ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DISMISS
MaryGay Kennedy justice, Superior Court.
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss
Lori Baillargeon and Defendant Gary Baillargeon married in
1991. In 2014, Plaintiff and Defendant began divorce
proceedings in Lewiston District Court. On September 29,
2014, after the divorce proceedings had begun, Plaintiff
brought this action in the Superior Court for assault and
battery, intentional or negligent infliction of emotional
distress, and malice. Defendant filed a counterclaim on
November 3, 2014 asserting counts of abuse of process,
interference with an advantageous relationship, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, and defamation. On November
10, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Dismiss Defendant's
Standard of Review
review of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court accepts the facts alleged in the complaint as true.
Saunders v. Tisher, 2006 ME 94, ¶ 8, 902 A.2d
830. The Court "examine[s] the complaint in the light
most favorable to plaintiff to determine whether it sets
forth elements of a cause of action or alleges facts that
would entitle the plaintiff to relief pursuant to some legal
theory." Doe v. Graham, 2009 ME 88,
¶ 2, 977 A.2d 391 (quoting Saunders, 2006 ME
94, ¶ 8, 902 A.2d 830). "For a court to properly
dismiss a claim for failure to state a cause of action, it
must appear 'beyond doubt that [the] plaintiff is
entitled to no relief under any set of facts that might be
proven in support of the claim.'" Dragomir v.
Spring Harbor Hosp., 2009 ME 51, ¶ 15, 970 A.2d 310
(quoting Plimpton v. Gerrard, 668 A.2d 882, 885 (Me.
moves the Court for dismissal of Defendant's Counterclaim
on the basis that all claims alleged are barred by the
doctrine of spousal immunity. The doctrine of spousal
immunity holds that no cause of action arises from tortious
conduct committed between spouses during a marriage.
Abbott v. Abbott, 67 Me. 304, 305-06 (1877). The
purpose of spousal immunity is the "preservation of
domestic peace and felicity." Bedell v. Reagan,
159 Me. 292, 296, 192 A.2d 24 (Me. 1963). However, the Law
Court has found that spousal immunity is not to be applied
where doing so would produce injustice. Id. at 297;
MacDonald v. MacDonald, 412 A.2d 71, 75 (Me. 1980)
("the general rule of tort law that one person injured
by the tortious conduct of another person may maintain a
civil action to recover damages from the tortfeasor is not
rendered inapplicable solely because the injured person and
the tortfeasor were husband and wife when the tort was
determining whether application of the doctrine of spousal
immunity would produce injustice, "the court should
examine the policy reasons advocated for the immunity and how
those policy reasons relate to the strong general principle
of Maine law that there should be no wrong without a
remedy." Smith v. LaMontagne, 1982 Me. Super.
LEXIS 56, *3 (Me. Super. Ct. Oct. 25, 1982). Stated another
way, the Court must make a ruling as to whether the
complained of conduct is considered to be "privileged or
not tortious" between spouses, even if the conduct would
be considered differently between individuals with no spousal
ties. MacDonald v. MacDonald, 412 A.2d 71, 75 n. 5
Henricksen v. Cameron, the Law Court applied this
reasoning to a claim for intentional infliction of emotional
distress for physical and verbal abuse committed during a
The issue before us then, is whether physical violence
accompanied by verbal abuse that was intended to inflict
emotional distress is, by virtue of the mutual concessions
implicit in marriage, privileged or not tortious because the
parties were married to each other when that violence
occurred. We hold that it is not so privileged.
Henricksen v. Cameron, 622 A.2d 1135, 1138 (Me.
1993). The Court analyzes each claim put forth by Defendant
according to this reasoning.
Abuse of Process
has brought a claim for abuse of process. Abuse of process
may be found where a plaintiff has alleged "the use of
process in a manner improper in the regular conduct of the
proceeding and the existence of an ulterior motive."
Potter, Prescott, Jamieson & Nelson, P.A. v.
Campbell,1998 ME 70, ¶ 7, 708 A.2d 283, 286 (Me.
1998). "Regular use of process can not constitute abuse,
even though the user was actuated by a wrongful motive,
purpose or intent." Saliem v. Glovsky, 132 Me.
402, 406, 172 A. 4, 6 (Me. 1934). In the current case,
Defendant has failed to set out the elements of abuse of
process. Instead, Defendant has asserted that Plaintiff was
motivated to bring suit in order to gain leverage in the
underlying divorce proceeding and/or to cause professional
injury and embarrassment to Defendant. Defendant has not pled
that there is no underlying legal basis for the action. The
Court grants Plaintiff's Motion to ...