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After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. On appeal, Defendant challenged the constitutionality of Me. Rev. Stat. 17-A, 361-A(2), which creates a permissible inference that a defendant engaged in the conduct that constitutes the crime of theft under certain circumstances. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) section 361-A(2) is sufficiently clear to give an ordinary person adequate notice of the type of conduct that gives rise to the permissible inference of the specified elements of theft; and (2) Defendant’s contention that section 361-A(2) is subject to, and fails to survive, strict scrutiny was not persuasive. View "State v. Flores-Montecinos" on Justia Law

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Maine Revenue Services (MRS) assessed MCI Communications Services, Inc. (MCI) $184,873.69 for two types of surcharges - property tax recovery charges (PTRCs) and carrier cost recovery charges (CCRCs) - that MCI imposed upon its Maine customers. The Maine Board of Tax Appeals vacated the imposition of the tax based on its determination that the PTRCs and CCRCs were excluded or exempt from taxation because they were part of the sale of interstate or international telecommunications services. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the PTRCs and CCRCs collected by MCI before July 18, 2008 were excluded from taxation and that those charges collected from MCI from July 18, 2008 forward were exempt from taxation. View "State Tax Assessor v. MCI Communications Services, Inc." on Justia Law

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In 2013, Peter Turcic Sr. died intestate. Peter was survived by his daughter, Patricia Turcic, and his son, Peter Turcic Jr. Patricia was appointed as personal representative of Peter Sr.’s estate. Thereafter, the probate court appointed Melvin and Ronald Christie, Patricia’s uncle and cousin, conservators of Peter Jr. The Christies then requested removal of Patricia as personal representative of the estate. The probate court removed Patricia as representative and appointed attorney J. Michael Talbot as representative of Peter Sr.’s estate. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed because Patricia did not provide a transcript for review and did not file a Me. R. Civ. P. 52 motion for specific factual findings. View "In re Estate of Peter A. Turcic Sr." on Justia Law

Posted in: Trusts & Estates

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Kimberly Quinty filed a motion to extend the spousal support provision of the divorce judgment granting a divorce to her and Steven Johnson. The district court granted Steven’s motion to dismiss Kimberly’s motion, concluding that reinstating the award of spousal support after the obligation to pay spousal support had expired was prohibited by law. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly found that its authority to reinstate the spousal support award had ceased under to the parties’ settlement agreement, which was incorporated into the divorce judgment, and therefore, Quinty’s untimely motion failed to allege facts that would entitle her to relief. View "Quinty v. Johnson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The district court found John Knoblach in contempt for failing to pay spousal support to Stacylee Morris as required by the parties’ divorce decree and imposed a period of incarceration unless Knoblach paid the arrearage within a specified time. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion by proceeding with the contempt hearing without objection on the scheduled date, and even if the district court erred by holding the contempt hearing one day too soon based on the amount of notice Knoblach was entitled to receive pursuant to Me. R. Civ. P. 66(d)(2)(C), Knoblach failed to demonstrate that the contempt order should be vacated. View "Knoblach v. Morris" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court affirming a decision of the Town of North Haven Board of Appeals that upheld a permit issued by the Town of North Haven Planning Board to Nebo Lodge, Inc. and Nebo Real Estate, LLC. The court held (1) the North Haven Board of Appeals (BOA) did not err in interpreting various provisions in North Haven’s ordinance; and (2) the permit review process did not violate the due process rights of Steven Wolfram, who opposed the applications, because there was a dearth of evidence that the BOA decision was the product of bias or procedural unfairness. View "Wolfram v. Town of North Haven" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Defendant alleging tortious interference with an expected inheritance and breach of contract. The superior court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Me. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), concluding (1) the tortious interference with an expected inheritance count did not satisfy the rule that a promise to take a future action will not support an action for fraud and did not state the nature or scope of the fraud allegations with particularity, and (2) the contract alleged in the breach of contract count did not satisfy the statute of frauds. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment dismissing Plaintiffs’ complaint and remanded for entry of dismissal without prejudice, holding that the issues raised by the complaint were not ripe for judicial review. View "Johnson v. Crane" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Following entry of a judgment adjudicating Jacob L. of the juvenile crime of aggravated assault, the juvenile court entered an order denying Jacob’s motion for return of property. Jacob appealed, arguing that the juvenile court applied an incorrect legal standard when it determined that the State was entitled to retain possession of cash that had been seized from him and that there was insufficient evidence to support the court’s findings. The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed this appeal as interlocutory and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings because the juvenile court had not yet issued an order determining who owned or was otherwise entitled to possession of the seized property. View "State v. Jacob L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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Wife appealed from the judgment of divorce from Husband entered in the district court. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion (1) by limiting Wife’s financial discovery from Husband’s current partner, a third party; (2) in its findings regarding the value of marital property; (3) by declining to find specifically that Husband’s discovery violations constituted economic misconduct; (4) in its findings supporting its award of spousal support and in failing to award Wife additional support; and (5) declining to award Wife attorney fees. View "Bernsten v. Berntsen" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court affirming the Town of Kittery Planning Board’s approval of a site plan application for development of a hotel on Route 1. The court held (1) the Board’s finding that a pitched roof for the building was not practicable was supported by substantial evidence, and the Board was authorized to approve a flat-roof design under the circumstances; (2) regarding the height of the building, the Board did not err in its application of the zoning ordinance’s height restrictions; and (3) the Board’s decision regarding the roof design and building height did not amount to a variance. View "Balano v. Town of Kittery" on Justia Law