Is Chalking Tires an Unconstitutional Search?

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Panel Declares the Common Parking Enforcement Practice of Chalking Tires an Unconstitutional Search… Seriously?! The transcript below is a slightly edited version of a chat amongst Rudman Winchell colleagues regarding this case and the implications it may have for Maine municipalities and parking ticket enthusiasts. SWW (Stephen W. Wagner): Last […]

Read More

Is That Pot Shop Legal: Maine Municipalities Wrestle with Whether to “Opt in” to Marijuana

As a municipal attorney in Maine, I can never predict what new legal challenge one of our many municipal clients will call about next. This is one of my favorite parts about my job. I say hardly because there is one topic that has come up very frequently over the past several months—marijuana. Given the […]

Read More

Can Municipalities Make a Profit From Tax Lien Sales?

Can a Municipality Make a Profit by Selling my Property After a Tax Lien Foreclosure? Prior to 2015, the answer was always yes. Regardless of the amount received at the sale, any proceeds on properties sold in a tax lien foreclosure belonged to the municipality. If your outstanding taxes and fees were $5,000 and the […]

Read More

LUPC VARIANCE

            The State legislature created the Maine Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) formerly known as the Land Use Regulatory Commission (LURC) by statute entitled 12 MRSA Chapter 206-A Land Use Regulation.  The LUPC is charged with interpreting, applying and enforcing Maine’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Maine’s unorganized and deorganized territories including plantations and townships. […]

Read More

Jurisdictional Limits of Municipal Police Officers

The jurisdictional limits of municipal police officers is a topic that is often speculated about, with little clarity as to whether or not the police officer from the next Town over may pull you over and cite you for a traffic violation.  As with many legal questions, the answer is not a simple yes or […]

Read More

Court’s decision in Beal v. Town of Stockton Springs, 2017 ME

The Town of Stockton Springs, a Rudman Winchell client, was successful in a recent Law Court case challenging the result of a municipal dangerous building proceeding. Appellant Holly Beal owns a home in Stockton Springs.  Following neighbor complaints, a code enforcement officer inspection and unsuccessful discussions with Ms. Beal, the Town initiated a dangerous building […]

Read More

The 2015 Amendments to Mandatory Shoreland Zoning and How They Impact the Expansion of a Non-Conforming Use

The Legislature adopted the Mandatory Shoreland Zoning Act in 1971.  The current law requires municipalities to establish land use controls for all “shoreland areas” defined as:  “areas within 250 feet of the normal high-water line of any great pond, river or saltwater body, within 250 feet of the upland edge of a coastal wetland, within […]

Read More

North Woods National Park: I have a confession to make: “It’s all my fault.”

IT’S ALL MY FAULT As debate rages endlessly in northern Maine about proposals for a North Woods National Park, I have a confession to make:  It’s all my fault. I came to Maine in 1983, after finishing law school in Virginia, and briefly worked as an associate for a solo practitioner in Guilford, Piscataquis County.  […]

Read More

(Not) Keeping it Confidential: Disclosing Settlement Terms under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act

Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) is a state statute that is intended to open the government of Maine by guaranteeing access to the “public records” and “public proceedings” of state and local government bodies and agencies (a similar federal statute called the Freedom of Information Act applies to the federal government). These local government […]

Read More

Question 1 and Tax Expenditures

Today (November 3rd), Maine’s voters will determine the fate of ballot question number 1 which, if enacted, would expand and provide additional funding for Maine’s “clean elections” law. The funding mechanism for the additional estimated $3 million per year in State expenditures for clean election candidate campaigns is not described in the official ballot question. […]

Read More