News & Announcements
- September 15, 2017: Maine Chief Justice Commemorates Constitution Day – September 18, 2017. Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley today urged the Maine public, along with Maine’s teachers and educators to recognize our nation’s Constitution Day, which is September 17, 2017. This year Constitution Day will be observed, nationwide, on the following day, Monday, September 18. Watch video | See press release with links to educational materials.
- September 13, 2017: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure to allow for electronic filing of Violation Summons and Complaint and to clarify time for payment of fines. Comments due by September 27, 2017.
- September 12, 2017: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules for Guardians Ad Litem to adopt standard billing procedures and to require reports of compliance with assigned tasks. Comments due by September 26, 2017.
- September 11, 2017: Maine Supreme Judicial Court Responds to Hurricane Tragedies. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court today encouraged Maine lawyers to provide pro bono legal services to Hurricane Harvey victims, in response to the Texas Supreme Court permitting lawyers in good standing who are licensed in other states to provide free legal services to hurricane victims in need.
- September 11, 2017: Supreme Judicial Court to Hold Court at Freeport, Mountain Valley (Rumford) and Westbrook High Schools – Fall 2017. The Supreme Judicial Court today announced its schedule for visiting Maine high schools this fall. For the past dozen years, the Court has held oral arguments in actual appellate cases in high schools around the state.
- August 16, 2017: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Code of Judicial Conduct to correct a drafting error so that probate judges are permitted to attend political gatherings but are not permitted to solicit or make political contributions. Comments due by August 30, 2017.
- August 8, 2017: The Supreme Judicial Court seeks interested volunteers to serve as a public member of the Guardian Ad Litem Review Board. Applications should be received by September 15, 2017. For more information, see the Court's notice.
- Administrative Week: Monday, July 31 and Tuesday, August 1 all Maine courts and clerk's offices will be closed to the public from 8:00 a.m. to noon to allow court staff to complete important work.
- The Task Force on Transparency and Access will hold its next meeting on Monday, July 31, 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.
- 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, 2017February 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.
- 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:
- The District Court's authority to order in a divorce matter that the parties' child have contact with a third person;
- The online availability of information about a ward's asssets in a Probate Court conservatorship matter; and
- The effect of a foreign country's divorce decree on a pending divorce action in Maine.
- 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.
Cameras and Audio Recording in Courtrooms
Information about cameras and audio recording equipment is available in Administrative Order JB-05-15 ( A. 9-11).
This is a new form to be used by members of the media who are requesting media coverage in District or Superior court proceedings. All forms should be submitted to the Clerk of Court office that is handling the case. In order to open the form, you will need the a current version Adobe Reader. You may download the free version of Adobe Reader at http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Members of the media who require further assistance can contact Mary Ann Lynch, Director of Court Information. Ms. Lynch may be reached at (207) 592-5940 or via email Mary.Ann.Lynch@courts.maine.gov.