Claim for Review of Government Action

In Colby v. York County Commissioners, 442 A.2d 544 (Me. 1982) the Law Court dismissed the plaintiff's complaint challenging his dismissal as a Deputy Sheriff.

The basis for the Court's decision was the determination that both counts were untimely under M.R. Civ. P. 80B(b):

"The time within which review may be sought shall be as provided by statute, except that if no time limit is specified by statute, the complaint shall be filed within 30 days after notice of any action or refusal to act of which review is sought".

in Mercier v. Town of Fairfield, 628 A.2d 1053 (Me. 1993) a former town manager filed suit alleging a violation of the town charter, a breach of contract, and a denial of due process arising from the town's failure to reappoint him.

At trial, he prevailed, and the town appealed. In its decision, the Law Court noted that:

That the court has jurisdiction to entertain a claim for review of government action pursuant to Rule 80B does not prevent the filing of independen civil claims otherwise available.

Mercier's case was filed and proceeded in accordance with the pretrial procedure outlined in M.R. Civ. P. 16. the Town did not raise its procedural dispute until nine months into the litigation, well after both parties had actively participated in pretrial scheduling and discovery.

Although Mercier may have been able to seek review of the termination proceedings pursuant to Rule 80B, given the procedural purpose of Rule 80B and its intended flexibility, it was not error in these circumstances to treat the entire cause of action as a traditional civil action. Mercier, 628 A.2d at 1057.