Access to Justice Department
“Every person … shall have remedy by due course of law; and right and justice shall be administered freely and without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay.”
Constitution of the State of Maine, Article I, section 19.
The Access to Justice department serves as the primary administrative resource for assuring and improving public access to the Maine court system, and is responsible for addressing the access needs of individuals with disabilities, with limited English proficiency, and/or without legal advocates. The goal of the Access to Justice department is to further the mission of the Judicial Branch: To administer justice by providing a safe, accessible, efficient and impartial system of dispute resolution that serves the public interest, protects individual rights, and instills respect for the law.
The first Access to Justice Coordinator for the State of Maine Judicial Branch was hired in February of 2012. The coordinator is responsible for organizing and effectuating the Judicial Branch’s response to the access needs of individuals, as well as assessing Judicial Branch policies, procedures, and forms to assure meaningful access to justice for all Maine citizens.
The coordinator works in concert with the Judicial Branch Communications department to update and disseminate information for the Judicial Branch, and to provide the public with the tools and resources needed to navigate our complex legal system.
“Equal justice under law … is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists [and] it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.” Lewis Powell, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice
- May 2-7, 2016: Lawyers in Libraries (This link will re-direct to the Maine State Library)
- March 7, 2014: Not Everyone has Equal Access to Justice. Let's Change that. (This link will re-direct to the Bangor Daily News)
- February 10, 2014: Judicial Branch Court Interpreter Program Update
- September 9, 2013: JAG Newsletter Volume VI Issue 2
- April 30, 2013: Maine Voices: Lawyers in Libraries -- in case you get the book thrown at you (This link will re-direct to the Portland Press Herald site)
- April 29, 2013: Lawyers to be stationed in libraries across state to offer free legal advice ( Think link will re-direct to the Bangor Daily News site)
- April 1, 2013: JAG Newsletter Volume VI Issue 1
- March 18, 2013: Technology in libraries improves access to the legal system
- March 10, 2013: Translating justice: Growing number of interpreters help overcome language barriers in Maine courts.
- March 7, 2013: Justice Jon D. Levy of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and JAG Vice-Chair Federal Magistrate John H. Rich III, address the Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary (PDF)
- July 19, 2012: JAG Newsletter Volume V Issue 2 July 2012 (PDF)
- March 8, 2012: JAG Newsletter Volume V Issue I March 2012 (PDF)