Guide to Small Claims Proceedings in the District Court - Continuances

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A continuance is a postponement of a court date. If the hearing has been scheduled for a time when you or an important witness absolutely cannot attend, you should file a written request for continuance as soon as possible and send a copy of the request to the other party. A continuance can only be granted by a judge, and should not be assumed. You can request a continuance at any time, but it is best to file a written request at least 7 days before the hearing date. The court might not grant the continuance if the other side objects. You may want to check with the other side, and if they consent, include that in your request. While continuances are not favored, they may be granted for legitimate reasons, as determined by the judge.

Example of Request for Continuance:
DATE 3/01/08
TO: Clerk of Court
Maine District Court, Courtown, ME 04000
FROM: Jane Doe, Plaintiff
DOCKET# SC-2008-1234
I am the plaintiff in the above named Small Claims case, and yesterday received notice that the hearing date for my case has been set by the Court for April 15, 2008. The key witness in my case will be not be returning from Florida until April 20, 2008. I request continuance of the case until after April 20, 2001.
cc: Joe Smith, d/b/a Joe's Used Car's, defendant

If you receive a copy of a Request for Continuance from the opposing party in your case, you should file your response to the request with the court and send a copy to the other party.

Example of Response to Request for Continuance:
DATE: 3/12/08
TO: Clerk of Court
Maine District Court, Courtown, ME 04000
FROM: Joe Smith, Defendant
DOCKET# SC-2008-1234
I have received Jane Doe's request for a continuance and have no objection to postponing the court date.
cc: Jane Doe, Plaintiff

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