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Hughes Bros. v. A & M Contactors
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT					Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	1999 ME 175
Docket:	Pen-99-201	
Submitted
on Briefs:	November 17, 1999
Decided:	November 24, 1999

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


HUGHES BROS., INC. v. A & M CONTRACTORS, INC. et al.

PER CURIAM
	
	[¶1]  Hughes Bros. appeals from a judgment of the Superior Court
(Penobscot County, Mead, J.), affirming a judgment of the District Court
(Bangor, Russell, J.), which awarded damages to be recovered from the
defaulted A & M Contractors, Inc., but declined to find the corporate
principals individually liable for the corporation's debt to Hughes Bros.  On
appeal Hughes Bros. contends that the court erroneously interpreted certain
evidence and that a finding of liability of the principals was compelled by the
evidence.  
	[¶2]  Hughes Bros., as plaintiff, had the burden of proving those facts
necessary to its claim.  See Dowley v. Morency, 1999 ME 137, ¶ 11, 737
A.2d 1061, 1066.  To prevail on appeal from adverse findings of fact, a party
with the burden of proof must demonstrate that a finding in its favor was
compelled by the record.  See Schlear v. James Newspapers, Inc., 1998 ME
215, ¶ 3, 717 A.2d 917, 918.  A review of the record fully supports the
result reached by the District Court and does not compel a contrary
determination that the principals were liable.  At several points, during the
course of the hearing, the trial court commented on the inadequacies of the
evidence presented to it.  Considering the state of the record and the fact
that Hughes Bros. had the burden of proof, there is no real issue on appeal.
	[¶3]  Pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 76(f), we may award treble costs and
reasonable expenses when an appeal is frivolous.  See Worrey v. Fournier,
1999 ME 78, ¶ 7, 729 A.2d 907, 909.  We award such costs when the
appeal "is obviously without any merit and has been taken with no
reasonable likelihood of prevailing, and results in delayed implementation of
the judgment of the lower court; increased costs of litigation; and
dissipation of the time and resources of the Law Court."  See Brooks v. Town
of N. Berwick, 1998 ME 146, ¶ 12, 712 A.2d 1050, 1054 (quoting Auburn
Harpswell Ass'n v. Day, 438 A.2d 234, 238-39 (Me. 1981)).  Because this
appeal is frivolous and taken with no reasonable likelihood of success, we
find it to be a serious misuse of the process and order appellant, or its
counsel, to pay to Charles Adams, the only defendant who participated in the
appeal, treble costs plus $500 toward his counsel fees.  See Worry, ¶ 7, 729
A.2d at 909; Voignier v. Bittner, 609 A.2d 709, 710 (Me. 1992); see also
M.R. Civ. P. 76(f).
	The entry is: 

Judgment affirmed. Treble costs and
counsel fees in the amount of $500 shall
be paid by appellant or its counsel to
defendant, Charles Adams.

Attorneys for plaintiff: Christopher R. Largay, Esq. Joseph M Pickering, Esq. Largay Law Offcies, P.A. 193 State Street Bangor, ME 04401 Attorney for defendant: Frank B. Walker, Esq. P O Box 29 Ellsworth, ME 04605