ROWLAND S. WHITTET
DANIEL C. WHITTET
Submitted On Briefs: June 29, 2017
Rowland S. Whittet, appellant pro se.
F. Levenseler, Esq., and Edward M. Collins, Esq., Hanscom,
Collins & Hall, PA, Rockland, for appellee Daniel C.
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and
REPORTER OF DECISIONS
Rowland S. Whittet appeals from a judgment of the Superior
Court (Knox County, Stokes, /.) granting a permanent
injunction and authorizing, pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 66, a
special master to proceed with the sale of a parcel of real
estate located in Rockport. Our review in this appeal is
limited to the court's orders of December 15 and 22,
2016, and Daniel C. Whittet's motion, filed in this
appeal, for sanctions.
Because Rowland (1) has failed to provide transcripts of the
relevant proceedings or a substitute to allow for adequate
appellate review, (2) mounts untimely challenges to earlier
decisions of the trial court not at issue in this appeal, and
(3) has made no argument as to why the court erred in issuing
the December 2016 orders, we affirm the judgment. See
Springer v. Springer, 2009 ME 118, ¶¶ 7-8, 984
A.2d 828 (stating that where there is an inadequate record to
review, we are "bound to accept the court's factual
findings and to assume that they are supported by sufficient
competent evidence in the record"); Holland v.
Sebunya, 2000 ME 160, ¶ 9 n.6, 759 A.2d 205
("The failure to mention an issue in the brief or at
argument is construed as either an abandonment or a failure
to preserve that issue.").
Pursuant to M.R. App. P. 13(f), we may award costs, expenses,
or attorney fees as a sanction for appeals that are
"frivolous, contumacious, or instituted primarily for
the purpose of delay." "Sanctions are appropriate
in egregious cases, " namely when a party seeks relief
"with no reasonable likelihood of prevailing, "
thereby increasing litigation costs and wasting time and
resources. Estate of Dineen, 2006 ME 108, ¶ 8,
904 A.2d 417 (quotation marks omitted). "To support a
finding of frivolousness, some degree of fault is required,
but the fault need not be a wicked or subjectively reckless
state of mind; rather, an individual must, at the very least,
be culpably careless to commit a violation." Lincoln
v. Burbank, 2016 ME 138, ¶ 46, 147 A.3d 1165
(quotation marks omitted).
Rowland's opposition to the motion for sanctions, filed
one day late, contains arguments and unsupported allegations
with little apparent relevance to either the motion for
sanctions or the merits of the appeal. In a 2013 judgment,
the trial court proposed several contingent dispositions of
the real estate to sensibly resolve this protracted dispute
between the parties. Despite a number of court decisions to
the contrary, including a 2016 finding of contempt,
Rowland continues to maintain that he has complied with the
2013 judgment and is entitled to full, unencumbered ownership
of the disputed property. His subjective belief is belied by
the numerous decisions that have rejected the same meritless
claims and arguments that he continues to make in this
appeal-claims and arguments that have effectively
delayed enforcement of the 2013 judgment and wasted time and
resources. See Lincoln, 2016 ME 138, ¶ 46 &
n.8, 147 A.3d 1165; Harriman v. Border Tr. Co., 2004
ME 28, ¶¶ 6-7, 842 A.2d 1266 (sanctioning party for
pursuing duplicative and vexatious litigation for the
purposes of harassment and delay). We accordingly impose a
sanction of attorney fees and treble costs. See M.R.
App. P. 13(f). Daniel C. Whittet will be awarded attorney
fees in the amount of $4, 517.00 and treble costs in the
amount of $216.24 for a total award of $4, 733.24.
C. Whittet's motion for sanctions is granted. He is
hereby awarded attorney fees and treble costs in the amount
of $4, 733.24.