CONNECTICUT NATIONAL MORTGAGE COMPANY v. LISE-LOTTE KNUDSEN et al., SC 19672
Judicial District of Danbury
Foreclosure; Whether Appellate Court Properly Dismissed Appeal as Moot Because no Stay of Execution Prevented Title from Vesting in Foreclosing Party on Passing of the Law Day. The plaintiff brought this action in 1989 seeking to foreclose a mortgage on the defendant’s property in Redding. While the trial court first rendered a judgment of foreclosure in 1994, the judgment has been opened and modified several times since then. On June 8, 2015, the trial court rendered a new judgment of foreclosure that extended the defendant’s law day to August 4, 2015. On June 17, 2015, the defendant filed a third motion to open the judgment of foreclosure, and that motion was denied on June 18, 2015. The defendant filed an appeal on June 26, 2015, within twenty days of both the June 8, 2015 judgment of foreclosure and the judgment denying her third motion to open. Before the parties had filed any briefs in the appeal, the Appellate Court ordered the parties to address whether the appeal should be dismissed as moot “because title vested in the plaintiff by the passing of the law days and the defendant’s appeal following the denial of her [third motion to open] did not stay the passing of the law days. See Practice Book § 61-11 (g).” Practice Book § 61-11 (g) provides that, in a strict foreclosure action in which the defendant has filed, and the trial court has denied, at least two prior motions to open, “no automatic stay [of execution of the judgment] shall arise upon the court’s denial of any subsequent [motion to open filed by the defendant]” unless the defendant certifies in an affidavit accompanying the subsequent motion to open that there is good cause for the motion to open. Here, the defendant’s June 17, 2015 motion to open was unaccompanied by an affidavit of good cause. The Appellate Court dismissed the appeal, and the Supreme Court granted the defendant certification to appeal. The Supreme Court will consider whether the Appellate Court properly dismissed the appeal as moot where the defendant argues that her timely appeal from the June 8, 2015 judgment of foreclosure triggered the automatic stay of execution in Practice Book § 61-11 (a) such that title to the defendant’s property did not legally vest in the foreclosing party on the passing of the August 4, 2015 law day.