Maine rules of civil procedure lays down the rules that should be followed by Maine state courts. The rules govern civil actions. The rules are promulgated for the smooth and efficient functioning of state courts. In Maine a civil action commences with the filing of a complaint or service of a summons and complaint. Party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the opposite party is called the defendant. A civil action can be classified into various stages that include: pleading stage, discovery stage, trial stage, and judgment stage. According to Rule 4, once a complaint is filed, the court clerk will issue the required summons to the defendant(s).
Different types of pleadings in Maine courts are: Complaint, Answer to Complaint, Disclosure under oath, Counter claim, Reply to counterclaim, Cross claim, Reply to cross claim, Third party complaint and Third party answer. A complaint should be filed by the real party in interest. If the real party in interest is a minor or incompetent person, the person’s representative should file the complaint. If a minor or incompetent person does not have a representative, s/he may file the action through a next friend or guardian ad litem. At times the courts may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the minor or incompetent person if found necessary.
Parties may obtain discovery by oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property, for inspection and other purposes; physical and mental examinations; and requests for admission.
At the trial stage, a party may demand for trial by jury by paying the fee. A judgment is passed after trial. The judgment may include a decree or an order upon which an appeal is permissible. Generally, cost of litigation is adjudged to the prevailing party.