Coordinates: 43°39′31″N 70°15′19″W / 43.658726°N 70.255238°W / 43.658726; -70.255238

United States District Court for the District of Maine
(D. Me.)
Maine Locator Map.PNG
LocationEdward T. Gignoux U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toFirst Circuit
EstablishedMarch 30, 1820
Chief JudgeJon D. Levy
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyDarcie N. McElwee
U.S. MarshalTheodor G. Short
U.S. Courthouse in 1911
U.S. Courthouse in 1911
U.S. Courthouse today
U.S. Courthouse today

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine (in case citations, D. Me.) is the U.S. district court for the state of Maine. 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 at the Edward T. Gignoux United States Courthouse in Portland, Maine and has a second courthouse in Bangor, Maine.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine represents the United States in criminal and civil litigation before the court. As of October 8, 2021 the U.S. Attorney is Darcie N. McElwee.[1]

Appeals from the District of Maine are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).


The District of Maine was one of the thirteen original districts created on September 24, 1789, by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73.[2] At the time, Maine was part of the state of Massachusetts. As with other jurisdictions of the time, the District of Maine was originally assigned a single judgeship.[2] Not being assigned to a judicial circuit, it was granted the same jurisdiction as the United States circuit court, except in appeals and writs of error, which were the jurisdiction of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Massachusetts.[2] The circuit court jurisdiction of the District of Maine was repealed on February 13, 1801 by 2 Stat. 89, and restored on March 8, 1802 by 2 Stat. 132.[2] On March 30, 1820, shortly after Maine entered the Union, the District of Maine was assigned to the First Circuit and its internal circuit court jurisdiction was again repealed by 3 Stat. 554.[2] A second judgeship was authorized on October 20, 1978, by, 92 Stat. 1629, and a third was authorized on December 1, 1990, by 104 Stat. 5089.[2]

Current judges

As of November 22, 2021:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
18 Chief Judge Jon D. Levy Portland 1954 2014–present 2019–present Obama
17 District Judge Nancy Torresen Portland 1959 2011–present 2015–2018 Obama
19 District Judge Lance E. Walker Bangor 1972 2018–present Trump
13 Senior Judge D. Brock Hornby Portland 1944 1990–2010 1996–2003 2010–present G.H.W. Bush
15 Senior Judge George Z. Singal Portland 1945 2000–2013 2003–2009 2013–present Clinton
16 Senior Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. Portland 1950 2003–2017 2009–2015 2017–present G.W. Bush

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 David Sewall ME 1735–1825 1789–1818 Washington resignation
2 Albion Parris ME 1788–1857 1818–1822 Monroe resignation
3 Ashur Ware ME 1782–1873 1822–1866 Monroe resignation
4 Edward Fox ME 1815–1881 1866–1881 A. Johnson death
5 Nathan Webb ME 1825–1902 1882–1902 Arthur retirement
6 Clarence Hale ME 1848–1934 1902–1922 1922–1934 T. Roosevelt death
7 John A. Peters ME 1864–1953 1922–1947[3][4][5] 1947–1953 Harding retirement
8 John David Clifford Jr. ME 1887–1956 1947–1956 Truman death
9 Edward Thaxter Gignoux ME 1916–1988 1957–1983 1978–1983 1983–1988 Eisenhower death
10 George J. Mitchell ME 1933–present 1979–1980 Carter resignation
11 Conrad K. Cyr ME 1931–2016 1981–1989 1983–1989 Reagan elevation to 1st Cir.
12 Gene Carter ME 1935–2021 1983–2003 1989–1996 2003–2021 Reagan death
14 Morton A. Brody ME 1933–2000 1991–2000 G.H.W. Bush death

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, 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 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.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats

See also


  1. ^ "Darcie N. McElwee Sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine". October 8, 2021. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f U.S. District Court of Maine, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center (accessed July 5, 2009).
  3. ^ "PETERS, John Andrew". Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Peters, John Andrew". Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "Court History". Retrieved June 18, 2019.