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Town of Wiscasset v. Mason Station, LLC

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

May 12, 2015

TOWN OF WISCASSET
v.
MASON STATION, LLC

Argued April 10, 2015

Judgment affirmed.

On the briefs:

Brian D. Willing, Esq., and Reade E. Wilson, Esq., Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon, Portland, for appellant Mason Station, LLC.

Bryan Dench, Esq., and Benjamin J. Smith, Esq., Skelton, Taintor & Abbott, Auburn, for appellee Town of Wiscasset.

At oral argument:

Brian D. Willing, Esq., for appellant Mason Station, LLC.

Benjamin J. Smith, Esq., for appellee Town of Wiscasset.

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

OPINION

Page 459

SAUFLEY, C.J.

[¶1] Mason Station, LLC, appeals from a judgment of the Superior Court (Lincoln County, Billings, J. ) denying its motions to set aside a default and for relief from a default judgment entered on the Town of Wiscasset's complaint for $846,263.67 in unpaid real and personal property taxes. Mason Station argues that the court abused its discretion in denying Mason Station's motions because the Town had already obtained, by automatic foreclosure of tax liens, record title to Mason Station property worth more than the taxes owed. See 36 M.R.S. § 943 (2014). We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] Mason Station, LLC, owned multiple properties in the Town of Wiscasset. It failed to pay assessed property taxes on those properties, and the Town imposed tax liens and filed tax lien certificates in the Lincoln County Registry of Deeds, creating tax lien mortgages on the properties. See 36 M.R.S. § § 942, 943 (2014). In December 2012, the Town filed a complaint against Mason Station for taxes owed on those properties and on certain personal property. The summons and complaint were served on Mason Station on December 11, 2012. Mason Station failed to file an answer within twenty days as required by M.R. Civ. P. 12(a). The Town requested the entry of a default and default judgment on January 23, 2013, and submitted a supporting affidavit. See M.R. Civ. P. 55(a), (b). Two days later, the clerk ...


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