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Statutes: Maine

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November 28, 2023

§ 4102. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Abuse. “Abuse” means the occurrence of the following acts:

A. Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact, including sexual assaults under Title 17-A, chapter 11, except that contact as described in Title 17-A, section 106, subsection 1 is excluded from this definition;

B. Attempting to place or placing another in fear of bodily injury, regardless of intent, through any course of conduct, including, but not limited to, threatening, harassing or tormenting behavior;

C. Compelling a person by force, threat of force or intimidation:

(1) To engage in conduct from which the person has a right or privilege to abstain; or

(2) To abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;

D. Knowingly restricting substantially the movements of another person without that person’s consent or other lawful authority by:

(1) Removing that person from that person’s residence, place of business or school;

(2) Moving that person a substantial distance from the vicinity where that person was found; or

(3) Confining that person for a substantial period either in the place where the restriction commences or in a place to which that person has been moved;

E. Communicating to a person a threat to commit, or to cause to be committed, a crime of violence dangerous to human life against the person to whom the communication is made or another, and the natural and probable consequence of the threat, whether or not that consequence in fact occurs, is to place the person to whom the threat is communicated, or the person against whom the threat is made, in reasonable fear that the crime will be committed;

F. Repeatedly and without reasonable cause:

(1) Following the plaintiff; or

(2) Being at or in the vicinity of the plaintiff’s home, school, business or place of employment;

G. Engaging in the unauthorized dissemination of certain private images as prohibited pursuant to Title 17-A, section 511-A; or

H. Engaging in aggravated sex trafficking or sex trafficking as described in Title 17-A, section 852 or 853, respectively.

2. Adult. “Adult” means a person 18 years of age or older or a person under 18 years of age who is emancipated pursuant to Title 15, section 3506-A.

3. Court. “Court” means a District Court and, with regard to section 4113, the tribal court of the Passamaquoddy Tribe or the Penobscot Nation.

4. Dating partners. “Dating partners” means individuals currently or formerly involved in dating each other, whether or not the individuals are or were sexual partners.

5. Economic abuse. “Economic abuse” means causing or attempting to cause an individual to be financially dependent by maintaining control over the individual’s financial resources, including, but not limited to, unauthorized or coerced use of credit or property, withholding access to money or credit cards, forbidding attendance at school or employment, stealing from or defrauding an individual of money or assets, exploiting the individual’s resources for personal gain of the defendant or withholding physical resources such as food, clothing, necessary medications or shelter.

6. Family or household members. “Family or household members” means:

A. Present or former spouses or domestic partners;

B. Individuals presently or formerly living together as spouses;

C. Parents of the same child;

D. Adult household members related by consanguinity or affinity;

E. Minor children of a parent or guardian when the defendant is an adult household member of that parent or guardian;

F. Individuals presently or formerly living together; and

G. Individuals who are or were sexual partners.


Holding oneself out to be a spouse is not necessary to constitute “living together as spouses.” For purposes of this subsection, “domestic partners” means 2 unmarried adults who are domiciled together under long-term arrangements that evidence a commitment to remain responsible indefinitely for each other’s welfare.

7. Law enforcement agency. “Law enforcement agency” means a state, county, tribal, municipal or University of Maine System law enforcement agency.

8. Order. “Order” means:

A. A temporary, emergency or interim order issued under this chapter;

B. A final protection order issued under this chapter after hearing or opportunity for hearing or with consent of the parties;

C. An order of a tribal court of the Passamaquoddy Tribe or the Penobscot Nation; or

D. A similar order issued by a court of the United States or of another state, territory, commonwealth or federally recognized Indian tribe.

9. Social media. “Social media” means an electronic medium or service through which users create, share and view user-generated content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, e-mail, online service accounts and Internet website profiles and locations.