How much will it cost to file for a protection from harassment order?
There is a fee to file a complaint for a protection from harassment order unless the harassment case involves an allegation of stalking, sexual assault, or domestic or dating violence – in that case, there would be no fee. If you cannot afford the filing fee and service fee, ask the clerk for a “Motion to Proceed Without Payment of Fees” form, in which you would give financial information about your income.1 You can find forms and information for fee waivers on the Pine Tree Legal Assistance website. The judge would evaluate your financial situation and decide whether s/he believes you can afford the filing fee. Call the clerk of court in your county if you have any questions. Go to our Maine Courthouse Locations page for contact information.
Note: You may also be responsible for the cost for service on the harasser unless the court has waived the fee. If the judge has waived the fees, the court will pay the service fee – you will not have to pay the sheriff to serve the forms on the harasser. You will want to ask the clerk’s office if they will send the papers to the sheriff’s department for service. If not, you will have to arrange for service yourself and take a copy of the fee waiver order with you to show the sheriff’s office that you should not be billed for the service fee.2
1 See A Guide to Protection from Abuse and Harassment Cases on the Maine Courts website
2 See Pine Tree Legal Assistance’s Protection from Harassment page