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Halliday v. Henry

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

May 12, 2015

MALCOLM HALLIDAY et al.
v.
KATHRYN W. HENRY et al

Submitted On Briefs April 23, 2015.

On the briefs: Ingigerdur and Malcolm Halliday, appellants, Pro se.

Jessica Adler Coro, Esq., Law Offices of Schulte & Moore, Portland, for appellees Robert N. Center and Kathryn W. Henry.

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

OPINION

Page 1271

PER CURIAM

[¶1] Malcolm and Ingigerdur Halliday appeal from a summary judgment entered in the Superior Court (Cumberland County, Wheeler, J. ) in favor of Kathryn W. Henry and Robert N. Center on the Hallidays' complaint for statutory nuisance pursuant to 17 M.R.S. § 2808 (2014). The Hallidays contend that the court erred in determining that their complaint was barred by the statute of limitations. We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] On June 27, 2013, the Hallidays, unrepresented, filed a complaint in the Superior Court against their Harpswell neighbors, Henry and Center, alleging one count of statutory nuisance pursuant to 17 M.R.S. § 2808.[1] The Hallidays alleged that Henry and Center's 2004 construction of a new home and garage redirected water runoff onto the Hallidays' adjacent property, resulting in damage to the Hallidays' home.

[¶3] In June of 2014, Henry and Center moved for a summary judgment on the ground that the Hallidays' complaint was barred by the statute of limitations. The Hallidays did not oppose the motion. Henry and Center's unopposed statements of material facts, which are supported by references to the evidentiary record, establish the following facts. See M.R. Civ. P. 56(h); Dyer v. Dep't of Transp., 2008 ME 106, ¶ 15, 951 A.2d 821.

[¶4] Henry and Center obtained the requisite approvals from the Town to replace the existing cottage with a new home and to construct a detached garage on their property in 2003. Construction was completed in 2004. On January 5, 2005, the Town's Code Enforcement Officer issued a certificate of compliance certifying that the new cottage and garage adhered to all land use standards. In the spring of 2005, the Hallidays complained to Henry and Center that runoff from Henry and Center's yard had caused damage to the Hallidays' property. Henry and Center's contractor assessed the situation and informed them that the construction was not the cause of runoff to the Hallidays' property. In an overabundance of caution, however, Henry and Center added a large swale on their property to ensure that no such runoff could occur.

[¶5] By judgment dated August 12, 2014, the court granted Henry and Center's motion after concluding that the Hallidays' complaint was barred by the statute of limitations. The court did not conduct a hearing on the summary judgment motion. The Hallidays did not seek any additional relief in the trial court, but instead filed this appeal.

II. DISCUSSION

[¶6] The Hallidays challenge the court's entry of a summary judgment in favor of Henry and Center on statute of limitations grounds. We consider the summary judgment de novo by viewing all facts in the light most favorable to the Hallidays, as the nonprevailing parties, to determine if any genuine dispute of material fact ...


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