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Property Law

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5006

AC44218, AC44656 - D2E Holdings, LLC v. Corp. for Urban Home Ownership of New Haven (“These consolidated appeals arise from a dispute among the plaintiff, D2E Holdings, LLC (D2E Holdings), the defendant, third-party plaintiff, and third-party counterclaim defendant, Corporation for Urban Home Ownership of New Haven (CUHO), and the third-party defendant and third-party counterclaim plaintiff, Dragon Bridge Management, LLC (Dragon Bridge).In Docket No. AC 44218, D2E Holdings and Dragon Bridge appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of CUHO. In Docket No. AC 44656, D2E Holdings appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to open the judgment in favor of CUHO. The parties advance three claims in their appeals. In AC 44218, D2E Holdings claims that the court improperly rendered judgment in favor of CUHO on D2E Holdings' breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim; in the same docket, Dragon Bridge claims that the court improperly rendered judgment in favor of CUHO on Dragon Bridge's breach of contract counterclaim. In AC 44656, D2E Holdings claims that the court incorrectly determined that it failed to make a threshold showing of fraud in order to warrant limited discovery and an evidentiary hearing on its motion to open. We affirm the judgments of the court.”)

AC43957 - Li v. Yaggi (“On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly concluded that they (1) failed to exercise due diligence in obtaining a written mortgage commitment, (2) did not provide adequate notice to the defendant that they were unable to obtain a mortgage commitment, and (3) waived any right they might have had to the deposits. We conclude that the court properly determined that the plaintiffs did not provide adequate notice to the defendant that they were unable to obtain a mortgage commitment pursuant to the terms of the agreement. 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=4968

AC44344 - Cavanagh v. Richichi ("In this partition action, the plaintiff and counterclaim defendant, Willis Cavanagh (plaintiff), appeals from the judgment of the trial court ordering an equitable distribution of the property located at 120 Water Street in Norwalk (property). The trial court found that the plaintiff's interest in the property was minimal and ordered him to quitclaim his undivided one-third stake in the property to the defendants and counterclaim plaintiffs Robert Bloom and John Gardella, in their capacity as cotrustees of the Norman R. Bloom Revocable Trust, and to New NRB #3 Corporation (New NRB) (collectively, defendants), for just compensation. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in calculating the just compensation owed to him by (1) finding that the defendants were entitled to a credit of one third of the amount that they paid for improvements to the property, and (2) failing to award him any compensation for the defendants' use and occupancy of the property. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Environmental Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4949

SC20545 - Crouzet v. First Baptist Church of Stonington (Appellate Review; Whether appellate court properly reversed trial court's judgment for defendants in action regarding contamination of neighboring plaintiff's property because (1) trial court committed clear error in finding that secondary source was responsible for contamination and (2) even if there was secondary source, its presence did not mean that plaintiff failed to prove that defendants caused contamination; "The plaintiff, David Crouzet, brought this action against the defendants, First Baptist Church of Stonington and Second Congregational Church of Stonington, alleging that fuel oil had leaked from an underground storage tank that previously had been located on the defendants' property onto the plaintiff's property, thereby contaminating it. The case was tried to the court, which concluded that a "secondary source" for the oil contamination existed on the plaintiff's property and, therefore, that the plaintiff had failed to prove its case. Accordingly, the trial court rendered judgment for the defendants. The plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Court, claiming that the trial court's finding that there was a secondary source for the oil contamination was clearly erroneous and that, even if that finding was supported by the evidence, that would not mean that the plaintiff failed to prove that the oil tank on the defendants' property was the primary source of the contamination. Crouzet v. First Baptist Church of Stonington, 199 Conn. App. 532, 553–54, 239 A.3d 321 (2020). The Appellate Court agreed with the plaintiff and reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded the case for a new trial. Id., 555, 559–60, 562. We then granted the plaintiff's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following issue: "Did the Appellate Court, on the record in this case, properly reverse the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants on the grounds that (1) the trial court committed clear error in finding that a secondary source was responsible for the contamination of the plaintiff's property, and (2) even if there had been a secondary source of contamination, the presence of that secondary source does not mean that the plaintiff failed to prove that the defendants' oil tank contaminated [the] property?" Crouzet v. First Baptist Church of Stonington, 335 Conn. 979, 241 A.3d 703 (2020). We conclude that certification was improvidently granted and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4940

AC44169 - Loch View, LLC v. Windham ("In this action that arose out of a municipal tax dispute, the plaintiff, Loch View, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to open, modify, and vacate the judgment dismissing the its action against the defendant, the town of Windham. Specifically, the plaintiff contends that the court either failed to exercise its discretion or abused its discretion in denying its motion to open. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4922

AC44296 - Digital 60 & 80 Merritt, LLC v. Board of Assessment Appeals ("In this joint real estate tax appeal, the defendants, the Board of Assessment Appeals of the Town of Trumbull (board) and the town of Trumbull (town), appeal from the judgments of the trial court sustaining the appeals brought by the plaintiff, Digital 60 & 80 Merritt, LLC, and ordering the reduction of the defendants' tax assessment levied against the plaintiff's property located at 60 Merritt Boulevard in Trumbull (property).On appeal, the defendants challenge the court's determination of the fair market value of the property, which they claim is based on certain clearly erroneous factual findings made by the court. Specifically, the defendants claim that the court erred in (1) failing to impute income to Suite 220 of the property, (2) valuing Suite 210 of the property at the suite's wholesale rate, (3) applying a capitalization rate of 8 percent, and (4) disregarding the plaintiff's internal valuations. 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=4912

AC43448 - Peerless Realty, Inc. v. Stamford ("This case involves a dispute over the remedies available to a taxpayer for reimbursement of property taxes levied on an apartment building following the tax assessor's erroneous recordation, dating back to 1993, of the property's acreage. The plaintiff property owner, Peerless Realty, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following the granting of the motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants, the city of Stamford (city) and the Stamford tax assessor, Gregory Stackpole. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in rendering summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact exist and because the defendants were not entitled to judgment as a matter of law. 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=4856

AC44348 - Wheeler v. Beachcroft, LLC (Quiet title; "This appeal is the latest episode in what our Supreme Court has described as 'a nearly century old dispute among neighbors in a housing development along the Long Island Sound (sound) over access to the shore.' Wheeler v. Beachcroft, LLC, 320 Conn. 146, 148, 129 A.3d 677 (2016). The defendant Beachcroft, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court summarily enforcing a settlement agreement entered on the record on the eve of trial. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) committed error in making a finding that two intervening defendants, the McBurneys, were not parties to the settlement agreement, and (2) improperly altered or omitted material terms of the settlement agreement in summarily enforcing the settlement agreement. We reverse the judgment of the trial court only insofar as the court's decision summarily enforcing the settlement agreement omitted certain terms of the settlement agreement, and we affirm the judgment in all other respects.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4855

AC44905 - Stratford v. 500 North Avenue, LLC (Foreclosure of municipal tax liens; "This is an appeal by the defendant 500 North Avenue, LLC, from a judgment of foreclosure rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the town of Stratford. The plaintiff has moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the defendant lacks standing to maintain the appeal because it no longer owns the property at issue and, therefore, is not aggrieved by the judgment. Although the defendant concedes that it has no ownership interest in the property, it opposes the motion on the ground that it is aggrieved by the possible collateral consequences of the judgment. Specifically, the defendant argues that the judgment establishes its underlying tax obligations to the plaintiff and could be used by the plaintiff to establish the defendant's liability in a future, independent action by the plaintiff to collect unpaid taxes not satisfied by a judgment in this case. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the defendant is not aggrieved by the judgment and, therefore, lacks standing to pursue this appeal. As a result, we grant the motion to dismiss and dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4837

AC43007 - Carlson v. Carlson ("The self-represented defendant, Vernon F. Carlson, appeals from various judgments and actions of the trial court stemming from a 2007 action commenced by the plaintiffs, Stuart C. Carlson, Patricia W. Carlson, and Alexis S. Carlson, and a subsequent settlement agreement that was reached by the parties in 2015. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred (1) in denying his motions to inspect and copy corporate and partnership tax returns, (2) by not addressing the dispute in the presettlement notice between the parties before a settlement was reached, (3) in not ordering the plaintiffs to release all claims during the 2015 settlement negotiations, (4) in authorizing an application for a subdivision of a property owned by the partnership, and (5) in appointing Peter Carlson as receiver. We conclude that the defendant's first three claims must be dismissed. As for the fourth and fifth claims, for the reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgments of the court.")



Property Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4809

AC44517 - Taylor v. Pollner ("In this quiet title action, the plaintiff, Christopher J. Taylor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court to the extent that the court awarded attorney's fees to the defendant, Lisa Pollner, pursuant to Practice Book § 1-21A. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court abused its discretion in awarding monetary sanctions to compensate the defendant for her attorney's fees and that those fees were excessive, unreasonable, and clearly erroneous. We affirm the judgment of the trial court awarding attorney's fees to the defendant.")

AC44301 - Wooden v. Perez ("In this adverse possession action, the substitute plaintiff, Anthony E. Monelli, as administrator of the estate of the decedent, Lonnie Thomas, Sr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant, Dinanyelly E. Perez, on the ground that the substitute plaintiff lacked standing to maintain the action. The substitute plaintiff claims that the court incorrectly determined that he lacked standing to pursue the adverse possession claim because the decedent had devised the property at issue to a trust for the benefit of his children and, therefore, only the trustees of that testamentary trust, and not the executor or administrator of the decedent's estate, had standing to prosecute the present action. We disagree with the substitute plaintiff and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")



Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4758

AC43912 - Lebanon Historical Society, Inc v. Attorney General (Quiet title, motion to dismiss, standing, subject matter jurisdiction; "In this action to quiet title to, and to impose conservation and preservation restrictions on, property in the town of Lebanon (town), the plaintiff, Lebanon Historical Society, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant First Congregational Church of Lebanon (church), on the ground that the plaintiff lacks standing to bring the action. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the court erred when it concluded that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring a quiet title action on the portion of the Lebanon Town Green (Green), where the church is located (Church Parcel). 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=4749

AC43487 - Briarwood of Silvermine, LLC v. Yew Street Partners, LLC (Adverse possession, quiet title, trespass, motion to dismiss; "In this adverse possession action, the plaintiffs, Briarwood of Silvermine, LLC (Briarwood), and Ganga Duleep, appeal from the judgment in favor of the defendants, Yew Street Partners, LLC (Yew Street), and Juliann Altieri, rendered by the trial court after it granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, which was made orally pursuant to Practice Book § 15-8, after the plaintiffs had rested their case-in-chief, and on the counts of the defendants' counterclaims seeking to quiet title and for trespass. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred by (1) dismissing their claims pursuant to § 15-8, (2) rendering judgment in favor of Yew Street on its counterclaim seeking to quiet title, and (3) rendering judgment in favor of Altieri on the count of her counterclaim for trespass. Because we conclude that the trial court incorrectly applied the law of adverse possession when determining whether the plaintiffs established a prima facie case of adverse possession, we reverse the judgment of the court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4725

AC44704 - Brookstone Homes, LLC v. Merco Holdings, LLC (Application for discharge of lis pendens, breach of contract; "This joint appeal was filed in two trial court cases to challenge the trial court's order in one case granting an application to discharge the lis pendens filed against multiple properties. We ordered the parties to file memoranda to address (1) whether this appeal should be dismissed as moot as to the order granting the application to discharge the lis pendens because that order has been recorded on the land records and (2) whether the appeal should be dismissed for lack of a final judgment as to the portion of the appeal taken as to the underlying breach of contract case that is still pending before the trial court. Having considered the memorandum submitted by the appellants, we dismiss the appeal.")



Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4676

AC43995 - Robinson v. Tindill (Erection of divisional fence; trespass; unpreserved claim of conversion; "This case arises from the erection of a fence by the defendants, William Tindill (Tindill) and Erika Tindill, between their property and the adjacent property owned by the plaintiffs, Ellis Robinson and Nicole Robinson. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs after a hearing in damages and the court's prior order granting the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment as to liability and finding both defendants liable for trespass and Tindill liable for conversion. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred (1) in finding them liable for trespass because the fence at issue was a statutorily compliant divisional fence pursuant to General Statutes § 47-43, (2) in finding Erika Tindill liable for trespass, even though she played no role in erecting the fence, and (3) in finding Tindill liable for conversion because the plaintiffs failed to plead, or present any evidence in support of, a claim for conversion. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4668

SC20587 - South Windsor v. Lanata ("The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the Appellate Court properly remanded this case to the trial court for a new trial, rather than a proceeding limited to damages, after reversing in part the judgment of the trial court, which assessed a fine and imposed injunctive relief for certain zoning violations pursuant to General Statutes § 8-12. The plaintiffs, the town of South Windsor (town) and its zoning enforcement officer, Pamela Oliva, appeal, upon our grant of their petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing in part the judgment of the trial court in their favor and remanding the case for a new trial on count two of their complaint. South Windsor v. Lanata, 203 Conn. App. 89, 92, 115, 247 A.3d 626 (2021). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that, after concluding that the trial court had improperly assessed a fine on the named defendant, Kristin Lanata, pursuant to § 8-12 for zoning violations for a period of time that she was under lawful orders not to disturb her property because of an ongoing fire investigation, the Appellate Court improperly remanded the case for a new trial on that count, rather than a proceeding limited to damages. Because there is no remaining dispute as to the defendant's liability for the zoning violations, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court in part.

. . .

The judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed in part and the case is remanded to that court with direction to reverse the judgment of the trial court as to count two of the complaint only as to its determination of fines and remedies, and to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings as to damages and remedies.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4642

AC43382 - Kloiber v. Jellen ("In this property dispute among neighbors, the self-represented plaintiffs, Alfred J. Kloiber and Melanie McNichol, appeal from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants, Chris Jellen and Linda Jellen. On appeal, the plaintiffs raise a variety of issues related to the court's disposition of their trespass, private nuisance, negligence, and statutory negligence claims. Following supplemental briefing by the parties on the issue of standing, we conclude that the plaintiffs lacked the requisite standing to maintain this action. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to render a judgment of dismissal.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4632

AC42644 - Pimental v. River Junction Estates LLC (Quiet title; public highway; common-law theory of dedication and acceptance; "In Connecticut, one method of establishing a public highway is through the common-law theory of dedication and acceptance. See Montanaro v. Aspetuck Land Trust, Inc., 137 Conn. App. 1, 10, 48 A.3d 107, cert. denied, 307 Conn. 932, 56 A.3d 715 (2012). This appeal concerns the trial court's determination that the defendant River Junction Estates, LLC (River Junction), failed to prove, pursuant to such theory, that a portion of Starr Road in the town of Thompson (town), i.e., from approximately 0.15 miles beyond Starr Road's intersection with New Road to the Rhode Island state border (disputed portion), is a public highway. River Junction appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial to the court—in favor of the plaintiffs, Donald Pimental, Melissa Pimental, Jayson Livingstone, and Gail Livingstone, as well as the defendant town—on the plaintiffs' claim to quiet title to the disputed portion of the road. River Junction's primary claim on appeal is that the court erred in failing to find a manifested intent by the owner of the fee to dedicate the disputed portion of Starr Road to public use. Because we disagree with River Junction's primary claim, which is dispositive of this appeal, we affirm 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=4615

SC20506 - Rainbow Housing Corp. v. Cromwell (Property taxes; "General Statutes § 12-81 (7) generally exempts from taxation real property owned by a tax-exempt charitable organization and used exclusively for charitable purposes; see General Statutes § 12-81 (7) (A); but excludes from that exemption 'housing subsidized, in whole or in part, by federal, state or local government . . . .' General Statutes § 12-81 (7) (B). The subsidized housing exclusion contains an exception for 'temporary housing' used primarily for certain enumerated charitable purposes, including 'housing for . . . persons with a mental health disorder . . . .' General Statutes § 12-81 (7) (B) (iii). This appeal requires us to determine whether the trial court correctly determined that property used for a residential mental health treatment program was tax exempt under § 12-81 (7) on the grounds that it does not provide housing subsidized by the government and that any housing provided is temporary. We affirm 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=4599

SC20436 - Abel v. Johnson ("In this certified appeal, we consider whether deed language providing that the grantees took title 'subject to' an earlier deed, which established a residential use restriction for the benefit of the original grantor's retained property, rendered that restriction enforceable against those grantees by adjoining property owners whose deeds contain similar 'subject to' language, pursuant to a common plan of development theory. The plaintiffs, Michael Abel and Carol Abel, appeal, upon our grant of their petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing in part the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, granting injunctive relief against the defendant, Celeste M. Johnson, enforcing one restrictive covenant limiting the use of the property to residential use, which was contained in a deed that was executed by the original grantors of the parties' real properties, and two other use restrictions that appeared in a separate declaration that applied to the properties. See Abel v. Johnson, 194 Conn. App. 120, 142–43, 156, 220 A.3d 843 (2019). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that they lacked standing to enforce the residential use restriction. We agree and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.")