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Property Law

Property Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3039

AC39515 - Kaplan v. Scheer (Reformation of deed; "This case concerns a settlement agreement pursuant to which (1) the defendants . . . granted the plaintiff . . . an easement for pedestrian and vehicular access to a portion of the plaintiff's driveway that lay on the defendants' property (driveway easement), and (2) the parties exchanged quitclaim deeds. The plaintiff now contends that these deeds were recorded in the wrong order and, as a result, her deed inadvertently conveyed to the defendants a different easement, one that previously had allowed her to cross the defendants' property to access Long Island Sound (water easement). The plaintiff contends that this conveyance was not something the parties bargained for when they reached their agreement. She brought the underlying action seeking to restore the water easement through various equitable remedies; she now appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a trial to that court, in favor of the defendants. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) misinterpreted the settlement agreement by finding that the alphanumeric prefixes in it were included only for convenience and did not bear upon the parties' intent and (2) improperly rejected her claim of mutual mistake. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39687 - Gartrell v. Hartford (Directed verdict; action for damages for violations of state building code; "The plaintiffs, Joseph Gartrell, 481 Albany Avenue, and Wonder Package, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion for a directed verdict in favor of the defendant city of Hartford (city). The plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred in directing a verdict for the city on the basis of the jury's answer to a single interrogatory. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3007

AC40296 - Reyher v. Finkeldey ("The defendant, John A. Finkeldey, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Mark R. Reyher, a licensed real estate broker doing business as Reyher Real Estate, requiring payment of his commission. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that the plaintiff procured a buyer who was ready, willing and able to purchase the defendant’s property under the terms of the listing agreement. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2983

SC19891 - FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. v. Stewart (Trepass; "This appeal arises from an action in which the plaintiff . . . alleged that the defendants . . . were trespassing on property that the plaintiff owned along the shore of Candlewood Lake (lake). The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiff in part. On appeal, the defendants claim that (1) there was insufficient evidence to prove the plaintiff's ownership of the subject property, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by ordering injunctive relief that was overly broad and exceeded the scope of the relief sought by the plaintiff. We conclude that there is sufficient evidence to support the trial court's finding that the plaintiff owned the subject property and, thus, that the trial court properly found that the defendants had trespassed on the plaintiff's property. We further conclude that the scope of the trial court's injunctive relief is not overly broad. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2978

AC39272 - Jepsen v. Camassar (Declaratory judgment; "The plaintiffs . . . appeal from the declaratory judgment rendered by the trial court in this dispute regarding the modification of a beach deed. In this opinion, we address the plaintiffs' claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the modification in question was properly enacted, (2) concluded that they had not met their burden in establishing slander of title, and (3) declined to render an award of attorney's fees in their favor. We agree with the plaintiffs' first claim and, accordingly, affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2956

AC39197 - Randazzo v. Sakon ("In this amended appeal, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the plaintiff . . . acting as trustee for A&F Foods, a general partnership. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in accepting the findings and recommendations of the attorney fact finder . . . and in rendering judgment in accordance with his recommendations. More specifically, the defendant claims that the court improperly: (1) concluded that the plaintiff's cause of action sounds in contract, rather than indemnification, and, therefore, applied the incorrect statute of limitations; (2) concluded that the statute of frauds, General Statutes § 52-550, was inapplicable to this case; and (3) accepted the finding that the town of Glastonbury (town) had imposed real estate taxes on the easement area. We dismiss the defendant's original appeal and, with respect to his amended appeal, we disagree with each of the defendant's claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2926

AC39074 - Bueno v. Firgeleski ("'A covenant that is a servitude "runs with the land".' 1 Restatement (Third), Property, Servitudes § 1.3 (1), p. 23 (2000). 'When a change has taken place since the creation of a servitude that makes it impossible as a practical matter to accomplish the purpose for which the servitude was created, a court may modify the servitude to permit the purpose to be accomplished. If modification is not practicable, or would not be effective, a court may terminate the servitude.' 2 Restatement (Third), Property, Servitudes § 7.10 (1), p. 394 (2000).

This declaratory judgment action concerns the viability of a restrictive covenant (restriction) contained in a 1941 committee deed conveying 1.544 acres of a thirty acre farm in Darien that was once owned by Wilbur N. Waterbury (Waterbury land). The plaintiffs, Luz E. Bueno and Edward R. den Dooven, own 1.38 acres of the Waterbury land. The defendants, Michael Firgeleski, Allison Firgeleski, Pole M. Chan, Jessica M. Chan, Richard B. Myers, Margaret Q. Myers, Scott J. Cronin, and Eileen M. Cronin (collectively, Briar Brae defendants), and Kenneth S. Martin and Rachel P. Martin (Martins), own lots that were created from a portion of the remainder of the thirty acres of the Waterbury land and are adjacent to the plaintiffs’ property. The plaintiffs sought a judgment declaring the restriction void and unenforceable to permit the sale of a portion of their property. In its judgment, the court declared unenforceable the portion of the restriction that limits the plaintiffs’ use of their property to one dwelling house, prohibits the erection of any building within twenty-five feet of the southern boundary, and requires approval of the grantor before erecting a structure on the property.

The defendants appealed, claiming that three of the court’s factual findings are erroneous in that they are not supported by the evidence. With respect to the court’s legal conclusions, the defendants claim that the court (1) improperly looked beyond the four corners of the deeds and (2) misapplied the facts of the present case to Fidelity Title & Trust Co. v. Lomas & Nettleton Co., 125 Conn. 373, 5 A.2d 700 (1939) (restriction’s purpose frustrated) and Shippan Point Assn., Inc. v. McManus, 34 Conn. App. 209, 215, 641 A.2d 144 (same), cert. denied, 229 Conn. 923, 642 A.2d 1215 (1994). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2930

AC39641 - Traylor v. Gambrell ("The plaintiff, Sylvester Traylor, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Cathy Gambrell, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (agency), the town of Waterford, Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP, and Maciej A. Piatkowski. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendants on his claims of spoliation of evidence and in favor of the agency on his claim of unfair trade practices in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and that the court erred in striking his CUTPA claim against Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP.")


Probate Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2920

AC39087 - Bassford v. Bassford (Probate appeal; "The plaintiffs . . . appeal from the judgments of the trial court, dismissing their consolidated appeals from the Court of Probate for the district of Middletown. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred as a matter of law by concluding that the decedent, an involuntarily conserved person, (1) was competent (a) to revoke a certain trust he had settled and (b) to receive and retain interest in real property, (2) had the testamentary capacity to execute a will, and (3) was not under the undue influence of the defendant . . . We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=826

AC39273 - Tirado v. Torrington (Allegedly improper tax assessment of plaintiff's motor vehicle; "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the court improperly dismissed the plaintiff's action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to her failure to (1) file her complaint within one year of the tax assessment pursuant to General Statutes § 12-119, and (2) exhaust available administrative remedies prior to filing an action pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a. We agree that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies prior to filing suit pursuant to § 12-117a, and, accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=818

AC39006, AC39011- Deane v. Kahn (Declaratory judgment; implied easement; "Since at least 2001, the parties in this case have been engaged in a lengthy legal dispute regarding abutting properties that sit along the bonny banks of the Connecticut River in Lyme. The defendants Amy Day Kahn, Robert Kahn, and John Gorman appeal from the judgment of the trial court finding that an easement exists in favor of the plaintiff, Curtis D. Deane, over the parcels of real property owned by Amy Day Kahn (Kahn property) and Gorman (Gorman property). The defendants' principal claim is that the evidence was insufficient to support the court's ultimate legal conclusion that an easement by implication exists over the Kahn property and, correspondingly, that an easement by deed continues to exist over the Gorman property. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=813

SC19705 - Francini v. Goodspeed Airport, LLC (Declaratory judgment; easement by necessity; "In this certified appeal, we are tasked with determining whether easements by necessity can be granted for commercial utilities. More specifically, we consider whether an easement that affords ingress and egress to an abutting property can later be expanded, by necessity, for utilities. The plaintiff, William Francini, commenced the present action seeking, inter alia, a judgment declaring that he is entitled to an easement by necessity for underground utility lines across the property of the named defendant, Goodspeed Airport, LLC, and an injunction permitting use of the easement. The defendant appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed trial court's award of summary judgment in favor of the defendant. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=730

SC19693 - Wellswood Columbia, LLC v. Hebron ("In Wellswood Columbia, LLC v. Hebron, 295 Conn. 802, 804–805, 825, 992 A.2d 1120 (2010) (Wellswood I), this court reversed the judgment of the trial court, which denied the application of the plaintiffs, Wellswood Columbia, LLC (Wellswood), and its managing partner, Ronald Jacques, for a permanent injunction barring the defendant, the town of Hebron (town), from closing a road that provided the sole existing access to a property that Wellswood owned in the adjoining town of Columbia. Shortly after the trial court issued the injunction upon remand from this court, the plaintiffs commenced the present action against the town seeking damages for, inter alia, a temporary taking, temporary nuisance and tortious interference with the plaintiffs' business expectancies. The trial court, Elgo, J., granted the town's motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata because they arose out of the same operative facts as the plaintiffs' claim for injunctive relief and, therefore, should have been brought in Wellswood I. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court incorrectly determined that their claims in the present action are barred by the principles of res judicata. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=725

AC38646 - Emerick v. Glastonbury (Private nuisance; "In the present case, the self-represented plaintiff, Roger Emerick, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his case against the defendant, the town of Glastonbury, as a sanction for his actions during trial. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the dismissal constituted reversible error. We are not persuaded that the court abused its discretion in dismissing the plaintiff's case after his deliberate, continuing, and at times contumacious disregard for the court's authority. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=706

AC38912N759ZD v. Stratford ("In this joint tax appeal, the plaintiffs, David H. Faile, Jr., Paul A. Lange, and N759ZD, LLC (LLC), appeal from the judgments of nonsuit, rendered by the trial court, in favor of the defendant, the town of Stratford (town). They also appeal from the court’s denial of their motions to open the nonsuits. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court’s findings that they violated its orders were clearly erroneous, and that, even if we assume, arguendo, that they did violate the orders, the court abused its discretion in rending judgments of nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs. Therefore, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

AC38853Zhang v. 56 Locust Road, LLC (Quiet title; "Having examined the appellate record and having considered the briefs and the arguments of the parties, we conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed. The trial court fully and accurately addressed the issues relevant to the parties' appeals and, in its memorandum of decision, set forth a proper statement of both the facts and the applicable law. Any further discussion by this court would serve no useful purpose.
The judgment is affirmed.")

AC38912Faile v. Stratford (Tax appeals; "In this joint tax appeal, the plaintiffs, David H. Faile, Jr., Paul A. Lange, and N759ZD, LLC (LLC), appeal from the judgments of nonsuit, rendered by the trial court, in favor of the defendant, the town of Stratford (town). They also appeal from the court's denial of their motions to open the nonsuits. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court's findings that they violated its orders were clearly erroneous, and that, even if we assume, arguendo, that they did violate the orders, the court abused its discretion in rending judgments of nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs. Therefore, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

  • AC38912 – Lange v. Stratford (see Faile v. Stratford above)


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=602

AC38554 - Stratford v. Hawley Enterprises, Inc. (Eminent domain; "The defendant IP Media Products, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding damages to it for the taking of certain real property by the plaintiff, the town of Stratford . . . The defendant claims that the court erred in concluding that the town was entitled to recover back taxes from the condemnation award. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=586

AC38878 - Northrup v. Witkowski (Negligence; "The underlying action arose as a result of the repeated flooding of residential property due to inadequate street drainage of which the municipality and its officials allegedly were aware but failed to correct. The plaintiffs, George Northrup and Helen Northrup, the owners of the property at issue, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants—the borough of Naugatuck (town); Henry J. Witkowski, Jr., the town's former superintendent of streets; James Stewart, the former town engineer and, later, the town's director of public works; and Robert A. Mezzo, the town's mayor —upon its determination that all counts of the plaintiffs' complaint were barred by governmental immunity.

"The plaintiffs claim on appeal that the court improperly determined that (1) the defendants were entitled to governmental immunity on all counts as a matter of law because the acts or omissions of which they complained were discretionary rather than ministerial in nature, (2) the identifiable person-imminent harm exception to governmental immunity did not apply to the flooding at issue because the plaintiffs were not subject to imminent harm, and (3) the allegations of recklessness directed against the individual defendants could not be sustained as a matter of law. We disagree with the plaintiffs and, for the reasons that follow, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38716 - Questell v. Farogh (Negligence; "The defendant, Sheeba Farogh, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her motion to open the default judgment, which was rendered after she failed to appear at a scheduled trial management conference. On appeal, the defendant claims that she was prevented from appearing at the conference by mistake and that a valid defense existed at the time the judgment was rendered. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=544

AC37281 - Santos v. Zoning Board of Appeals (Inverse condemnation; unjust enrichment; "The plaintiff, Anthony Santos, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants, the town of Stratford (town) and its Zoning Board of Appeals (board). On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the court improperly held that the plaintiff had failed to prove his claims for (1) inverse condemnation and (2) unjust enrichment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=543

AC38689 - Avery v. Medina ("Injunction; motion for contempt; "This dispute between the parties, which returns to this court for the third time, concerns the enforcement of a restrictive covenant in the deed to real property in Norfolk that is owned by the defendants, Luis Medina and Amanda Medina. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court finding Luis Medina in contempt of the judgment rendered pursuant to Avery v. Medina, 151 Conn. App. 433, 94 A.3d 1241 (2014) (Avery I). On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly (1) modified the Avery I judgment by transforming a mandatory injunction into a prohibitive injunction, (2) exceeded its equitable powers, (3) denied them a fundamental right, and (4) awarded the plaintiffs attorney's fees for which there was no evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=529

SC19671 - Barton v. Norwalk (Inverse condemnation; "In this certified appeal, the defendant, the city of Norwalk, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court awarding the plaintiff Robert Barton $899,480 in damages plus prejudgment interest for his claim that the defendant inversely condemned a parcel of real property located at 70 South Main Street in Norwalk (70 South Main) by taking, through the power of eminent domain, the plaintiff's parking lot located across the street at 65 South Main Street (65 South Main). See Barton v. Norwalk, 163 Conn. App. 190, 193–94, 135 A.3d 711 (2016). The defendant raises two claims in the present appeal. First, the defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly affirmed the judgment of the trial court that the plaintiff had proven inverse condemnation because 70 South Main retains significant value and generates significant income. Second, the defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the plaintiff's inverse condemnation claim was not barred by judicial estoppel. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


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