What is a filing?

A filing is a written agreement between the State and Defendant that stays the prosecution of a case.  It can be described as putting a case on the back burn for an agreed upon period and if during that agreed upon period the conditions of the filing are not violated the case is automatically dismissed unless the conditions state differently.  The written agreement between the State and Defendant must state how long the filing is, any and all conditions of the filing, and if cost shall be paid.  Cost must be paid on the day the filing is entered into.  The filing period cannot exceed one year.  The standard conditions of a filing are no new criminal activity, civil violations, or traffic infractions and the payment of court cost.  At the end of the filing period the case is automatically dismissed with prejudice (cannot be brought back) unless the parties agree differently.  It is very important to read your filing agreement to ensure that only violations of the agreement will result in the case being restored to the docket and the case is dismissed with prejudice upon successful completion of the filing.  If you violate a condition of the filing the State may move to restore your case to the docket and possibly request a warrant for your arrest.  If your case is restored to the docket then the prosecution resumes and you lost any court cost that have been paid.

You can find the rule relating the filing of a case at Cumberland County Unified Criminal Docket Rule 11B and Maine Rule of Criminal Procedure 11B.

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