Maine Public Records
Public Records Search. Public records legislation in every state aims to make government workings transparent for the community, providing access to a wide range of documents to anyone who needs them. In most cases, public records custodians do not require identity verification or reasons for accessing these records, but some documents contain personal information that falls within the scope of laws protecting the privacy of the individual.
It covers records produced and received by state government agencies but excludes records in the custody of federal bodies operating on its territory.
In order to uphold the stipulations in the FOAA, Maine has created the position of public access ombudsman. The ombudsman is responsible for reviewing complaints regarding public agencies' compliance with the law and acts as mediator in the resolution of these complaints.
The person in this position is also in charge of informing any interested party -- individuals, media, and government officials -- about what the law requires. They also work jointly with the Right to Know Advisory Committee to improve the law, reflecting new legislative and public developments. In a further effort to ensure that everyone is granted unobstructed access to its public records, the state of Maine has put in place an appeal procedure.
Making a Public Records Request There is no standardized application form for public record requests and there is no single custodian of these records in Maine, as in all other states. Basically, every government agency keeps the records that pertain to its functions, which could serve as a starting tip when embarking on a public records search.
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There is a helpful list of contacts at Maine. A rule of thumb when making a public records request is to be as specific as possible in explaining what records you need. If possible, include information about the particular document's author, date of creation and title.
In case this is impossible, try to describe the type of record that you are looking for in as much detail as you can, including a timeframe and the record's subject. This will help the record custodians do their job more quickly and effectively, which will ultimately benefit you, saving you time and money; too broad a request will yield a lot of documents, and fees for public record access are usually set per document.
The average response time for such requests is three working days. If the records you need are available in electronic form, they will be sent to you by email but if they are only available as hard copies, the Library will mail them to you, fax them or deliver them with FedEx. Bear in mind that these options involve additional delivery fees.
The Library also advises that if your request is likely to be lengthy or more complex, it is better submitted by mail to the address given at the website. Some death records up until and some additional microfilm reels up through are also available at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. So, while the FHL has some records on file, the records at the Maine State archives are more complete and up to date.
In , the legislature passed a mandate saying that all marriages had to be recorded by each county in Maine. Also, even though that mandate was passed, counties did not always adhere to it. Soon, the Maine State Archives will be surveying all town records in the state, thanks to a National Historic Records Commission grant. Some of the vital records for Maine can be found in published formats. For example, vital records for eighteen Maine towns from years before were compiled and published by the Maine Historical Society.
That publication included records obtained from many different sources, including Bibles, gravestones, church records, newspapers, town clerk records, family records and more. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register also published York town records from to in serials from to Do not send cash. Forgot Password. Please enter your email address or username below. Please Signup.
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