FIDUCIARY TRUST CO. et al.
MANCHESTER H. WHEELER JR
November 3, 2015.
briefs: Michael L. Rair, Esq., Law Offices of Michael L.
Rair, Bangor, R. Howard Lake, Esq., Lake & Denison, Winthrop,
and John E. Nale, Esq., Nale Law Offices, Waterville, for
appellant Manchester H. Wheeler Jr.
P. Reilly, Esq., and Tudor N. Goldsmith, Esq. Jensen Baird
Gardner & Henry, Portland, for appellee Honora Haynes.
argument: Michael L. Rair, Esq., for appellant Manchester H.
P. Reilly, Esq., for appellee Honora Haynes.
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
[¶1] Manchester H. Wheeler Jr. appeals from
a summary judgment entered by the Superior Court (Kennebec
County, Mullen, J. ) in favor of Fiduciary Trust
Company on Fiduciary's complaint to determine the proper
method of distributing the principal of a trust of which
Wheeler is a beneficiary. On appeal, Wheeler contends that
the Superior Court erred in concluding that the doctrine of
res judicata did not control the construction of the disputed
term of the trust. We affirm the judgment.
[¶2] The relevant facts in the summary
judgment record are undisputed. Fiduciary is the acting
trustee of the Elizabeth S. Haynes and Robert H. Gardner
Trust, created in 1911 and amended in 1918. Pursuant to
paragraph 1 of the trust, the trust's net income was to
be paid to Elizabeth S. Haynes's two daughters, Hope
Manchester Wheeler and Muriel Sturgis Haynes, or their issue.
Paragraph 1 provides:
During the continuance of the trust to pay the net income
thereof as often as quarterly to Hope Manchester Wheeler and
Muriel Sturgis Haynes in equal shares during their lives, and
on the death of either of them who shall leave issue
surviving her the share of said income which she would have
received shall be paid to such of her issue by right of
representation as shall from time to time be living at the
respective times of payment and on the death of either of
them leaving no issue surviving her as well as in the case of
the issue of one of them becoming extinct, the whole of said
income shall be paid to the other if living, or if she be
dead to such of her issue by right of representation as shall
from time to time be living at the respective times of
(Emphasis added.) Thus, upon the death of either of Elizabeth
S. Haynes's daughters, the deceased daughter's share
of the income would be paid to her " issue."
[¶3] The death of Hope Manchester Wheeler in
1955 triggered the need to determine to whom her share of the
income should be paid. Through the presentation of a bill in
equity to the Supreme Judicial Court, Fiduciary petitioned
for the Court to determine whether the income should be paid
only to Hope Manchester Wheeler's biological son,
Manchester H. Wheeler, or whether the income should be ...