PETER M. BECKERMAN
BRUCE POOLER et al
Argued: May 13, 2015.
Judgment vacated as to the determination that Beckerman does not have a deeded easement (sections 2(b) and 3 of the judgment). Judgment affirmed in all other respects.
On the briefs and at oral argument: Alton C. Stevens, Esq., Marden, Dubord, Bernier & Stevens, P.A. LLC, Waterville, for appellant Peter M. Beckerman.
André G. Duchette, Esq., Taylor, McCormack & Frame, LLC, Portland, for appellees Rick and Monica Conant.
Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, and HJELM, JJ.
[¶1] Peter M. Beckerman appeals from a judgment of the Superior Court (Kennebec County, Wheeler, J. ) denying his motion for contempt and determining that he does not have an easement by deed over the property of Ricky and Monica Conant. Beckerman alleged in his motion that, in a prior consent order, the court ( Studstrup, J. ) had recognized an easement in favor of Beckerman over the Conants' driveway and that the Conants were in contempt of that order by interfering with his use of the driveway. On appeal, Beckerman argues that the court erred by denying the motion for contempt and by exceeding the scope of the motion when it adjudicated the issue of whether he had a deeded easement to use the driveway. We affirm the denial of the motion, but because we conclude that the contempt motion did not call for the court to determine separately whether Beckerman has a deeded easement, we vacate that portion of the court's order.
[¶2] When " [v]iewed in the light most favorable to the judgment," the record evidence establishes the following facts. Waltz v. Waltz, 2013 ME 1, P 2, 58 A.3d 1127. Beckerman owns a waterfront parcel of land located on Great Pond in Rome. Ricky and Monica Conant own an abutting waterfront lot (" the Conants' lot" ), which was previously owned by Rodney Pooler. Ricky Conant also owns a second lot, which abuts the Conants' lot on one side and is located between Beckerman's lot and a private access road called South Crane Lane. Conant currently rents that lot (" the Poolers' lot" ) to Bruce and Cynthia Pooler, who owned it prior to 2010. South Crane Lane runs along one side of both the Conants' lot and the Poolers' lot, but it does not abut Beckerman's lot, so the only vehicular access to Beckerman's lot is over the Conants' or the Poolers' driveways.
[¶3] In March 2000, before the Conants purchased any property in the area, Beckerman filed a complaint in Superior Court against Bruce, Cynthia, and Rodney Pooler, seeking, among other things, to establish the locations of the common boundaries among the three properties.
In the complaint, Beckerman did not assert a right to cross over the Conants' lot, which was then owned by Rodney Pooler, to gain access to South Crane Lane.
[¶4] The parties settled their claims through mediation, and in August 2002 the court entered a consent order. The order operated as a final judgment and, among other issues, resolved Beckerman's right to access South Crane Lane by requiring the Poolers to grant Beckerman an easement over their driveway. That provision of the consent judgment also stated, " This conveyance shall not in any way limit the deeded right-of-way in favor of the Beckerman lot across [the Conants'] lot," and included a citation to the deed to that ...