Law Court invites amicus briefs on
constitutionality of process in Probate Court for
termination of parental rights
in "private" adoption matters


The Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, invites briefs of amici curiae in the appeals of Adoption of R.M. and Adoption of M.D., Law Court docket numbers Cum-18-9 and Cum-18-12, respectively, addressing what process must be followed and what, if any, services must be provided in both the District and the Probate Courts in order to comport with the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution and the equivalent provisions of the Maine Constitution in a private action brought by a guardian or parent of a child seeking to terminate the  parental rights of another person.  The Court specifically seeks input on whether, in "private TPR" cases, a court should—or is required to—assign counsel for parents and/or guardians, appoint a guardian ad litem to speak for the child, make available rehabilitation and reunification services for the parent whose rights are at issue, and, more generally, provide the process that is used in Title 22 termination cases.  Redacted copies of the parties' initial briefs and of the orders appealed from are available through the links above.

A single amicus brief, which may argue the issues in both appeals, may be filed by or on behalf of any individual, entity, or group of individuals and/or entities without separate leave of the Court. Any amicus brief must be filed on or before September 11, 2018.  An amicus brief must be filed at the address listed below and must comply with M.R. App. P. 7(c), 9(e)(1), and 9(f).  In addition to filing and serving the required number of copies, any amicus must send a copy of the brief electronically, as a single "native" or text-based .pdf file, to

Dated:  August 6, 2018

Matthew Pollack
Clerk of the Law Court
205 Newbury Street Room 139
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 822-4146