Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
September 28, 2017

What are the steps involved with obtaining a protection from harassment order?

The steps for obtaining a protection from harassment order will be similar to the steps for obtaining a protection from abuse order but you will fill out different forms.  One major difference, however, is that you may have to first get law enforcement to issue a notice to stop the harassment against the harasser.  The law says that if the harassment does not meet the definition listed in # 2 of What is the legal definition of harassment in Maine?, or is not related to an allegation of domestic violence, violence against a dating partner, sexual assault or stalking, you may have to file either a copy of the notice to stop harassing you that was issued by law enforcement to the harasser (explained in the law, here, in subsection (1)(A)) or a statement of good cause why you did not seek or get such a notice.2  If you are not sure whether or not you would need to seek out this notice in your specific situation, you may want to get advice from a lawyer.  Go to our ME Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

You must file in the district court of the division where either you or the harasser lives.  If you have left your home to avoid harassment, you can file in the division where you used to live or where you live now.1  If you have left home to avoid harassment and want to keep your address confidential, filing in your new division may not be a good idea.

If your district court judge is not available or the courthouse is closed and you need an temporary order immediately, you can go to any other district court or to a superior court judge.3 The courts of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and Penobscot Nation also hear protection from harassment cases.4

15 M.R.S. § 4652
25 M.R.S. § 4653(1)
3 5 M.R.S. § 4654(3)
4 See Pine Tree Legal Assistance’s “Protection from Harassment” pamphlet