by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgments of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to her children, Mackenzie P. and Antonio P. pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1), (B)(2)(a), (b)(i)-(ii). Specifically, the court held (1) given the findings, were were supported by competent evidence in the record, the district court did not err in finding at least one ground of parental unfitness and in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights with a permanency plan of adoption was in the children’s best interests; and (2) because the court acted at Mother’s request to prevent any prejudice by excluding the testimony of a guardian ad litem at the termination hearing. View "In re Mackenzie P." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgments of the district court terminating Mother’s parental rights to Lacie G. and Tyler S. pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 22, 4055(1)(A)(1)(a), (B)(2). Specifically, the court held (1) given the findings, which were supported by competent evidence in the record, the district court did not err in finding, by clear and convincing evidence, at least one ground of parental unfitness; and (2) the court did not err or abuse its discretion in determining that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the best interests of Tyler and Lacie. View "In re Lacie G." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a judgment entered in the district court ordering Plaintiff to pay Defendant’s legal fees and costs after dismissal of Plaintiff’s foreclosure action against Defendant with prejudice. The court held (1) the district court did not err when it concluded that it had the authority to award Defendant attorney fees and costs pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6101, and Plaintiff did not preserve for appeal its argument that it was not “the mortgagee” according to section 6101 and therefore that the statute could not apply; and (2) the court did not abuse its discretion in setting the amount of fees owed and by including in the attorney fees award fees Defendant incurred pursuing an appeal. View "Homeward Residential, Inc. v. Gregor" on Justia Law

by
At issue in this appeal were two judgments of the district court. The first judgment clarified that a divorce judgment required Appellant to pay $50,000 plus post-judgment interest to Appellee and ordered that a writ of execution should issue. The second judgment, issued after a writ of execution had issued, clarified an ambiguity in the first judgment and directing that a new writ should issue in the amount of $50,000 plus interest. The Supreme Court dismissed as untimely the appeal from the first judgment clarifying the divorce judgment and affirmed the second judgment clarifying the terms on which the writ of execution would issue, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in entering a judgment clarifying that a writ of execution should issue in the same amount as the clarifying judgment. View "Chamberlain v. Harriman" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff’s fraudulent transfer complaint as having been filed outside the applicable statute of limitations, holding that the court should have treated the motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff brought a complaint against Defendants alleging violations of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the applicable six-year statute of limitations ran one day before the date that Plaintiff’s complaint was filed. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Judicial Court held that Plaintiff’s submission of extrinsic evidence converted the motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment, and accordingly, the court erred in failing to proceed with the summary judgment process. View "Acadia Resources, Inc. v. VMS, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff, conservator and guardian for his son Vincent Jones, and Plaintiff’s counsel (Attorney) appealed from two orders issued by the probate court that (1) dissolved and replaced a supplemental needs trust that had been created for Vincent’s estate, and (2) directed the Attorney, who created the original trust, to disgorge legal fees paid to her by Vincent and conditionally to pay additional amounts. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) the probate court’s order creating a new supplemental needs trust for Vincent was not void for lack of statutory authority; and (2) the payment order against the Attorney deprived the Attorney of due process. View "In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Jones" on Justia Law

by
James Black appealed an order of the district court denying Dorothy Black’s motion for contempt but nonetheless ordering James to pay Dorothy a sum that the court determined he owed her pursuant to the parties’ divorce judgment. Specifically, James argued that the court lacked authority to grant Dorothy any form of relief upon denying her motion for contempt, which was not accompanied by a motion to enforce. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that, under the unique circumstances of this case, the court acted within its authority by issuing an order requiring James to pay Dorothy the arrearage owed to her and that James was not unfairly prejudiced as a result. View "Black v. Black" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

by
Defendant appealed his conviction of unlawful sexual contact, his sentence, and the trial court’s instruction that Defendant register as a Tier III registrant pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2013 (SORNA 2013). The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment and sentence but clarified that Defendant will be required to register pursuant to SORNA 1999 upon his release from incarceration, holding (1) the motion court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress his statements to a detective; (2) the court did not abuse its discretion by considering three instances of Defendant’s sexual contact with the victim when it set his basic sentence; and (3) Defendant should have been notified of his duty to register pursuant to SORNA 1999 - not SORNA 2013. View "State v. Seamon" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of conviction finding Defendant guilty of one count each of gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, and sexual abuse of a minor following a jury trial. The court held (1) the trial court’s jury instructions as to the counts for gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact correctly informed the jury of the relevant law and the State’s burden of proof; (2) the temporal parameters for the conviction as established by the indictment were sufficient to avoid double jeopardy concerns; and (3) there was competent evidence in the record to support the jury’s guilt verdicts and thus the court’s entry of a judgment of conviction. View "State v. Hodgdon" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court ordered that former York County Probate Judge Robert M.A. Nadeau forfeit $5,000 and be suspended from the practice of law in Maine for two years for violations of Canons 2(A), 2(B), and 3()(4) of the 1993 Maine Code of Judicial Conduct and for violation of Rule 4.2(C)(1) of the 2015 Maine Code of Judicial Conduct. The court based its sanctions based on two reports filed by the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability alleging a total of six violations of the Maine Code of Judicial Conduct by Nadeau arising from Nadeau’s actions while he was a judge-elect, a sitting judge, and a candidate for reelection as probate judge. View "In re Robert M.A. Nadeau" on Justia Law

Posted in: Legal Ethics