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.

Maietta Enterprises, Inc. v. Town of Baldwin

Superior Court of Maine

June 26, 2017

MAIETTA ENTERPRISES, INC., Plaintiff
v.
TOWN OF BALDWIN, Defendant

          ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS AND MOTION TO SPECIFY FUTURE COURSE OF PROCEEDINGS

          Nancy Mills Justice, Superior Court.

         On January 12, 2017, plaintiff Maietta Enterprises, Inc. appealed defendant Town of Baldwin's denial of plaintiff's appeal of a stop work order and notice of violation (NOV). In addition to his Rule 80B appeal, plaintiff alleges causes of action for quiet title (count II), declaratory judgment (count III), and breach of contract (count IV). On January 20, plaintiff filed a motion to specify the future course of proceedings requesting that the 80B appeal be stayed pending resolution of counts II through IV of the complaint. Defendant opposes this motion, moves to dismiss counts II through IV, [1] and requests the court sanction plaintiff, in the form of reasonable attorney fees, for filing unrelated, meritless claims in order to delay the 80B appeal. For the following reasons, defendant's motion to dismiss is denied, the independent claims will proceed pursuant to an expedited scheduling order, a Rule 80B notice and briefing schedule will issue at the time judgment is entered on counts II, III, and IV, and defendant's request for sanctions is denied.

         1. Factual Background

         Plaintiff is the owner of real property located at 1074 Pequawket Trail in West Baldwin, Maine. (Compl. ¶ 3.) In 1989, defendant issued plaintiff a conditional use permit to operate a gravel pit at the property. (Id. ¶ 4.) That permit was amended by agreement between the parties on or about April 21, 1992 (conditional use permit"). (Id.)

         A. Count I: Rule 80B Appeal

         In 2016, defendant commissioned TRC Environmental, Inc. to carry out a survey of the property and review the conditional use permit. (Id. ¶ 5.) TRC issued a report in August 2016 that included a disclaimer that the report should not be used as a basis for any enforcement action. (Id.) Despite this disclaimer, the defendant's Code Enforcement Officer relied upon the report and issued the NOV on September 1, 2016 and ordered plaintiff to immediately cease all work at the property. (Id. ¶ 6.) The NOV provided that plaintiff's gravel pit was not in compliance with the conditional use permit and ordered plaintiff to take specific remedial actions. (Id.) The NOV identified three alleged violations of the conditional use permit: 1) the presence of objectionable material at the property; 2) an insufficient stockpile of excavated loam at the property; and 3) a failure to reclaim each phase of the approved excavation before proceeding with the next phase. (Id. ¶7.)

         Plaintiff filed a timely appeal of the NOV to the defendant's Board of Appeals. (Id. ¶ 8.) Following a public hearing, the Board denied plaintiff's appeal. (Id.¶ 9.)

         Plaintiff contends the denial of its appeal was based upon an erroneous interpretation and application of 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4353 and the defendant's Land Use Ordinance. (Id. ¶ 11.) Plaintiff further alleges the denial of its appeal was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and unsupported by substantial evidence in the record. (Id., ¶12.)

         B. Count II: Quiet Title and Count III: Declaratory Judgment

         Plaintiff alleges the defendant recorded tax lien certificates against plaintiff, as owner of the property, in the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds on July 24, 2014, July 16, 2015, and July 12, 2016. (Compl. ¶¶ 14-16.) Plaintiff claims it holds an apprehension that defendant may claim some right, title, or interest in the property adverse to plaintiff despite the defendant's failure to comply with the statutory requirements in 36 M.R.S. §§ 942-43 to effectuate foreclosure of the tax liens. (Id. ¶¶ 17-18.) Plaintiff seeks a declaration that it is the rightful owner of the property, free and clear of any claims of ownership by defendant. (Id. ¶¶ 18-20.)

         C. Count IV: Breach of Contract

         Plaintiff alleges that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine. (Id. ¶ 22.) Plaintiff states that it filed a Debtors' Joint Plan of Reorganization (plan) dated April 7, 2011 with the Bankruptcy Court and the plan was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on May 18, 2011 (confirmation order). (Id. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff alleges that the plan constitutes a contractual obligation between plaintiff and the parties to the plan, including defendant. (Id. ¶ 24.) Plaintiff asserts that the plan and confirmation order provide that any person or entity holding claims against plaintiff prior to the effective date of the plan confirmation is "permanently enjoined" from, among other things, "commencing or continuing in any manner, directly or indirectly, any action or other proceeding" or "creating, perfecting, or enforcing, directly or indirectly, any lien or encumbrance of any kind" against plaintiff or any property owned by plaintiff. (Id. 5 25.)

         The language of the plan, attached as Exhibit A to the complaint, provides, in pertinent part:

[A]ll persons and entities who have held, currently hold or may hold Claims against or interests in the Debtors or the Consolidated Estate that arose prior to the Effective Date (including, but not limited to, states and other governmental units...) are permanently enjoined from: (i) commencing or continuing in any manner, directly or indirectly, any action or other proceeding against any Protected Party or any property of any Protected Party; (ii) enforcing, attaching, executing, collecting, or recovering in any manner, directly or indirectly, any judgment, award, decree, or order against any Protected Party or any property of any Protected Party; (iii) creating, perfecting, or enforcing, directly or indirectly, any lien or encumbrance of any kind against any Protected Party or any property of any Protected Party; (iv) asserting or effecting, directly or indirectly, any setoff, right of subrogation, or recoupment of any kind against any obligation due to any Protected Party or any property of any Protected Party; and (v) any act, in any manner, in any place whatsoever, that does not conform to, comply with, or is ...

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.