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Hall v. Camden Hills Farm by Sea, LLC

Supreme Court of Maine

July 11, 2017

KEVIN R. HALL
v.
CAMDEN HILLS FARM BY THE SEA, LLC

          On Briefs June 14, 2017

          Steven C. Peterson, Esq., West Rockport, for appellant Camden Hills Farm by the Sea, LLC

          Susan C. Thiem, Esq., Law Office of Susan C. Thiem, Lincolnville, for appellee Kevin R. Hall

          Panel ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         [¶1] Camden Hills Farm by the Sea, LLC (Camden Hills), appeals from a judgment of the District Court (Rockland, Worth, J.) granting a summary judgment to Kevin R. Hall in his foreclosure action pursuant to 14 M.R.S. §6321 (2016). On appeal, Camden Hills contends that the District Court should have dismissed Halls second foreclosure action as barred by res judicata. Because Camden Hills disregarded the explicit requirements of M.R. App. P. 8, addressing organization and the order in which documents are to appear in the appendix to the briefs, we do not reach the merits and dismiss the appeal.

         I. CASE HISTORY

         [¶2] In April 2013, Kevin R. Hall filed an amended complaint for foreclosure against Camden Hills on two sets of notes and mortgages on residential property located in Camden. By a judgment entered in May 2014, the Superior Court (Knox County, Hjelm, J.) denied Halls claim for foreclosure and entered judgment for Camden Hills, concluding that Hall had failed to give Camden Hills sufficient notice of right to cure. See 14 M.R.S. § 6111 (2016). Hall appealed, and we affirmed the judgment. Hall v. Ferrell, Mem-15-22 (Mar. 17, 2015).

         [¶3] On July 7, 2014, Hall filed a second complaint for foreclosure against Camden Hills in the District Court (Rockland).[1] The complaint alleged that Camden Hills was "presently in default on the notes, having violated the due on sale or transfer clause of the notes and having failed to make payment in full of all monies owed upon the transfer of ownership." The complaint listed amounts due on six terms of the notes and mortgages, including two promissory notes, two sets of interest, legal fees and costs, and property taxes.[2] Camden Hills was served the summons and complaint in August 2014.

         [¶4] Camden Hills filed an answer denying the substantive allegations in the complaint and asserting affirmative defenses, including res judicata.

         [¶5] The parties then engaged in some discovery and procedural motion practice, and, in May 2015, Hall filed a motion for summary judgment seeking a foreclosure judgment. See M.R. Civ. P. 56(j). Camden Hills did not file a timely opposition or objection to Halls motion for summary judgment. See M.R. Civ. P. 7(c)(2), 56(c).

         [¶6] While the motion for summary judgment was pending, the trial court ordered the parties to submit written arguments on the applicability and impact, if any, of our opinion in U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Tannenbaum, 2015 ME 141, 126 A.3d 734, issued on November 5, 2015. Hall filed a written argument, and Camden Hills filed a motion to dismiss. The motion to dismiss alleged that the first foreclosure action was decided by a final judgment involving the same parties and the same cause of action and, therefore, the second foreclosure action was barred by res judicata. Camden Hills attached the judgment from the first foreclosure to its motion to dismiss, but did not attach any of the orders that were incorporated by reference into that judgment. Hall filed an objection to the motion arguing that the motion was untimely and misapplied the principles of Tannenbaum because Halls complaint alleged new conduct.

         [¶7] On May 25, 2016, the court held a nontestimonial hearing on Halls motion for summary judgment and Camden Hillss motion to dismiss. During the hearing, Camden Hills acknowledged that "if the Court decides that the res judicata analysis isnt valid, then probably there are no factual issues, and probably the summary judgment would come into play."

         [¶8] By judgment dated September 15, 2016, the court denied Camden Hillss motion to dismiss and granted Halls motion for summary judgment.

         [¶9] Camden Hills filed this timely appeal. See 14 M.R.S. ยง 1901 (2016); M.R. App. P. 2(b)(3). On January 18, 2017, Hall filed a motion to dismiss in this Court arguing that Camden Hillss appendix did not comply with M.R. App. P. 8 because it was not in the proper order and contained documents that were not a part of the trial court record, including two court orders from the first foreclosure action dated April 2, 2013, and December 13, 2013. Hall also argued that Camden Hillss brief contained numerous defects. On ...


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