Justia Landlord - Tenant Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court
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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the summary judgment entered by the superior court ejecting Defendant from real property pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6701-7053, holding that the trial court properly entered judgment for Plaintiffs, the property owners.Plaintiffs filed a complaint seeking to eject Defendant from the property and obtain a writ of possession. The trial court granted Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment for their claim of ejectment. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the trial court (1) correctly interpreted Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6961 and the legal framework governing real actions for ejectment; (2) did not err in entering partial summary judgment for Plaintiffs granting them a writ of possession; and (3) did not err in concluding that its judgment rendered Defendant's counterclaim for declaratory judgment moot. View "Ogden v. Labonville" on Justia Law

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In this commercial forcible entry and detainer action brought by 20 Thames Street LLC and 122 PTIP LLC (collectively, 20 Thames) the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court concluding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to award lease-based attorney fees upon finding for Ocean State Job Lot of Maine 2017, LLC, holding that the superior court did not err.Ocean State rented a commercial retail space from 20 Thames. 20 Thames later filed its compliant for forcible entry and detainer, alleging that Ocean State breached the terms of its lease. The business and consumer docket found in favor of Ocean State. The court awarded Ocean State costs and $206,076 in attorney fees based on a provision in the lease. The superior route affirmed the judgment for Ocean State but vacated the attorney fee award, concluding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to award lease-based attorney fees. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6017 did not provide authority for the district court to award lease-based attorney fees. View "20 Thames Street LLC v. Ocean State Job Lot of Maine 2017, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court affirming the judgment of the district court in favor of Appellee, Appellant’s landlord, holding that Appellant’s violation of his lease in three ways that were independent from his possession of marijuana justified Appellee’s termination of the lease.Appellee issued Appellant a notice that it was terminating the parties’ lease, stating that Appellant’s use and possession of marijuana, as well as some of Appellant’s other activities, violated the terms of the parties’ lease. Appellee then filed an forcible entry and detainer complaint, and the district court entered judgment granting possession of the apartment to Appellant. Appellant appealed, arguing that because he had a certificate to use marijuana for medical purposes, Appellee and the district court were required to reasonably accommodate his possession and use of marijuana. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Appellant’s violations of his lease that were independent from his possession of marijuana, standing alone, justified Appellee’s termination of the lease. View "Sherwood Associates LP v. Jackson" on Justia Law

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Appellant appealed from the superior court’s post-judgment order awarding her attorney fees in the amount of $8,000 after a jury found Appellee liable for illegal eviction and wrongful use of civil proceedings. Appellant had requested nearly $60,000 in attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the superior court did not apply an improper standard in evaluating Appellant’s request for attorney fees and that the court’s ultimate fee award was not an abuse of discretion. The court reviewed the award of attorney fees pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6014(2)(B) for an abuse of discretion and according the trial court substantial deference. View "Sands v. Thomas" on Justia Law