Maine court system announces phased reopening plan

The Maine Judicial Branch has announced a phased plan to resume operations at courts across the state.When the coronavirus outbreak began, court proceedings were limited to matters in which someone faced danger of injury or death and matters involving constitutional liberty interests. Over the last several weeks, courts have been allowed to schedule and hear most cases, as long as the hearing can be addressed by video or teleconferenceThe new phased approach outlines 5 stages. Phase 1 is set to begin June 1. Rules require everyone entering a court building to wear a face covering and to use hand sanitizer when then enter and exit. No more than 10 people, including court personnel, will be allowed in a single courtroom at a given time and no more than 50 people per floor.Courts will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but no jury trials or grand jury proceedings will be scheduled or held. Starting with Phase 3, set for July 6, courts may schedule and conduct in-person hearings for many types of cases, but no jury trials will be held. Grand jury proceedings may also be scheduled and held in person at courthouses staring with Phase 3. Phase 5 is scheduled to begin Sept. 7 and allow for jury trials to resume in person. That is also when the Supreme Judicial Court may conduct oral arguments in person again. You can read the entire phased plan for the courts by clicking here.

The Maine Judicial Branch has announced a phased plan to resume operations at courts across the state.

When the coronavirus outbreak began, court proceedings were limited to matters in which someone faced danger of injury or death and matters involving constitutional liberty interests. Over the last several weeks, courts have been allowed to schedule and hear most cases, as long as the hearing can be addressed by video or teleconference

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The new phased approach outlines 5 stages. Phase 1 is set to begin June 1.

Rules require everyone entering a court building to wear a face covering and to use hand sanitizer when then enter and exit. No more than 10 people, including court personnel, will be allowed in a single courtroom at a given time and no more than 50 people per floor.

Courts will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but no jury trials or grand jury proceedings will be scheduled or held.

Starting with Phase 3, set for July 6, courts may schedule and conduct in-person hearings for many types of cases, but no jury trials will be held. Grand jury proceedings may also be scheduled and held in person at courthouses staring with Phase 3.

Phase 5 is scheduled to begin Sept. 7 and allow for jury trials to resume in person. That is also when the Supreme Judicial Court may conduct oral arguments in person again.

You can read the entire phased plan for the courts by clicking here.