Maine Revised Statutes

§6014. Remedies for illegal evictions

1. Illegal evictions.  Except as permitted by Title 15, chapter 517 or Title 17, chapter 91, evictions that are effected without resort to the provisions of this chapter are illegal and against public policy. Illegal evictions include, but are not limited to, the following.
A. No landlord may willfully cause, directly or indirectly, the interruption or termination of any utility service being supplied to the tenant including, but not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, gas, telephone, sewerage, elevator or refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is under the control of the landlord, except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repairs are in process or during temporary emergencies. [1981, c. 428, §8 (NEW).]
B. No landlord may willfully seize, hold or otherwise directly or indirectly deny a tenant access to and possession of the tenant's rented or leased premises, other than through proper judicial process. [1981, c. 428, §8 (NEW).]
C. No landlord may willfully seize, hold or otherwise directly or indirectly deny a tenant access to and possession of the tenant's property, other than by proper judicial process. [1981, c. 428, §8 (NEW).]
[ 1995, c. 66, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Remedies.  Upon a finding that an illegal eviction has occurred, the court shall find one or both of the following.
A. The tenant is entitled to recover actual damages or $250, whichever is greater. [1991, c. 666, (AMD).]
B. The tenant is entitled to recover the aggregate amount of costs and expenses determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred on the tenant's behalf in connection with the prosecution or defense of such action, together with a reasonable amount for attorneys' fees. [1991, c. 666, (AMD).]
[ 1991, c. 666, (AMD) .]
3. Good faith.  A court may award attorneys' fees to the defendant if, upon motion and hearing, it is determined that an action filed pursuant to this section was not brought in good faith and was frivolous or intended for harassment only.
[ 1981, c. 428, §8 (NEW) .]
4. Nonexclusivity.  The remedies provided in this section are in addition to any other rights and remedies conferred by law.
[ 1981, c. 428, §8 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1981, c. 428, §8 (NEW). 1991, c. 666, (AMD). 1995, c. 66, §1 (AMD).