Enclosed are proposed changes to Rule 41 (Search & Seizure) of the Maine Rules of Criminal Procedure. The changes would allow a search warrant request to be made outside the presence of a Superior Court justice, District Court judges, or justice of the peace. The proposals will be submitted to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for its consideration no later than early next year. The attached contains both proposed changes to existing Rule 41 (Search and Seizure) and a proposed new Rule 41C (Search Warrant Request Made By Applicant Outside the Presence of the Superior Court Justice, District Court Judge, or Justice of the Peace). The accompanying proposed Advisory Notes explain each of the proposed changes to Rule 41 and proposed new Rule 41C.
The proposal for electronic or telephone search warrants does not at this time extend to arrest warrants. Before considering further changes, its users need to concentrate on the new procedures accommodating the statutory creation of the electronic arrest warrant accompanied by an electronic arrest warrant repository system pursuant to 15 M.R.S. ch. 100, enacted by P.L. 2011, ch. 214, § 2, effective February 1, 2012.