News Archive

2017

  • June 30, 2017: ORDER OF COURT CLOSINGS UPON STATE SHUTDOWN [Order no longer in effect. Courts will be open as usual beginning Wednesday, July 5, 2017.]
  • June 29, 2017: Judicial Branch releases plans in the event there is no state budget. [Plan no longer in effect. Courts will be open as usual beginning Wednesday, July 5, 2017.]
  • June 20, 2017: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure to require service of papers on other parties by email after the initial complaint and summons. Comments due by July 5, 2017.
  • June 13, 2017: Supreme Judicial Court has adopted restyled Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure and amendments to Maine Bar Rules.
  • June 6, 2017: Maine Civil Legal Services Fund Commission Announcement of Applications for 2018 and 2019 and Notice of Public Meeting. Download application packet.
  • May 26, 2017: Law Court invites amicus briefs on issue of whether a volunteer driver for a nonprofit organzation who receives mileage reimbursement is an “employee” for workers’ compensation purposes. Briefs due by July 14, 2017.
  • May 23, 2017: The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court have issued an Opinion of the Justices answering the Questions of the Maine State Senate regarding ranked-choice voting.
  • The Task Force on Transparency and Access will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose/Chamberlain Conference Room of the Capital Judicial Center (1 Court Street) in Augusta, Maine. For more information about the goals of the task force, its membership, and upcoming meetings, please click here.
  • April 13, 2017: The recording of the oral argument on the Senate's questions regarding Ranked-Choice Voting is available on the Court's Ranked-Choice Voting Page.
  • April 5, 2017: The Supreme Judicial Court has adopted amendments to the Maine Rules of Unified Criminal Procedure.
  • March 8, 2017: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to Maine Bar Admission Rules to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination and to modify requirements for admission by motion of attorneys from other states. Comments due by March 23, 2017.
  • March 3, 2017: The location for the oral argument on the Maine Senate's request for an Opinion of the Justices has moved. The argument will be held in Courtroom 7 (the historic ceremonial courtroom) of the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. The date and time remain the same.
  • March 2, 2017: Law Court invites amicus briefs on whether, to establish the traffic infraction of failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle by operating a vehicle while distracted, 29-A M.R.S. § 2118(2)(A), the State must prove what distracting activity the driver was engaged in. Briefs due by March 29, 2017.
  • March 2, 2017: The Supreme Judicial Court invites amicus briefs on whether the dismissal with prejudice of a foreclosure action bars a second foreclosure action based on the same note and mortgage. Amicus briefs due by March 29, 2017.
  • March 1, 2017: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Unified Criminal Procedure to clarify rules regarding appearance and withdrawal of counsel; forfeiture of bail; and hours of clerks' offices. Comments due by March 15, 2017.
  • February 16, 2017: Chief Justice Saufley delivered the State of the Judiciary address to the Legislature.
  • February 7, 2017: The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court have received questions from the Senate regarding ranked-choice voting and have issued a procedural order in the matter. Briefs are due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 3, 2017, with responsive briefs due by noon on Friday, March 17, 2017. Oral argument will be held on April 13, 2017. All filings and orders will be available, as they are filed and issued, on the Court's page for the proceeding.
  • January 25, 2017: SJC invites comments on proposed restyling of the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure. Comments due by February 16, 2017 February 21, 2017. Due to the inclement weather and closings during the weeks of February 6 and 13, the period for comment has been extended through February 21, 2017.
  • January 17, 2017: The SJC encourages attorneys to participate in the ABA Pro Bono Survey. Attorneys will receive information about the survey from the Board of Overseers.
  • January 10, 2017: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure to clarify procedures when proceedings involving the same child are pending in both the District Court and a Probate Court. Comments due by January 24, 2017.
  • January 4, 2017: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Probate Procedure to clarify requirements for electronic filing and to classify additional types of records and information as “private.”  Comments due by January 25, 2017.

2016

  • December 29, 2016: Court Announces 2016 Advocate for Justice Award To Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills
  • December 20, 2016: Maine Judicial Branch Announces Award of Court Management System Contract to Tyler Technologies
  • December 2, 2016: York County Courtroom Site Selection Commission releases report
  • November 21, 2016: Law Court invites amicus briefs on whether a Probate Court may deny a petition to change the petitioner's surname to that of a "friend" because it may create the false impression that the petitioner and the friend are married. Amicus briefs must be filed on or before January 4, 2017.
  • November 21, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on the report of the Advisory Commission on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). Comments must be filed on or before December 19, 2016.
  • November 21, 2016: Maine Judicial Branch Releases Updated Guide to Help Unrepresented People Involved in Protection from Abuse or Protection from Harassment Cases.
  • November 17, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Bar Rules to modify discovery and confidentiality of information in disciplinary proceedings and to make technical changes. Comments due by December 8, 2016.
  • November 4, 2016: Court Announces Employee and Volunteer Service Awards for 2016
  • October 19, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court to hold court at Marshwood High School on October 26, 2016.
  • The York County Courthouse Site Selection Commission will meet on October 31, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. at the York County Superior Court, Alfred, Maine. The Commission will hear public comments regarding where to locate the new courthouse.
  • October 18, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court Recognizes Maine Attorneys and Law Students for 2016 Legal Aid to the Elderly and the Needy.
  • September 29, 2016: Law Court invites amicus briefs on whether it has jurisdiction to hear an appeal from a trial court's denial of a convicted person's motion to modify terms of probation and whether a trial court may deny a motion to modify terms of probation without a hearing. Briefs due October 28, 2016.
  • There will be an information session on the new Bangor Adult Drug Treatment Court on Wednesday, October, 5, 2016, 12 p.m. at the Penobscot Judicial Center, Exchange Street, Bangor. The media is welcome to attend.
  • September 23, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court and the District Court invite comments on a proposed standing order and proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure to expand the authority of Family Law Magistrates and make other clarifications to the procedures in family cases. Comments due by October 14, 2016.
  • August 18, 2016: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to administrative order on public information and confidentiality to provide for confidentiality of images of individuals in state of nudity or engaged in sexual acts and to permit transmission of electronic versions of court documents to interpreters. Comments due by September 15, 2016.
  • August 18, 2016: Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley announced today that beginning on Tuesday, September 6, 2016, the public hours for most Maine state courts will be extended from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., 5 days a week. Of the 36 courthouses located throughout the state, all but 8 of the smallest courts will be open until 4:30 p.m., beginning September 6, 2016. The courts that are not changing operating hours are Dover-Foxcroft, Lincoln-Millinocket, Rumford, Newport, Calais, Houlton, Fort Kent and Presque Isle, where hours will remain 8:00 to 4:00. This is due to the small number of staff in those locations.
  • August 12, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court invites amicus briefs on whether the admission at an OUI trial of a defendant's refusal to submit to testing for blood-alcohol content violates the Fourth Amendment. Briefs due on or before September 9, 2016.
  • August 5, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court invites amicus briefs in three cases, involving the following subjects:
    Amicus briefs are due on or before September 2, 2016.
  • July 26, 2016: July 26, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court has adopted amendments to civil, probate, and appellate rules, effective July 29, 2016. The amendments are available on the rules page.
  • July 25, 2016: Notice of Recruitment: Foreclosure Diversion Program Mediators open until September 6, 2016.
  • July 19, 2016: Maine Courts to honor late Mort Brody om July 21, 2016.
  • July 14, 2016: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules for Guardians Ad Litem relating to qualifications of, complaints against, public information about, and continuing education required of guardians ad litem. Comments due by July 29, 2016.
  • July 7, 2016: Law Court invites amicus briefs on whether the statute governing appealable orders in child protection proceedings precludes appellate review from an order on a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 60(b). Amicus briefs due August 11, 2016.
  • July 7, 2016: Maine Judicial Branch Seeks to Purchase Land for Courthouse Site in Belfast. The Maine Judicial Branch wishes to purchase property for the construction of a new courthouse to be located in Belfast, Maine. The parcel will be approximately 1.75 acres, fully usable and buildable, appropriately zoned for courthouse use.
  • July 5, 2016: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to Maine Rules of Civil Procedure and Maine Rules of Probate Procedure to effectuate Maine Parentage Act and legislation granting jurisdiction over adoptions, guardianships, and name changes to the District Court where that court has a pending matter involving the same child(ren). Comments due by noon on July 19, 2016.
  • June 30, 2016: Maine Judicial Branch Seeks to Purchase Land for Courthouse Site in York County. The Maine Judicial Branch wishes to purchase property for the construction of a new courthouse to be located in York County. The parcel will be approximately seven (7) buildable acres appropriately zoned for courthouse use.
  • June 15, 2016:  Advisory Commission on the Uniform Bar Examination invites public comment on the adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination for Maine applicants to the bar.  Comments due by July 29, 2016.
  • June 14, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to Administrative Order JB-05-5 regarding fees and procedures for court-appointed guardians ad litem and workers' compensation attorneys.  Comments due by June 28, 2016.
  • June 6, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed technical amendments to the Maine Rules of Unified Criminal Procedure and the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure to account for changes to statutes, other court rules, and court practice.  Comments due by June 20, 2016.
  • June 2, 2016: In order to permit the public, members of the bar, and members of the bench to attend the memorial service for Attorney Peter DeTroy on Friday, June 3, 2016, afternoon court proceedings at the Cumberland County Courthouse will be delayed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • May 12, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court is pleased to announce the formation of the Advisory Committee on the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure. The Order can be found on the Court Committees page.
  • May 11, 2016: Maine Judicial Supreme Court invites and encourages Maine attorneys to submit certification of service by the September 15th deadline for qualification for the 2016 Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program.
  • April 15, 2016: Dedication of renovated Washington County Courthouse and Supreme Judicial Court to hear appeals at Washington Academy on May 5, 2016.
  • April 15, 2016: The Supreme Judicial Court has established a high-profile case page for the matter of Greenlaw v. Secretary of State, the appeal from the Business and Consumer Docket order affirming the Secretary of State's determination that the citizen's initiative to permit a casino in York County did not have sufficient valid signatures to be placed on the ballot.  The Court invites briefs of amici curiae.  Details on the procedure for the matter are available on the high-profile case page and in the procedural order issued by the Court.
  • April 6, 2016: Mary Ann Lynch, spokeswoman for the Maine Judicial Branch, warned the public today about another phone call fraud scheme involving con artists who say they work for the courts and seek personal information that may allow identity theft. In this scam, someone calls pretending to be a court official and says that the person has outstanding parking or moving violation tickets. The caller claims to work for the courts. The callers are engaging in "Caller ID Spoofing," to make it appear that the calls are originating from a courthouse, when, in fact, they are not. Variations of this scam scam has been reported in a number of states.
    Ms. Lynch said that no one from the Maine Judicial Branch would ever call and ask for personal information such as a social security number, date of birth, or credit card information over the telephone. Anyone receiving such a call should hang up and they may want to contact their local police department. The following web site has more information: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id.
  • March 9, 2016: Chief Justice Saufley delivers the State of the Judiciary.
  • February 25, 2016: Maine Courts Report High Volume Phone Scam – Court spokeswoman, Mary Ann Lynch, warned the public today of a current high volume phone scam that appears to be targeting Maine people. It appears that dozens, if not hundreds, of calls occurred Wednesday afternoon. Members of the public are receiving calls from a phone number that appears on the recipient's Caller ID to be a court telephone number. The scammers are using a trick called "Caller ID Spoofing," to make it appear that the calls are coming from the court system, when, in fact, they are not coming from the courts. Lynch reminded the public that no one from the Maine courts will ever call and ask for social security numbers, credit card account numbers, or bank account information to be provided over the phone. If you receive such a call she advises that the recipient of the call should just hang up.
  • February 19, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure that would allow for electronic service of documents after the initial pleading; adjust the time for a responsive pleading by a defendant; and modify the provisions regarding filing of discovery documents. Comments due March 4, 2016.
  • January 15, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites amicus briefs on the effect of a statutory declaration of confidentiality on discoverability of information. Briefs due by February 12, 2016.
  • January 15, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed administrative order regarding sealing of certain filed documents, images, and recordings. Comments due by January 29, 2016.
  • January 15, 2016: Report of the Intergovernmental Pretrial Justice Reform Task Force.
  • January 11, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites amicus briefs on the effect of a parent's incarceration on a petition to terminate the parent's parental rights. Briefs due February 8, 2016.
  • January 8, 2016: Supreme Judicial Court invites amicus briefs in appeal from a finding that the defendant inexcusably failed to comply with a condition of a deferred disposition. Briefs due February 5, 2016.
  • January 6, 2016: Maine Judicial Branch has issued a Request for Information seeking suggestions from property owners in York County regarding the availability of property for sale suitable for the construction of a new courthouse.

2015

  • December 18, 2015: Jackman Man Receives Award For Security Work in Skowhegan Courts.
  • November 25, 2015: Court Announces Employee Service Awards for 2015—Portland Man Receives Maine Judicial Branch Career Performance Award
  • November 24, 2015: Maine Courts looking for applicants for two judicial magistrate vacancies.
  • November 23, 2015: Judicial Branch issues request for proposals for civil involuntary commitment and treatment examination services.
  • October 14, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court Recognizes Maine Attorneys and Law Students For 2015 Legal Aid to the Elderly and the Needy.
  • September 30, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court releases list of high schools it has visited in the past ten years.
  • September 30, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court to hold court at high schools in Hermon, Farmington, and Scarborough on October 6, 7, and 8, 2015.
  • September 11, 2015: Grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at Capital Judicial Center - September 18, 2015 at 2:30 p.m.
  • September 11, 2015: SJC announces the extension of the date for reporting qualifying pro bono hours for the 2014-2015 Katahdin Counsel Recognition to September 30, 2015.
  • September 9, 2015: SJC invites amicus briefs on interplay between the provisions of the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure regarding post-judgment motions and the statute governing appealable orders in child protection proceedings. Briefs due by October 7, 2015.
  • September 4, 2015: Maine Civil Legal Services Fund Commission Application Packet for 2016 and 2017.
  • August 25, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendment to the Maine Rules of Unified Criminal Procedure to enact a rule regarding restraint of juveniles.  Comments due by September 25, 2015.
  • August 14, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court to hold court at high schools in Hermon, Farmington, and Scarborough in October.
  • August 13, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court invites letters of interest from members of the public interested in serving on the Guardian ad Litem Review Board, an independent unit with the Board of Overseers of the Bar. Letters of interest due by August 21, 2015.
  • July 24, 2015:  Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the sale of a law practice.  Comments due by August 21, 2015.
  • July 23, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to the Revised Court Fees Schedule and Document Management Procedures, Administrative Order JB-05-26 (A. 7-14). Comments due by July 30, 2015.
  • July 20, 2015: Maine Court Reissues Scam Warning.
  • July 17, 2015: On Friday, July 17, 2015, at 12:40 p.m., the Governor of the State of Maine, Paul R. LePage, submitted questions to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the Maine Constitution.
  • July 15, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to Rule 52 of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, governing findings of fact and conclusions of law.  Comments due by July 24, 2015.
  • July 14, 2015: The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Unified Criminal Procedure regarding disclosure of grand jury proceedings; depositions of unavailable witnesses; requests for protection; and appeals from juvenile crime proceedings. Comments due by July 28, 2015.
  • July 9, 2015 [updated July 23, 2015, to extend time]: Law Court invites amicus briefs on the appropriate disposition of duplicative counts to avoid a Double Jeopardy violation where the State charges, and the defendant is convicted of, multiple crimes as a result of a single criminal act. Briefs due by September 11, 2015.
  • July 9, 2015: The Supreme Judicial Court has repealed and replaced the Maine Bar Rules, the Code of Judicial Conduct, and the Rules for Guardians Ad Litem.
  • July 6, 2015: Due to the move into the new courthouse, Machias District Court and Washington County Superior Court will be closed July 8, 9, 10 and 13. Calais District Court and Ellsworth District Court will be handling emergency filings, including Protection Orders, that would ordinarily be filed in Machias. The public may use whichever of those District Courts is more convenient. Other non-emergency filings may be taken to Calais District Court or mailed to Machias District Court and Washington County Superior Court at: P.O. Box 526, Machias, Maine 04654.
  • June 24, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to Rules 601 and 801(d)(2)(D) of the Maine Rules of Evidence regarding interpreters and admissibility of statements of party's agent to the principal or employer. Comments are due by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.
  • June 18, 2015: Bench/Bar meeting hosted by Chief Justice Saufley and Justice Gorman to be held on June 30, 2015, 3:00 p.m. Feeney Room, first floor, Cumberland County Courthouse.
  • June 16, 2015: Chief Justice Leigh Saufley appoints Justice Roland Cole to lead the Maine Superior Court.
  • June 8, 2015: We are pleased to report that the Millinocket District Court will reopen for business on Wednesday June 24th.
    A leak in the roof of the Millinocket Municipal Building resulted in moisture problems that lead to significant air quality concerns for the District Court, which is located on the top floor of the Millinocket Municipal Building. To ensure the safety of those entering and working in the court, the Millinocket cases were temporarily moved to Lincoln District Court.
    The City of Millinocket has now completed the repairs and renovations, and, after a 10 month hiatus, the District Court will return to the building.
  • June 12, 2015: Pretrial Justice Reform Task Force will be holding a meeting at 1 p.m. at the Capital Judicial Center, 1 Court Street, Augusta. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the Multipurpose Room on the second floor.
  • June 8 -12, 2015: Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project will be closed to the public June 8 - 12 to update their phone systems and implement changes that will allow their limited staff to better manage the volume of requests for help.
  • April 16, 2015: The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on a proposed amendment to the Maine Rules of Small Claims Procedure to make M.R. Civ. P. 52(a), regarding findings of fact, inapplicable to small claims proceedings. Comments due by April 30, 2015.
  • March 16, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on a proposed amendment to M.R. Civ. P. 63 to add provisions governing the recusal of judges. Comments due on or before April 3, 2015.
  • March 2, 2015: The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on the proposed replacement of the Maine Code of Judicial Conduct.  Comments due by April 3, 2015.
  • February 27, 2015: State Court Administrator announces opening of the Capital Judicial Center, the Augusta Courthouse opening to the public Monday, March 2, 2015. Capital Judicial Center fact sheet.
  • February 20, 2015: During the week of February 23-27, 2015, the Kennebec County Superior Court Clerk's Office will be closed in order to move into the new Capital Judicial Center. During the move, all emergency matters, including fine payments, will be handled at the Augusta District Court Clerk's Office at 145 State Street in Augusta. Monday, March 2, 2015, Kennebec County Superior Court and Augusta District Court will re-open at the Capital Judicial Center at 1 Court Street, Suite 101 in Augusta.
  • January 22, 2015: SJC invites comments on new proposed Maine Bar Rule 11, regarding the period of limitations for disciplinary complaints. Comments due on or before February 5, 2015.
  • January 16, 2015: Maine Judicial Branch expands its records check to include all District and Superior Courts in the state.
  • January 9, 2015: In 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court said goodbye to two Justices and said a final farewell to "The Chief," Chief Justice Vincent McKusick.
  • January 6, 2015: Supreme Judicial Court invites amicus briefs on whether a petitioner seeking the release of a person found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity must prove a change in the mental disease or defect that formed the basis of the finding. Amicus briefs due February 3, 2015.
  • January 5, 2015: Child witness pilot project in Bangor.

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