Part II: Court Organization

In This Section

Maine's state government consists of three branches. The Legislature makes the laws. The Executive Branch, which includes the governor and the various administrative agencies, carries out the laws. The Judicial Branch decides disputes and interprets the laws.

The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the trial courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts. Judges are nominated by the Governor to serve seven year terms and confirmed by the legislature. (Probate judges are an exception. They are elected to four year terms by the voters of each county).

The Supreme Judicial Court, has general administrative and supervisory authority over the Judicial Branch. Its head, the Chief Justice, designates a Superior Court Chief Justice and District Court Chief Judge to oversee the day-to-day administrative operations of those courts, and also appoints the State Court Administrator, who runs the Administrative Office of the Courts. In addition, the Chief Justice takes an active hand in designing and administering procedures aimed at the speedy and just resolution of cases in the trial courts.

There are three classes of courts in Maine:

  1. County Courts
  2. Trial Courts
  3. The Supreme Judicial Court

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