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Property Law

Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3708

AC40415 - Weston Street Hartford, LLC v. Zebra Realty, LLC (Easements; temporary and permanent injunction; "The present case arises from a dispute between the plaintiff, Weston Street Hartford, LLC, and the defendant, Zebra Realty, LLC, concerning a right-of-way easement held by the plaintiff that runs over property owned by the defendant. The defendant has appealed and the plaintiff has cross appealed from the judgment rendered, after a court trial, on the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court, in rendering judgment in favor of the plaintiff on counts one and two of the counterclaim, incorrectly determined that Alligood v. LaSaracina, 122 Conn. App. 473, 999 A.2d 836 (2010), applies to the present case and prohibits any landowner from relocating an easement without the consent of the easement holder. In the alternative, the defendant contends that the Restatement (Third), Property, Servitudes § 4.8 (3) (c), is a more logical extension of Connecticut easement law than the rule adopted by this court in Alligood. On cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that, upon finding that the defendant's use of the servient estate interfered with the plaintiff's intended use of the easement, the court should have rendered judgment in its favor on its complaint and granted its request for an injunction prohibiting interference by the defendant. We disagree with both parties' claims 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=3692

AC40858 - Colon-Collazo v. Cox (Property execution; exemption; "In this appeal from postjudgment proceedings to obtain satisfaction of a civil dissolution judgment, the defendant judgment creditor . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court ordering that certain property of the plaintiff judgment debtor . . . is exempt from a property execution. On appeal, the judgment creditor claims that the court improperly concluded that certain property she sought to levy was exempt because (1) the judgment debtor never filed a claim for an exemption as required by our statutes and case law and (2) its conclusion was not supported by any evidence. We 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=3674

AC39746 - Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc. (Personal property taxes; attorney's fees; summary judgment; "In this action to collect unpaid personal property taxes, the defendant, WMS Gaming, Inc., appeals from the summary judgment as to liability only rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, the town of Ledyard, awarding it attorney's fees pursuant to General Statutes § 12-161a. The defendant's sole claim on appeal is that the trial court improperly concluded that the defendant was liable for attorney's fees incurred by the plaintiff while litigating a collateral action in federal court in addition to the fees incurred while pursuing this action. Specifically, it argues that the court improperly determined that the fees incurred in the collateral action were 'as a result of and directly related to' this collection action within the meaning of § 12-161a. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")



Property Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3617

AC41345 - White v. Latimer Point Condominium Assn., Inc. (Permanent injunction; "The plaintiff, Peter White, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, ruling in favor of the defendants, Latimer Point Condominium Association, Inc., (association), and Gennaro Modugno and Elizabeth Modugno, whom we collectively refer to as the Modugnos, on the plaintiff's complaint, which was brought pursuant to General Statutes § 47-278. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court misapplied and disregarded relevant case law, that it failed to apply properly the 10 percent rule contained in the association's bylaws, that it ignored overwhelming evidence that the association failed to comply with its tree trimming schedule, and that it rendered a judgment that is neither legally correct nor factually supported by the record. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40697 - Wilton Campus 1691, LLC v. Wilton, Wilton River Park North, LLC v. Wilton, Wilton River Park 1688, LLC v. Wilton (Tax appeals; "The principal issue in this real estate joint tax appeal is whether the trial court properly rendered judgments in favor of the defendant, the town of Wilton, despite having concluded that the defendant's tax assessor (assessor) violated General Statutes § 12-55 (b) when he added late filing penalties pursuant to General Statutes § 12-63c (d) against the plaintiff property owners three months after taking and subscribing to the oath on the 2014 grand list. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgments of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant. In their joint appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred by rendering judgments in favor of the defendant despite having properly concluded that the assessor acted without statutory authority when he added the late filing penalties to the 2014 grand list after taking and subscribing to the oath. We agree. Accordingly, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3583

AC41499 - Sack Properties, LLC v. Martel Real Estate, LLC (Quiet title; "In this action involving three lots of commercial property and a drainage easement enjoyed by the plaintiff, Sack Properties, LLC, the owner of two of those lots, over the lot owned by the defendant Martel Real Estate, LLC, the plaintiff challenges the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, in part in favor of the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) rejected its quiet title and trespass claims on the ground that it failed to prove that it exclusively owned the pipe through which its drainage easement ran, and (2) found that it failed to prove that the defendant had overburdened its right to use the drainage easement. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3579

SC20013, SC20014 - McKay v. Longman ("These consolidated appeals require us to consider three main issues: (1) whether a plaintiff who is neither a party to a mortgage nor an intended beneficiary thereof has standing to challenge the enforceability of that mortgage under the Connecticut Limited Liability Company Act, General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 34-130; (2) whether specified transfers between an owner of property and the limited liability companies of which he is either an officer or equity holder constitute fraudulent transfers under the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), General Statutes §§ 52-552e (a) (1) and (2) and 52-552f; and (3) whether this court recognizes the doctrine of reverse piercing of the corporate veil and, if so, whether the trial court properly applied the doctrine to the facts in the present case.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3511

AC41443 - O'Brien-Kelley, Ltd. V. Goshen (Tax warrant; "In this action arising from an alias tax warrant issued by the town of Goshen for delinquent municipal real estate taxes, the plaintiff, O'Brien-Kelley, Ltd., appeals from the summary judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Arthur R. Quinn III, a state marshal, which concluded that the defendant was entitled, under General Statutes § 12-162 (c), to be paid a 15 percent statutory fee for executing the subject tax warrant. The plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in holding that the defendant was entitled to be paid the statutory fee because the defendant had not executed on the tax warrant or collected the delinquent taxes, but merely mailed notice of the tax warrant to the plaintiff, prompting the plaintiff to pay the delinquent tax and interest to the town directly before the warrant was served. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3499

SC20019 - Tuohy v. Groton (Property tax appeal; "In this appeal, we consider whether a municipality's assessor may apply a uniform adjustment factor to a neighborhood's appraised property values during the mass appraisal process for the revaluation of real property pursuant to General Statutes 12-62 (b), as a direct equalization measure in order to ensure that neighborhood is not undertaxed relative to others in the municipality. The plaintiffs, John P. Tuohy and numerous other owners of real property located in the Groton Long Point neighborhood, brought this class action tax appeal pursuant to General Statutes 12-119 against the defendants, the town of Groton (town) and Mary Gardner, its assessor, challenging the assessed value of their properties following the revaluation conducted by the town for its October 1, 2011 grand list (2011 revaluation). The plaintiffs now appeal from the judgment in favor of the defendants, rendered after a trial to the court, upholding the legality of those assessments. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court incorrectly determined that their assessments were not manifestly excessive because the defendants violated 12-62 and numerous provisions of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (regulations) promulgated by the state Office of Policy and Management (OPM); see Regs., Conn. State Agencies 12-62i-1 et seq.; when they applied a flat, undifferentiated adjustment factor that increased the assessed value of all properties in Groton Long Point by 35 percent without individualized consideration of the unique characteristics of each property. We conclude that the defendants properly applied an adjustment factor as a direct equalization measure in connection with an assessment to sales ratio study conducted pursuant to various standards promulgated by the International Association of Assessing Officers (international association) in order to ensure that Groton Long Point bore its fair share of the town's municipal tax burden relative to the town's other neighborhoods. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3498

SC20054 - Redding Life Care, LLC v. Redding (Property tax appeal, writ of error; "In this certified appeal, we are asked to determine whether there exists either an absolute or qualified testimonial privilege for an unretained expert who previously has rendered an opinion relevant to the issues in a pending case. The defendant in error, the town of Redding (town), appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which granted the writ of error filed by the plaintiff in error, David R. Salinas. In granting the writ, the Appellate Court vacated the trial court's order denying his motion for a protective order that sought to prohibit the town from taking his deposition and ordered the trial court to determine whether Salinas' testimony was privileged under the new, qualified unretained expert privilege that the Appellate Court announced. To reach this issue, however, this court must overcome two jurisdictional hurdles: (1) whether this court has jurisdiction to grant certification to appeal from the Appellate Court's determination of a writ of error, and (2) whether the trial court's ruling constituted an appealable final judgment. Although we determine that we have jurisdiction to grant certification, we nevertheless determine that there was no appealable final judgment. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and direct that court on remand to dismiss the writ of error for lack of a final judgment.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3486

AC41357 - Day v. Perkins Properties, LLC (Nuisance per se; "The defendants, Perkins Properties, LLC, and Mark J. Perkins, Jr., appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Kieran Day and Jennifer Day. The defendants claim that the court improperly determined that a nuisance per se existed solely on the basis of violations of local zoning regulations. We agree that a violation of a local zoning ordinance in one town cannot be said to constitute a nuisance everywhere in the state of Connecticut as the nuisance per se doctrine requires and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3485

AC40885 - Commissioner of Transportation v. Lagosz (Eminent domain; "The defendant Teresa B. Lagosz appeals from the judgment of the trial court reassessing damages in the sum of $600,000 for the taking of her property by the plaintiff, the Commissioner of Transportation, on May 4, 2015, in connection with the improvement of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail corridor. The defendant's primary claim on appeal is that the court improperly found and summarily enforced, after conducting a hearing pursuant to Audubon Parking Associates Ltd. Partnership v. Barclay & Stubbs, Inc., 225 Conn. 804, 626 A.2d 729 (1993) (Audubon), an oral settlement agreement in the amount of $600,000 as just compensation for the taking by eminent domain of the defendant's real property. Specifically, the defendant claims that (1) the settlement agreement was not inclusive of all the essential terms of the parties' agreement and (2) the court's finding that an enforceable agreement existed was clearly erroneous because it was based on unclear and ambiguous testimony elicited at the Audubon hearing. Conversely, the plaintiff claims that the court, after the Audubon hearing, correctly concluded that there was a settlement agreement in the amount of $600,000 that was just compensation for the taking of the defendant's real property. We agree with the plaintiff 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=3455

AC40459 - Bozelko v. Statewide Construction, Inc. (Quiet title; "The plaintiff, Ronald F. Bozelko, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants, Statewide Construction, Inc., and Robert Pesapane, in an action to quiet title under General Statutes § 47-31. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court's conclusions with respect to his quiet title claim are improper. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3447

SC19993 - Mangiafico v. Farmington ("The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether a claim brought in state court alleging a deprivation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 may be dismissed for failure to exhaust state administrative remedies. The plaintiff . . . is a homeowner who was the subject of a series of enforcement actions under a municipal blight ordinance in the town of Farmington. In 2013, the plaintiff commenced this state court action alleging, in relevant part, that the defendants' designation of his property as blighted, their assessment of daily punitive fines, and their imposition of municipal blight liens constituted an unconstitutional taking of his property in violation of the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution and § 1983. The defendants successfully moved in the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff's § 1983 claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies because he had not filed an appeal pursuant to General Statutes § 7-152c (g). The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment. See Mangiafico v. Farmington, 173 Conn. App. 158, 177, 163 A.3d 689 (2017). . .

The judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed with respect to the plaintiff's § 1983 claims and the case is remanded to that court with direction to remand the case to the trial court with direction to deny the defendants' motion to dismiss as to the plaintiff's § 1983 claims and for further proceedings according to law.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3370

AC40484 - Canton v. Cadle Properties of Connecticut, Inc. (Petition for appointment of receiver of rents; "On April 26, 2011, the plaintiff, the town of Canton (town), filed a petition for an appointment of a receiver of rents after the named defendant, Cadle Properties of Connecticut, Inc. (Cadle), failed to pay property taxes on real property it owns at 51 Albany Turnpike in Canton. The court granted the petition on June 20, 2011. In this appeal, the intervening defendant, M & S Associates, LLC, which currently occupies the subject property, appeals from the trial court's postjudgment order approving an interim accounting filed by the receiver of rents, Boardwalk Realty Associates, LLC (receiver). The defendant claims that the trial court erred in granting the receiver's motion for approval of the interim accounting by misconstruing General Statutes § 12-163a and finding that the receiver is not required to pay, from the date of the receiver's appointment, the defendant's utility costs at the subject property. We disagree.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3349

SC20154 - Restaurant Supply, LLC v. Giardi Ltd. Partnership ("The present appeal requires us to consider whether a plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded that a transaction was an auction without reserve by simply alleging that the owner of the real property for sale sought highest and best offers from potential buyers and the plaintiff submitted the highest and best offer, and, if so, whether an auction without reserve for the sale of real property creates an enforceable agreement constituting an exception to the statute of frauds. The plaintiff, Restaurant Supply, LLC, appeals from the trial court's judgment rendered after it had granted motions to strike by the defendants, Giardi Limited Partnership (Giardi) and Hartford Auto Park, LLC (Hartford Auto Park). The court determined that the plaintiff failed to allege that Giardi's request that potential buyers of its property, 19 and 43 West Service Road, Hartford (property), submit their highest and best offers constituted an auction without reserve and, thus, created an exception to the requirement under the statute of frauds that there be a 'writing . . . signed by the party . . . to be charged . . . .' General Statutes § 52-550 (a). The parties disagree as to whether the plaintiff's allegation that Giardi's request for '"[h]ighest and [b]est" offers' constitutes 'explicit terms' that Giardi was putting the property up for auction without reserve for purposes of General Statutes § 42a-2-328 (3). We conclude that, under the facts of this case, the plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to allege an auction without reserve, and, as such, we do not resolve the issue of whether an exception to the statute of frauds should be created for auctions without reserve.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3288

AC40556 - Gaughan v. Higgins (Quiet title; trespass; "This quiet title action concerns a triangular strip of land between the parties' properties. The defendant, Peter J. Higgins, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiffs, Peter P. Gaughan and Jacqueline McGann. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) credited the testimony of the plaintiffs' expert witness, (2) found facts not supported by the record, (3) found that the defendant trespassed on the plaintiffs' property, and (4) awarded the plaintiffs the fees of their expert witness as an element of the bill of costs. The plaintiffs cross appeal, claiming that the court improperly (1) denied their request for punitive damages and (2) determined that the defendant did not slander the plaintiffs' title. We reverse the judgment of the trial court with respect to the defendant's fourth claim and affirm the judgment in all other respects.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3227

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.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3201

SC20045 - Sun Val, LLC v. Commissioner of Transportation (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Sun Val, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in its favor against the defendant, the Commissioner of Transportation. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly (1) applied the wrong environmental regulations to determine whether materials left on the plaintiff's property were contaminated and, as a result, failed to award appropriate damages for removal of those contaminated materials, (2) determined that the plaintiff failed to mitigate its damages, and (3) rejected the plaintiff's claim for lost profits. 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=3199

AC40143 - Errichetti v. Botoff (Malicious erection of fence; injunction; "This case is about a so-called 'spite fence' erected along the border between two residential properties in Greenwich. The defendants, Daniel Botoff and Laura Botoff, appeal from the trial court's judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Michael Errichetti, entering an injunction pursuant to General Statutes § 52-480, which required the defendants to remove the fence that they had constructed on their property and to restore the surrounding area. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred by (1) finding the second and third elements of § 52-480 satisfied, namely, a malicious erection of the structure and the intention to injure the enjoyment of the adjacent landowner's property, and (2) ordering the defendants to restore the area in which the fence was erected to its previous condition. We disagree, and, accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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