Effective Immediately, Maine Courts Suspend non-Priority Proceedings Till May 1, 2020.
Posted by Edmund R. Folsom, Esq.
March 14, 2020, Revised March 19, 2020.
By Order issued March 13, 2020, effective immediately, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court suspended most court proceedings until May, 1, 2020. On March 18, 2020, the Court issued a Revised Order, making clear that all of the following proceedings are suspended until May 1, 2020:
FED (Eviction, landlord/tenant)
Medical Malpractice proceedings including Panel Hearings
Family matters, except for video mediations which may occur if all parties agree. You will be notified by the clerk if a video mediation is scheduled.
Juvenile matters (unless the juvenile is being detained)
Criminal matters (unless a defendant is in-custody)
Civil jury trials
All other nonjury civil matters including civil violations
All actions to recover personal property
All Violations Bureau hearings (traffic tickets)
Grand Jury proceedings
To further clarify, the revised, May 18, 2020 order specifies that the following proceedings are the only proceedings that will take place between now and May 1, 2020:
Arraignments and first appearances of defendants held in custody
Motions for review of bail of defendants held in custody
Juvenile detention hearings
Protection from Abuse requests and hearings
Protection from Harassment requests and hearings
Child Protection petitions and hearings
Mental health requests and hearings
Hearings granted on motion
Any Maine Court proceeding scheduled to occur before May 1, 2020 that does not fall into one of the specific categories immediately above is postponed, to be rescheduled on a date on or after May 1, 2020. See the Court’s notification here.
Courts are currently open only during restricted hours. The schedule for each courthouse is located here and bears watching because it is ever changing.
Update March 28, 2020: There will be no jury trials in Maine courts during the months of April and May, 2020. No jurors will called to court in May, even assuming the courts resume other routine proceedings.