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Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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March 4, 2020

What is the legal definition of abuse?

Under Maine law, a person who is 60 years of age or older, a dependent adult, or an incapacitated adult can file for a protection from abuse against an extended family member or an unpaid care provider.1 Under these circumstances, abuse means that the extended family member or unpaid caregiver did one of the following:

  • caused you injury;
  • unreasonably confined you (for example, tying you to a bed);
  • used intimidation or cruel punishment that caused or is likely to cause you physical harm/pain or mental anguish;
  • financially exploited you (used deception, intimidation, undue influence, force or other unlawful means to get control over your property to benefit the abuser or someone else);
  • sexually abused you or sexually exploited you;
  • deprived you of your essential needs (e.g., withheld food, medicine, etc.);2
  • attempted to cause or caused bodily injury or offensive physical contact;
  • attempted to cause or caused sexual assault;
  • stalking as defined by law;
  • attempted to place or placed you in fear of bodily injury by threatening, harassing or tormenting;
  • forced you to do things that you have a right not to do;
  • forced you to not do things that you have a right to do;
  • substantially restricted your movements without lawful authority by:
    • removing you from your home, business, or school without consent or lawful authority;
    • moving you a substantial distance; or
    • confining you;
  • threatened a crime of violence that places you in reasonable fear that the crime will be committed;
  • repeatedly and without reasonable cause, followed you or was at or in the vicinity of your home, school, business or place of employment;
  • engaged in the unauthorized dissemination of certain private images; or
  • engaged in aggravated sex trafficking or sex trafficking.3

A person who is 60 years of age or older, a dependent adult, or an incapacitated adult can also file for a protection from abuse order on behalf of him/herself or his/her minor child against a family or household member or a dating partner, just as any adult can. For more information, see our Protection from Abuse Orders (for domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and more) section.

1 ME ST T. 19-A § 4005(1)
2 ME ST T. 19-A § 4005(1); ME ST T. 22 § 3472(1),(9-A)
3 ME ST T. 19-A §§ 4005(1); 4002(1)