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Frederick Motz

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Frederick Motz
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Maryland
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #10
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   07/12/1985 - 12/16/2010
Chief:   1991 - 2001
Senior:   12/17/2010 - Present
Preceded by:   98 Stat. 333
Succeeded by:   James Bredar
Personal History
Born:   1942
Hometown:   Baltimore, MD
Undergraduate:   Wesleyan U., A.B., 1964
Law School:   University of Virginia Law, LL.B., 1967

J. Frederick Motz is federal judge serving on senior status for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He joined the court in 1985 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan.

Early life and education

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Motz graduated from Wesleyan University with his bachelor's degree in 1964 and later from the University of Virginia School of Law with his Juris Doctor degree in 1967.[1]

Professional career

Motz was a law clerk for former federal appeals judge Harrison Winter for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1967 to 1968. In 1969, Motz became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland in the U.S. Attorney's Office where he served until 1971. Motz entered private practice from 1971 to 1981 before being nominated by President Ronald Reagan to U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland from 1981 to 1985.[1]

Judicial career

District of Maryland

Motz was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland by President Ronald Reagan on April 23, 1985 to a new seat created by 98 Stat. 333 which was approved by Congress. Motz was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 11, 1985 on a Senate vote and received commission on July 12, 1985. Motz served as the Chief Judge of the court from 1994 to 2001. He assumed senior status on the court on December 16, 2010.[1]

Notable cases

Mortgage lender sued for 'reverse red-lining' (2010)

     United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. et al., JFM 1:08-cv-00062)

Judge Motz on January 7, 2010 dismissed a lawsuit between the City of Baltimore and Wells Fargo after Maryland's largest city claimed that the bank steered minority homeowners into taking more risky mortgages that resulted in foreclosures. Baltimore was the fifth major city to file a lawsuit in federal court over the past two years claiming that one of the major mortgage lenders' practices violated the federal Fair Housing Act.[2] The FHA is a part of the Civil Rights Act, and was designed to protect buyers and renters from discrimination from sellers and landlords.

In dismissing the suit, the judge found there was not enough evidence to prove that mortgage foreclosures stemming from Wells Fargo's actions led to an actual injury to the plaintiff City.[2] Judge Motz wrote:

...the alleged connection is even more implausible when considered against the background of other factors leading to the deterioration of the inner city, such as extensive unemployment, lack of educational opportunity and choice, irresponsible parenting, disrespect for the law, widespread drug use, and violence… It may be entirely reasonable to posit—as the City’s allegations amply support—that unscrupulous lenders took advantage of inner city residents living in a dysfunctional environment to induce them to make loans they could not afford. It does not follow, however, that it is reasonable to infer—as the City argues—that the unscrupulous lenders themselves created the dysfunctional environment they exploited.[2][3]

Howard Co., MD land use (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Paul F. Kendall, et al., v. Howard County, Maryland, et al., JFM 09-cv-369)

On July 30, 2009, Judge Motz dismissed a lawsuit involving land sale decisions for Howard County spanning the previous fifteen years. The lawsuit was filed by a group of activists who asserted that the County's pattern of granting approval of land sales by resolution, instead of an original bill, disenfranchises the County residents as the resolutions cannot be taken to a referendum and vote, unlike a bill. The judge dismissed the case on the grounds that there was no genuine federal interest, and thus a state court was the more proper forum for the case.[4]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
NA-New Seat
District of Maryland
Seat #10
Succeeded by:
James Bredar

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