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Vogt v. Churchill
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
Reporter of Decisions
Decision: 1997 ME 5
Submitted on briefs December 20, 1997
Decided January 7, 1997
PANEL: ROBERTS, GLASSMAN, RUDMAN, DANA, and LIPEZ, JJ.
WATHEN, C.J. and CLIFFORD, J. did not participate
NANCY CHURCHILL, et al.
[¶1] James Vogt appeals from the decision of the Superior Court (Lincoln
County, Brodrick, J.) denying his motion for joinder of claims, and from
the entry of a summary judgment (Fritzsche, J.) in favor of his ex-wife,
Nancy Churchill, and her attorney, Elizabeth Scheffee, after he sued them
for defamation. The trial court did not err in finding that the defendants
were entitled to an absolute privilege for statements made in the course
of a judicial proceeding, Dineen v. Daughan, 381 A.2d 663, 664-65 (Me. 1978),
and a conditional privilege which was not abused for statements made outside
the judicial proceeding, Rippett v. Bemis, 672 A.2d 82, 87 (Me. 1996). Further,
the court did not abuse its discretion in treating Vogt's motion for a joinder
of claims as a motion to amend his complaint and denying the motion as untimely.
Smith v. S.A.D. No. 58, 582 A.2d 247, 249 (Me. 1990).<p>
[¶2] Because Vogt's appeal is frivolous or instituted primarily for
the purpose of delay, we impose sanctions pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 76(f).
We order Vogt to pay treble costs to both Churchill and Scheffee, and we
further order him to pay each party $1000 towards their attorney fees.
The entry is: Judgment affirmed. James Vogt ordered to pay treble costs
and attorney fees of $1000 to each defendant.
James W. Vogt, Pro Se
RR1 - 95A
Alfred, Maine 04002
Attorneys for Defendants:
David L. Herzer, Jr., Esq.
Mark G. Lavoie, Esq.
NORMAN, HANSON & DeTROY
4l5 Congress Street
P. O. Box 4600
Portland, Maine 04112-4600
Thomas R. McKeon, Esq.
RICHARDSON, WHITMAN, LARGE & BADGER
465 Congress Street
P. O. Box 9545
Portland, Maine 04112-9545