Robert H. Hobgood

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Robert H. Hobgood
Court Information:
Third Division of the Superior Court, North Carolina
Title:   Senior Resident Superior Court Judge
Position:   9th Judicial District
Active:   1980-2018
Past position:   Representative, North Carolina House of Representatives
Past term:   1979-1979
Personal History
Undergraduate:   University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Law School:   University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Grad. School:   National Judicial College

Robert H. Hobgood is a senior resident superior court judge for the 9th Judicial District of the Third Division of the Superior Court, serving Franklin, Granville, Vance, and Warren counties in North Carolina. He took office in 1980 and his current term expires in 2018.[1]


Hobgood received both his undergraduate degree and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds a Masters in Judicial Studies from the National Judicial College.[1][2]


Prior to becoming a judge, Hobgood served in the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1979.[1]

Awards and associations

  • Board Member, Board of Governors of the Law Alumni Association of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law
  • Chairman, Pattern Jury Instruction Committee of the N.C. Conference of Superior Court Judges
  • Member, State Judicial Council[1]

2010 election

Hobgood was re-elected to the superior court after running unopposed.[3]

See also: North Carolina judicial elections, 2010

Notable cases

School voucher program ruled unconstitutional (2014)


On February 21, 2014, Judge Hobgood granted an injunction against a school voucher program. The legislature approved a plan to provide some state funds to pay for private school tuition. The school boards and some taxpayers sued, arguing that the law was unconstitutionally redirecting taxpayer money to private institutions, many of which are religious organizations. Supporting the lawsuit were the North Carolina Justice Center and the N.C. Association of Educators. Those in favor of the new law said that it gave lower income families more options.

Hobgood's decision, according to the N.C. Justice Center, was supported by his finding that the lawsuit was likely to succeed.

$10 million was budgeted for the program, enough to provide about 2,400 students with up to $4,200 towards their private school tuition. Almost 5,000 applicants were hoping to take advantage of this offer at the time of Hobgood's ruling.[4]


Hobgood ruled on August 21, 2014, that the state's vouchers program for private schools was unconstitutional.

The vouchers were known as "Opportunity Scholarships" and were created by legislators in 2013 to help low-income families pay for private school tuition. The program was championed by Republican members of the legislature.[5]

Hobgood blasted the program, stating:

It appears to this court that the General Assembly is seeking to push at-risk students from low-income families into non-public schools in order to avoid the cost of providing them a sound, basic education in public schools.[6][7]

Senate President Phil Berger, a Republican, responded to the ruling, stating:

Today’s ruling by a single trial court judge advances a clear political agenda ahead of the needs of thousands of North Carolina children. I hope we will move swiftly to appeal.[6][7]

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See also

External links


North CarolinaSupreme Court of North CarolinaNorth Carolina Court of AppealsNorth Carolina Superior CourtsNorth Carolina District CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of North CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of North CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Western District of North CarolinaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitNorth Carolina countiesNorth Carolina judicial newsNorth Carolina judicial electionsJudicial selection in North CarolinaNorthCarolinaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg