State Laws

Maine State Laws


Maine Law Articles | Maine Gun Laws | Maine Divorce | Maine Bankruptcy | Maine DUI Laws | Maine Labor Laws | Maine Marijuana Laws

Maine is the northern-most state of the continental United States where it touches Canadian territory and the Atlantic Ocean. This ocean-side state is well-known for its constant harvest of clams and lobsters and also for giving way to its famous New England clam chowder. As one of the nation's oldest territories with the landing of the 1607 Plymouth Company, Maine has expanded and flourished because of its access to rich seafood.

Upon becoming a state Maine created its own set of rules and laws for how the citizens and people's rights were to be handled. Many of those laws still exist in present-day Maine and include laws in areas where the federal government has not yet set specifics. These include gun laws, bankruptcy laws, divorce laws, labor laws, felony punishment, expungement, and many others.

Divorce
Every state in the nation has its own requirements for how divorce petitions are handled. Maine requires those petitioning for divorce to be residents of the state for no less than six months. Since divorce cases are managed through the county circuit courts, each county is in charges of its own residents. When filing for divorce an individual may file within his or her county or the county of his or her spouse.

In order for a divorce petition to be legal, it must be sent to the correct county, or the case will be dismissed. Divorce petitions may also be granted for those who were married within the state lines of Maine but are no longer residents. Those serving the United States military in Maine are considered residents.

Record Sealing
When expungement of criminal records is not possible, the sealing of records may be possible. Maine has three types of records sealing for those who are eligible. The first form is designed for juvenile criminal records where three years has passed; the second form is designed for juvenile cases where no conviction was reached; and the third form is designed for individuals who do not have current adjudicatory proceedings for adult crimes or juvenile crimes. Record sealing is different from expungement and still allows some access to criminal records. Under both expungement and records sealing, criminal records are not erased and may later be used as prior offenses in current cases.

Personal Leave
Maine does not have state laws in regards to personal and family leave and instead uses those of federal law. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows individuals to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for medical or family purposes without employment termination. Maternity leave and paternity leave are both covered under this law. This act states that an individual will return to work and receive his or her former occupation or one of equal pay and benefit.

The Family and Medical Leave Act also allows expectant fathers to take the necessary leave without termination to care for pregnant wives. Employers also have the right to hire a temporary employee while another is on leave but are then required to terminate that employee when the permanent employee returns from leave.