Step 1 - Fill out the necessary forms.
To start your case, you will need to fill out the necessary forms for a protection from abuse (PFA) order. If you need to keep your address confidential, you can file a "Motion to Keep Address Confidential." You can get the forms from the civil clerk at the District Courthouse or you can download them and fill them out at home or with an advocate from a local domestic violence program. You will find links to forms online on our ME Download Court Forms page.
On the forms, you will be the "plaintiff" and the abuser will be the "defendant." In the box provided for explaining why you want the protection from abuse order, write about incidents of abuse, using specific language (slapping, hitting, grabbing, threatening, etc.) that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible. The court may not allow you to testify to any abuse that happened before the dates you list in the order so you may want to list past abuse also so that the court can see a pattern of abuse if it exits. Clerks and magistrates can show you which blanks to fill in, but they cannot help you decide what to write.
Note: Do not sign the forms until you are in front of a notary or a clerk. The complaint has to be notarized. This means that you must sign the complaint, swearing that it is true, in front of the clerk, or a notary public.
Most domestic violence programs can provide support for you while you fill out these papers and go to court. Go to ME Advocates and Shelters page for local organizations.