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Property Law

Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4517

AC43918 - Black v. West Hartford (Tax appeal; motor vehicle assessment; standing; claim that defendant state agency violated statute (§ 12-71d) in recommending certain guide's schedule of motor vehicle values that town used to assess plaintiff's motor vehicle; claim that trial court improperly granted motion to dismiss on ground of sovereign immunity; "The self-represented plaintiff, Kenneth A. Black, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his action as against the defendant Office of Policy and Management for allegedly violating General Statutes § 12-71d in recommending the schedule of motor vehicle values that the defendant town of West Hartford (town) used to assess his vehicle for the 2018 tax year. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in granting the defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that the action was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. We affirm the judgment of the court, but on the alternative ground that the plaintiff lacks standing to maintain the action against the defendant. Because we affirm on this alternative ground, we do not reach the trial court's determination that the action was barred by the defendant's sovereign immunity.")


Civil Procedure Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4510

SC20457 - Thornton v. Jacobs ( Appellate procedure; whether Appellate Court properly Dismissed, as frivolous, appeal of nonparty witness from Trial Court's order enforcing subpoena for out-of-state lawsuit; "This appeal stems from an underlying action being litigated in Florida by the plaintiffs in the present case, John L. Thornton and Margaret B. Thornton. The parties to the Florida action are the plaintiffs in the present case, who are the defendants and counterclaimants in the Florida action, and 100 Emerald Beach, LC, which is the plaintiff and counterclaim defendant in the Florida action. Lamia Jacobs, the defendant in the present case, is the sole owner of 100 Emerald Beach, LC, but is not named individually as a party in the Florida case. Jacobs and her husband, Bradley Jacobs, reside primarily in Connecticut. The Florida trial court ruled that it lacked personal jurisdiction to subpoena the defendant and Bradley Jacobs but granted the plaintiffs permission to seek to subpoena them in Connecticut. The plaintiffs served a subpoena to depose the defendant in Connecticut, and she filed a motion to quash in the Superior Court in Stamford, objecting to the subpoena. She argued that the plaintiffs, instead of issuing a subpoena to her, should instead subpoena 100 Emerald Beach, LC, in order to obtain the information being sought. The trial court, Hon. Kenneth B. Povodator, judge trial referee, denied the motion to quash, and the defendant filed a timely appeal with the Appellate Court.

The plaintiffs moved in the Appellate Court for permission to file a late motion to dismiss, arguing that the appeal was frivolous. The defendant opposed the motion. The Appellate Court granted the motion to file an untimely motion to dismiss and, thereafter, without issuing an opinion, dismissed the appeal. The defendant filed a petition for certification to appeal to this court, which we granted on the following issue: "Did the Appellate Court properly dismiss, as frivolous, the appeal of a nonparty witness from the trial court's order enforcing a subpoena for an out-of-state lawsuit?" Thornton v. Jacobs, 334 Conn. 929, 224 A.3d 538 (2020). After we granted certification, the plaintiffs withdrew the subpoena they had sought to enforce against the defendant in Connecticut. In light of this withdrawal, we now dismiss this certified appeal as moot and vacate the judgment of the Appellate Court dismissing the defendant's appeal.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4484

AC43650 - Zealand v. Balber ("The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court in this partition by sale action. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that she had a minimal interest in the property at issue, (2) excluded certain evidence that she sought to admit at trial, (3) exceeded its statutory authority under General Statutes § 52-500 (a) and (4) concluded that a payment of $25,000 by the defendant . . . to the plaintiff constituted just compensation for her interest in that property. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4467

AC44016 - Mirlis v. Yeshiva of New Haven, Inc. ("The defendant, Yeshiva of New Haven, Inc., appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Eliyahu Mirlis. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly determined the valuation of the property in question. 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=4465

AC43042 - Jackson v. Pennymac Loan Services, LLC (Release of mortgage pursuant to statute (§ 49-8); whether trial court improperly dismissed plaintiffs' action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on basis of plaintiffs' alleged failure to satisfy requirements of § 49-8 (c) regarding statutory demand notice for release of mortgage, etc.; "The plaintiffs, Mary Jackson and Johnnie Jackson, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant, Pennymac Loan Services, LLC, to dismiss the action of the plaintiffs in which they alleged that the defendant violated General Statutes § 49-8 (c) by failing to provide a timely release of their mortgage. The defendant did not argue in its motion that the action should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiffs' alleged failure to satisfy the requirements of § 49-8 (c) regarding a statutory demand notice for release of the mortgage. Nevertheless, the court dismissed the action on that ground. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court deprived them of due process by dismissing their action on a ground that the court had raised sua sponte without affording them notice or an opportunity to be heard. We agree with the plaintiffs that neither the defendant's motion to dismiss nor the court alerted them that their alleged noncompliance with the statutory demand notice requirements in § 49-8 (c) was at issue and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4454

SC20388 - Wilton Campus 1691, LLC. v. Wilton (Taxation; late filing penalty pursuant to General Statutes § 12-63c (d); whether Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that General Statutes § 12-55 (b) precluded tax assessor from imposing late filing penalties after taking and subscribing to oath on grand list; "This appeal involves the temporal limits of a municipal assessor's authority to impost penalties on taxpayers. Specifically, we are asked to resolve a dispute over whether the assessor for the defendant . . . must impose late filing penalties on taxpayers pursuant to General Statutes 12-63c(d), if at all, before taking and subscribing to the oath on the grand list for that assessment year pursuant to General Statutes 12-55 (b) , or may impose the penalty later. The town claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the assessor improperly imposed late filing penalties on the plaintiffs . . . after taking and subscribing to the oath on the grand list for that assessment year. We disagree and therefore affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Property Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4408

SC20418 - Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc. (Taxation; statutory interpretation; standard for awarding municipality attorney's fees to recover unpaid taxes under General Statutes § 12-161a; "The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether General Statutes § 12-161a, which allows trial courts to award a municipality attorney's fees incurred 'as a result of and directly related to' proceedings to collect delinquent personal property taxes, includes attorney's fees incurred in a related federal action regarding the municipality's authority to impose such personal property taxes. The plaintiff, the town of Ledyard, appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court and directing summary judgment for the defendant, WMS Gaming, Inc. Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc., 192 Conn. App. 836, 850, 218 A.3d 708 (2019). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly construed § 12-161a in concluding that the defendant's liability for attorney's fees under the statute is limited to the collection proceeding in state court and does not include the related federal court proceeding. See id., 845. We conclude that the ambit of § 12-161a includes a directly related federal action that is determinative of a municipality's authority to pursue the underlying state collection proceeding. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4396

AC42885, AC42886 - Peterson v. iCare Management, LLC ("These two appeals arise from consolidated cases. The defendants in both actions, iCare Management, LLC, SecureCare Realty, LLC, and SecureCare Options, LLC (defendants), appeal from the judgments of the trial court denying their motions for summary judgment, in which they argued that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by res judicata and/or collateral estoppel. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court erred in denying their motions because the plaintiffs' claims were previously litigated in an earlier action. 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=4379

AC42736 - Starke v. Goodwind Estate Assn., Inc. (Common Interest Ownership Act (§ 47-200 et seq.); "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court of his complaint against the defendant, The Goodwin Estate Association, Inc., brought pursuant to the Common Interest Ownership Act (act), General Statutes § 47-200 et seq. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly dismissed his complaint as moot, after he lost title to his condominium unit in a foreclosure proceeding, because the damages he claimed included damages for personal property, namely, window treatments, which, he alleges are not contingent on his ownership of the condominium unit. 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=4307

AC43795 - Bozelko v. Statewide Construction, Inc. (Writ of error; standing; aggrievement; claim that trial court erred in determining that defendants in underlying action to quiet title were owners of certain real property; "This case comes before the court on a writ of error brought by the plaintiff in error, Chandra A. Bozelko (plaintiff in error), who is the daughter of Ronald F. Bozelko (Bozelko), the plaintiff in the underlying action. Bozelko initiated the underlying action pursuant to General Statutes § 47-31, seeking to quiet title to property known as 105 McLay Avenue in East Haven. The writ of error challenges the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants in the underlying action, Statewide Construction, Inc., and Robert Pesapane (defendants in error). We conclude that the plaintiff in error lacks standing to challenge the judgment and, accordingly, we dismiss the writ of error.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4297

AC42770 - Seramonte Associates, LLC v. Hamden (Tax appeal; "The plaintiff, Seramonte Associates, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the town of Hamden, as to count one of the plaintiff's complaint and granting the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's constitutional claims in count two. On appeal, the plaintiff claims, with respect to count one, that the court erred in holding that the word 'submit' as used in General Statutes § 12-63c requires that certain tax forms have to be received by the defendant by June 1, and, with respect to count two, that the court erred in granting the defendant's motion to strike, because the penalty imposed for the plaintiff's late submission of the tax forms amounts to a fine that violates the excessive fines clauses of the federal and the state constitutions. 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=4192

AC42074 - American Tax Funding, LLC v. Design Land Developers of Newtown, Inc. (Municipal tax collection; "The defendant estate of Francis D. D'Addario (estate) appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Reoco, LLC (Reoco). On appeal, the estate claims, inter alia, that the court improperly granted Reoco's motion for judgment on default with respect to two counts of the amended complaint, which sought an in personam money judgment against the estate for the 2005 and 2006 taxes due on the subject property. For the following reasons, we dismiss the appeal and vacate the judgment of the trial court as against the estate.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4162

AC42570 - Rider v. Rider (Quiet title; fraud; breach of fiduciary duty; "This appeal stems from a family dispute among a father and his two sons. In an effort to revive his claims to ownership of a campground parcel, the plaintiff, Patrick Rider, has created an appellate argument reminiscent of Frankenstein's monster, as he has stitched together aspects of four separate matters: a probate proceeding, a bankruptcy action, a separate 2017 civil action (2017 action) and the underlying action in an effort to reverse the judgment of the trial court. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motions to dismiss filed by the defendants, Brian Rider, individually and in his capacities as the executor and conservator of the estate of Leigh H. Rider, Jr. (Leigh Rider), Lake Williams Campground, Inc., Lake Williams Campground Association, Inc. (Association), Charles D. Houlihan, Jr., and Franklin G. Pilicy. The plaintiff and Brian Rider are the sons of Leigh Rider. On appeal, the plaintiff presents, for the first time, a collateral challenge to the appointment by the Probate Court of North Central Connecticut (Probate Court) of Brian Rider as conservator for Leigh Rider and the subsequent conveyance of a campground property from the conserved Leigh Rider to the Association. The plaintiff further contends that the trial court improperly dismissed his complaint on the ground that he lacked standing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4128

AC43008 - Jeweler v. Wilton (Declaratory judgment; "This case concerns the reconfiguration of lot lines in an existing resubdivision. The plaintiffs, Richard S. Jeweler and Derry Music Company, own seven parcels of land situated between Millstone Road and Hickory Hill Road in Wilton. They brought this action seeking a declaratory judgment that certain boundary line adjustments among those parcels do not require subdivision approval under General Statutes § 8-18. The trial court concluded that the boundary line adjustments proposed by the plaintiffs did not constitute a subdivision pursuant to § 8-18, but did constitute a resubdivision thereunder. We disagree with the latter conclusion and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Environmental Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4112

AC42069 - Crouzet v. First Baptist Church of Stonington (Environmental contamination; real property; "The plaintiff, David Crouzet, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, First Baptist Church of Stonington and Second Congregational Church of Stonington, following a trial to the court in a factually complex case involving environmental contamination. The question underlying all of the plaintiff's claims on appeal is what was the cause of the oil contamination in and around the plaintiff's residence and, in particular, to what extent fuel oil that leaked from the underground storage tank on the defendants' property migrated onto the plaintiff's property and infiltrated the plaintiff's basement. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court's finding of a secondary source of contamination in his basement is clearly erroneous and that the court's decision is based on speculation and is legally unsound. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4067

AC42683 - Godbout v. Attanasio (Official misconduct pursuant to statute (§ 12-170); motor vehicle tax assessment; "In this statutory civil action brought pursuant to General Statutes § 12-170, the plaintiff, David Godbout, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the action against the defendants, all of whom are individual members of the East Lyme Board of Assessment Appeals (board). In his action, the plaintiff sought to recover monetary relief pursuant to § 12-170 on the basis of alleged misconduct by the defendants related to his motor vehicle tax assessment appeal. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the merits of his action because he (1) failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with the Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC) before filing his action in Superior Court and (2) failed to allege sufficient facts in his complaint demonstrating that each of the defendants had engaged in some unlawful act, or had failed to perform a necessary act, related to the tax assessment appeal. Although we agree with the plaintiff with respect to his first claim, we disagree with the second. We also conclude that the form of the judgment is incorrect in that, rather than granting the motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, the court should have rendered judgment in favor of the defendants.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3978

AC41792 - Pfister v. Madison Beach Hotel, LLC (Real property; permanent injunction; "The defendants Madison Beach Hotel, LLC, and Madison Beach Hotel of Florida, LLC, appeal from the trial court's judgment granting a permanent injunction in favor of the plaintiffs Cecilia Pfister, Margaret P. Carbajal, Katherine Spence, Emile J. Geisenheimer, Susan F. Geisenheimer, Henry L. Platt, Douglas J. Crowley, and 33 MBW, LLC. Specifically, the defendants claim that the trial court erred in holding that their use of a town owned parcel of land to host public concerts violates the zoning regulations of the town of Madison. We agree with the defendants and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3933

AC39630 - Petrucelli v. City of Meriden (Zoning; municipal blight citation; anti-blight ordinance; "The petitioner, Arthur Petrucelli, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the respondent, the city of Meriden (city), following a de novo hearing held on his petition to reopen an assessment entered against him by a citation hearing officer for violation of the city's anti-blight ordinance. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by precluding, in whole or in part, two of his witnesses from testifying, (2) erroneously concluded that the city had not violated his due process rights, (3) erroneously concluded that the city's anti-blight ordinance was not unconstitutionally vague as applied to him, and (4) erroneously concluded that there was sufficient evidence establishing his noncompliance with the anti-blight ordinance. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3927

AC42251 - Vaicunas v. Gaylord ("The plaintiffs, David Vaicunas and Joseph Kobos, appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Regina R. Gaylord, Kevin McGuire, Deborah Foster, John McGuire, and Scott McGuire, on the count of the complaint alleging undue influence exerted on Helen Rachel in amending The Helen K. Rachel Revocable Trust Indenture. The plaintiffs also appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered after it granted the motion by the defendants to set aside the jury’s verdict in favor of Vaicunas on the count for adverse possession of certain real property owned by Helen Rachel. On appeal, Vaicunas claims that the court improperly set aside the jury verdict with respect to adverse possession, and both plaintiffs claim that the court (1) abused its discretion by declining to admit the plaintiffs’ offer of evidence as to the character of Helen Rachel, which was relevant to their claim for undue influence and (2) improperly charged the jury on the law of undue influence. We conclude that the trial court properly set aside the verdict on the claim for adverse possession and, as to the plaintiffs’ claim of undue influence, we reject their assertions of evidentiary and instructional error on the part of the court. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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