Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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December 28, 2022

What types of protection from abuse orders are there? How long do they last?

In Maine, there are two types of protection from abuse orders:

Temporary protection from abuse order - You can request a temporary protection order that will stay in effect until you are granted a full order, or an order terminating the temporary order is made. You may be granted a temporary order without a court hearing, and without the abuser’s knowledge. If the judge who reads your complaint agrees that there is a “good cause” to grant the order, for example, that you are in immediate and present danger, you can be granted a temporary ex parte order.  The order will take effect as soon as it is served on the defendant.  Even if the judge does not give you a temporary order, a final hearing will be scheduled within 21 days of when the complaint was filed where you can try to prove the allegations in your petition to get a final order.  Note: When there is no judge available in the District Court or the District Court courthouse is closed and no other arrangement can be made for the shelter of an abused family or household member or minor child, you can file an emergency petition (complaint) with another District Court Judge or Superior Court Justice and get a temporary order that way.1

Final protection from abuse order - You must attend the final hearing that was set by the court and listed on your temporary protection order.  A protection from abuse order can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to present evidence or after both parties consent (agree) to the order being issued.  A protection from abuse order usually lasts up to two years.2 However, you may be able to have it extended. See: How do I change, extend, or cancel my protection from abuse order?

1ME ST T. 19-A § 4006(1),(2),(3)
2 ME ST T. 19-A § 4007(2)

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