Under what circumstances would I need to request that law enforcement issue a notice to stop the harassment before applying for an order?
In limited circumstances, you may need to ask a law enforcement officer to issue a written “notice to stop harassment” against the defendant as a first step before requesting a protection from harassment order.
You will not need to get law enforcement to issue the notice if the basis of your petition is an allegation of any of the following:
- the harassment is related to an allegation of domestic violence, violence against a dating partner, sexual assault, or stalking;
- the defendant committed one of the 36 crimes listed in What is the legal definition of harassment in Maine?; or
- the defendant committed harassment by engaging in a course of conduct with the intent to harass, torment, or threaten another person after having already been notified (in writing or orally) not to engage in such conduct by a law enforcement officer, by a protective order, or by a corrections officer if the person is incarcerated.2
You may need to get law enforcement to issue the notice if the basis of your petition is an allegation of three or more acts of intimidation, confrontation, physical force, or the threat of physical force directed against any person, family, or business that are made with the intention of causing fear, intimidation or damage to personal property and that do in fact cause fear, intimidation or damage to personal property.1 Additionally, if the notice to stop harassment would be required, you must either:
- attach it to your petition for a protection from harassment order; or
- file a “statement of good cause” along with your petition, which explains why you did not request such a notice from law enforcement or why law enforcement didn’t issue it, if you requested it.1
Note: The judge can issue a protection from harassment order even without a notice to stop harassment depending on how severe the situation is.1
If you are not sure whether or not you would need to request from law enforcement this written notice to stop the harassment in your specific situation, you may want to get advice from a lawyer. Go to our ME Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.
1 5 M.R.S. § 4653(1)(B)
2 5 M.R.S. § 4653(1)(B); 17-A M.R.S. § 506-A