October 16, 2019
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Downtown Rockland restaurant wins court appeal, avoids eviction

BDN File | BDN
BDN File | BDN
Richard Rockwell

ROCKLAND, Maine — A downtown restaurant will remain open after a Superior Court justice overturned a lower court ruling ordering its eviction from a 449 Main St. building.

Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy overturned an October 2015 decision of District Court Judge Patricia Worth that found the 3Crow restaurant was in violation of its lease with 449 Main Street LLC and its principal owner, Richard Rockwell.

3Crow remained open during the appeal.

Restaurant owner Joshua Hixson said Tuesday he was pleased that the lower court’s eviction ruling was reversed and he looks forward to continuing to run the restaurant and serve the community.

The lower court judge had ruled in October that 3Crow was in default of its lease, which meant that Rockwell was eligible to collect $250,000 in rent and legal fees from the restaurant to cover the remainder of its 10-year lease.

The restaurant has leased from Rockwell since December 2012.

At issue in the lawsuit filed by Rockwell against 3Crow was Rockwell’s contention that the restaurant had failed to pay 50 percent of the propane costs for the building. The restaurant owner had provided a check for the propane, which had a notation that it covered 13 percent of the bill, which the 3Crow owners determined was their share of the expense.

The lower court had ruled that 3Crow’s failure to pay the 50 percent was a breach of the lease and that because of that, Rockwell was owed accelerated payments for the remainder of the lease.

Murphy found that the 13 percent payment did not violate the lease and therefore the accelerated payments were not warranted. She issued her ruling Feb. 9 in the Business and Consumer Court.

The restaurant was represented by attorney Patrick Mellor of Rockland.

A telephone message left Tuesday afternoon with Portland attorney Lee Bals, who represented Rockwell, was not immediately returned.

 



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