Jameson v. Cunningham

Citation183 A. 131
Decision Date23 January 1936
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)

Exceptions from Superior Court, Knox County.

Action by Elmer E. Jameson against Lillian Cunningham. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff brings exceptions.

Exceptions overruled.

Argued before DUNN, C. J, and STURGIS, BARNES, THAXTER, and HUDSON, JJ.

Elisha W. Pike, of Rockland, for plaintiff.

Frank H. Ingraham, of Rockland, for defendant.

BARNES, Justice.

The cause in suit was begun by an action in assumpsit, at common law; plaintiff claiming to be the owner of the lower section of a sewer serving several households in the town of Warren.

In his declaration he demands $33.67 for use of the sewer by defendant, owner of one of the dwellings served, for eight years and five months "to March 25, 1934," at $4 a year. After the plaintiff's testimony was concluded, defendant moved for nonsuit. The motion was granted, and plaintiff perfected exceptions.

Since the first enactment of statutes in this state, the existence and necessity for upkeep of sewers serving residences have been recognized and in increasing degree provided for, Rev.St. 1821, c. 121; and from that date continuously to the present distinctions have been observed in classifying sewers, first called drains or shores, as privately owned and maintained, or as common sewers.

As their number increased, sewers and systems of sewers were recognized as public property, and legislation exists for construction and maintenance of public sewers.

As distinguished from the latter, that with which we are concerned is a private sewer.

It was constructed by plaintiff at his sole expense in the year 1893; and, so far as the record before us shows, without application to the local municipal authorities for any permit to extend it under the Warren-Thomaston road, a public highway which it crosses, to a vent in a millpond below.

Subject to necessary control by the public, if it should become a menace, it was then a simple, private project, appurtenant to the building and lot which it served.

Ten years later a neighbor, one Mr. Perry, living about 200 feet easterly of plaintiff's building, secured permission of the latter to connect his cellar drain with plaintiff's sewer; built a sewer from his property; and made connection with plaintiff's sewer within the limits of the said highway.

The sewer laid by Perry was extended at intervals so that seven different dwellings were discharging sewage through it into that constructed by the plaintiff in 1905, before the defendant made connection therewith.

It was then a private, common sewer ...

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3 cases
  • Lovell v. One Bancorp
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • August 20, 1992
    ...in a different context, that a statutory scheme can displace common law causes of action. In Jameson v. Cunningham, 134 Me. 134, 136, 183 A. 131 (1936), we noted that when a statute covers the field and "provides entire regulation for relief it supersedes the common law, and furnishes the e......
  • King Resources Co. v. Environmental Imp. Commission
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • November 19, 1970
    ...be exclusive and not cumulative. Nash v. Inhabitants of Sorrento, 1919, 118 Me. 224, 107 A. 32; Jameson v. Cunningham, 1936, 134 Me. 134, 183 A. 131. We continue to subscribe to this Furthermore, in Stanton v. Trustees of St. Joseph's College, 1967, Me., 233 A.2d 718, we indicated that wher......
  • In re French's Estate
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • January 29, 1936
    ...there remain a sufficiency of the estate from which this creditor, the appellant, may be paid in full. Consequently, she is not aggrieved 183 A. 131 by the decree from which she True, the evidence shows that the appellant is the mother of a minor child, a grandchild and heir at law of the i......

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