Allan M. Shine
Charles Moreau et al. Charles D. Moreau et al.
Allan M. Shine et al. Charles Moreau
Allan M. Shine.
Providence County Superior Court (PB 10-5615), (PC 10-5672),
(PB 10-7394) Associate Justice Michael A. Silverstein
Plaintiffs: Theodore Orson, Esq. Harmony Conti Bodurtha, Esq.
Defendants: John O. Mancini, Esq. Lawrence L. Goldberg, Esq.
Matthew T. Jerzyk, Esq. Michael L. Mineau, Esq.
Present: Suttell, C.J., Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.
WILLIAM P. ROBINSON III ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
consolidated cases come before this Court on appeal from an
April 20, 2017 order of the Providence County Superior Court
denying the motions for entry of judgment filed by former
Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau and former members of the
Central Falls City Council (the City Council) (collectively,
the elected officials). The rationale for said denial was set
forth in a February 21, 2017 decision of the Superior Court;
specifically, that decision held that the elected officials
were not entitled to indemnification from the State of Rhode
Island for attorneys' fees and legal costs
that they incurred over the course of this action. On appeal,
the elected officials contend that the hearing justice erred
in holding that the elected officials were not entitled to
indemnification from the state because, in the view of the
elected officials, this Court's previous opinion in
Shine v. Moreau, 119 A.3d 1 (R.I. 2015) (Shine
I), provided for such an award of attorneys' fees
and costs. The elected officials further contend that a suit
against a receiver appointed pursuant to the terms of G.L.
1956 chapter 9 of title 45 (the Financial Stability
is a suit against the state, and that fact, in their opinion,
entitles them to indemnification from the state.
cases came before the Supreme Court for oral argument
pursuant to an order directing the parties to show cause why
the issues raised in these appeals should not be summarily
decided. After considering the written and oral submissions
of the parties and after a thorough review of the record, we
are of the opinion that cause has not been shown and that the
appeals may be resolved at this time without further briefing
reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the order of the
Facts and Travel
background of these cases is well-known to this Court, in
that this is the third time that we have been asked to opine
with respect to an issue relevant to these cases. For that
reason, we need not and, indeed, will not recite the
complicated and lengthy facts. We refer the interested reader
to our previous opinions in this action-Moreau v.
Flanders, 15 A.3d 565 (R.I. 2011) (Flanders)
and Shine I. All that is necessary to the resolution
of these appeals is a brief recitation of the procedural
posture of the cases. In so doing, we rely primarily on our
previous opinions and various documents from the record.
of 2010, a receiver was appointed for the fiscally-troubled
City of Central Falls (the City) pursuant to the then-new
Financial Stability Act. These cases arose out of conflicts
between the receiver on the one hand and the Mayor and City
Council on the other. Essentially, these cases required a
determination as to the constitutionality of the Financial
Stability Act under which the receiver was appointed. This
Court ultimately held the Financial Stability Act to be
constitutional in our opinion in Flanders.
Flanders, 15 A.3d at 574-89.
the parties continued to litigate about the issues of
attorneys' fees and indemnification. The cases returned
to this Court, and we then opined that the receiver was not
entitled to recover attorneys' fees, that Mayor Moreau
was entitled to indemnification for his legal fees and costs,
and that the attorney for the City Council was entitled to
recover his fees.Shine I, 119 A.3d at 8-19.
parties come before us now with respect to a dispute as to
who is required to indemnify the elected officials
for their legal fees and costs-does the liability rest solely
with the City, or the City and the state?
Court is aware that the City was engaged in a proceeding in
bankruptcy court, but what transpired there has no bearing on
the issue before us. Based on the record and exhibits before
this Court on appeal, it is clear that, in conjunction with
that proceeding, the elected officials entered into a
settlement with the City with respect to indemnification and
released all their remaining claims against the City.
Therefore, any claims for indemnity against the City are not