JEFFREY W. MONROE & LINDA S. MONROE, Plaintiffs,
CARMEN CHATMAS & IMAD KHALIDI, Defendants, and MARIA C. RINALDI Party-In-Interest LARRY D. AMBERGER & JANET K. AMBERGER et al, Plaintiffs,
IMAD KHALIDI, CARMEN CHATMAS & MARIA C. RINALDI Defendants GEORGE W. FOLEY, III, Plaintiff
IMAD KHALIDI, CARMEN CHATMAS & MARIA C. RINALDI, Defendants
ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' JOINT MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Plaintiffs in these consolidated cases have moved for summary
judgment against the Defendants. In their joint motion,
Plaintiffs assert that the notices that the Defendants
recorded in Cumberland County Registry of Deeds and served on
Plaintiffs pursuant to the Maine Paper Streets Act, 23 M.R.S.
§ 3033, were premature and insufficient, and therefore
void, as a matter of law. Defendants oppose Plaintiffs'
joint motion. Oral argument was held on March 21, 2016.
on the entire record, Plaintiffs' joint motion for
summary judgment is granted.
1911, the Shore Acres Land Company recorded with the
Cumberland County Registry of Deeds, at Book 12, Page 45, a
plan for the Shore Acres subdivision in the Town of Cape
Elizabeth (the "1911 Plan"). (Pls. Supp. S.M.F.
¶ 1; Defs. Opp. S.M.F. ¶ 1; Neagle Aff. Ex. 1.) A
second subdivision plan, which Plaintiffs aver was an
"amendment" to the 1911 Plan, was recorded in 1930
at Book 19, Page 45 (the "1930 Plan"). (Pls. Supp.
S.M.F. ¶ 3; Neagle Aff. Ex. 2.)
1911 Plan shows an unlabeled way, which connects two other
ways, Surf Side Avenue and Oak Grove Road. (Neagle Aff. Ex.
1.) The unlabeled subdivision way depicted on the 1911 Plan
crosses over lots 10, 11, 12, and 13. (Id.) Lots 10
through 13 are owned by Defendants. (Defs. Opp. S.M.F.
¶¶ 60-62; Stier Aff. Ex. A.) Both the unlabeled
subdivision way and the way labeled as Surf Side Avenue are
"paper streets, " meaning dedicated but
unconstructed and unaccepted ways shown on a subdivision
plan, but not existing as streets on the face of the earth.
assert that the Unlabeled subdivision way depicted on the
1911 Plan is actually a portion of Surf Side Avenue. (Pls.
Sup. S.M.F. ¶ 2.) Plaintiffs also assert that, sometime
around 1999, this portion of Surf Side Avenue was renamed
Atlantic Place in order to clarify emergency response
addresses. (Pls. Supp. S.M.F. ¶¶ 2, 11.) Defendants
deny that the unlabeled portion was ever part of Surf Side
Avenue, and assert that part or all of Atlantic Place
consists of a private driveway that Defendants Imad Khalidi
and Maria C. Rinaldi use to access their respective homes.
(Defs. Opp. S.M.F. ¶ 2.)
2014, Defendants Carmen Chatmas and Imad Khalidi invoked the
procedure contained in the Maine Paper Streets Act ["the
Act"], in order to extinguish any interests that other
owners of lots in their subdivision might have in the
unlabeled way, pursuant to 23 M.R.S. § 3033.
the Act, to extinguish the interests of other lot owners in
the subdivision, a person claiming ownership of a paper
street must record a notice at the registry of deeds.
Id. § 3033(1). The notice must include the
names of all current owners of lots in the subdivision plan
and their mortgagees. Id. The person claiming
ownership of the paper street must also mail a copy of the
notice to all record owners and their mortgagees.
Id. Any owners of lots in the subdivision who claim
an interest in the paper street must record with the registry
of deeds a sworn statement asserting their interest within
one year of receiving the notice and must bring an action to
quiet title within 180 days of recording their statement in
order to protect their interest. Id. § 3033(2).
Otherwise, the owners of lots in the subdivision are forever
barred from asserting any interest in the paper street.
March 20, 2014, Defendant Carmen Chatmas recorded a notice
pursuant to section 3033(1) at the Cumberland County Registry
of Deeds, at Book 31398, Page 109. Defendant Chatmas recorded
a second notice on May 12, 2014, at Book 31496, Page 193. On
May 13, 2014, Defendant Khalidi also recorded a notice
pursuant to section 3033 with the Cumberland County Registry
of Deeds, at Book 31498, Page 199. (Chatmas's and
Khalidi's notices are collectively referred to as
"section SOSS(l) notices"). The notices were sent
to all owners and mortgagees of lots in the 1911
notices claim that the Defendants own portions of the
unlabeled way shown on the 1911 Plan. Each notice defines the
proposed unaccepted way in an attached and incorporated
Exhibit 1 to the notice, and defines the portion of the way
that is the subject of the notice in an attached and
incorporated Exhibit 2 to the notice. (Neagle Aff. Exs 8, 9.)
April 23, 2015, Plaintiff Jeffrey Monroe recorded two sworn
affidavits pursuant to 23 M.R.S. § 3033(2), asserting
interests in the portions of the unlabeled way described in
Defendants' notices. Plaintiffs Jeffrey and Linda Monroe
filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment of adverse
possession and to quiet title on September 9, 2015. The
Monroes filed an amended complaint on November 4*, 2015.
Larry and Janet Amberger and thirty-five other owners of lots
in the subdivision also recorded sworn affidavits pursuant to
section 3033(2). The Ambergers and other lot owners filed
their complaint to quiet title and for adverse possession on
October 27, 2015.
11, 2015, Plaintiff George Foley, III, as trustee and
personal representative of Margaret Foley, also recorded a
sworn affidavit pursuant to section 3033(2), and he filed a
complaint seeking to quiet title and for declaratory judgment
on October 29, 2015.
November 30, 2015, Mr. Foley filed a motion to consolidate
the three separate cases pursuant to Maine Rule of Civil
Procedure 42. Plaintiffs then filed their joint motion for
summary judgment on December 16, 2015. After an enlargement
of time, Defendants filed their opposition the motion for
summary on January 13, 2016. The court granted the motion to
consolidate on January 15, 2016. After additional time,
Plaintiffs filed a reply on January 27, 2016. Defendants also
sought leave to file a surreply, which Plaintiffs
assert that they are entitled to summary judgment because
Defendants' section 30SS(l) notices were void for two
reasons: (l) the proposed, unaccepted way referred to in
Defendants' section 3033 has not "deemed
vacated" pursuant to 23 M.R.S. § 3032; and (2)
Defendants failed to serve their ...