Maine Supreme Judicial Court Decisions

Established in 1820 when Maine became a state, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court takes its authority from Article VI, Section 1 of the Maine Constitution. Previously, Maine had been part of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had held jurisdiction over Maine residents. The Court is distinct from many other state supreme courts because it has the authority to issue advisory opinions upon the request of the executive branch or the legislative branch. Like many other courts, it holds appellate jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases in the state. When the Maine Supreme Judicial Court exercises its appellate jurisdiction, it is formally known as the Law Court. According to a Stanford University study in 2012, it is the second-most liberal state supreme court in the U.S.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court consists of seven justices. Each justice serves a seven-year term, which can be renewed an unlimited number of times. Instead of electing its justices, Maine uses an appointment process. The Governor of Maine appoints each new justice, who then must be confirmed by the Maine State Senate. The Governor also appoints the Chief Justice on the Court, and the Chief Justice serves in that capacity for their entire seven-year term. There are no specific requirements for a candidate to be appointed to the Court, except that they must be “learned in the law.”

A justice may be removed from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court if they are impeached by the Maine House of Representatives in a majority vote and convicted by the Maine State Senate in a two-thirds vote. Alternatively, a justice may face removal upon the address by the Governor of both the House of Representatives and the State Senate.

Browse Opinions From the Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Recent Decisions From the Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Almeder v. Town of Kennebunkport  
Date: October 3, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 151
Docket Number: 2019 ME 151

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute between Beachfront Owners and the Town of Kennebunkport over who held title to disputed portions of Goose Rocks Beach the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the holding of the trial court that, under the cir...

In re Child of Olivia F.  
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 149
Docket Number: 2019 ME 149

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother's parental rights to her child, holding that the court did not err in finding abandonment and did not err or abuse its discretion...

Beal Bank USA v. New Century Mortgage Corp.  
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 150
Docket Number: 019 ME 150

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court denying Beal Bank USA's complaint to compel the assignment of a mortgage to Beal by the insolvent originating lender, New Century Mortgage Corporatio...

State v. Lipski  
Date: September 26, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 148
Docket Number: 2019 ME 148

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of operating a vehicle when the registration of that vehicle was suspended, holding that the State was not required to provide coun...

Steve Anctil v. Department of Corrections
Date: September 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 144
In re Child of Kimberly K.  
Date: September 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 145
Docket Number: 2019 ME 145

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother's and Father's parental rights to their child, holding that the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that term...

In re Child of Katherine C.  
Date: September 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 146
Docket Number: 2019 ME 146

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother's parental rights to her child, holding that the court did not err by finding that Mother was parentally unfit and that terminatio...

In re Children of Benjamin W.  
Date: September 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 147
Docket Number: 2019 ME 147

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Father's parental rights to his two youngest children, holding that Father's due process rights were not violated during the termination...

Sulikowski v. Sulikowski  
Date: September 10, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 143
Docket Number: 2019 ME 143

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated in part and affirmed in part the order of the district court modifying child support and spousal support, holding that there was no error except in the court's calculation of the child...

Greif v. Independent Fabrication, Inc.  
Date: September 5, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 142
Docket Number: 2019 ME 142

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's compliant alleging revocation of acceptance and breach of warranty as time-barred, holding that the court relied upon facts con...

State v. Warner  
Date: August 29, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 140
Docket Number: 2019 ME 140

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated in part the order of the superior court granting Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a search warrant for Defendant's cell phone account data and a search warra...

State v. Coston  
Date: August 29, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 141
Docket Number: 2019 ME 141

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of conviction of burglary entered by the trial court after a jury trial, holding that the trial court did not err in admitting recordings of incriminating telephone conver...

Blue Sky West, LLC v. Maine Revenue Services  
Date: August 20, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 137
Docket Number: 2019 ME 137

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court concluding that the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) had issued correct decisions regarding Somerset County's two requests...

State v. Robbins  
Date: August 20, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 138
Docket Number: 2019 ME 138

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment entered by the trial court convicting Defendant of unlawful sexual touching and assault, holding that the court erred in allowing the State to introduce improper character...

Salerno v. Spectrum Medical Group, P.A.  
Date: August 20, 2019
Citation: 2019 ME 139
Docket Number: 2019 ME 139

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal injury claim based on premises liability the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the facts alleged in th...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.