ATTORNEY FOR: JOHN F DEAN, THOMAS L DOUGLAS - RETAINED,
DOUGLAS MCDANIEL CAMPO & SCHOOLS LLC PA
D. Warren Justice
the court is a motion for summary judgment by plaintiff John
judgment should be granted if there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. In considering a motion for summary
judgment, the court is required to consider only the portions
of the record referred to and the material facts set forth in
the parties' Rule 56(h) statements. E.g., Johnson v.
McNeil, 2002 ME 99 ¶ 8, 800 A.2d 702. The facts
must be considered in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Id. Thus, for purposes of summary
judgment, any factual disputes must be resolved against the
movant. Nevertheless, when the facts offered by a party in
opposition to summary judgment would not, if offered at
trial, be sufficient to withstand a motion for judgment as a
matter of law, summary judgment should be granted.
Rodrigue v. Rodrigue 1997 ME 99 ¶ 8, 694 A.2d
case summary judgment turns on the principle that pro se
defendants are required to follow the Maine Rules of Civil
Procedure the same as parties represented by attorneys.
Home Snuggers Inc. is represented in this action by its
president, Mark Walker, who has certified that Home Snuggers
is a Maine corporation with five or fewer shareholders and is
therefore permitted to represent Home Snuggers in defending
this action pursuant to 4 M.R.S. § 807(3)(J).
motion for summary judgment includes a statement of material
facts (SMF) supported by an affidavit of Dean's counsel
asserting that Home Snuggers was served with a set of
Interrogatories and a Request for Production of Documents on
May 3, 2017. Dean's SMF also asserts that Home Snuggers
was served with a Request for Admissions on August 7, 2017.
As of December 26, 2017, the date that Dean's motion for
summary judgment was filed, Home Snuggers had not responded
to the request for admissions and had not responded to the
Interrogatories or the Request for Production of Documents.
Request for Admissions asked Home Snuggers to admit that it
owed commissions totaling $5108.30 and travel expenses
totaling $ 8679.00 to Dean. Pursuant to M.R. Civ.P. 36(a)
those matters were admitted by Home Snuggers when it failed
to serve written answers or objections within 30 days after
opposition to Dean's motion for summary judgment, Walker
on behalf of Home Snuggers did not file an opposing statement
of material facts pursuant to M.R.Civ.P. 56(h)(2). However,
he filed an objection to the motion, accompanied by a belated
response to the request for admissions. In his objection
Walker states that as the owner of a small business he is a
pro se defendant and cannot afford legal representation.
Walker also states that he thought he had satisfied the
request for admissions by responding to the complaint.
M.R, Civ.P. 36(b) matters admitted under Rule 36 are
conclusively established unless the court "on
motion" permits withdrawal of the admission. Walker has
not made a motion to withdraw the admissions that resulted
from his failure to file a response to the request to admit
within 30 days. Moreover, even if the belated responses
attached to his objection to summary judgment were deemed to
be an implicit motion to relieve Home Snuggers of its failure
to respond within 30 days, the court would deny that motion
because Home Snuggers, represented by Walker, did not respond
to the other discovery propounded by Dean and in most cases
has not even attempted to comply with the applicable
Snuggers appears to believe that none of the procedural rules
that apply to parties represented by lawyers apply to
self-represented parties. However, while some accommodations
may be made due to a party's pro se status, the Law Court
has consistently ruled that self-represented litigants are
afforded no special consideration in procedural matters.
Clearwater Artesian Well Co. v. LaGrandeur, 2007 ME
11 ¶ 8, 912 A.2d 1252; Dumont v. Fleet Bank,
2000 ME 197 ¶ 13, 760 A.2d 1049.
behalf of Home Snuggers, Walker has (1) failed to respond to
interrogatories and document requests,  (2) failed to
timely respond to requests for admissions, (3) failed to file
an opposing statement of material facts to the motion for
summary judgment, and (4) failed to file a motion ...