Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!

aying Your Fine And Helping Others At The Same Time.

"If you cannot afford to pay your fine, you may be able to perform Community Service Work to help pay it off. Most Community Service approved locations are Non-Profit Organization's, City and Town buildings or Public Works Departments. The Judge will order a certain amount of Community Service work hours to be completed by you. These work hours will need to be finished at a date and time the Court will specify in the Order. The total hours of work ordered to pay off your fine, will be based on the amount of the fine you were ordered to pay."

If you cannot finish all your hours in one location, you can do the remaining hours in other locations. Just make sure they are on the approved list. You will need a letter from the Organization(s) you worked for and that letter needs to be printed on the Organizations letterhead, It doesn't matter how many approved locations you work for. Just make sure the total number of hours you were Court Ordered to fulfill, add up and are completed. Most of the Organizations you apply to already know what is needed on the letter you need to file with the court. After all, your not the first person to do this. Just make sure ALL Community Service letters contain the Organization's Letterhead and total number of hours you worked. Once you have worked the total number of hours the Court had Ordered, you will need to file the Organization' s Letter(s) with the Court before the completion date set forth by the Judge, has expired.

Most Organizations you work for will have a "Supervisor" who will go over the rules and over see the work that your assigned to do. They will also keep track of your hours and they will also list how much effort you put in your Community Service work. Just because you get the work done, doesn't mean the "comments" won't be looked at on the Organization's letter they write out for you. Show up to work! That means no cell phone calls unless it's an emergency. If you want a break, ask for one. If you smoke, find out what the rules are and follow them. Nobody said it was easy. But you do get your fine paid off and you will be helping your Community at the same time. If you have not / cannot file the Organization's letter(s) by the date expected, you can request to see the Judge and ask for more time. You may get more time to finish your Community Service work, if your excuse for not getting it done in time is accepted by the Judge. If you do not get your Community Service Hours done by the expected date and you do not show up in court to explain why, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Warrants that are issued for unpaid fines may not be pursued right away. In other words, they usually do not go looking for you. But if you are stopped for any reason at all, a check will be made for any outstanding warrants. No matter what town, what day, what hour, you will be arrested and put in jail. Then you will have to bail yourself out, go back into court and face the Judge once again. Do not take this Community Service Obligation lightly. It's completion keeps you out of jail.

Below Is A List Of Acceptable Locations For Community Service Work In Maine.

"This Is Not A Complete List. You may also apply to work at most Schools, Libraries, Non Profit Organizations, Shelters, and your City or Town Public Works Departments, Remember, the District Attorney has to approve your choice before you begin working any hours."

  • Animal Refuge League - Westbrook / (207) 854-9771
  • Bayside Neighborhood Association - Portland / (207) 415-0769
  • Camp Sunshine - Casco / (207) 655-3800
  • Casco Village Church - Casco / (207) 627-4282
  • Center For Grieving Children - Portland / (207) 775-5216
  • Compass Project - Portland / (207) 774-0682
  • Coastal Humane Society - Brunswick / (207) 775-5051
  • YMCA Portland - Portland / (207) 874-1111
  • YMCA Freeport - Freeport / (207) 865-9600
  • YMCA Pineland - Pineland / (207) 688- 2255
  • Ever After Mustang Ranch - Biddeford / (207) 284-7721
  • Flying Changes Therapeutic Riding - Topsham / (207) 284-7721
  • Frannie Peabody Center - Portland / (207) 774-6877
  • Friends Of Feral Felines - Portland / (207) 797-3014
  • Goodall Hospital - Sanford / (207) 324-4310 x 310
  • Good Shepherd Food Bank - Auburn / (207) 782-3554
  • Goodwill Industries - Portland / (207) 774-6323
  • Gray Waste Management - Gray
  • Habitat For Humanity - Portland / (207) 772-2151
  • Habitat For Humanity - Brunswick / (207) 729-0311
  • Harvest Hills Animal Shelter - Fryeburg / (207) 935-4358
  • Maine Audubon Society - Falmouth / (207) 781-6180
  • Maine Khmer Council - Portland / (207) 792- 8554
  • Maine Medical Center - Portland / (207) 622- 2205
  • Maine State Music Theatre - Brunswick
  • MEIYA - Portland / (207) 807-4283
  • Merrill Memorial Library - Yarmouth / (207) 846-4763
  • Milestone Foundation - Yarmouth / (207) 775-4790
  • Open Gates Esquine Rescue - New Gloucester / (207) 926- 5570
  • Oxford Street Shelter - Portland / (207) 761-2072
  • Parkview Hospital - Brunswick / (207) 376-2130
  • Pineland - Gloucester / (207) 688-4539
  • Portland Fire Museum - Portland / (207) 741-5557
  • Portland Housing Authority - Portland / (207) 221-8985
  • Portland Parks & Recreation - Portland / (207) 874-8793
  • Portland Public Library - Portland / (207) 871-1700
  • Preble Street - Portland / (207) 775-0026

Once you have finished your Community Service Obligation and have completed all the hours ordered, you will need to file each Organization' s Letter of Completion with the Court. I would strongly suggest making copies of each letter before handing them to the Clerk of Courts. All you need to do is list the "Docket Number 00-00000" of your case, in the upper right hand corner of each page. Once this is done, you take them to the courthouse and hand them to the Clerk of Courts to file. You should receive a letter in the mail from the Court acknowledging your Community Service Completion.

If you haven't received an acknowledgement from the Court within a few weeks, go to the Courthouse and ask the Clerk for a copy of the acknowledgement Of Completion Letter. Maybe they "lost" your letters or perhaps they were not entered into the computer. Who knows. I would want to make sure there wasn't a warrant issued for me for failure to finish paying my fine off. That is why making copies of your Organization Letters is important. If the Clerk of Court tells you they have no record of your Community Service Completion, you can ask the Clerk to show your copies to the Judge and get that warrant dropped that may have been issued.

" Don't forget my recommendation to keep a copy of your Community Service Completion letter (and copies of all paid fine receipts) with your Registration and Insurance card in your vehicle. If you are ever pulled over and told there is a warrant for your arrest due to an unpaid fine, and you know it's been paid, your proof will be in the glove box."

My Final Thought...

"Have you ever volunteered before? The Organizations you work at for your Community Service obligation, really appreciate everything you do for them. Sure, you have to be there to do your Community Service time, but it's still a pretty good feeling knowing you are helping to do something good for your community and the people who really need your help. I know a few people who now volunteer just because they got a feel for it, by doing Community Service work to pay off a fine."