Guide & File
What is Guide & File?
Guide & File is an interactive, web-based application that files court documents electronically by walking an individual through a series of questions called an "interview." Guide & File is designed for parties who are not represented by an attorney.
When finished with an interview, a self-represented party will be able to:
- Electronically file (eFile) forms with the court; or
- Download the documents for saving to their hard drive; and
- Print the forms.
Is Guide & File available for my court?
Is my case type or filing available in Guide & File?
Currently, the following Guide & File interviews are available to help self-represented parties fill out court documents in courts where eFiling is available:
- Small claims cases; and
- Traffic violation cases for these actions:
- Contesting a traffic violation;
- Requesting a continuance (postponement);
- Paying a traffic fine.
See A Guide to Small Claims Cases for general information on small calims cases.
See the Traffic Violations page for more information on traffic violations.
Guide & File FAQs
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
- (Optional) A printer if the self-represented filer wishes to print forms.
For traffic violation cases involving failure to show proof of insurance,
- A scanner if submitting insurance documents and the ability to save documents in PDF format.*
*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.
Guide & File Knowledge Base
Guide & File Knowledge Base includes Guide & File basics and frequently asked questions.
eFiling Technical Support
Phone: (800) 297-5377
available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Emails received during normal business hours are normally responded to within 24 hours, Monday - Friday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Emails received after 10 p.m. or on a holiday will be responded to on the following business day.
Judicial Branch eFiling Help
For rule or process-related questions about eFiling in Maine courts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails received during normal business hours (Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. excluding holidays) will be responded to within 24 hours.
Traffic Violations Related Questions
Contact the Maine Violations Bureau's Helpline: (207) 783-5422 with questions about traffic tickets.