§ 4005. Commencement of proceeding
1. Filing. An adult who has been abused, as defined in section 4002, subsection 1, by a family or household member, a dating partner or an individual related by consanguinity or affinity may seek relief by filing a complaint alleging that abuse.
When a minor child in the care or custody of a family or household member or a dating partner has been abused by a family or household member, a dating partner or an individual related by consanguinity or affinity, a person responsible for the child, as defined in Title 22, section 4002, subsection 9, or a representative of the department may seek relief by filing a petition alleging that abuse.
An adult who has been a victim of conduct defined as stalking in Title 17-A, section 210-A or described as sexual assault in Title 17-A, chapter 11 or described as unauthorized dissemination of certain private images in Title 17-A, section 511-A or described as aggravated sex trafficking or sex trafficking in Title 17-A, section 852 or 853, respectively, whether or not the conduct was perpetrated by a family or household member or dating partner, may seek relief by filing a complaint alleging that conduct without regard to whether criminal prosecution has occurred. When a minor has been a victim of such conduct or conduct described in Title 17-A, section 282 or 283 or harassment as described in Title 17-A, section 506, subsection 1, paragraph A-1 or A-2, the minor’s parent, other person responsible for the child or a representative of the department may seek relief by filing a petition alleging that conduct.
When an adult who is 60 years of age or older or a dependent adult, as defined in Title 22, section 3472, subsection 6, or an incapacitated adult, as defined in Title 22, section 3472, subsection 10, has been the victim of abuse as defined in section 4002, subsection 1 or Title 22, section 3472, subsection 1 by an extended family member or an unpaid care provider, the adult victim, the adult victim’s legal guardian or a representative of the department may seek relief by filing a complaint alleging the abusive conduct. For the purposes of this subsection, “extended family member” includes, but is not limited to: a person who is related to the victim by blood, marriage or adoption, whether or not the person resides or has ever resided with the victim. “Unpaid care provider” includes, but is not limited to, a caretaker who voluntarily provides full, intermittent or occasional personal care to the adult victim in the victim’s home similar to the way a family member would provide personal care.
2. Assistance. The following assistance is available.
A. The court shall provide separate forms and clerical assistance to either party in completing and filing a complaint or other necessary documents. The assistance may not include legal advice or assistance in drafting legal documents.
B. If a judge is unavailable to review a request for temporary relief under this chapter, the clerk shall immediately notify the plaintiff of other courts at which a judge or justice is available.
C. The clerk shall provide to a plaintiff written contact information for resources from which the plaintiff may receive legal or social service assistance provided to the Administrative Office of the Courts by the various providers, including the Maine State Bar Association or successor organization, any local or statewide organizations providing domestic violence services and sexual assault services and any other agency providing reliable and relevant resource contact information.
3. Forms. The forms provided by the court must be uniform throughout the State and must include a summons and an affidavit for temporary emergency relief from abuse. The summons must include a section in which to list places where the defendant may be located or available to be served. The clerk shall inquire where the defendant may be located or available to be served and list those locations on the summons or direct the plaintiff to do so.
4. Fees. A fee may not be charged for forms or for filing a complaint. A plaintiff may apply for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
5. Notice. Prior to the plaintiff signing a complaint, the court shall notify the plaintiff, orally or in writing, that it is a crime to make a false statement under oath in a court document.