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Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
January 30, 2019

Can I get my protection order enforced in Maine? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in Maine as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

Can I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended or canceled in Maine?

No.  Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Maine.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued and select the issuing state from the drop-down menu in the upper left-hand corner.

If your order does expire while you are living in Maine, you may be able to get a new one issued in Maine but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have taken place in Maine. To find out more information on how to get a protection from abuse order in Maine, visit our Protection from Abuse Orders (for victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault) page.

I was granted temporary custody with my out-of-state protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in ME?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,1 Maine can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here ME Finding a Lawyer.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.