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Maine Court Records

Maine became a state in 1820 when the territory separated from Massachusetts. This is when the legislature provided for a Supreme Court and its jurisdiction as well as libraries to catalog Maine court records. Many court records can be found in the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, as well as online through the judicial branch.

Civil and criminal court records, divorce records, adoption and child custody records are all available through the Maine court system. Court forms and rules, instructions on how to represent yourself in court and even recent legislation is also viewable online. The state prides itself on its vast volumes of historical court records, case history, Supreme Court decisions and oral arguments in its archives.

Maine’s Supreme Court is the court of last resort, hearing all appeals from lower trial courts and determining questions of constitutionality in decisions from other courts and sentences. These decisions are frequently used by attorneys and even members of the public when arguing their case in court.

Maine Court Records

History of Maine Courts

The Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library was created by the legislature and serves the government, legal community and public. Money was appropriated to purchase books for the library in 1826, when it was still part of the Maine State Library. In 1971 it became the Law and Legislative Reference Library and moved to the State House, where the State Library once was located.

Maine Court Statistics

Maine Courts recieve 211,515 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 234,921 filings and gave 238,051 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 234,921
2013 226,783
2014 218,763
2015 196,164
2016 180,943

Maine Court Records Availability

There are more than 111,000 volumes of Maine court records available at the Law and Legislative Reference Library, with most of them accessible via the Internet. It is physically located in Augusta. Government documents, treatises, and legal books are among the library’s collection.

Other Maine court records available include federal laws and regulations, government documents, Supreme Court decisions, Maine statutes and legislative information, law reviews and legal journals. Civil and criminal records are also available from the Maine Judicial Branch, and this is where court forms can be accessed as well as court rules. Court fees can also be paid online, as well as traffic tickets.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 114,658 (48.8 %)
Domestic Relations: 21,583 (9.2 %)
Criminal: 57,290 (24.4 %)
Civil: 41,390 (17.6 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 117,931 (49.5 %)
Domestic Relations: 21,601 (9.1 %)
Criminal: 54,363 (22.8 %)
Civil: 44,156 (18.5 %)

Maine Main Court Information

The Maine Supreme Court was established in 1820. Seven justices now serve the court in seven-year terms. These terms are renewable, however. There were originally three justices who served life terms. The terms were reduced to seven years in 1840, and in 1847 the number of justices was increased to four. There have been seven justices serving the court since 1852, but this was increased to eight justices in 1855 before being changed back to seven in 1856 and again in 1975 permanently. Between those years, there were various numbers of justices serving the court. The court is now housed in Portand, and serves as the high court in the state.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Maine at year end 2016 has decreased by 64.0% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 21,583 with a rate of 1,624 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 21,583 234,921

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 21,583 21,601 1,624

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Maine

More Domestic Relations Cases than Maine:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Maine:

State: Caseload:
North Dakota 13,134
District of Columbia 12,715
Alaska 12,562
Vermont 12,170
Wyoming 9,361

Maine Caseload Statistics

Maine’s Supreme Court averages several hundred cases per year. In 2007, there were 774 filings. In 2014, there were 607.

Maine Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Maine counts 46,830 with 6,606 felony cases and 40,224 misdemeanors accordingly.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2015 48,535 7,343 41,051
2016 46,957 6,606 40,224

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 14,362 cases, it went from 41,390 to 27,028.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 41,390 107