, "Judge brokers deal to allow Occupy Augusta to stay in park," November 28, 2011
- Kennebec Journal, "Occupy Augusta leaving park," December 9, 2011
- District of Maine history from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||John Rich •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|