Maine eCourts Frequently Asked Questions
On this page:
- General Information
- Questions on Common Terms Used in eFiling
- Troubleshooting Failed or Rejected Submissions
- Using Guide & File (For Self-Represented Parties in Certain Case Types)
- Technical Support
1. What is eFileMaine?
eFileMaine is the online electronic filing system or EFS that attorneys and parties use to electronically file documents with the court.
2. What is Guide & File?
Guide & File helps people filing without a lawyer complete forms online in certain types of civil cases. Users are guided through a series of questions, answers to which help automatically prepare and file the needed court forms online. Guide & File is currently available for small claims cases filed in Bangor District Court and traffic violation cases statewide.
3. What is the Odyssey Portal?
The Maine eCourts Odyssey Portal, also known as the Public Portal, is the online platform for viewing electronic court records and paying traffic tickets. Some court records and case types are publicly accessible and can be searched for and viewed without a user account.
4. How do I search for electronic case information or documents on the Portal?
Enter a party name, traffic citation number, or case identification number (docket number) in the search bar on the Smart Search page of the Odyssey Portal. See Case Search Identifiers for Maine eCourts for more information on how to search by case record number.
5. What is a Public Access Computer (PAC)?
A Public Access Computer or PAC is a computer provided by the Judicial Branch at courthouse locations where eFiling is available. The PACs allow individuals to eFile documents, pay filing fees using a credit or debit card, and perform searches for court records. PACs are available to use when the courthouse is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
6. What court rules apply to electronic filing using eFileMaine? The Maine Rules of Electronic Court Systems govern filing and service using eFileMaine.
7. Is training recommended before using eFileMaine? Yes, attorneys and self-represented litigants who are required to eFile and self-represented litigants who wish to eFile are strongly advised to view the general introduction to eFiling provided by Tyler Technologies. The introduction to eFiling is available on the Maine eCourts webpage here: eFileMaine New Filer Portal Training.
8. If I am not a lawyer and I do not have a lawyer representing me, can I eFile? Yes, a self-represented litigant can have an account and file electronically on eFileMaine. To register your account, choose the button marked INDIVIDUAL during the registration process.
Follow the steps to complete registration. Self-represented litigants should view the eFileMaine New Filer Portal Training.
9. Is eFiling mandatory?
eFiling is mandatory for all attorneys. It is also mandatory for self-represented filers who file or intend to file more than six non-emergency cases in the current calendar year in courts where eFiling is available. For all other self-represented litigants, eFiling is not mandatory.
10. Is there a separate fee for eFiling?
There is a 2.89% convenience fee charged for payments by credit or debit card. There is a $0.25 flat fee per transaction for paying with an electronic check.
11. Can I sign up to receive news and updates about eFiling and Maine eCourts?
Yes, please go to the Judicial Branch's sign up for news and announcements here: https://www.courts.maine.gov/news/signup.html
1. How do I access electronic documents filed in my own or my law firm’s cases? ("elevated access")
Parties and attorneys of record in a case who have an account on the Portal and have been approved by the court for "elevated access" can view the electronic case file. Elevated access provides access to the court records in the approved user’s cases. See Detailed Instructions for Requesting Elevated Access to Electronic Court Records and Odyssey Portal Elevated Access Request Form.
2. What should I do when I am requesting elevated access on the Odyssey Portal and the system prompts me to "Select Your Role" but there are no options in the field provided?
If you are requesting elevated access on the Odyssey Portal but there are no options in the "Select Your Role" field, you should first try clicking with the cursor located within the "Select Your Role" field to see if the dropdown will appear. If the dropdown does not appear when you have clicked on the field, the problem may be browser related and may be resolved by completing the process using a different web browser.
3. What is a "filing code" and how do I find the right filing code when in eFileMaine?
You can perform a keyword search in the box under "Filing Code" to find the correct filing code. A filing code identifies the document included in the submission and any filing fee that is required.
Choose the filing code that most closely matches the document you want to upload. If you are submitting a form, the name or title of the form may help you choose the right filing code. Filing codes may vary by court and case type. You may see different filing code options when you are starting a case than when you are filing into a case that has already been started. TIP: If you start typing a word into the field (for example, motion), the list will show you all the options that include that word.
4. What are "case service contacts" and how do I use the Case Service Contact list to serve documents on other parties in eFileMaine?
"Case service contacts" are email addresses associated with specific parties in a case on eFileMaine. A user submitting documents on eFileMaine can serve the documents on any party that has one or more service contacts shown on the Case Service Contact list by choosing the Filing Type "eFile and Serve" or "Service Only" and selecting the Service Contact during the filing process. NOTE: All persons submitting documents to the court through eFileMaine are required to enter their electronic service contact information into the EFS. Registering as a user and adding attorneys to an account does NOT enter service contact information into the EFS. Do NOT use the ADD NEW CONTACT button to add contact information for other lawyers or parties. For further information about entering service contacts on eFileMaine and step-by-step instructions, see the Service Contacts Advisory to eFilers.
5. What is meant by an "envelope" in eFileMaine?
All the documents that the user uploads in a single filing process on eFileMaine are submitted in a single envelope.
6. How do I correct a rejected or canceled envelope? If the envelope has been returned or rejected for any reason, you can copy it to create a new envelope and, after you correct the problem identified in the rejection message, submit the envelope to the court following the resubmission procedure in Rule 35(E) of the Maine Rules of Electronic Court Systems. For instructions on how to copy an envelope, see How do I correct a rejected or canceled envelope? on the Tyler File and Serve Cloud Knowledge Base.
1. What does "submission failed" mean and how do I correct my filing?
The submission failed status means that the EFS was unable to process one or more PDF documents in the envelope successfully and it has not been sent to the court. The most frequent cause of this error is failure to remove the security from a PDF form. To successfully upload forms into eFileMaine, first remove the security from the PDF document(s). For instructions on how to remove the security from court forms, see instructions for PC users or instructions for Mac users.
2. What happens to the fees if my submission is rejected or canceled, or the submission failed?
Each time you click the "SUBMIT" button, a pre-authorization hold is placed on your payment account for the amount listed in your “Envelope Total.” An authorization hold will appear as a pending charge on your bank statement. If you receive a message from the EFS indicating that your submission was rejected or canceled or there was a "Submission Failure," the pending authorization hold is NOT captured. Your financial institution’s policies on authorization holds will determine the time require for release of the authorization hold but typically five to seven business days is required before those funds can be released. When a hold is released following rejection, cancellation, or submission failure, there will not be a credit or refund posted to your bank account/statement. The pending charge will simply be removed from your account statement and will no longer appear in your purchase history. NOTE: If you correct and resubmit your filing, there will be a new authorization hold placed on your account when you click the "SUBMIT" button. If you resubmit your corrected filing while the first hold is still on your account, you will see two charges on your statement until your bank releases the first hold.
3. How do I request a refund of a fee paid to the court on eFileMaine?
Requests for court action, including action related to fees paid, can be submitted on eFileMaine by motion, letter, or other type of documentary submission elected by the user.
4. What is the first thing I should try if I am having technical problems with an operation on eFileMaine?
Clearing the cache on your browser often fixes certain problems, like loading or formatting issues. Most browsers allow you to do a quick clearing of the cache by pressing on your keyboard, CTRL, Shift and Delete all at the same time for a Windows PC. MCD, Shift, and Delete all at the same time for a Mac. For more browser specific instructions, please see the Clear Cache Files and Cookies Instructions on the Tyler File & Serve Cloud Knowledge Base.
1. What does a self-represented party need to use Guide & File?
A computer connected to the internet (a smart phone or tablet may work for some users, but may be harder to use due to the smaller screen size); an email address that the self-represented filer checks regularly; and a printer if the self-represented filer wishes to print forms. For traffic violation cases involving failure to show proof of insurance, a scanner or the ability to save documents in PDF format is required. Please note: If the case involves submitting forms or documents not created by Guide & File, a user must be able to save a document as a PDF and upload per the instructions in Guide & File.
2. How does a Guide & File interview work?
A user can move from one screen to another in the order presented or go back to a previous screen using buttons at the bottom of each screen or the "Go to" button. You may need to scroll down to see the buttons. Some types of cases have interviews with more than one part and may take an hour or more to complete before the interview can be submitted. After registering, a user can choose "Exit" to leave the interview and return later to complete.
3. What document formats are accepted?
Guide & File completes the court forms required in a self-represented party's case. However, in some cases, a user may need to submit documents that are not within Guide & File, such as proof of insurance in a traffic violation case or a proof of service in a small claims case. If eFiling, documents not within Guide & File must be submitted in PDF format. Guide & File/eFileMaine does not accept documents in other formats such as TIFFs or JPGs.
4. Is a credit or debit card required to use Guide & File?
Filing fees can be paid with a credit or debit card when a user has completed the Guide & File interview and is ready to eFile the case. There is a bank convenience fee of 2.89% added to filing fees paid by a credit or debit card. Alternatively, a user may mail a check or a pay the filing fee in cash at the clerk's office where the case is located within seven days of eFiling.
5. Can a self-represented filer request that a filing fee be waived in Guide & File?
Yes. If a self-represented party cannot afford to pay the filing fee, there is an option within the Guide & File small claims interview to tell the court about the party's financial situation and ask that the court waive the fee.
6. How do I upload and/or submit documents, including proof of service, in a Guide & File small claims case?
Documents that are not created by Guide & File must be scanned and saved to the computer the filer is using and uploaded as directed in Guide & File, except for the original proof of service required to start a small claims case. The original proof of service must be submitted to the clerk's office in person or mailed.
7. What devices and web browsers are recommended for completing Guide & File interviews?
It is recommended to use a desktop computer or laptop to avoid interview errors. Some issues may occur using mobile devices and tablets. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are recommended web browsers for Guide & File.
1. Is technical support available for eFileMaine?
Yes, Technical Support is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Contact Tyler Technologies Support at (800) 297-5377 or send an email to Efiling.Support@Tylertech.com. Assistance is also available online through support chat. Note: Support may ask to assist you by sharing your screen using GoToAssist.
2. Who do I contact if I have a traffic violation related question?
Contact the Maine Violations Bureau's Helpline at (207) 783-5422, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with questions about traffic tickets.