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Court rules in favor of Frenchville in road dispute

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — A Maine court has ruled in favor of the town of Frenchville and against the landowner who had blocked a road in protest of a paving project.

(See the previous article “Landowners blockade road, stop road repair project” at this link.)

Maine Superior Court Justice Harold Stewart II in Caribou ruled Tuesday, Oct. 25, that Calvin Ouellette had failed to satisfy the burden of proof that his claim of ownership of the land upon which Pelletier Avenue is located, had a “likelihood of success in the merits,” in court, according to court papers.

In his ruling, Stewart noted that “uncontroverted evidence” showed that the road has been in existence for “several decades” and has been mentioned as public way during that time. Further, he indicated that a map from 1877 and a survey from 2015 both indicate that Pelleter Avenue was present and was being used as boundary between Ouellette and adjacent landowners.

In addition to denying Ouellette’s motion for a preliminary injunction ruling on ownership of the land, Stewart also denied Ouellette’s request for a temporary restraining order, which would have prevented further work on the road. Last week, Town Manager Ryan E. Pelletier said it was unlikely further paving on that road would take place this year, even if the court ruled against Ouellette, due to weather and availability of paving materials this late in the season.

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