Summary: Are you trying to find your Maine court case online? Below is SoloSuit's guide on how to search for your case record in Maine, the state's civil court structure, and how to respond to a civil case there.
Under the Maine Freedom of Access Act (FOAA), court records are public information and can be inspected and copied by anyone. The first step is to identify the court where the case was filed.
Courts in Maine offer remote access to electronic cases records through their eCourts Odyssey Portal. These records are accessible under Maine Rules of Electronic Court Systems (RECS). RECS rules facilitate public access to the courts in the electronic era. This maximizes public access to court records while minimizing the risk of harm to those participating in court proceedings.
Some court records and case types are publicly available through Maine's statewide Odyssey Portal, but others require account registration and elevated access to view court records. Once a request has been approved, parties and attorneys can search for and access nonpublic case information and documents.
How to get your case record in Maine?
If you want to obtain court records in Maine, the first step is to find out which court filed the case. The Maine court system offers remote access to electronic case records through Maine eCourts Odyssey.
The Odyssey Portal offers access to some court records for free, but for other types of court records, you must register an account and request elevated access.
The following steps will guide you through the process of creating an Odyssey Portal account:
On the Odyssey Portal, select "Register" under Register/Sign In.
Register by completing the registration form.
You will receive a verification link in your inbox. Click it to verify.
The Odyssey portal will prompt you to sign in once you click the Sign In button.
The screen will let you specify the type of access you want. Select "Party" access.
For public access to electronic case records, you need to enter a case number or a party name. By providing the case type, case status, and filing date, you can narrow down search results.
Maine courts also allow in-person requests for court records. To view the locations of Maine courts, visit the Find a Court page. You will be charged a nominal fee if you wish to obtain actual court documents from the court record custodian.
In case you are unsure of the docket number, start time, or any other relevant information, contact the court clerk where your answer was filed.
How do I search for my Maine court case online?
Using Maine eCourt's Public Portal, powered by Odyssey, you can now search for your court case and check its status online. Keep in mind that this tool is only available for civil case searches in the Bangor District Court and Penobscot County Superior Court. In order to find your case, you will need to provide the following information:
Record Number: Every case is assigned a record number, also known as the case number. Using your record number is usually the fastest and easiest way to find your case online.
First and Last Name: If you don't know your case number, you can also search for your case by typing in your name. This will most likely give you a list of possible results that you will have to filter through, but it will still be helpful in finding your case and checking its status.
Advanced Search: You might still be struggling to find your case after searching for it with your name. If you find yourself in this situation, try using an advanced search and entering in the name of the business suing you.
Wildcard Search: If you're still struggling to find the case, you can also try performing a wildcard search using a case number and entering at least four characters of that number. Alternatively, you can try a wildcard search using a name, type a minimum of three characters followed by an asterisk for the last name, and a minimum of one character followed by an asterisk for the first name.
Understand the civil court structure in Maine
Finding your case online will be much easier if you understand which court has jurisdiction over your type of case. The Maine civil court system has three court levels:
The Supreme Court is the highest level that a civil case can reach. The Supreme Court only deals with cases that have been appealed from the Superior Court or directly from District Courts.
The Superior Court is also an appellate level court, meaning that most civil cases aren't initiated in the Superior Court but might end up in its jurisdiction after an appeal has been made.
District Court is where civil cases are initiated in Maine. A civil case is considered a Small Claims case if the amount in question is less than $6,000.District Courts are state-run, state-funded entities that own and operate their own buildings and websites.
Below is a list of Maine's District Court websites:
So, if you've been sued for a debt that you owe, your case is most likely going to be under the jurisdiction of your county's District Court. Knowing this information will help you narrow down your case search.
The graphic below illustrates how the civil court system is structured in Maine:
What if I can't find my court case online in Maine?
If you've tried all the options listed above for searching for your court case online, the next best option would be to reach out to the court in which your case is filed and ask the court clerk for assistance.
A docket number identifies the court's case or tracking information. Maine's docket numbers must appear on all papers submitted to the Court once they have been assigned to a case. As a rule, docket numbers consist of a two-digit number (to indicate the year), followed by a case type (civ. for civil cases), followed by a five-digit case number, and then the judge's initials. An example would be 01 Civ 2345 (CM) for the 2,345th civil case filed in 2001 and assigned to the Honorable Charles Dow.
Responding to a civil case in Maine
When you receive a Summons it is crucial that you file an Answer as soon as possible, and within the 20 days allowed by Maine law. Failing to file an Answer means you lose by default, and if a default judgment is entered against you, your wages may be garnished and you might find some liens on your property. Once you file an Answer, you have protected your right to participate in the case. Solosuit has the information you need if you have been sued by a debt collector in Maine.
Check out this video to learn more about how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit:
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
Respond with SoloSuit
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It only takes 15 minutes. And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.
"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" – Heather