Who can get a protection from abuse order?
You can file for a protection from abuse order based on acts of abuse done to you or your minor child by a family or household member or dating partner, defined as:
- your current or former spouse;
- someone with whom you have a child in common;
- someone with whom who you live/d;
- your current or former sexual partner;
- someone you are related to by blood or marriage;
- someone you are currently dating or formerly dated regardless of whether or not you had a sexual relationship.1
An adult or a minor can file for a protection from abuse order against anyone, regardless of the relationship who has committed one of the acts of abuse2 explained in What is the legal definition of abuse in Maine?
If you are 60 years of age or older, a dependent adult, or an incapacitated adult, you can also file for a protection from abuse order against an extended family member or an unpaid care provider.3 For more information, see our Protection from Abuse Orders (for the elderly/dependent/incapacitated) page.
If you are not eligible based on the information above, see our Protection from Harassment Orders section to see if you qualify for that order.
1 ME ST T. 19-A § 4102(6)
2 ME ST T. 19-A § 4103(1)(B)
3 ME ST T. 19-A § 4103(3)
Can I get a protection from abuse order against a same-sex partner?
In Maine, you may apply for a protection from abuse order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Who can get a protection from abuse order? You must also be the victim of an act of abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of abuse in Maine?
You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.
Can a minor file for an order?
A minor can be eligible for an order but the law states that a “person responsible for the minor” would be the one to file the complaint (petition).1
1 ME ST T. 19-A § 4103(2)
How much does it cost? Do I need a lawyer?
There are no fees for filing for a protection from abuse order.1 You do not need a lawyer to file for one, however, you may wish to have a lawyer, especially if the abuser has a lawyer or if there are complicated issues in your case. If you can, contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be able to get free or low-cost legal help on our Maine Finding a Lawyer page.
Domestic violence organizations in your area also should be able to help you through the legal process and may have lawyer referrals. See our Maine Advocates and Shelters page.
If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.
1 ME ST T. 19- A § 4106(3)