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Psonak v. Roberts
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT					Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	1999 ME 171
Docket:	Yor-99-200	
on Briefs:	October 28, 1999
Decided:	November 23, 1999


Raymond, Psonak et al. v. PETER ROBERTS et al.


	[¶1]  Raymond, Psonak and Janet Rita, Psonak appeal the grant of a
summary judgment by the Superior Court (York County, Perkins, A.R.J.)  to
Peter and Patricia Roberts in an action for ejectment brought by the Psonaks
against the Robertses.  The Psonaks claim a right to possession of a
residential property located at 27 Date Street, Old Orchard Beach.  The
Psonaks argue that the court erred in granting a summary judgment to the
Robertses.  We affirm, and because we find that the Psonaks' appeal is
frivolous and without merit, we impose sanctions of $500.
	[¶2]  The Psonaks acquired the parcel of property located at 27 Date
Street in August 1987.  In March and November 1992, the Psonaks
executed and delivered two mortgage deeds to Saco & Biddeford Savings
Institution to secure two promissory notes.  The Psonaks subsequently
defaulted on the notes, and Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution brought an
action for foreclosure of the mortgages.  Although they refused service of
process in the action because of the failure to include commas in their
names, the Psonaks appeared in the foreclosure action and filed several
motions.  The court entered a judgment of foreclosure and sale, and denied
the Psonaks' motion for post-judgment relief.  The Psonaks did not appeal.
	[¶3]  The property was sold at auction to Timothy Madden who sold it
to the Robertses.  The Psonaks then brought an action for ejectment against
the Robertses.{1}  Contesting the Psonaks' claim, the Robertses made a
motion for a summary judgment accompanied by a statement of undisputed
material facts.  Although the Psonaks filed several motions, they failed to file
a statement of disputed material facts in response to the Robertses'
statement of undisputed facts.  Additionally, the Psonaks did not respond to
the Robertses' request for admissions.  The court granted a summary
judgment for the Robertses finding no genuine issue of material fact.
	[¶4]  "[A] party is entitled to a summary judgment if there is no
genuine issue of material fact and that party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law."  Chadwick-BaRoss, Inc. v. T. Buck Constr., Inc., 627 A.2d
532, 534 (Me. 1994) (citations omitted).  Because the Psonaks failed to file a
statement of disputed facts or respond to the Robertses' request for
admissions, all of those facts are deemed admitted.  See M.R. Civ. P. 7(d)(2)
& 36(a); Biette v. Scott Dugas Trucking and Excavating, Inc., 676 A.2d 490,
494 (Me. 1996); Diversified Communications, Inc. v. Godard, 549 A.2d 362,
363 (Me. 1988).  Therefore, the undisputed facts are that the Psonaks were
defendants in a foreclosure action, judgment was entered against them, they
did not appeal, the property was sold at auction, and subsequently sold to
the Robertses who are the current owners.
	[¶5]  To avoid a judgment as a matter of law for the Robertses, the
Psonaks had to establish a prima facie case for each element of their claim. 
See Rippert v. Bemis, 672 A.2d 82, 85 (Me. 1996).  In order to establish a
prima facie case in a real action to recover an estate in real property (the
equivalent of the Psonaks' action for ejectment), plaintiffs must show that
they have both the title to which they lay claim and a right of entry.  See
Strout v. Gammon, 629 A.2d 43, 45 (Me. 1993); Lewien v. Cohen, 432 A.2d
800, 802 (Me. 1981).  The undisputed and admitted facts do not establish a
prima facie case with respect to either the Psonaks' claim of title or their
claim of a right of entry.  The court did not err in granting a summary
judgment to the Robertses.  Cf. Commissioner of Human Servs. v. Waldoboro
Water Co., 1999 ME 36, ¶ 12, 724 A.2d 622, 624.
	[¶6]  Additionally, if the Psonaks are to avail themselves of the benefits
of the legal system, they are required to abide by its rules, notwithstanding
their warning that they intended to do otherwise.{2}  We find their appeal
following the court's grant of a summary judgment to be frivolous and
without merit.  Consequently, we impose sanctions in the amount of $500 to
be paid by the Psonaks to the Robertses pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 76(f).
	The entry is:
Judgment affirmed with sanctions against the
appellants in the amount of $500.

For the appellants: Raymond, Psonak Janet Rita, Psonak General Delivery Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064 Attorney for appellees: Joel C. Martin, Esq. Petruccelli & Martin 50 Monument Square P.O. Box 9733 Portland, Maine 04104-5033
FOOTNOTES******************************** {1} . Although the Psonaks failed to cite the statute in their complaint, they brought the equivalent of the statutory real action at law to recover an estate in real property. See 14 M.R.S.A. § 6701 (1980); see also Lewien v. Cohen, 432 A.2d 800, 802 (Me. 1981). {2} . In their initial complaint, the Psonaks stated the following: Plaintiffs will not be using any of the rules of court in processing this complaint. This is a total at law action [sic], and plaintiffs cannot use any of the rules of court in that [sic] they are copyrighted to the English Bar Guild to which plaintiffs have not been given waiver of prosecution for their use.