District Court

Law Clerkship Opportunities

Town Address Phone # TTY #
Augusta 1 Court Street, Suite 101, Augusta, ME 04330 (207) 213-2800 711 Maine Relay
Bangor 78 Exchange Street, Bangor, ME 04401 (207) 561-2300 711 Maine Relay
Belfast 11 Market Street, Belfast, ME 04915 (207) 338-1940 711 Maine Relay
Biddeford 25 Adams Street, Biddeford, ME 04005 (207) 283-1147 711 Maine Relay
Bridgton 3 Chase Street, Suite 2, Bridgton, ME 04009 (207) 647-3535 711 Maine Relay
Calais 382 South Street, Suite B, Calais, ME 04619 (207) 454-2055 711 Maine Relay
Caribou 144 Sweden Street, Suite 104, Caribou, ME 04736 (207) 493-3144 711 Maine Relay
Dover-Foxcroft 159 East Main Street, Suite 21, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426 (207) 564-2240 711 Maine Relay
Ellsworth 50 State Street, Suite 2, Ellsworth, ME 04605 (207) 667-7141 711 Maine Relay
Farmington 129 Main Street, Suite 1, Farmington, ME 04938 (207) 778-2119 711 Maine Relay
Fort Kent 139 Market Street, Suite 101, Fort Kent, ME 04743 (207) 834-5003 711 Maine Relay
Houlton 26 Court Street, Suite 201, Houlton, ME 04730 (207) 532-2147 711 Maine Relay
Lewiston Mailing: P.O. Box 1345, Lewiston, ME 04243-1345
Physical: 71 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240
(207) 795-4800 711 Maine Relay
Lincoln 52 Main Street, Lincoln, ME 04457 (207) 794-8512 711 Maine Relay
Machias Mailing: P.O. Box 526, Machias, ME 04654-0526
l: 85 Court Street, Machias, ME 04654
(207) 255-3044 711 Maine Relay
Madawaska Mailing: 139 Market Street, Suite 101, Fort Kent, ME 04743
l: 645 Main Street, Madawaska, ME 04756
(207) 728-4700 711 Maine Relay
Millinocket Mailing: 52 Main Street, Lincoln, ME 04457
l: 207 Penobscot Avenue, Millinocket, ME 04462
(207) 723-4786 711 Maine Relay
Newport 12 Water Street, Newport, ME 04953 (207) 368-5778 711 Maine Relay
Portland 205 Newbury Street, Portland, ME 04101 (207) 822-4200 711 Maine Relay
Presque Isle 27 Riverside Drive, Presque Isle, ME 04769 (207) 764-2055 711 Maine Relay
Rockland 62 Union Street, Rockland, ME 04841 (207) 596-2240 711 Maine Relay
Rumford 145 Congress Street, Rumford, ME 04276 (207) 364-7171 711 Maine Relay
Skowhegan 47 Court Street, Skowhegan, ME 04976 (207) 474-9518 711 Maine Relay
South Paris 26 Western Avenue, South Paris, ME 04281 (207) 743-8942 711 Maine Relay
Springvale 447 Main Street, Springvale, ME 04083 (207) 459-1400 711 Maine Relay
Waterville 18 Colby Street, Waterville, ME 04901 (207) 873-2103 711 Maine Relay
West Bath 101 New Meadows Road, West Bath, ME 04530 (207) 442-0200 711 Maine Relay
Wiscasset Mailing: P.O. Box 249, Wiscasset, ME 04578-0249
Physical: 32 High Street, Wiscasset, ME 04578
(207) 882-6363 711 Maine Relay
York 11 Chases Pond Road, York, ME 03909 (207) 363-1230 711 Maine Relay

The District Court system was created by the Legislature in 1961. The District Court has 38 judges who hold court in eight (8) judicial regions at many locations throughout Maine. This court hears civil, criminal and family matters and always sits without a jury. Civil suits claiming monetary damages, domestic relations cases (divorces, separations, custody, and property disputes), and involuntary commitments are examples of civil cases.

There is also established within the District Court a Family Division that has jurisdiction over family matters in the District Court. There are 8 Family Law Magistrates who work in the Family Division.

A plaintiff who has a right to trial by jury in a civil action waives the right by bringing the action in District Court; a defendant with a right to a civil jury may remove the action to a Superior Court for jury trial.

The court also tries cases involving civil violations and Class D and E criminal offenses when the defendant waives the right to a jury trial. In addition, the court hears all juvenile matters and traffic infraction cases.

Most decisions of the District Court may be appealed directly to the Supreme Judicial Court, except for small claims and forcible entry and detainer cases.

In Maine, the small claims court is a special session of the District Court held in each district on certain days determined by the Chief Judge of the District Court. In small claims court, the procedure is simplified, hearings are informal, and parties generally appear without attorneys. Small claims proceedings are appropriate only when the amount in controversy, not including interest and costs, is not more than $6,000. Appeals from small claims judgments may be taken to the Superior Court. A defendant who appeals, and who has a right to a jury trial, may have a trial de novo (a complete retrial) before a Superior Court jury.

In 2007, the Supreme Judicial Court identified several serious problems caused by the procedures used in District and Superior Courts throughout the state for the processing of criminal cases, which led to the creation of a Unified Criminal Docket (UCD). The purpose of the UCD model are to streamline court events, reduce the number of court appearances, reduce duplication of work by clerks, provide certainty in scheduling, promote prompt and fair resolution of cases and reduce time to resolution of criminal cases.  Portland was selected as the pilot site, and on January 4, 2009, the Cumberland UCD commenced operation there.  Over the course of the next six years, the UCD model was fully implemented statewide in 2015.

For many years, Justices of the Superior Court and Judges of the District Court have been authorized to hear matters in either trial court.  Through the process of cross assignment, trial court chiefs are able to send judges to the areas of greatest need.