Guide to Small Claims Proceedings in the District Court - Cost of Filing a Suit

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The fee to file a small claim is $50. Checks or money orders for the $50 filing fee should be made payable to "Maine District Court."

An essential part of a small claims case is notifying the defendant about the case. This is referred to as "service" on the defendant. There is an additional charge if you ask the clerk's office to arrange for service. You will be charged an additional $15 per defendant, plus any applicable sheriff's fees. (See Arranging for Service, for instructions about completing this task yourself.)

The court can order the defendant to pay you for the filing fee, postage fee, service fee and other costs if you win the case.

If you cannot afford the cost of bringing a small claims case, you can apply to the court for permission to file the case without paying the fees. The clerk will provide an application form that will require some basic financial background. If you are found by the judge to be unable to afford the fees, you will be permitted to file suit without payment.


No fee is charged to a defendant. However, if a defendant wants to file a small claims action against a plaintiff, then the defendant must pay the filing fee and any service fees for the new case.

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