Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hamlin v. Cavagnaro

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

January 14, 2016

CASEY D. (CAVAGNARO) HAMLIN
v.
JASON T. CAVAGNARO

         Submitted On Briefs September 28, 2015.

Page 366

          On the briefs: Martha J. Harris, Esq., Paine, Lynch & Harris, P.A., Bangor, for appellant Jason T. Cavagnaro.

         Misty Allen, Esq., Penquis Law Project, Bangor, for appellee Casey D. (Cavagnaro) Hamlin.

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

          OPINION

Page 367

          PER CURIAM

          [¶1] In this post-judgment divorce appeal, Jason T. Cavagnaro appeals from an order of the District Court (Dover-Foxcroft, Stitham, J. ) granting Casey Hamlin's motion for change of venue, and from an order of the District Court (Bangor, Campbell, J. ) modifying a previously amended divorce judgment, awarding Cavagnaro attorney fees as a remedial sanction for Hamlin's contempt, and declining to impose additional remedial sanctions on Hamlin. We affirm the judgment and the sanctions.

         I. BACKGROUND

          [¶2] Hamlin and Cavagnaro were married in 1998 in Virginia and had three children together. In 2009, Hamlin filed for divorce after moving to Maine with the children. Following a contentious trial, the court ( Stitham, J. ) entered a judgment of divorce on November 13, 2009, which, among other things, awarded Hamlin primary residence of the children and provided Cavagnaro eight weeks of visitation with the children per year beginning in 2010.

          [¶3] Subsequently, Cavagnaro filed a motion to modify the divorce judgment and a motion for contempt. On October 11, 2013, the court modified the order in a lengthy judgment that detailed the chronic conflict between the parties and its impact on the children. The court declined to grant Cavagnaro primary residence but modified the order to provide for shared residence of the children. The court also imposed various requirements intended to increase communication and cooperation between the parties, and did not find Hamlin in contempt.

          [¶4] Specifically, the court found that since imposition of the original judgment, Hamlin had " repeatedly refused to communicate and consult with [Cavagnaro] in a constructive manner." The court also found, however, that " the children would be just fine residing with either parent" ; the oldest child, who is " wise beyond her years," prefers to live with Hamlin; and it is in the best interests of the younger children to reside in the same household as the oldest child. Ultimately, the court determined that it was still in the best interests of the children for Hamlin to have primary residence, but only if Hamlin " is able to change her ways significantly such that she truly facilitates and encourages [Cavagnaro] having a far richer and meaningful relationship with each of these children." Thus, it found that, at that time, it was in the best interests of the children for the parents to share residence of the children; the children would reside in Maine with Hamlin during the school year and in Virginia with Cavagnaro during the Christmas, February, April, and summer vacations.

Page 368

          [¶5] In February 2014, Cavagnaro again filed a motion to modify the divorce judgment and a motion for contempt in the District Court (Dover-Foxcroft). Before the motions were heard, on May 29, 2014, Hamlin filed an email that included a " request for change of venue," seeking to have the case transferred from the Dover-Foxcroft court. Hamlin also indicated that she wished to be assigned a different judge because the judge currently presiding over the case was " biased" against her. After a brief hearing during which the court heard arguments from both parties, the court granted Hamlin's motion for a change of venue in a written order and transferred the case to the District Court in Bangor. The court's order does not include an explanation of the basis for granting the motion ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.