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
Keep v. Indorf  
Date: January 31, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 14

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court reviewed a dispute between Heather Keep and Christopher Indorf regarding the division of real estate they owned jointly. Keep and Indorf were unmarried domestic partners who…

State v. Labbe  
Date: January 31, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 15

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, Jacob R. Labbe Sr. was convicted by the trial court on one count of domestic violence stalking and two counts of violation of a protective order. Labbe appealed arguing that the stalking statute was…

In re Child of Barni A.  
Date: January 31, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 16

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the appellant, Barni A., appealed against an order from the District Court in Lewiston, Maine, terminating her parental rights to her older child. The child was born prematurely with a genetic abnormality…

Utsch v. Department of Environmental Protection  
Date: January 30, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 10

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves Hans Utsch and Julia H. Merck's appeal against a denial of their petition for judicial review of an email from the mining coordinator of the Department of Environmental Protection. The case originates…

Office of the Public Advocte v. Public Utilities Commission  
Date: January 30, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 11

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) contested an order by the Public Utilities Commission (Commission) that extended the waiver of the standard depreciation rate…

State v. Tripp  
Date: January 30, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 12

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine upheld the conviction of Ralph A. Tripp Jr., who was found guilty of several drug-trafficking offenses, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and criminal forfeiture of…

J.P. Morgan Acquisition Corp. v. Moulton  
Date: January 30, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 13

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court reviewed a decision by the District Court granting Camille J. Moulton's motion for summary judgment against J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Corp. Moulton's property in…

State v. Thistle  
Date: January 25, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 6

Justia Opinion Summary: In the State of Maine v. Dale F. Thistle, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the conviction of Dale Thistle, an attorney, for theft by misapplication of property. Thistle was hired by Donna Friend, personal…

Gordon v. State  
Date: January 25, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 7

Justia Opinion Summary: Mario Gordon appealed a judgment that denied his petition for post-conviction review in which he alleged ineffective assistance of counsel. In the underlying case, Gordon had pleaded guilty to multiple charges pursuant…

Bocko v. University of Maine System  
Date: January 25, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 8

Justia Opinion Summary: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of the University of Maine System (UMS) in a case involving Robert Bocko, who claimed that UMS failed to pay him wages on time as mandated by Maine law. Bocko, who was…

Howard v. White  
Date: January 25, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 9

Justia Opinion Summary: Patrick S. White appealed a judgment from the District Court in Lewiston, Maine, which determined parental rights and responsibilities concerning his minor child with Darcy L. Howard. The main issue on appeal was whether…

Trump v. Secretary of State  
Date: January 24, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 5

Justia Opinion Summary: In Maine, former President Donald J. Trump submitted a petition for his candidacy for the Republican Party’s presidential primary. Three challengers subsequently claimed that Trump was disqualified from running because…

State of Maine v. Dana A. Healey  
Date: January 23, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 4

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Dana A. Healey appealed his conviction for domestic violence assault. Healey argued that the trial court exceeded its discretion by not allowing him or his attorneys…

Gooley v. Fradette  
Date: January 18, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 3

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, George E. Gooley appealed and Danielle L. Fradette cross-appealed from the District Court’s judgments on their post-divorce and post-trial motions. The court held that…

Finch v. U.S. Bank, N.A.  
Date: January 11, 2024
Citation: 2024 ME 2

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the dispute involved U.S. Bank, N.A. (the Bank) and Charles D. Finch. The Bank had a mortgage on Finch's property due to a loan he had taken out. When Finch defaulted…

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.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

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