Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information

Unless otherwise indicated on the court closings and alerts page, Maine courthouses will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. See court closings and alerts.

ENTERING A COURTHOUSE: Any person entering the courthouse must wear a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth at all times while in the courthouse. All persons entering will be asked about exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19. Those who cannot enter as a result of these protocols should call 207-753-2999 for assistance.

See the COVID-19 FAQs If you have questions about whether you should go to a courthouse or call 207-753-2999. For general inquiries concerning the Judicial Branch's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, contact info@courts.maine.gov.

During this public health emergency, we pledge to do all we can to keep our employees and the public that come to the court healthy and safe. Court users and employees are reminded to take the same precautions that would be used during any flu season (wash your hands thoroughly, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and stay home when you’re sick).

The Maine Judicial Branch is monitoring updates from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for ongoing guidance and direction regarding necessary precautions and action plans. Please consult this page for updates on the Judicial Branch's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Updates will be made as new information becomes available. 

Phased Re-Opening Plan for the Courts

The Judicial Branch has released the State of Maine Judicial Branch COVID-19 Phased Management Plan (updated November 3, 2020) The plan creates a five-phased process for reopening Maine Courts and is based on the most recent scientific data available from the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and stakeholder input. The plan was updated on July 2 to increase the maximum capacity of courtrooms and common areas to 50 people so long as social distancing can be practiced, beginning in Phase 3. Phase 5, beginning on November 9, permits all case types and jury trials to occur. However, it is expected that most non-family civil matters will not be heard until sometime in 2021. Criminal jury trials will be scheduled as resources permit. Read the Plan.

Stakeholders Advisory Group

The Maine Judicial Branch hosted two virtual sessions of the newly created stakeholders advisory group, on May 14 and May 21, 2020. The purpose of the meetings was to obtain input and suggestions for continuing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to the courts. These meetings were live audio streamed and the recordings are below.

Pandemic Management Orders

  • July 30, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued PMO-SJC-7: Order Regarding Trial Court Remote Proceedings and Public Access.

  • July 23, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued a revision to the affidavit, Cares Act and Federal Programs Verification for Forcible Entry and Detainer, found in appendix A of PMO-SJC-6.

  • July 21, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued PMO-SJC-6: Emergency Rules for Forcible Entry and Detainer (Eviction) Cases. All plaintiffs in eviction actions initiated between March 18, 2020 and August 31, 2020, or on further order of the court, must verify that the property at issue in the eviction action is not a "covered dwelling" under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (15 U.S.C. §§9057 & 9058) (the "CARES Act") or otherwise subject to federal agency moratoria and programs prohibiting evictions.

  • June 17, 2020: The Trial Courts issued a revision to PMO-TC-1. The revised order replaces and supersede the previous order.

  • June 5, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued a revision to PMO-SJC-2 to consolidate, clarify, correct, and ratify earlier emergency orders, including the administration of oaths at depositions conducted remotely via audio-video communication equipment and other matters.

  • June 4, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued a revision to PMO-SJC-4 to allow for the refund of fees paid to the Maine Board of Bar Examiners for the cancelled July examination dates under certain circumstances.

  • May 28, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued a revision to PMO-SJC-1 to incorporate the State of Maine Judicial Branch COVID-19 Phased Management Plan.

  • May 20, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued a revision to PMO-SJC-2, providing additional clarity on the 49-day extension of due dates.

  • May 13, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued revisions to two Pandemic Management Orders. The revised orders replace and supersede previous orders.
    • PMO-SJC-1: This revised order corrects errors in the previous order.
    • PMO-SJC-2: This revised order  provides that the provision creating the 49 day extension of due dates will not apply to due dates that occur after June 1.

  • May 5, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court and Trial Courts issued revisions to three Pandemic Management Orders. The revised orders replace and supersede previous orders:
    • PMO-SJC-1: This revised order extends the operative date regarding scheduling cases to May 30, defers all jury trials through June 30, expands the case types that are eligible for scheduling and hearing during the effective dates of the order, implements new safety precautions for those entering courthouse facilities, and establishes a new stakeholders advisory group to provide information and assistance to the Maine Judicial Branch as the Branch continues to formulate plans to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on court operations.
    • PMO-SJC-3: This order expands the list of documents that may be sent to Clerk's offices by email.
    • PMO-TC-1: This order extends the deferral of all jury trials through the end of June 2020, extends the deadline to pay fines, fees, restitution and attorney fee reimbursements through June 1, 2020, and provides that  all deadlines established pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 80F (traffic infractions), and set to expire on or before May 31, 2020, are extended to June 1, 2020.

  • April 17, 2020: The Supreme Judicial Court issued an order regarding petitions concerning control of notifiable diseases and conditions pursuant to Title 22, chapter 250. The Court has promulgated forms for the Notice of Hearing and Order for hearings held pursuant to 22 M.R.S. § 820. See PMO-SJC-5 Order Regarding Petitions Concerning Control of Notifiable Diseases and Conditions.

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