Public Notice: Visitor Restrictions
The State of Maine Judicial Branch announces visitor restrictions that apply to all State courthouses. These restrictions are imposed in light of the health concerns caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised people to take precautions in light of the pandemic. The CDC advises that the best way to avoid illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
For purposes of these restrictions, "close contact" with a person with confirmed COVID-19 means being within 6 feet of the person for 15-minutes or more over a 24-hour period without the use of full personal protective equipment (PPE).
For purposes of these restrictions, "traveled outside of the State of Maine" does not include transiting a non-exempt area or stopping briefly in a non-exempt area to make use of travel services such as a highway rest stop.
Therefore, effective immediately, the following persons shall not enter any State courthouse in Maine:
- Persons who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or have experienced symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 within the preceding 10 days;
- Persons who have traveled outside of the State of Maine within the preceding fourteen days to an area not otherwise exempt from quarantine requirements imposed pursuant to Executive Order of the Governor;
- Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has traveled outside of the State of Maine as described in paragraph B within the preceding fourteen days;
- Persons who have been advised to self-quarantine by any health care provider, public health agency or public health official within the preceding 14 days; and
- Persons who have had close contact within the preceding 14 days with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
When you arrive at a courthouse, you will be asked following questions:
- Have you had a cough or sore throat?
- Have you had a fever or do you feel feverish?
- Do you have shortness of breath?
- Do you have a loss of taste or smell?
- Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days?
- Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
- Have you been out of state in the last 14 days?
- Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been advised to self-quarantine by any health care provider, public health agency, or public health official?
If you answer YES to any of these questions, you may be asked some follow-up questions and, depending on the answers to those questions, you will either be allowed to enter or you will be refused entrance and provided with a contact number so that you may be assisted. You may be asked to sign a written attestation confirming that you do not have any of the symptoms noted above.
If you refuse to participate in the screening process, you will be refused entrance and provided with a contact number so that you may be assisted.
In order to comply with CDC recommendations and to protect the public and court staff, anyone attempting to enter in violation of these protocols will be denied entry by a Judicial Marshal.
If you have a scheduled court hearing or are otherwise required to appear at one of the courthouses in Maine, and you cannot enter the courthouse as a result of these protocols, you should proceed as follows:
- If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney;
- If you are not represented by an attorney, please call 207-753-2999 to speak to a clerk about your case;
- If you are seeking protection from abuse or protection from harassment, call 207-753-2999 and a clerk will assist you;
- If you are an attorney and you are scheduled to appear in court, please call 207-753-2999 to speak to a clerk about your case.
These restrictions will remain in place temporarily, until it is determined safe to remove them. All persons who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus should immediately contact their healthcare providers.
November 3, 2020
/s/ Hon. Andrew M. Mead
Acting Chief Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court