Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Litigant-unfriendly decision in Maine - Kingsbury v. Forbes (1998)

Following is a bit of the dissent from a 1998 case, which got to the Maine Supreme Court on appeal after being dismissed in a lower court. Chief Justice Daniel Wathen was in the majority who voted to dismiss Robert Forbes' appeal. 

From the dissent in that 1998 case, Kingsbury v. Forbes:

[¶ 11] A pro se party who has complied with the requirements of the rules and reasonably has placed the responsibility for the next step in the proceedings in the hands of the court, in my opinion, has demonstrated the good cause necessary to prevent dismissal pursuant to M.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Holding pro se litigants involved in small claims actions to the technical requirements of Rule 41(b) in circumstances where the court system has failed to fulfill its own responsibilities defeats the goal of providing a litigant-friendly procedure to resolve small claims disputes.   I would therefore vacate the judgment of the Superior Court.

If you go to the Findlaw website, the decision doesn't state who the dissenting judges were, but at Casetext: Smarter Legal Research it does:

DANA, Justice, with whom ROBERTS and CLIFFORD, Justices, join, dissenting.

Here's the citation given at the Casetext website: 

Kingsbury v. Forbes, 714 A.2d 149, 152 (Me. 1998)