Maine Revised Statutes

§57. Jurisdiction; disposition of cases; technical errors in pleading and procedure

The following cases only come before the court as a court of law: Cases on appeal from the District Court, the Superior Court or a single Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court or from the probate courts; questions of law arising on reports of cases, including interlocutory orders or rulings of such importance as to require, in the opinion of the justice, review by the Law Court before any further proceedings in the action; agreed statement of facts; cases presenting a question of law; all questions arising in cases in which equitable relief is sought; motions to dissolve injunctions issued after notice and hearing or continued after a hearing; questions arising on habeas corpus, mandamus and certiorari and questions of state law certified by the federal courts. They must be marked "law" on the docket of the county or district where they are pending, and there continued until their determination is certified by the Clerk of the Law Court to the clerk of courts of the county and the court shall immediately after the decision of the question submitted to it make such order, direction, judgment or decree as is fit and proper for the disposal of the case, and cause a rescript in all civil actions, briefly stating the points therein decided, to be filed therein, which rescript must be certified by the Clerk of the Law Court to the clerk of courts of the county or district where the action is pending and to the Reporter of Decisions. If no further opinion is written out, the reporter shall publish in the next volume of reports thereafter issued the case, together with such rescript, if the reporter deems the same of sufficient importance for publication. [1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, §2 (AMD); 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, §42 (AFF).]

When the issues of law presented in any case before the Law Court can be clearly understood, they must be decided, and a case may not be dismissed by the Law Court for technical errors in pleading alone or for want of proper procedure if the record of the case presents the merits of the controversy between the parties. Whenever, in the opinion of the Law Court, the ends of justice require, it may remand any case to the court below or to any justice or judge thereof for the correction of any errors in pleading or procedure. In remanding said case, the Law Court may set the time within which said correction must be made and said case reentered in the Law Court. [1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, §2 (AMD); 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, §42 (AFF).]

When it appears to the Supreme Court of the United States, or to any court of appeals or district court of the United States, that there is involved in any proceeding before it one or more questions of law of this State, which may be determinative of the cause, and there are no clear controlling precedents in the decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court, such federal court may certify any such questions of law of this State to the Supreme Judicial Court for instructions concerning such questions of state law, which certificate the Supreme Judicial Court sitting as the Law Court may, by written opinion, answer. [1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, §2 (AMD); 1999, c. 731, Pt. ZZZ, §42 (AFF).]

1965, c. 158, §§1,2 (AMD). 1965, c. 356, §1 (AMD). 1965, c. 513, §2 (AMD). 1967, c. 544, §2 (AMD). 1979, c. 540, §2 (AMD). 1999, c. 731, §ZZZ2 (AMD). 1999, c. 731, §ZZZ42 (AFF).