Guides & Publications

Legal Disclaimer: Maine Judicial Branch staff are not permitted to give legal advice. Guides and publications are made available as a public service, and do not constitute legal advice. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented is accurate, comprehensive, and clear, the Judicial Branch does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information. If you have any questions about your legal rights, please consult an attorney.

Paper copies of legal publications are available from any clerk's office.

Abuse & Harassment

A Guide to Protection from Abuse & Harassment Cases (2023)

This guide explains how to ask the court for a protection order. The guide also explains the court process for a protection from abuse and protection from harassment case.

Read the guide (PDF)

Translated versions +

Appeals (to the Law Court)

Citizen's Guide to Appeals (2009)

This is a general outline of what is necessary to file, present, and defend against an appeal before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which is called the Law Court when it considers appeals. 

Read the guide (PDF)

Child Protection

A Guide for Families in Child Protection Cases (2020)

This guide explains the court process and what to expect when you go to court for a child protection case.

Read the guide (PDF)

Translated versions +

Scheduling Planner for Families in Child Protection Cases (2023)

This resource includes a calendar to help you keep track of dates and important information in a child protection case. The scheduling planner also includes information about the court process for a child protection case.

Read the planner (PDF)


Maine Treatment Court Participant Handbooks (2022)

These handbooks are for Maine Treatment and Recover Court (TRC) and Maine Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) participants. The handbooks are designed to answer questions, address concerns, provide information about the TRC and VTC, and detail the requirements for participation.

Maine Treatment Court Participant Handbook (PDF)

Maine Veterans Treatment Court Participant Handbook (PDF)

State of Maine Bail Manual (2022)

This resource is specifically for bail commissioners.

View the manual (PDF)

Court Process

Notifying the Other Party: How to Serve Court Papers (2024)

An overview of the most common methods of serving court papers in a family matters or other civil case.

Read the brochure (PDF)

Maine eCourts and eFiling

Protect Your Private Information in Courts with eFiling (2024)

Tips on when and how to remove nonpublic information in documents filed in Judicial Branch courts that have implemented eFiling.

Read the brochure (PDF)

Divorce & Family Separation

A Guide to Family Separation in Maine: Divorce and Parental Rights & Responsibilities (2020)

This guide explains how to start a divorce and parental rights & responsibilities case and what to expect in court. The guide also includes information about how to change or enforce an existing court order.

Read the guide (PDF)

How to Start a Divorce or Parental Rights and Responsibilities (Custody) Case (2024)

Read the brochure (PDF)

Eviction (FED)

Evicting a Tenant from a Residence for not Paying Rent (2024)

A brief summary of the steps required to evict a tenant from a residence for not paying rent.

Read the brochure (PDF)

Juvenile Cases

A Guide for Families in Juvenile Cases (2022)

This guide is for parents, guardians, and juveniles to learn more about the juvenile court process and possible outcomes of juvenile cases. The guide also includes important information for parents and guardians, frequently asked questions, and explains how juvenile court records are stored.

Read the guide (PDF)

Jury Service

Your Guide to Jury Service in the Maine Courts (2024)

This brochure answers the most common questions that people have when contacted by the courts for jury service.

Read the brochure (PDF)

Small Claims

A Guide to Small Claims (2016)

This guide explains how to file or respond to a small claims case in Maine District Court. Small claims court provides a speedy and inexpensive way to resolve disputes when the plaintiff's claim is $6,000 or less.

Read the guide (PDF)

An Overview of Small Claims Court (2023)

A brief introduction to the steps involved in filing a small claims case in Maine courts.

Read the brochure (PDF)

Collecting Money from a Court Judgment (2024)

An overview of the steps for a disclosure hearing to enforce a judgment in a small claims case.

Read the brochure (PDF)