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Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
January 30, 2019

Am I eligible for a protection from harassment order?

If you, your family, your minor child, or your business has been harassed as defined by Maine law, you can file for a protection from harassment order.1 If you are a minor, see Can I file for a protection from harassment order if I am a minor?

There is no special relationship required between you and the harasser.2 For example, the respondent can be a family member, neighbor, or co-worker. You may file against a minor (under 18) only if that minor is emancipated or if the minor has an adult “representative,” usually a parent or guardian.3

Note: In limited circumstances, you may need to first ask law enforcement to issue a written notice to stop the harassment before applying for a protection from harassment order.2 See See Under what circumstances would I need to request that law enforcement issue a notice to stop the harassment before applying for an order? for more information. 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.

1 See The First Steps - Protection From Abuse and Harassment on the Maine Courts website
2 See 5 M.R.S. § 4653(1)
2 See 5 M.R.S. § 4652

Can a minor file for a protection from harassment order?

A minor (under 18) cannot file on his/her own (unless s/he is emancipated)– but any adult family member, guardian, or the Department of Health and Human Services can file on behalf of a minor.1

Note: If you are filing on behalf of a child and you have not witnessed the harassment yourself, the child may likely have to testify in court about the harassment if the case goes to trial.2

1 5 M.R.S. § 4652
2 See A Guide to Protection from Abuse and Harassment Cases on the Maine Courts website

Can I file for a protection from harassment order against a minor?

You may file a complaint for a protection from harassment order against a minor (under 18) if that minor is emancipated or is represented by a parent or guardian.1 When notifying the minor of the court date and serving him/her with the order, you would have to serve both the minor and his/her parent, guardian, or other representative.2 You can ask the clerk if you have to include the parent’s name on the petition or not.

1 See A Guide to Protection from Abuse and Harassment Cases on the Maine Courts website
2 5 M.R.S. § 4652