Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
September 28, 2017

What is the legal definition of abuse in Maine?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a protection from abuse order.

Maine law defines "abuse" as the occurence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members or dating partners:

  • attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact;
  • attempting to cause or causing sexual assaults (Note: the sexual assault can be committed by anyone even if not a family/household member/dating partner);
  • stalking as defined by law (Note: the stalking can be committed by anyone even if not a family/household member/dating partner)
  • attempting to place or placing another person in fear of bodily injury by threatening, harassing or tormenting;
  • forcing a person to do things that the person has a right not to do;
  • forcing a person not to do things that the person has a right to do;
  • substantially restricting the movements of a person without lawful authority by:
    • removing a person from his/her home, business or school without consent or lawful authority;
    • moving a person a substantial distance; or
    • confining a person;
  • threatening a crime of violence that places the person in reasonable fear that the crime will be committed; 
  • repeatedly and without reasonable cause, following a person or being at or in the vicinity of the person's home, school, business or place of employment;
  • engaging in the unauthorized dissemination of certain private images; and/or
  • engaging in aggravated sex trafficking or sex trafficking.1

Note: If someone is at least 60 years of age, or a "dependent adult," or an incapacitated adult, and is being abused by an extended family member or an unpaid care provider, see our Protection from Abuse Orders (for elderly/disabled) page for more information on the additional definitions of abuse for these victims.2

1ME ST T. 19-A § 4002(1)
2 See ME ST T. 19-A § 4005(1)