Supreme Court Oral Argument Schedule & Summaries

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Sitting as the Law Court

Caution: This schedule is subject to change. The case synopses are prepared for the convenience of the public and are not to be construed as statements of the court.

Audio stream of oral arguments available.

As a service to the public, the Supreme Judicial Court provides live streaming of its oral arguments, and streaming of recordings of oral arguments for approximately two weeks after the week of arguments. To listen, go to our streaming page.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Capital Judicial Center, Augusta
9:50 a.m.
Mark Belliveau v. Janet Whelan

Attorneys: Dana E. Prescott, James B. Smith

Mark Belliveau and Janet Whelan lived as a married couple since a ceremony in 1992.  Belliveau filed a complaint for divorce, and Janet filed a counterclaim denying that there had been a lawful marriage.  The trial court agreed with Janet and dismissed the divorce.  Belliveau appeals, arguing that the trial court should have concluded that the parties were lawfully married by application of the putative spouse doctrine. 

  10:40 a.m.   Pen-18-474   Estate of Steven L. Lake

Attorneys: Anthony P. Shusta II, Edmond J. Bearor, Jonthan P. Hunter

The Probate Court removed George Lake as personal representative of the Estate of Steven Lake for failure to submit a surety bond.  Sometime later, the Probate Court issued an order on several petitions regarding the administration and distribution of the estate.  George appeals from that order, arguing that the Probate Court erred in (1) denying George’s claim for compensation as personal representative and compensation for his attorney and (2) its determination that a tractor and accessories as well as other personal property that George alleges he purchased from the decedent were not George’s property.

  11:30 a.m.   Pen-18-481   State of Maine v. Larry F. Coston II

Attorneys: Mark A. Rucci, Zachary Smith

Larry Coston II was convicted of burglary (Class C) after a jury trial and of violation of condition of release (Class E) after a bench trail.  Coston appeals from the conviction for burglary, arguing that the trial court erred in admitting in evidence recordings of phone calls that he made from jail while awaiting trial.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Capital Judicial Center, Augusta
9:50 a.m.
Richard Tranfield et al. v. Patricia Arcuni-English

Attorneys: Dana F. Strout, Joseph W. Baiungo

The Tranfields removed trees and brush from their property, diminishing the privacy of Patricia Arcuni-English’s adjoining lot.  Arcuni-English then planted a row of trees at the edge of her property that the trial court concluded constituted a spite fence.  Arcuni-English appeals, arguing that there is insufficient evidence to support the trial court’s determination that the trees constitute a spite fence.

  10:40 a.m.   Kno-18-138   State of Maine v. Randall J. Weddle

Attorneys: Jeffrey Baroody, Jeremy Pratt, Ellen Simmons, Lawrence C. Winger

Randall Weddle was convicted after a jury trial of two counts of manslaughter (Class A), two counts of OUI resulting in death (Class B), and other charges related to a traffic accident.  Weddle appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in (1) failing to suppress a blood test obtained without a warrant, (2) admitting exhibits and testimony about receipts located in Weddle’s tractor trailer, and (3) denying Weddle’s motion for a judgment of acquittal.

For this second oral argument, the Law Court has requested additional briefing on the issue of whether a blood draw performed without a warrant may be considered a reasonable search or seizure in accordance with the Fourth Amendment if (1) exigent circumstances, such as the statutorily addressed fatality are present and (2) probable cause of intoxication or impairment existed before the blood draw, but was not established until after the blood draw.