Maine’s Court System is structured simply with three levels, first the Supreme Court, the highest court in the state and the only appellate court. Then the Superior Courts which are general jurisdiction courts for the state and finally the District Courts which are the limited jurisdiction courts in Maine. Maine also has specific courts designated for probate matters only called Probate Courts.
Established in 1820, Maine’s Supreme Court has seven justices and a Chief Justice who is the head of the entire Judicial Branch of government. All lower courts send their appeals directly to the state Supreme Court. Maine has 16 counties, and each one has a Superior Court. The state has 17 justices who serve on the Superior Courts.
Unlike most states, Maine does not have a Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court acts as the only court of last resort. Additionally, District Courts are split further into divisions for family and juvenile matters. They also have a court program for drug and alcohol addiction called Drug Treatment Court.
Maine’s Judicial Branch website is organized well for the end user and offers tons of great information for self-represented individuals, the public and attorneys practicing within the state.
According to the Freedom of Information Act, Maine court records are open to the public, but they do not offer online access. However, individuals can visit the courthouse where the case took place for copies of open records. Things like expunged, sealed and confidential cases will not be available. Additionally, juvenile records, juror details, court employee information and other private details will not be included. The federal government also prohibits certain information from being included in publicly available court records. Information like minor’s names, home addresses, and identifiers like social security numbers, bank accounts, and tax IDs must first be redacted from the files before they are made public.
Although Maine does not allow public access of their court records, they do have a pretty comprehensive eCourts system where patrons can pay traffic tickets, fines, and fees, contest a traffic ticket and also file other court documents online. Their online system uses the Odyssey Portal for that service. Maine’s Judicial Branch website also has an extensive area on their website with PDF fillable forms that work with Adobe. The forms are well organized within categories for court types and can also be downloaded to file in person at the courthouse. They have forms available for each of their courts.
Gain access to hundreds of court cases in Maine, including Cumberland County, York County, and Penobscot County, using Infotracer’s search tool. Searching for Maine court records has never been easier! According to the Freedom of Information Act in conjunction with Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) the general public has the right to examine criminal court records, civil court records, bankruptcies, family court issues, probate and more! Infotracer’s massive database allows you to do just that.
You can perform a court records search privately without permission or even a good reason. Most court records will be available except for some like juvenile records which are kept confidential by law.
Try Infotracer today to get free instant access to Maine court records from all types of courts in the state. Performing a Maine state court records search by name is the fastest way to lookup court cases online from Maine’s district courts, superior court, and probate courts.
In 2012, the Maine courts received 234,921 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 23.0% and counted 180,943 filings.
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of Maine at year end of 2016 has decreased by 39.0% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 21,583.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in Maine courts counts to 46,830, with 6,606 felony cases and 40,224 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
Maine’s Superior Court has 17 justices throughout its 16 counties. These are the general jurisdiction trial courts for the state and the only court that uses a jury. They may hear almost all civil and criminal types of cases except for family matters, civil violations, and juvenile cases. All Class A, B, C, D, and E criminal cases including murder are heard in Superior Court. This court also resolves post-conviction reviews, lawsuits, and appeals from state and local administrative agencies like the municipal zoning boards and the Department of Human Services. Aroostook County has two Superior Courts, and all other counties have one.
The District Courts in Maine are the limited jurisdiction courts for the state. These courts have 38 judges that hold sessions in eight regions across the state, and they never use juries. District Courts focus on civil, criminal, and family matters. The District Court system was created in 1961. Some examples of cases heard in District Court are divorces, custody issues, property damage, and civil lawsuits. District Court breaks out Family Court as a division that handles all family-related matters. District Courts handle all traffic violations and juvenile delinquency matters. They can also hear Class D and E criminal infractions and civil violations.
The Probate Courts in Maine were created by the Constitution in 1820. They have exclusive and limited jurisdiction over estates, trusts, name changes, adoptions, guardianships, conservatorships, and protective orders. This court also handles matters of mental health and involuntary commitment. The Probate Courts do not use a jury. Instead, a judge hears all issues and makes a decision based on the evidence. Maine has 16 Probate Courts and judges, one for each county. Probate Court judges are elected, and they work only part-time. Verdicts from Probate Court may be appealed directly to the Supreme Court.