Abuse & Harassment (Protection Orders)

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF VIOLENCE, ABUSE OR HARASSMENT AND BELIEVE YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER CALL 9-1-1.

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, 1-866-83-4HELP, provides a 24-hour toll-free hotlinefor victims of domestic violence. TTY 1-800437-1220.

How law enforcement can help

Maine law enforcement officers receive special training to assist victims of domestic violence to prevent further abuse. Officers may:

  • Give the victim written information about domestic violence help that is available locally, nd how to file a protection from abuse case;
  • Remain on the scene of the alleged abuse as long as the officer reasonably believes there is a danger to the physical safety of the victim without the officer being there; and/or
  • Assist the victim in obtaining medical treatment caused by the abuse, including driving the victim to the nearest hospital emergency room.

An officer may arrest an individual with or without a warrant if the officer reasonably believes that a violation of a previously granted temporary or final protection from abuse order has occurred. The violation of the order does not need to have taken place in the presence of the officer.

The Maine Department of Health and Humans Services maintains a list of resources for victims available at www.maine.gov/dhhs.

Protection laws

Victims of domestic or dating abuse, sexual assault, stalking or other forms of harassment (the plaintiff) can obtain both short-term emergency protection and, after a hearing, long-term protection from the District Court.

The protection laws also allow individuals accused of abuse, sexual assault, stalking, or other forms of harassment (the defendant) to contest a claim.

The Protection from Abuse (PA) and Protection from Harassment (PH) laws are separate statutes with different requirements.

  • The PA law protects individuals and/or their children from abuse by a family or household member, or intimate or dating partner. The laws governing these cases are in Title 19-A, section 4001 through section 4014.
  • The PH law protects individuals and/or their children and businesses from harassment by an individual. The person you are seeking protection from does not have to be a family or household member. The laws governing these cases are in Title 5, sections 4651 through 4660-A.

Starting a PA/PH case

Information for Plaintiffs

Protection from Abuse
There are no fees in a PA case.

  • Fill out and submit forms PA-001 and PA-005 available on the Protection From Abuse and Harassment Forms page. (Additional forms may be required)
  • The clerk’s office will arrange for the defendant to be served with the court papers. The court papers will include the date, time, and place of your final hearing. You may ask the court to keep your address confidential if you do not want the defendant to know where you are living for safety reasons. (Form PA-015)

Protection from Harassment
There may be filing and service fees in PH case, depending upon the  facts of the case. You may also be required to first ask law enforcement to warn the defendant to stop the harassment before starting a PH case.

  • Fill out and submit forms PA-006 and PA-005 available on the Protection From Abuse and Harassment Forms page.
  • You may be responsible for arranging for the defendant to be served with the court papers, depending upon the facts of the case.
  • The court papers will include the date, time, and place of your final hearing. As in a PA case, you may ask the court to keep your address confidential if you do not want the defendant to know where you are staying for safety reasons. (Form PA-015)

If you do not have access to a computer or a printer, blank forms are also available at any District Court clerk’s office. Find a District Court

Responding to a case

Information for Defendants

  • If you are the defendant and want to contest the PA or PH case, you must go to court on the date of the hearing. The date, time, and place of the hearing will be listed in the court papers you receive.
  • You may, but are not required, to file a written request for the judge to dissolve or change any short-term emergency order that may be in place. Use form PA-010 on the Protection From Abuse and Harassment Forms page. There are no fees for this.

If you do not have access to a computer or a printer, blank forms are also available at any District Court clerk’s office. Find a District Court

Additional help and resources