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The Guide to Maine Court Records


The Maine trial court system consists of Superior Courts, District Courts, Probate Courts, and Judicial Branch Violations Bureau.
 
Trial Courts in Maine are either state courts or county courts. Superior Courts and District Courts are considered state courts, and Probate Courts are county courts. Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all cases, but usually only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. District Courts and Probate Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases.

Find court records by county Find court records by town or zip code Find court resources by category Find court records in other states
Please select a Maine county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court. Find Maine court pages by Town or Zip Code. Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level. Go to the court records pages for another state.
 


 
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Maine Superior Courts

Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but generally only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts.

Superior Courts are the only courts that offer jury trials. If a proper request is made in a case with a right to a jury, the case will be transferred to a Superior Court.

Cases generally heard by Superior Courts include most felony criminal cases, appeals of administrative agency decisions, and cases requesting equitable relief.

Maine District Courts

District Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by District Courts include ordinance violations and most offenses punishable by less than a year of incarceration. District Courts also handle guilty pleas and non-jury trials for most criminal cases.

Civil cases heard by District Courts include most general civil claims for money damages, enforcement of liens, most landlord-tenant disputes, most domestic relations cases, most mental health commitments, most environmental law cases, civil ordinance violations and certain cases requesting equitable relief.

Each District Court has several divisions, including a Family Division, Juvenile Court, Small Claims Court and Traffic Division.

Family Divisions have jurisdiction over cases that involve families with children. Cases handled by the Family division include divorce, annulment, separation, custody, paternity, child support, grandparent visitation, emancipation of minors, protective custody, Protection From Abuse, and some cases arising from the Maine Juvenile Code. If a District Court judge is unavailable to hear a request for a temporary Protection From Abuse Order, a Superior Court judge can rule on the request.

Juvenile Court divisions have jurisdiction over criminal cases with juvenile defendants. Under certain circumstances, a Juvenile Court may transfer a case to Superior Court. Juvenile Court divisions share jurisdiction with District Courts over emancipation cases.

Small Claims Court divisions have jurisdiction over most cases with less than $4500 in dispute, exclusive of interest and costs. Small Claims Courts have limited authority to grant equitable relief, but may order a party to return, reform, refund, repair or rescind. Small Claims Court divisions are prohibited from hearing cases with disputes over title to real estate.

Cases that contest traffic infractions are heard by Traffic divisions in District Courts. The Maine Judicial Branch Violations Bureau is a centralized system designed to handle traffic infractions for the entire state, and is considered part of the District Court.

District Courts may have specialized divisions for certain types of cases, including Adult Drug Court, Family Treatment Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court and/or Mental Health Treatment Court.

Maine Probate Courts

Probate Courts have general jurisdiction over the probate of wills, the administration of estates, name change petitions, guardianship proceedings, adoption cases, and other types of probate cases.

Probate Courts share equitable jurisdiction with Superior Courts for certain types of cases involving estates, wills or trusts.

Maine Judicial Branch Violations Bureau

The Maine Judicial Branch Violations Bureau is a centralized system designed to handle traffic infractions for the entire state, and is considered part of the District Court. Cases that contest traffic infractions are heard by District Courts.

Maine Court Notes

The Business and Consumer Court is a specialized statewide court division for certain types of business and consumer cases. Cases handled by this division include jury and non-jury civil claims, as well as some family cases that do not involve children. All cases heard by the Business and Consumer Court division are transferred from other courts - this division does not accept the first filing in any case.

The Business and Consumer Court Clerk’s Office
Phone: 207-442-0226 Fax: 207-442-0228

Where to find court cases in Maine

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Maine.
 

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
CivilSuperior CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
 Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the District Courts
 
General Civil - Limited
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Small Claims 
 Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Civil Equity
 Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some Civil Equity cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Civil Equity cases can be found in the Probate Courts
Complex Commercial
 Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Superior Courts
  
Foreclosures and Liens
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Most or all Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Real Estate Title and Boundary
 Some Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Probate Courts
Landlord / Tenant
 Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Most or all Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Ordinance Violations 
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
 Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Administrative Agency Appeals
 Some Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the District Courts
 
CriminalSuperior CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate Courts
Felony
 Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some Felony cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Felony Preliminary Hearings
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Misdemeanors
 Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Ordinance Violations 
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Juvenile
 Some Juvenile cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Traffic and Infractions 
 Most or all Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Domestic RelationsSuperior CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate Courts
Divorce 
 Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Child Custody and Visitation 
 Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Child Support 
 Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Paternity 
 Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Domestic Violence Protection Order
 Some Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the District Courts
 
JuvenileSuperior CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate Courts
Adoptions  
 Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Probate Courts
Juvenile Delinquency 
 Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Child Abuse and Neglect 
 Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Termination of Parental Rights 
 Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Children in Need of Supervision 
 Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Mental HealthSuperior CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate Courts
Involuntary Commitments 
 Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the District Courts
 
Other Mental Health Cases 
 Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Probate Courts
ProbateSuperior CourtsDistrict CourtsProbate Courts
Wills & Estates
 Some Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 
 Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Probate Courts
Name Changes  
 Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the Probate Courts
Trusts
 Some Trusts cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 
 Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Probate Courts
Guardianships and Conservatorships
 Some Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Superior Courts
 Some Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the District Courts
 Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Probate Courts

Note: Some courts in Maine are not included in the chart above. Please use the following links for descriptions and types of cases heard:
 
  Judicial Branch Violations Bureau


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