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Remick v. Martin

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

November 4, 2014

CYNTHIA (MARTIN) REMICK
v.
KEVIN MARTIN

Submitted on Briefs September 23, 2014.

Page 553

On the briefs: Kevin Martin, appellant, Pro se.

Timothy E. Robbins, Esq., South Portland, for appellee Cynthia (Martin) Remick.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, SILVER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

Page 554

GORMAN, J.

[¶1] Kevin Martin appeals from a judgment of the District Court (Biddeford, Foster, J.) denying his various post-judgment motions in connection with his 2010 divorce from Cynthia (Martin) Remick. Martin challenges several of the court's factual findings on which the court based its denial. We vacate and remand for reconsideration.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] Martin and Remick divorced on July 27, 2010. They have one minor child, born in 2003. In the divorce judgment, the court ( Janelle, J.) awarded sole parental rights and responsibilities along with primary residential care to Remick and granted Martin extensive contact on weekdays, weekends, and holidays. The court also ordered Martin to receive counseling focused on domestic violence and provide Remick with information about the counseling.

[¶3] In the spring and summer of 2011, the parties filed various motions for contempt, enforcement, and modification. In February of 2012, by agreement of the parties, the court ( Driscoll, J.) appointed a guardian ad litem for the parties' minor child to assist the court in planning for the child's needs. After the final hearing on the motions, the court found Martin in contempt for failing to comply with the divorce judgment's counseling requirements. It found, inter alia, that Martin's behavior demonstrated " his continued attempts to ignore the court orders in place and do what he pleases in spite of the negative impact upon his son's emotional health."

[¶4] On September 12, 2012, the court issued an amended divorce judgment reducing Martin's contact with his child to three Sundays per month and ordering that even this contact was " conditioned upon Kevin's enrollment in the Violence No More BIP [Batterer's Intervention Program] within 30 days." The judgment also provided that, " [u]pon proof of successful completion" of the program, Martin's contact with the child would revert to the schedule outlined in the 2010 divorce judgment. We affirmed the amended judgment. Remick v. Martin, Mem-13-66 (June 11, 2013).

[¶5] In July of 2013, Remick moved to " stay the contempt order" and further modify the divorce judgment. Martin responded in opposition to the motion, and the court ( Foster, J.) scheduled a conference for September 16. On that date, Martin filed motions for contempt and to enforce. He asserted that although he had provided Remick with proof of his completion of the Violence No More program, she had failed to permit his contact with their child to revert to the schedule created by the 2010 divorce judgment. During the conference, the court ordered Remick's counsel to prepare a release for Martin's signature that would notify the director of the Violence No More program that Martin was permitting the director to speak with Remick's attorney.

[¶6] On November 4, 2013, the court conducted a hearing on Martin's pending motions. In its order on the motions, issued just over a month later, the court found that Martin " continues to engage in controlling behavior similar to that which caused the [c]ourt concern in the summer of 2012" and, therefore, Martin failed to show " successful completion" of the Violence No More program as required by the 2012 amended judgment. In response to a motion by Martin, the court issued further findings on January 14, 2014. Among its other findings, the ...


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