Public Notice: Visitor Restrictions
The State of Maine Judicial Branch announces visitor restrictions that apply to all State courthouses. These restrictions are imposed in light of the health concerns caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised people to take precautions in light of the pandemic. The CDC advises that the best way to avoid illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
For purposes of these restrictions, "close contact" with a person with confirmed COVID-19 means having spent 30 minutes or more within 6 feet of the person within the past 14 days without the use of full personal protective equipment (PPE).
Therefore, effective immediately, the following persons shall not enter any State courthouse in Maine:
- Persons who have, within the last fourteen days, travelled to any country for which the CDC has issued Level Two or Level Three travel health notices (this list will be updated weekly);
- Persons who have, within the last fourteen days, travelled to any area of the United States for which the CDC has issued a Domestic Travel Advisory (this list will be updated weekly);
- Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has travelled to any of those countries or areas of the United States within the last fourteen days;
- Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, nurse practitioner, hospital, or health agency; and
- Persons who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the preceding 30 days or who have had close contact within the preceding 30 days with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
When you arrive at a courthouse, you will be asked the following questions:
- In the last seven days, have you experienced any of the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills,
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,
- Muscle or body aches,
- New loss of taste or smell,
- Sore throat,
- Congestion or runny nose,
- Nausea or vomiting, or
- Do you live with, or have you been in close (less than 6 feet) prolonged contact, (more than 30 minutes) with someone who has or had a diagnosis of COVID-19?
- Do you live with, or have you been in close (less than 6 feet) prolonged contact, (more than 30 minutes) with someone who has or had fever, cough, shortness of breath, or flu-like symptoms?
- Within the last 14 days, have you traveled outside of Maine or have you had close contact with someone who has traveled outside of Maine?
- Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been asked to self-quarantine by any hospital, health agency, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or doctor?
If you answer YES to any of these questions, you may be asked some follow-up questions and, depending on the answers to those questions, you will either be allowed to enter or you will be refused entrance and provided with a contact number so that you may be assisted. You may be asked to sign a written attestation confirming that you do not have any of the symptoms noted above.
If you refuse to participate in the screening process, you will be refused entrance and provided with a contact number so that you may be assisted.
In order to comply with CDC recommendations and to protect the public and court staff, anyone attempting to enter in violation of these protocols will be denied entry by a Judicial Marshal.
If you have a scheduled court hearing or are otherwise required to appear at one of the courthouses in Maine, and you cannot enter the courthouse as a result of these protocols, you should proceed as follows:
- If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney;
- If you are not represented by an attorney, please call 207-753-2999 to speak to a clerk about your case;
- If you are seeking protection from abuse or protection from harassment, call 207-753-2999 and a clerk will assist you;
- If you are an attorney and you are scheduled to appear in court, please call 207-753-2999 to speak to a clerk about your case.
These restrictions will remain in place temporarily, until it is determined safe to remove them. All persons who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus should immediately contact their healthcare providers.
May 27, 2020
/s/ Hon. Andrew M. Mead
Acting Chief Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court