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Huntley v. State

Supreme Court of Rhode Island

February 12, 2015

Dawn L. Huntley
v.
State of Rhode Island et al

Page 870

Providence County Superior Court. (PC 11-558). Associate Justice Luis M. Matos.

For Plaintiff: Nicholas S. Gelfuso, Esq.

For Defendants: Rebecca T. Partington, Department of Attorney General.

Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.

OPINION

Page 871

Robinson, Justice

The plaintiff, Dawn L. Huntley, and her attorney, Nicholas S. Gelfuso (the appellants), jointly appeal from a final judgment entered in favor of the defendants. On appeal, the appellants contend that the hearing justice erred in: (1) vacating the entry of default against the defendant Alan Goulart; (2) denying Ms. Huntley's applications for entry of default against the defendants Gerald Coyne and Patrick Lynch; and (3) imposing a monetary sanction upon Attorney Gelfuso pursuant to Rule 11 of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure.

This case came before the Supreme Court pursuant to an order directing the parties to show cause why the issues raised in this appeal should not be summarily decided. After carefully considering the record, the memoranda submitted to this Court on behalf of the parties, and the oral arguments of counsel, we are of the opinion that cause has not been shown and that the appeal may be resolved without further briefing or argument. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

I

Facts and Travel

The factual background of this case was fully narrated in our previous opinion, which determined that the judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island was entitled to preclusive effect pursuant to the doctrine of res judicata. See Huntley v. State, 63 A.3d 526, 531-33 (R.I. 2013) (Huntley I).[1] Accordingly, we refer the interested reader to our opinion in Huntley I, and we shall set forth herein only the facts necessary to our analysis of this most recent appeal. See id.

Undaunted by our opinion in Huntley I, which was issued on April 12, 2013, Ms. Huntley opted to take the position that her state court action was still viable because ...


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