Maine

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Color Key Explanation
Categorical Right To Counsel There is a right to counsel without qualification for all indigent individuals in this type of case (except that the individual may be required to request counsel).
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel Courts are permitted but not required to appoint counsel for any indigent individual in this type of case. A request may be required.
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified The established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including: the only authority comes from a lower/intermediate court decision or a city government, not a high court or state legislature; a case has cast doubt on prior authority; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all individuals or proceedings within that type of case.
No Such Proceeding This state has no law creating a judicial proceeding of this type.
None While this state does not provide for or require appointment of counsel with respect to the given subject area, it does have something (such as a report or bar policy) that supports the right to or appointment of counsel for this subject area.
Other Because the "Other subject areas” category can include developments from different subject areas that do not work the same way as each other, a blanket categorization of this category is not possible.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent parents in abuse/neglect cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine found a state constitutional right to counsel for indigent parents in abuse/neglect cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Legislation: children in dependency cases

03/21/2017

This bill would require appointment of counsel for a child in child protective proceedings who is living with a relative.

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Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

In abuse/neglect proceedings, the child or GAL may request appointment of counsel for the child.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Maine has a right to counsel for minors seeking judicial approval for an abortion. However, current law no longer requires parental consent.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel in civil commitment proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel in temporary guardianships, and also permanent guardianship proceedings where the ward contests the guardianship.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A federal district court recognized a right to counsel in Maine proceedings for incarceration for failure to pay fees/fines.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Involuntary Medical Treatment

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - HIV test

There is a right to counsel where an individual is compelled to submit to an HIV test.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Paternity - Defendant/Respondent

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine has indicated that the constitutional right to counsel in paternity cases is on a case-by-case basis.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Paternity - Petitioner or Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The court must appoint counsel for the child in certain paternity proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Quarantine/Inoculation

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for quarantine proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

No such proceeding

There is no procedure in the state for confinement of a sexually dangerous/violent person.

Sterilization

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the indigent subject of a sterilization petition.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for a child in a termination proceeding if requested.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent parents in adoption proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents are entitled to appointment of counsel in termination of parental rights proceedings upon request.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel in state-initiated termination cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

No such proceeding

In Maine, truancy matters are handled outside of court, except potentially against the parent.

Read more about this

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