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Crop Production Services Inc. v. Maine Apple Company, LLC

Superior Court of Maine, Androscoggin

August 28, 2015

CROP PRODUCTION SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MAINE APPLE COMPANY, LLC, and PETER BOLDUC, Defendants, and ANDROSCOGGIN SAVINGS BANK, Trustee Process Defendant.

ORDER

Mary Gay Kennedy Justice Superior Court

Before the court is Plaintiff Crop Production Services, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment.

I. Background

Plaintiff Crop Production Services, Inc. ("CPS") is a Delaware corporation with a place of business in Lewiston, Maine. (PL's V. Compl. ¶1.) Defendant Maine Apple Company, LLC ("Maine Apple") is a Maine Limited Liability Company with a principal place of business in Portland, Maine. (PL's V. Compl. ¶ 2; Def.'s Ans. ¶ 2.) Defendant Peter Bolduc is the owner of Maine Apple and a resident of Poland, Maine. (PL's V. Compl. ¶ 3; Def.'s Ans. ¶ 3.)

On or about June 11, 2013, CPS and Maine Apple entered into a Commercial Credit Agreement (the "Agreement"). (Supp. S.M.F. ¶1.) Under the terms of the Agreement, CPS agreed to extend credit to Maine Apple for the purchase of products and services. (Supp. S.M.F. ¶ 3.) Bolduc assumed personal liability as guarantor for the payment and performance of all obligations owed to CPS by Maine Apple pursuant to the Agreement. (Supp. S.M.F. ¶ 4.)

On November 3, 2014, CPS filed a verified complaint alleging breach of contract against Maine Apple ("Count I"), breach of contract against Peter Bolduc as guarantor ("Count II"), quantum meruit against Maine Apple ("Count III"), and unjust enrichment against Maine Apple ("Count IV") as well as a claim for trustee process against Androscoggin Savings Bank ("Count V"). (PL's V. Compl. ¶¶13-28.) Maine Apple and Bolduc filed their answer on February 24, 2015. (Def.'s Ans.) On May 21, 2015, CPS served requests for admissions on both Maine Apple and Bolduc pursuant to Maine Rule of Civil Procedure 36. (Gregory Aff. 4, Ex. B.) Neither Maine Apple nor Bolduc served CPS with answers or objections to the requests for admissions within 30 days. Id. On July 2, 2015, CPS moved for summary judgment on Counts I, II, III, and IV. (PL's Mot. Sum. J. 1.) Neither Maine Apple nor Bolduc responded to CPS's motion for summary judgment.

II. Standard of Review

Summary judgment is appropriate if the parties' statements of material fact and the cited record indicate no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. M.R. Civ. P. 56(c); Dyer v. Dep't of Transp., 2008 ME 106, ¶ 14, 951 A.2d 821. "A material fact is one that can affect the outcome of the case. A genuine issue of material fact exists when the fact finder must choose between competing versions of the truth." Dyer, 2008 ME 106, ¶ 14, 951 A.2d 821 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). When deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court reviews the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Id. When a plaintiff moves for summary judgment on its claims, the plaintiff has the burden of demonstrating that each element of its claims are established without dispute as to any material fact in the record. Cach, LLC v. Kulas, 2011 ME 70, ¶8, 21 A.3d 1015.

When a motion for summary judgment is properly supported, a party opposing summary judgment must respond with specific facts indicating a genuine issue for trial, M.R. Civ. P. 56(e). If an opposing party fails to properly respond, the moving party's factual assertions will not be deemed admitted merely because of the opposing party's failure to respond. Cach, LLC, 2011 ME 70, ¶ 9, 21 A.3d 1015. The moving party must still properly support each factual assertion with citation to the record. M.R. Civ. P. 56(h)(4); Cach, LLC, 2011 ME 70, ¶ 9, 21 A.3d 1015. Therefore, the moving party still has the burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Cach, LLC, 2011 ME 70, ¶ 9, 21 A.3d 1015.

III. Discussion

A. CPS's Requests for Admissions Deemed Admitted

Under Maine Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a), a party may serve written requests for admissions upon another party regarding any matters within the scope of discovery. M.R. Civ. P. 36(a). The responding party must serve answers or objections to the request for admissions within 30 days, otherwise the matters will be deemed admitted. Id. Any matters admitted under Rule 36(a) are conclusively established for the purposes of the pending action unless the court permits the responding party to withdraw or amend the admissions. M.R. Civ. P. 36(b). Thus a party's failure to timely respond to a request for admissions or move for withdrawal conclusively establishes the facts contained therein for the purposes of summary judgment. Platz Associates v. Finely, 2009 ME 55, ¶24-25, 973 A.2d 743.

In the present case, CPS served requests for admissions on both Maine Apple and Bolduc on May 21, 2015. (Gregory Aff. ¶ 4, Ex. B.) Neither Maine Apple nor Bolduc served CPS with a response. Id. Therefore, the matters asserted in the CPS's requests for admissions to both Maine Apple and ...


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