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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of twenty-eight counts of gross sexual assault, holding that the evidence was sufficient to convict Defendant of each count of gross sexual assault. Defendant was convicted by a jury for acts committed on the victim, his biological daughter. On appeal, Defendant argued that the State did not produce sufficient evidence from which the jury could have found that he committed each of the twenty-eight counts of gross sexual assault for which he was convicted. After noting that the focus of Defendant’s argument was that the State was required to produce evidence regarding the time and place of each individual incident of assault the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) time and place are not essential elements of gross sexual assault; and (2) the State proved each and every element of all twenty-eight counts of gross sexual assault. View "State v. Miller" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for violating a public safety fire rule, holding that Defendant’s arguments on appeal were unavailing. Defendant was convicted of failing to comply with section 24.2.2.3.3 of the 2009 edition of the National Fire Protection Association 101: Life Safety Code, as incorporated by rule by the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of conviction, holding (1) section 24.2.2.3.3 of the Life Safety Code is not void for vagueness; (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the State’s failure to provide Defendant with a policy statement regarding the enforcement of section 24.2.2.3.3 did not constitute a Brady violation; and (3) the evidence was sufficient to support Defendant’s conviction. View "State v. Nisbet" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court held that an individual resident of Maine was not entitled to a Maine income tax credit for any portion of business taxes imposed by New Hampshire on a New Hampshire limited liability company of which the Maine resident was a member. Appellants, Maine residents, appealed from the judgment of the Business and Consumer Docket affirming the State Tax Assessor’s denial of a tax credit for a share of a New Hampshire business taxes paid by a New Hampshire LLC proportional to the membership interest that Appellants had in the LLC. The court reasoned that no income tax credit applied because (1) the New Hampshire business taxes were imposed on the LLC and were not an “amount of income tax imposed on [an] individual,” Me. Rev. Stat. 36, 5217-A; and (2) Maine’s tax statutes do not violate the Commerce Clause of the federal Constitution. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the lower court correctly interpreted Maine’s income tax statutes; and (2) the court did not err in concluding that Maine’s tax statutes are constitutionally sound. View "Goggin v. State Tax Assessor" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether a defendant who has conditions of release set by a judicial officer can be convicted of violation of a condition of release for acts committed while in jail after not securing release on bail. Defendant was convicted of twelve counts of violating a condition of release. On appeal, Defendant argued that the conditions of release order did not apply to him because he had failed to post bail and had not been released from jail to make the conditions of release applicable. Defendant further argued that he was not provided with adequate notice of the conditions of release or of the penalties for violating conditions of release while he remained incarcerated, as required by Me. Rev. Stat. 15 1026(5). The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the trial court, holding (1) the conditions of release order, by law, was effective when entered at the initial appearance hearing; but (2) there was insufficient evidence that Defendant was provided with notice of the conditions of release applicable to him while he was in jail. View "State v. Leblanc-Simpson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of aggravated operating under the influence and aggravated assault, holding that the court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence of his alcohol level determined from a sample of Defendant’s blood that was seized without a warrant. Specifically, the Court held (1) probable cause existed for a law enforcement officer to obtain a sample of Defendant’s blood in the context of an operating under the influence investigation, and (2) exigent circumstances justified the warrantless blood draw because Defendant was about to go into surgery where he would not be available for a blood draw as part of the State’s investigation and his body would further metabolize any alcohol that might be in his blood. View "State v. Palmer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Father’s parental rights to his child pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 4055(1)(A)(1)(a) and (B)(2)(a), (b)(ii), holding that the evidence supported the court’s factual findings and that the court did not exceed its discretion in determining that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. On appeal, Father argued primarily that the lower court impermissibly relied on his incarceration to find parental unfitness and the child’s need for permanency in determining the child’s best interest. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the court’s material findings were supported by competent evidence in the record, that the court did not impermissibly consider Father’s incarceration in reaching its parental unfitness determination, and that the evidence supported the court’s finding of parental unfitness. Further, the court did not abuse its discretion by considering the child’s needs for stability and permanency in finding parental unfitness and in determining that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. View "In re Child of Ronald W." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court held that the statutory notification process necessary for a conviction for operating after habitual offender revocation is not satisfied where the Secretary of State elects to mail the notification of license revocation to the licensee’s most recent address on file with the Secretary of State pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 29-A, 2557-A(1)(A)(4), and that notification is returned by postal officials as undeliverable. The Supreme Court vacated Defendant’s conviction for operating after habitual offender revocation where (1) in 2004, the Secretary of State mailed a notice to Defendant’s last known address notifying him that his right to operate a motor vehicle was about to be revoked and that letter was returned by postal authorities to the Secretary of State’s office, and (2) more than eleven years later, Defendant was charged with operating after habitual offender revocation. Therefore, the evidence was insufficient to support the determination that Defendant received or otherwise had actual knowledge of the revocation. View "State v. Cannady" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of the Town of Mount Vernon on its land use violation complaint filed pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 30-A, 4452 and Me. R. Civ. P. 80K, holding that a generator on Landowners’ property was a structure and thus must meet the requirements of the Town’s Land Use Ordinance regarding structures. On appeal from a decision of the Town’s code enforcement officer, the Mount Vernon Board of Appeals determined that a relatively large generator that Landowners had installed on their small lot was a “structure” under the Ordinance. When Landowners failed to comply with the Towns’ request for the removal of the generator, the Town filed a land use violation complaint. The district court determined that the Board’s decision was res judicata as to whether the generator met the definition of “structure” in the Ordinance and found Landowners in violation of the Ordinance, assessing penalty and attorney fees. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly determined that the Board’s decision was binding on Landowners; and (2) the court did not err in finding that Landowners were in violation of the Ordinance and assessing a penalty. View "Town of Mount Vernon v. Landherr" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the district court modifying Father’s child support obligation to Mother regarding the parties’ minor child, holding that the court had authority to modify child support but erred in its calculations. On appeal, Appellant argued that the court erred by modifying the existing child support order because the issue was not raised by either party and that the court erred both by addressing the issue and in its calculations. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the issue of child support was sufficiently raised in response to a motion to modify such that Father had sufficient notice that his child support obligation may change, and therefore, the district court had the authority to modify the child support order; and (2) the court erred in its calculations, thus exceeding the bounds of its discretion in ordering Father to pay the determined child support. The Court remanded the case for the trial court to calculate and order the correct amount of child support. View "Petersen v. Overbeke" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the Unified Criminal Docket convicting Defendant of violating a protection order, holding that Defendant’s posts on his Facebook page, including threatening ones, directed at the protected person violated the protection order. Defendant was enjoined by a protection from abuse order from having direct or indirect contact with the protected person. The State later charged Defendant with violating the protection order because Defendant had published several posts on Facebook concerning the protected person, and the content of the posts was “obviously offensive.” The court found Defendant guilty of violating the protection order. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in finding that the entries Defendant posted on Facebook did not constituted “direct or indirect contact” with the protected person; (2) Defendant had sufficient notice that the posts were a form of proscribed conduct; and (3) the trial court correctly determined that a conviction based on Defendant’s violation of the protection order did not place Defendant's First Amendment rights at risk. View "State v. Heffron" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law