The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

by Zigadto, Janet


AC40573 - Chamerda v. Opie (Slander of title; "The plaintiff Kimberly Chamerda inherited certain real property from her aunt, Elsie Nemeth. The defendant John Opie, who owned an adjacent parcel, hired the defendant Norbert W. Church, Jr., an attorney, to commence a legal challenge to the plaintiff's ownership of part of the property. After that action eventually was withdrawn, the plaintiff brought the present action in the Superior Court against Opie and Church for slander of title. The plaintiff now appeals from the judgment of dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, claiming that the trial court erred by (1) concluding that the defendants were entitled to absolute or qualified immunity, or both, and (2) failing to apply the law of the case doctrine to bar the defendants from raising the immunity defense in their joint motion to dismiss where they had made nearly identical arguments in earlier motions for summary judgment. In addition to responding to the plaintiff's claims on appeal, the defendants raise an alternative ground on which to affirm the judgment: They claim that the court erred by denying their motions for summary judgment where their actions were privileged or the statute of limitations had run, or both. Although we agree with the plaintiff that the trial court erred in concluding that the challenged actions were absolutely privileged and therefore that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction, we nevertheless agree with the defendants that they were entitled to summary judgment on the statute of limitations ground. Accordingly, the form of the judgment is improper; we reverse the judgment of dismissal and remand the case to the trial court with direction to render judgment in favor of the defendants.")