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Cutts v. Coffey
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT						Reporter of Decisions
Decision:1998 ME 172
Docket:Cum-95-607
Submitted
on Briefs:	May 15, 1998
Decided:July 14, 1998


Panel:WATHEN, C.J., and ROBERTS, CLIFFORD, RUDMAN, DANA, and SAUFLEY, JJ.





PRISCILLA J. CUTTS v. JOSEPH B. COFFEY, et al.{1}


WATHEN, C.J.

	[¶1]  Defendant Joseph B. Coffey appeals from a judgment entered in
the Superior Court (Cumberland County, Bradford, J.) in favor of plaintiff
Priscilla J. Cutts.  The judgment declared that the heirs of Byron Pride
owned certain property in Windham subject to the rights of lot owners, such
as Priscilla J. Cutts, as shown on the Plan of Mt. Hunger Shores Subdivision.
	[¶2]  We conclude that plaintiff had standing to bring this action by
virtue of her interest in the rights of way as owner of a lot in said
subdivision, see Callahan v. Ganneston Park Dev. Corp., 245 A.2d 274, 278
(Me. 1968), and we reject defendant's argument that she was required to
prove that she had a fee interest in the rights of way.  
	[¶3]  Plaintiff produced evidence that demonstrated that the personal
representative's authority to convey property on behalf of the Estate of Byron
Pride terminated one year after the personal representative filed the sworn
statement closing the estate in July, 1987.   See 18-A M.R.S.A. §§ 3-608, 3-
610(a), 3-711, and 3-1003(b) (1998).  Because the personal representative
no longer had the authority to convey the property to him by the deeds
executed in 1992 and 1993, defendant acquired no interest.  See Calthorpe
v. Abrahamson, 441 A.2d 284, 287 (Me. 1982).  Further, his argument that
he was a bona fide purchaser is without merit, see 18-A M.R.S.A. § 3-714
(1998), and his equitable estoppel argument was not preserved.
	[¶4]  It is necessary, however, to clarify the court's declaration to
reflect proper terminology and intent.  The record reveals that Byron Pride
died testate.  His   ownership, therefore, devolved to the devisees under the
will and not to his heirs as if he died intestate.  See 18-A M.R.S.A. § 3-101
(1998).  Moreover, the court's declaration of ownership is necessarily
confined to a determination of the rights as between the parties to this
litigation.
	The entry is: 
Judgment modified in accordance with
the directions herein, and, as so
modified, affirmed.

Attorney for plaintiff: Terry N. Snow, P.A. P O Box 275 Cumberland Center, ME 04021-0275 Attorney for defendant: Ralph W. Brown, Esq. 13 Candlewyck Road Portland, ME 04102
FOOTNOTES******************************** {1} The other defendants and parties-in-interest did not appeal.