Lincoln County Superior Court

Justice OKs extension in Sheepscot Harbour case

Mediation Oct. 20
Posted:  Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 4:00pm
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Five properties associated with the Sheepscot Harbour Village complex at Eddy Road and Route 1 in Edgecomb were slated for a real estate auction sale in October. The properties are the Sheepscot Harbour Village Development LLC, Sheepscot Village Rental Center LLC, Sheepscot Pool House LLC, Sheepscot Golf LLC, and Sheepscot Village Venue Center LLC. Signs advertising the auction dates of Oct. 17 and 18 were posted at the properties early this week.

The plaintiffs, Maine Real Estate Network and Michael C. Rogers, filed a motion for an extended deadline of 45 days from the original deadline of Oct. 2, to allow time for a mediated settlement. The request was entered into the court documents Monday. The plaintiffs and the defendants – the LLC’s – had already engaged a mediator, Jerrol A. Crouter. Justice Daniel Billings granted the extension. The mediation is Oct. 20, according to court documents.

The case involves a mechanic’s lien brought by Maine Real Estate Network and Michael C. Rogers for $91,100, allegedly for real estate brokerage services. A mechanic’s lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real and personal property. As part of the planned sale, both real estate and personal property were scheduled for auction, but it is unclear if the sale will now proceed on schedule. 

A call and an email to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Frank K.N. Chowdry of Chowdry Chartered, LLC, were not immediately returned; the defendants’ attorney, Gerald B. Skofield, declined to comment pending discussion with his clients. According to a Keenan Auction Company representative on Tuesday, the auction remained scheduled.

In court documents, the defendants said the amount of the funds demanded on the lien was “fabricated by the plaintiffs” and denied that the lien was valid in any case, because the third count of the allegation failed to state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted. The defendants alleged the plaintiff was in violation of state law and, due to plaintiffs’ “unclean hands,” the defendants could not be expected to pay. The laws the defendants’ claim the plaintiffs were in violation of, 32 MRSA 13171 and 32 MRSA 13177-A, relate to what a real estate brokerage agency is, and what a brokerage contract requires.

A contract must include the client’s signature, the terms and conditions of the services to be provided, the method or amount of compensation to be paid, the date the contract will expire, and a statement that the agreement creates an agency-client relationship, according to state statutes. The law also states a brokerage agreement may not be enforced if the client engages another real estate firm after the expiration date. After the agreement expires, any provision to extend a brokerage agency’s right to a fee can run no longer than six months.