Civil cases are going to take a backseat in Maine’s courts as the state presses to clear a backlog of 8,800 felony criminal cases. 

The courts had hoped to return to near normal operations this week while limiting the number of people in courthouses and using technology to hold remote hearings whenever possible during the pandemic. 

But the Bangor Daily News reports that with the delay in civil proceedings, money judgments, disclosures, small claims, land use violations and other civil matters will not be scheduled or heard before 2021. 

The state's acting chief justice called the backlog “staggering."

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