If you have some civil matters that require the court system you will be pleased to know that the Maine Judicial Branch has developed a plan for reopening.

According to a press release by the State of Maine Judicial Branch "In March 2020, the pandemic compelled the Maine state courts to significantly curtail court proceedings in the interest of public safety and the health and safety of Judicial Branch Employees. The initial orders issued by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court limited court proceedings to those matters in which persons faced dangers of injury or death and matters involving constitutional liberty interests."

Up until now since the courts have essentially shut down, the courts have been issuing PMO's otherwise know as "Pandemic Management Orders" and even then only on two conditions: (1) the case must be one that can be addressed by video or telephone conference and (2) judicial resources will be directed to priority case types first.

Outlined in the press release by the State of Maine Judicial Branch, the reopening of the courts will be done is phases, with currently 5 phases planned.The first phase is set to begin on June 1st.

Phase one requirements include any person entering the courthouse to wear a face shield, mask, or cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth at all times while in the courthouse. The courthouse will also provide hand sanitizer and encourage it's use before and after entering. There will also be social distancing requirements for the courthouse, and court rooms. No small claims. No jury or grand jury trials in this phase.

CLICK HERE to read the full press release with details for each of the five reopening phases.

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