News & Announcements
- January 25, 2019: Law Court invites amicus briefs on effect of a mortgagee's bankruptcy on ownership of the mortgage. Briefs due by March 8, 2019.
- January 25, 2019: The Adult Drug Court Advisory Committee received the Judicial Branch Special Service Award in recognition of their significant contribution to improvements in the operation and performance of the Judicial Branch.
- January 14, 2019: SJC invites comments on its planned proposal to the Legislature to adopt the "Digital Court Records Access Act," which would address the case types, documents, and information that will be accessible by the public as the courts' new electronic case management system is implemented. Comments due on or before January 25, 2019. Read full text of notice here.
- January 7, 2019: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Bar Rules regarding continuing legal education. Comments due on or before February 22, 2019. [On January 18, the SJC extended the time for comments; the deadline was previously January 22, 2019.]
- December 20, 2018: Supreme Court Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley recently announced the recipients of this year’s Judicial Branch Performance Council employee and volunteer recognition awards.
- December 4, 2018: Wednesday, December 5, has been declared a National Day of Mourning in recognition of the death of the 41st American President. The Maine Judicial Branch joins the entire country in mourning the death of former President George H.W. Bush. All flags will be flown at half mast in recognition of President Bush's passing. While some offices of State and Federal Government have announced that they will be closed tomorrow, Maine's Judicial Branch, as an essential service, will be open as usual.
- October 31, 2018: The Supreme Judicial Court seeks letters of interest from attorneys and others who are interested in serving on the newly expanded Board of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services. Letters of interest due by noon on November 16, 2018.
- October 29, 2018: Maine Judicial Branch Announces that e-filing is now live for Violations Bureau Cases. The Maine court system’s new case management and e-filing system, Odyssey, is now available for traffic violation cases. Parties may look their cases up online, file answers and motions, and pay tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- October 26, 2018: The SJC has adopted an amendment to the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct to prohibit attorneys from having sexual relations with clients unless a consensual sexual relationship existed when the client-lawyer relationship commenced.
- October 22, 2018: The SJC has adopted amendments to the Maine Rules for Guardians Ad Litem regarding the application of the rules to non-rostered attorneys specially appointed by a court.
- October 15, 2018: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Probate Procedure regarding forms and private information. Comments due by October 29, 2018.
- October 12, 2018: The Chief Justice invites input from the bar on Civil Process Reform. Letters of interest in serving on working group invited through October 23, 2018. Public hearing scheduled for October 24, 2018. Documents relating to the proposal, including comments received in response to the invitation for comment, are available on the Civil Justice Reform page.
- October 10, 2018: Maine Judicial Branch Announces e-filing for Violations Bureau Cases. The Maine Judicial Branch announces that the first phase of the Maine court system’s new case management and e-filing system, Odyssey, will be rolled out for traffic violation cases statewide on October 29.
- October 10, 2018: Maine Supreme Court Honors Lawyers Who Have Provided Free Legal Services to Those in Need. Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program recognizes lawyers providing 50 or more hours of pro bono assistance in 2018.
- September 18, 2018: The Justices of the SJC have issued a procedural order on the question from the House of Representatives on whether the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians may operate a casino on its land without permission from the State. Briefs due by noon on October 12, 2018. The Court will post all documents relating to the question on the page dedicated to the question.
- September 17, 2018: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on a proposed amendment to the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct to prohibit attorneys from engaging in sexual relations with clients. Comments due by October 15, 2018. Public hearing to be held on October 23, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in Portland.
- September 17, 2018: Law Court invites amicus briefs on a probationer's right to effective assistance of counsel at a probation revocation hearing and right to challenge counsel's effectiveness in a post-conviction review proceeding. Amicus briefs due by October 11, 2018.
- September 5, 2018: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed civil justice reform to adopt Differentiated Case Management principles as described in the Court's posted summary entitled "Civil Justice Reform for Maine's Courts." Comments due by October 5, 2018. Court will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in the SJC Courtroom in the Cumberland County Courthouse.
- August 10, 2018: The Law Court invites amicus briefs on the allocation of the burden of proof in criminal competency proceedings. Amicus briefs due by September 11, 2018.
- August 8, 2018: The SJC has adopted amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure modifying the effective date for amendments to M.R. Civ. P. 80F, regarding traffic infractions, and modifying the time for replies to oppositions to motions in civil matters.
- August 6, 2018: The Law Court invites amicus briefs on the constitutionality of process in the Probate Courts for termination of parental rights in "private" adoption matters. Amicus briefs due by September 11, 2018.
- July 26, 2018: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hold a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland, in Courtroom 12, to receive oral comments regarding a proposed amendment to the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct to prohibit harassment and discrimination.
- July 19, 2018: The SJC has adopted amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure on public access to Violations Bureau records; to the Maine Bar Rules on continuing legal education requirements on avoiding harassment and discrimination; and to the Maine Rules of Probate Procedure on challenges to probates of wills and on efiling requirements.
- July 17, 2018: The Law Court invites amicus briefs on the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Carpenter v. United States on the legality of the police's obtaining, without a warrant, real-time information on a cell phone's location. Amicus briefs due by August 31, 2018.
- July 12, 2018: The SJC has adopted amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure to require in third-party practice electronic service of documents, after the intiial complaint and summons, between attorneys and unrepresented parties who opt in to electronic service. Rules effective on July 11, 2018.
- July 1, 2018: The SJC has adopted amendments to the Maine Rules of Evidence regarding prior consistent statements of a witness and business records. Rules effective on August 1, 2018.
- July 1, 2018: The SJC has adopted amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure to require electronic service of documents, after the intiial complaint and summons, between attorneys and unrepresented parties who opt in to electronic service. Rules effective on July 1, 2018.
- June 21, 2018: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Probate Procedure to (1) require electronic filing in all pending Probate Court matters, regardless of the date that a matter was commenced; (2) require Registered Filers (as defined by the rules) to pay all fees and costs electronically; and (3) make other technical and grammatical corrections and clarifications. Comments due by July 5, 2018.
- May 31, 2018: SJC invites comments on a proposed amendment to the order establishing the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability to permit a member whose term has expired to serve until a successor is appointed. Comments due by June 7, 2018.
- May 22, 2018: The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct and the Maine Bar Rules to prohibit harassment and discrimination by lawyers in conduct or communication related to the practice of law and to require lawyers to attend continuing education on harassment and discrimination. Comments due by June 5, 2018.
- May 8, 2018: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to M.R. Civ. P. 80F to enlarge time for filing and response to a traffic violations summons and to specify the information in Violations Bureau court records that will be available to the public. Comments due by 4:00 p.m. on May 22, 2018.
- April 23, 2018: SJC invites comments on proposed amendments to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure to require represented parties, and permit unrepresented parties, to serve documents electronically after the commencement of an action. Comments due by May 7, 2018.
- April 23, 2018: The Supreme Judicial Court invites letters of interest from members of the Maine Bar who wish to serve on the Maine Family Rules Advisory Committee that it plans to establish. Letters of interest due by May 14, 2018.
- The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hold a public hearing at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, 2018, at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, in Courtroom 7, to receive oral comments regarding access to electronic court records as electronic filing is implemented. Read details of the Notice of Public Hearing on Access to Digital Records here.
- March 15, 2018: The Maine Statistical Analysis Center at the Muskie School of Public Service recently released the 2017 Court Access and Fairness Survey Report. This report summarizes the findings from the 2017 Maine Court Access and Fairness Survey, which asked survey participants to respond to a series of court “access” and “fairness” questions. The survey was conducted in March 2017 and was completed by 1,039 participants, all of whom were visitors to various courthouses across the State of Maine. The survey results summarized in this report are part of ongoing efforts by the Maine Judicial Branch (MJB) to be responsive to the government and the public. Findings from this research were positive, reflecting court users’ belief that courts are both accessible and fair. Read or download the report here.
- March 14, 2018: SJC invites comments on proposals by Advisory Committee on Professional Responsibility to amend the Maine Bar Rules to require recording of Fee Arbitration Commission proceedings and to amend the Rules of Professional Conduct to modify the conflict-of-interest rules when lawyers change firms. Comments due by March 28, 2018.
- February 27, 2018: Chief Justice Saufley delivered the State of the Judiciary address to the Legislature.
- February 23, 2018: Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposals by the Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence to amend the hearsay rules. Comments due by March 23, 2018.
- February 16, 2018: The Supreme Judicial Court has adopted amendments to Rule 30(b)(4) of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, governing recording of depositions.
- January 12, 2018: The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on a proposed amendment to M.R. Civ. P. 30 to permit any party to record at a deposition. Comments due by January 26, 2018
- December 18, 2017: The SJC has received twenty-six comments in response to its invitation for comments on the recommendations in the Report of the Task Force on Transparency and Privacy in Court Records. The SJC invites responses to the comments. Any responses are due by February 2, 2018. [This item corrected on 12/18/17 at 1:16 p.m. to correct number of comments received.]
- November 30, 2017: The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on a proposed amendment to the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct to state specifically that unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination constitutes professional misconduct. Comments due by December 29, 2017.
- November 17, 2017: Scam Advisory: The Maine Judicial Branch has been advised of at least one report of a scam artist making telephone calls, identifying themselves as a Franklin County court employee, and seeking personal information. The Maine Judicial Branch is issuing another warning that no one should provide personal identity information over the telephone, and is reminding the public that employees of the Maine courts do not call and request personal information over the telephone.
- November 2, 2017: Maine Judicial Branch Announces Employee and Volunteer Service Awards for 2017
- October 17, 2017: SJC invites comments on the recommendations presented to the Court in the Report of the Task Force on Transparency and Privacy in Court Records. Comments due by December 15, 2017.
- October 16, 2017: Administrative Week Monday, October 16 through Friday, October 20 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.
- September 26, 2017: The SJC has multiple openings on various boards and rule committees and invites attorneys who wish to be considered for appointment to any of the openings to notify the Court of their interest on or before October 27, 2017.
- 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.
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 email email@example.com.