ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
I. BILLINGS, JUSTICE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
1975, Virginia Watson, Plaintiff's mother, approached
George Bowker, Defendant, about purchasing a piece of real
estate on which to place a trailer. (Compl. ¶¶
6-7). Defendant agreed to sell Ms. Watson a four-acre parcel
for $4, 500. (Compl. ¶ 8). Ms. Watson attempted to pay
Defendant, who refused to accept her money, telling her that
she should use it for her family. (Compl. ¶¶
10-11). Ms. Watson attempted to pay Defendant "on
numerous occasions" over the years, and Defendant
continually refused, saying they would "settle up
later." (Compl. ¶ 15). In the early 1980's, Ms.
Watson's oldest son approached Defendant on several
occasions to pay him for the land, and Defendant similarly
refused. (Compl. ¶ 16).
between the 1980's and 1998, Defendant sold to other
persons three of the four acres that he had agreed to sell to
Ms. Watson. (Compl. ¶¶ 17, 20). It is
Plaintiff's belief that Defendant's refusal to deed
the land to Plaintiff's mother allowed him to avoid
subdivision regulation in selling off those other three
acres. (Compl. ¶ 18).
Ms. Watson's death in 1998, Plaintiff was the sole heir
to the land promised by Defendant, and succeeded to any
rights in it held by Ms. Watson. (Compl. ¶¶ 20-22).
November 5, 2007, Plaintiff gave, and Defendant accepted, a
$2, 000 payment towards the land. (Compl. ¶¶
23-24). In the following months, Plaintiff gave, and
Defendant accepted, two other payments of $500 each. (Compl.
2007, Defendant has acknowledged the pending land transaction
and told Plaintiff that that he would "get that cleaned
up" or "take care of that land" or "deed
over that land" soon. (Compl. ¶ 27). Plaintiff
relied on these statements and had no reason to question
Defendant's intention to honor the deal. (Compl.
¶¶ 28-29). Although Defendant was known for making
"loose, unwritten land deals on a regular basis"
because "he liked to work in cash and without the
confines of a written agreement," Plaintiff believed
that Defendant had always intended to close the deal. (Compl.
¶ 19, 30).
March 2017, Defendant told Plaintiff he was dying and wanted
to take care of the land deal. (Compl. ¶¶ 31).
Later that month, Plaintiff visited Defendant at his home,
where both parties agreed that Defendant would deed the land
to Plaintiff for $1. (Compl. ¶¶ 32-34). The deed
was never delivered. (Compl. ¶ 36). In July, Defendant
was declared incompetent and his conservator, and
Co-Defendant, refused to complete the transaction. (Compl.
¶¶ 3, 4, 36).
commenced this action to compel specific performance and
other relief. Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's
Complaint pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Standard of Review
motion to dismiss pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6)
"tests the legal sufficiency of the allegations in the
complaint, not the sufficiency of the evidence the plaintiffs
are able to present." Barnes v. McGough, 623
A.2d 144, 145 (Me. 1993) (internal citations omitted). The
court shall "consider the facts in the complaint as if
they were admitted." Bonney v. Stephens Mem.
Hosp., 2011 ME 46, ¶ 16, 17 A.3d 123, 127. The
complaint is viewed "in the light most favorable to the
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."
Id. (quoting Sounders v. Tisher, 2006 ME
94, ¶ 8, 902 A.2d 830, 832). "Dismissal is
warranted when it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff
is not entitled to relief under any set of facts that he
might prove in support of his claim." Id.
makes multiple arguments in his Motion regarding whether
Plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief may be
granted. A decision on the application of the statute of
limitations is determinative, therefore a discussion on the
other arguments is not necessary.
Complaint contains three counts: breach of contract, fraud,
and violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act (5
M.R.S. § 205-A, et seq.). (Compl. ¶¶ 37-53).
Each of these has a six-year statute of ...