SOCIETY OF LLOYD'S, Plaintiff v. ALAN LOUIS BAKER, Defendant
Civil Action Docket No. CV-93-447
SUPERIOR COURT OF MAINE, PENOBSCOT COUNTY
1995 Me. Super. LEXIS 144
April 14, 1995, Decided
April 14, 1995, Filed and EnteredCOUNSEL:
[*1] For Plaintiff: RUDMAN & WINCHELL, BANGOR, ME, BY: BARBARA CARDONE, ESQ.
For Defendant: Eaton, Peabody, Bradford & Veague, Bangor, Maine, BY: Bernard J. Kubetz, Esq.JUDGES:
Donald G. Alexander, Justice, Superior Court.OPINIONBY:
Donald G. AlexanderOPINION: ORDER
This matter is before the Court on four motions:
1. Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment;
2. Plaintiff's Motion to Remove from the Jury Trial List;
3. Defendant's Motion for Leave to Amend Affirmative Defenses; and
4. Defendant's Motion for Stay of Enforcement Action.
The action was initiated by Lloyd's to attempt to enforce a Judgment obtained in English Courts.
As discussed with counsel on the record during argument of the motions, Mr. Baker has raised a number of objections to the English Judgment. He contends that because the English Judgment was obtained by fraud in that the underlying contracts were, he alleges, fraudulently obtained, the English Courts lacked personal jurisdiction over him, and consequently this Court lacks authority to enforce the Judgment against him. In his argument, however, Mr. Baker confuses issues of fraud in obtaining judgment which could be a basis to attack personal jurisdiction--such [*2] as fraud in asserting that service had been completed,--with the type of fraud which might be a defense to the underlying action had it been properly asserted in the English Courts.
The record establishes, without dispute as to material fact, that a default judgment was rendered against Mr. Baker by a Court with both subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction over the Defendant. The record further establishes that Mr. Baker was provided with adequate notice of the judicial proceedings in England and had an opportunity to be heard during those proceedings, by service of process in-hand by a Penobscot County Deputy Sheriff, in accordance with the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
Mr. Baker is really asserting, as defenses to this enforcement action, matters which should have and could have been asserted as defenses to the English action had he not defaulted on it. The proper forum for litigation of such claims is the English Courts. While other challenges to similar contracts are pending in the English Courts, it does not appear that Mr. Baker has even made an effort to reopen the English action to assert his claimed affirmative defenses. However, whether or not Mr. Baker [*3] has made an effort to reopen the English action is irrelevant to the jurisdictional issues which the Court must determine.
There is no dispute as to material fact that:
1. A judgment has been entered against Mr. Baker in the English Courts. It has not been satisfied.
2. The English judgment and jurisdiction of the English Courts was not obtained as a result of fraud.
3. While there might be fraud-based affirmative defenses to the English action, Mr. Baker has not asserted those defenses in the proper forum, the English Courts.
4. There is no basis, in the present record, to justify a collateral attack on the English Judgment in this Court.
Accordingly, Plaintiff Society of Lloyd's Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted. The Motion to Remove from the Jury Trial List will be dismissed as moot. The Defendant's Motion for Leave to Amend Affirmative Defenses will be denied, as the proper forum to assert those defenses is the Courts of England. Likewise, the Defendant's Motion for Stay of Enforcement Action will be denied. The proper forum to seek relief from the Judgment about which the Defendant complains is the English Courts. He has not done so since entry of judgment two [*4] and a half years ago. This Court will not aid his delayed response to the English action by further staying its enforcement.
Therefore, the Court ORDERS:
1. Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.
2. Judgment for the Plaintiff against the Defendant in the amount of 32,041, plus 208 for costs, both sums in pounds to be converted to U.S. currency at the conversion rate effective on September 29, 1992, the date of the Judgment of the English Courts which is being enforced herein.
3. Plaintiff's Motion to Remove from Jury Trial List DISMISSED as moot.
4. Defendant's Motion for Leave to Amend Affirmative Defenses DENIED.
5. Defendant's Motion for Stay of Enforcement Action DENIED.
Dated: April 14, 1995
Donald G. Alexander, Justice
Date Filed 11/10/93 PENOBSCOT/County Docket No. CV-93-447
Action CIVIL - FOREIGN JUDGMENT
SOCIETY OF LLOYD'S vs. ALAN LOUIS BAKER
RUDMAN & WINCHELL
P.O. BOX 1401
BANGOR, ME 04402
BY: BARBARA CARDONE, ESQ.
Eaton, Peabody, Bradford & Veague
P.O. Box 1210
Bangor, Maine 04402-1210
BY: Bernard J. Kubetz, Esq.
|11/10/93||Complaint filed. (Attachments)|
|11/10/93||Officer's Return of Service as to Defendant filed. (s.d. 8/9/91)|
|11/10/93||Certified copy of Judgment of the Queen's Bench Division of the|
|Supreme Court of England and Wales filed.|