State courts in Maine will again cut back the hours they are open to the public Monday to help limit the community transmission of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
Courthouses will be open only four hours a day. Not all courthouses will be open every day.
The week of March 30 through April 3 was scheduled to be one of the court system’s annual administration weeks when all clerk’s offices are open only from noon to 4 p.m.
On March 23, the court system cut back the hours courthouses would be open to the public, but how many hours courthouses were open varied widely throughout the state.
For example, the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, while the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta will be open from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays.
Superior Courts in York, Franklin, Androscoggin and Washington counties are closed. All District Courts will open but with limited hours.
Earlier this month, the Maine judiciary announced it was continuing nearly all civil and criminal matters until May 1 due to the virus outbreak.
The court system is encouraging the use of video conferencing whenever possible and allowing motions in criminal, child protection and mental health matters to be filed by email. Hard copies must also be mailed to clerks’ offices.
Many people pay their fines at courthouses in person with cash rather than by check or online. For people who are unable to pay their fines, the courts last week extended the dates on which defendants owe fines, fees, restitution and attorney fee reimbursements in criminal cases to May 4 or to another ordered due date in May, whichever is later.
People are asked to check the court system’s website, courts.maine.gov/maine_courts/schedules/closings.shtml, or call 207-753-2999 before going to a state courthouse.