593 A.2d 663 (Me. 1991), Lewiston Raceway, Inc. v. Maine State Harness Racing Com'n

Citation:593 A.2d 663
Opinion Judge:WATHEN,
Party Name:LEWISTON RACEWAY, INC. v. MAINE STATE HARNESS RACING COMMISSION.
Attorney:Alfred C. Frawley (orally), Peter Lowe, Brann & Isaacson, Lewiston, for plaintiff. Michael E. Carpenter, Atty. Gen., James Bivins, Gwendolyn D. Thomas (orally), Asst. Attys. Gen., Augusta, for defendant.
Judge Panel:Before McKUSICK, C.J., and ROBERTS, WATHEN, GLASSMAN, CLIFFORD, COLLINS, and BRODY, JJ.
Case Date:July 16, 1991
Court:Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

Page 663

593 A.2d 663 (Me. 1991)

LEWISTON RACEWAY, INC.

v.

MAINE STATE HARNESS RACING COMMISSION.

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.

July 16, 1991

Argued June 7, 1991.

Page 664

Alfred C. Frawley (orally), Peter Lowe, Brann & Isaacson, Lewiston, for plaintiff.

Michael E. Carpenter, Atty. Gen., James Bivins, Gwendolyn D. Thomas (orally), Asst. Attys. Gen., Augusta, for defendant.

Before McKUSICK, C.J., and ROBERTS, WATHEN, GLASSMAN, CLIFFORD, COLLINS, and BRODY, JJ.

WATHEN, Justice.

Defendant Maine State Harness Racing Commission appeals a decision of the Superior Court (Androscoggin County, Delahanty, C.J.) reversing a Commission order denying plaintiff Lewiston Raceways, Inc. stipend monies for capital improvements. Defendant argues that it is authorized to withhold the payment of the stipend pursuant to 8 M.R.S.A. § 275 (Supp.1990). We disagree and affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

Plaintiff was a commercial, extended meet 1 harness racing licensee during the 1989 calendar year. In that year, plaintiff deposited a percentage of the handle 2 with the Treasurer of the State as required by statute, 8 M.R.S.A. §§ 274 & 275 (Supp.1990). The statutes direct the Treasurer to return a portion of the funds in the form of stipends to the licensee. Section 274 provides an "extended meet" stipend and section 275, at issue here, provides a "commercial meet" stipend. One half of the commercial meet stipend is used to supplement purse money and one half is used for capital improvements of the racing facility. Because plaintiff did not seek a license for 1990, the Commission voted to withhold that portion of the 1989 commercial meet stipend allocated to capital improvement. It interpreted the statute as referring to future improvements only and concluded that plaintiff was not entitled to the stipend because it was no longer licensed. Pursuant to M.R.Civ.P. 80C, Lewiston Raceway, Inc. sought judicial review in the Superior Court. The court reversed the decision of the Commission and ordered that the stipend be paid. This appeal followed.

When the Superior Court acts as an intermediate appellate tribunal and receives no additional evidence, we will review directly the record developed before the governmental agency. Robinson v. Board of Trustees of the Maine State Retirement System, 523 A.2d 1376, 1378 (Me.1987); Spain v. City of Brewer, 474 A.2d 496, 498...

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