RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULE

STATE OF MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER JB-05-21
Effective: August 1, 2005

The Judicial Branch maintains a schedule for court records indicating the length of time that various records are to be retained by the courts and addressing their disposition at the conclusion of the on site retention period. Amendments to the Judicial Branch records retention schedule are initiated by the State Court Administrator and presented to the Supreme Judicial Court for review and approval. This order identifies the current Judicial Branch records retention schedule and supersedes all previous orders and schedules.

GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULE

  1. For each record type, the schedule indicates the number of years those records are to be retained on site. At the conclusion of the on site retention period, the schedule indicates the number of years, if any, that records are to be retained at the Records Center of the Maine State Archives. Finally, the schedule indicates the ultimate disposal of the records, either at Maine State Archives (A) or by being destroyed (D). All retention periods listed in the retention schedule are stated in years, counted from date of case filing.
  2. The retention schedule does not apply until all financial activity is completed. For the purposes of this schedule, financial activity includes fines, counsel fees, fees, costs, and open escrow accounts. The files with fines, counsel fees, fees and costs do not need to remain on site for one year after the final payment. Any case with an escrow account must be retained on site until one year has elapsed from the disbursement of that account.
  3. A case file otherwise eligible for destruction or movement to the Records Center must remain on site if there has been any type of court activity within the last year. The case file must stay on site for one year from the date of last court activity. For purposes of this schedule, court activity is defined as judicial review of motions, stipulated agreements, and actions which result in the disposition of a case. Informational filings and associated docket entries are not considered court actions for the purposes of this schedule.
  4. Criminal cases are retained according to the most serious classification at the time of filing, e.g. if filed as an A, B, or C Burglary, it shall be retained as an A, B, or C even if plead to a lesser charge such as Criminal Trespass.
  5. All docket books sent to Archives must include an alphabetical index.

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT

 
Record Series/Record Type On Site Record Center Disposal

1. Card Index

Permanent

   

2. Case Files

     

A. Law Court Appeals

10 20 A
B. Judicial Discipline
10 50 D

C. Opinions of the Justices

10 20 D

D. Bar Discipline

10 50 D

E. Sentence Appeals

10 20 D

F. Single Justice Matters

10 20 D

SUPERIOR COURT and DISTRICT COURT For Cases Filed as of 1/1/97

 
Record Series/Record Type On Site Record Center Disposal

1. Criminal Records

 

   

A. Docket Books with index

25 0 A
B. Card Index
Permanent    

C. Case Files- Murder

10 15 A

D. Case Files-Felony/ABC

Superior Court-Felony/ABC at time of filing.

District Court-Class A,B,C cases that actually have a Rule 11 hearing in the District Court.

District Court-Class A, B, and C and cases that do not have a Rule 11 hearing in the District Court.

10

 

 

 


5

15

 

 

 

 

0

A

 

 

 

 

D

E. Case Files-Misdemeanor/D & E

10 40 D

F. Reporters' Notes -Murder

5 25 A

G. Reporters' Notes-Other

6 0 D

H. Grand Jury Records

10 0 D

I. Pardons
File document with case file. If file in Records Center or Archives transmit document. If file destroyed, retain 2 years on site then destroy.

2 0 D

J. Search Warrant Files

10 0 D

K. Appeals

2 0 A
2. Civil Records      

A. Docket Books with index

20 0 A

B. Card Index

Permanent    

C. CV-General Civil

10 10 D

D. FM-Family Matters

20 0 A

E. SA-Special Actions

5 0 D

F. RE-Real Estate

10 10 A

G. SC-Small Claims/disclosure

5 0 D

H. VI-Civil Violations (also includes removals for Jury Trial)

1 6 D

I. PC-Protective Custody

20 0 A

J. JV-Juvenile Records

10 10 D

K. TI- Traffic Infractions

1 0 D

L. AP- Appeals

5 10 D

M. PA- Protection From Abuse

10 20 D

N. PH-Protection From Harassment

5 10 D

O. MH-Mental Health

5 10 A

P. AD-Administrative Cases

2 8 D

Q. Reporters' Notes
Note that for Family Matter cases with child support orders that the notes or the tape must be kept until the child turns 18 years of age (per Maine statute).

6 0 D

3. Naturalizations - All records
All naturalization books and index files should be delivered to Archives. Index cards, in appropriate file drawer, may be boxed with Naturalization books. This must be indicated on the box.

0 0 A

4. Jury Records - All records
Jury records should be kept in file folders for the month they served and after two years should be destroyed.

2 0 D
5. Exhibits
Covered by Administrative Order
     

SUPERIOR COURT For Cases Filed prior to 1/1/97

 
Record Series/Record Type On Site Record Center Disposal

1. Criminal Records

 

   

A. Docket Books with index

25 0 A
B. Card Index
Permanent    

C. Case Files- Murder

10 15 A

D. Case Files-Felony/ABC

10

15

A

E. Case Files- Misdemeanor - Any other (District Court appeals, extradition)

5 0 D

F. Reporters' Notes -Murder

5 25 A

G. Reporters' Notes-Other

6 0 D

H. Grand Jury Records

10 0 D

I. Pardons
File document with case file. If file in Records Center of Archives transmit document. If file destroyed, retain 2 years on site then destroy.

2 0 D
2. Civil Records      

A. Docket Books with index

20 0 A

B. Card Index

Permanent    

C. Case Files-Civil Violations
This section is deleted is and included in Section G

     

D. Case Files-Divorce

20 0 A

E. Case Files-Divorce Abstracts
This section is deleted

     

F. Case Files-URESA/UIFSA

20 0 D

G. Case Files-Other

10 10 D

H. Reporters' Notes
Note that for Family Matter cases with child support orders that the notes or the tape must be kept until the child turns 18 years of age (per Maine statute).

6 0 D

I. Land Cases

10 10 A

3. Naturalizations - All records
All naturalization books and index files should be delivered to Archives. Index cards, in appropriate file drawer, may be boxed with Naturalization books. This must be indicated on the box.

0 0 A

4. Jury Records - All records
Jury records should be kept in file folders for the month they served or were excused. After two years those records should be destroyed and the current records placed in that folder.

2 0 D
5. Exhibits
Covered by Administrative Order
     

DISTRICT COURT For Cases Filed prior to 1/1/97

 
Record Series/Record Type On Site Record Center Disposal

1. Criminal Cases, Civil Violations and Traffic Infractions

 

   

A. Docket Books with Indices
If index in book and files at Archives

25 0 A
B. Case Files
including expunged cases
5 0 D
C. Search Warrant Files
10 0 D

D. Arrest Warrant Files, Partial Payment Files, Summons Files. Only kept in certain courts-generally in active files. Keep active files on site; consider finished documents as part of case file and retain or dispose with case files, as stated above

     

E. Pardon Records
File document with case file. If file in Records Center of Archives transmit document. If file destroyed, retain 1 year on site then destroy.

2 0 D

F. Uniform Traffic Ticket is now included in 1.B.

     

G. Rule 11 "Felony" Records
These "Felony" Records include only those where the case was disposed in District Court by a Rule 11 hearing.

10 15 A
2. Divorce Records-Including separate support cases      

A. Docket Books w/ indices

20 0 A

B. Card Index

Permanent    

C. Case Files-including mediation reports

20 0 A

D. Abstract Copies (vital statistics)

0 0 D

3. Family Court Records- Includes family actions other than divorce-such as paternity suits, separations, etc.

     

A. Docket Books w/indices

20 0 A

B. Case Files -including mediation reports

20 0 A

C. Abstract Copies

0 0 D

4. Small Claims Records

     

A. Docket Books w/indices

5 0 A

B. Case Files

2 3 D
5. Disclosure Records/Money Judgments
     

A. Docket Books w/indices

20 0 A

B. Case Files

5 0 D
6. Forcible Entry and Detainer (Evictions)      

A. Docket Books w/indices

5 0 A
B. Case Files
3 2 D
7. Civil Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

20 0 A

B. Case Files

5 15 D

C. Land Cases

5 15 A
8. URESA Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

5 0 A

B. Case Files

20 0 D
9. Protection from Abuse Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

5 0 A

B. Case Files

5 0 D

C. Schedule Books

1 0 D
10. Protection from Harassment Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

5 0 A

B. Case Files

5 0 D

C. Schedule Books

1 0 D
11. Mental Health & Retardation Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

5 0 A

B. Case Files

5 0 A
12. Sterilization Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

5 0 A

B. Case Files

5 0 A
13. Protective Custody Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

20 0 A

B. Case Files

20 0 A
14. Juvenile Records      

A. Docket Books w/indices

20 0 A

B. Case Files

10 10 D
15. Marriage Waivers      

A. Marriage Waivers

1 0 D

VIOLATIONS BUREAU

 
Record Series/Record Type On Site Record Center Disposal

1. Case Files for disposed cases

Minimum of 6 months and until audit completed

-- D

2. Electronically Stored Data

7 years from judgment or payment   D

COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL RESPONSIBILITY & DISABILITY

 
Record Series/Record Type On Site Record Center Disposal

1. Case Files

10

25 D

 

For the Court,
Leigh I. Saufley
Chief Justice

Promulgation Date:  July 19, 2005


Historical Derivation of JB-05-21:

Records Retention Schedule
AO JB-02-01, Dated: February 1, 2003
Signed by: James T. Glessner, State Court Administrator