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Property Law

Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5891

AC46258 - Brennan v. Board of Assessment Appeals ("In this administrative tax appeal, the plaintiff, James R. Brennan, appeals from the judgment of the trial court affirming the decision of the defendant, the Board of Assessment Appeals of the Town of Seymour (board), which upheld the revaluation of his residential dwelling and the declassification of his 7.26 acres of nonresidential land (excess property) as farmland by the Seymour tax assessor (assessor). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) determined that he had abandoned his claim regarding the proper value of his residential dwelling, (2) considered the factors set forth in General Statutes § 12-107c (a) in determining whether the excess property was no longer being used as a farm for purposes of General Statutes § 12-504h, and (3) determined that the plaintiff changed the use of the excess property so as to have lost the entitlement to the farmland designation previously granted to him by the assessor. 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=5879

AC46321 - Gleason v. Atkins ("The plaintiffs, Mary Gleason and Keavy Ann Gleason, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Paul Atkins, in the plaintiffs' action to quiet title to a strip of land in the town of New Preston and to obtain damages for trespass. The disputed strip of land is the unpaved shoulder of a public highway, which extends across the defendant's property and lies to the south of a lakefront parcel (lakefront premises) that the plaintiffs have the exclusive right to use in common with other property owners who are not parties to this action. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly concluded that the lakefront premises is bounded by the unpaved shoulder rather than the paved portion of the highway. 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=5818

AC45875 - Krasko v. Konkos ("The defendants Robert Konkos and Chelsea Konkos (collectively, Konkos defendants); 105 Honeysuckle Trust, dated March 9, 2021, Owned Wealth, LLC, as trustee; and Owned Wealth, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting a motion brought by the plaintiffs, Robert J. Krasko and Francis L. O'Neill, to enforce a settlement agreement allegedly entered into between the parties at a pretrial conference. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court erred in granting the plaintiffs' motion to enforce in the absence of a clear and unambiguous agreement. We reverse the judgment of the court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5814

SC20759 - Canner v. Governors Ridge Assn., Inc. (“The plaintiffs, Glen A. Canner, the executor of the estate of Charles A. Canner, and Louis D. Puteri, brought separate actions against a condominium association, the named defendant in each case, Governors Ridge Association, Inc., alleging that the foundations supporting their respective units were sinking as a result of improper design. In this consolidated appeal, the plaintiffs contend that the Appellate Court improperly affirmed the trial court’s judgments in favor of the defendant on the ground that the three year tort statute of limitations; see General Statutes § 52-577; barred pursuit of an alleged cause of action under the Common Interest Ownership Act (CIOA), General Statutes § 47-200 et seq. We conclude that some, but not all, of the plaintiffs’ claims against the defendant are time barred and, accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5806

AC45450 - Patrick v. 111 Clearview Drive, LLC (Quiet title; "This appeal arises from the dismissal of a quiet title action. The plaintiff, Lois Patrick, initiated the action against the defendant 111 Clearview Drive, LLC, alleging that she has an interest in certain real property located in Bridgeport, as to which the defendant holds title. After a hearing on the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's amended complaint, the trial court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction after determining, sua sponte, that the plaintiff was making an improper collateral attack on a prior judgment. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court (1) improperly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the quiet title action because the plaintiff was collaterally attacking an underlying foreclosure action, and (2) failed to adjudicate whether the plaintiff may be considered an omitted party under General Statutes § 49-30. 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=5785

AC45508 - Supronowicz v. Eaton (Adverse possesion; "In this action to quiet title alleging ownership by adverse possession, the plaintiffs, Jacek Supronowicz and Iwona Supronowicz, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants Michael Eaton and Stephanie Hawker. The plaintiffs claim that the court improperly concluded that they could not establish their claim of adverse possession as a matter of law because they (1) failed to demonstrate that privity existed between themselves and their predecessors in title for purposes of tacking periods of possession, (2) acknowledged the defendants' superior title to the disputed area, and (3) failed to show that their use of the disputed area was exclusive. The plaintiffs assert that genuine issues of material fact remain as to each of these issues and that the court therefore improperly granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. We agree with the plaintiffs as to each of their claims and, for the reasons that follow, 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=5778

AC45974 - Vering v. Groton Long Point Assn., Inc. (Declaratory judgment; adverse possession; prescriptive easement; "The present case arises from a dispute between the plaintiffs, Peter B. Viering, Russell W. Viering, Jr., Christine Carr, Jane M. Battles, Thomas E. Kingston, Jr., and Bobbye Lou Sims, and the defendant, The Groton Long Point Association, Inc., concerning the plaintiffs' claimed right to make exclusive use of two strips of land denominated as rights-of-way on land owned by the defendant that abuts the plaintiffs' residential properties in the Groton Long Point section of Groton. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment rendered against them by the trial court on the granting of a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant and the denial of the plaintiffs' own motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred in its summary judgment rulings by (1) failing to consider whether access easements over the two rights-of-way had been granted to them by deed, and thereby conferred on them the right to use such rights-of-way to the exclusion of all others, and failing in so ruling to consider certain extrinsic evidence allegedly relevant to that claim; (2) concluding that the defendant was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the plaintiffs' claim that they had acquired the rights-of-way by adverse possession or, alternatively, that they had acquired prescriptive easements over the rights-of-way; and (3) failing to address their claim that the defendant had abandoned the rights-of-way. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5726

AC45863 - SG Pequot 200, LLC v. Fairfield (“The plaintiff, SG Pequot 200, LLC, appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered in favor of the defendant, the town of Fairfield (town), by the trial court in this municipal tax appeal brought pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a.1 On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s municipal tax appeal on the basis that the plaintiff’s petition to the town’s board of assessment appeals (board) was untimely under General Statutes §§ 12-111 (a) (1) and 12-112. We agree and, accordingly, 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=5716

AC45407 - Rader v. Valeri ("This interpleader action arises from a real estate transaction in which the defendant claimant, MSPD Downs Street, LLC (MSPD), purchased two properties located in Danbury from the defendant claimant, Paul J. Valeri. The plaintiff stakeholder, Martin A. Rader, Jr., sought an order determining the rights of Valeri and MSPD to funds held in escrow until Valeri obtained certain zoning approvals for the properties. Valeri appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, awarding MSPD the escrow funds and attorney's fees. On appeal, Valeri claims that the court (1) made clearly erroneous factual findings and (2) improperly concluded that he failed to satisfy one of the zoning contingencies set forth in the escrow agreement. 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=5693

SC20748 - Alico, LLC v. Somers (Tax appeal; "General Statutes § 12-71 (f) (1) authorizes Connecticut towns to assess property taxes on any motor vehicles that, in the normal course of operation, most frequently leave from and return to their towns. The sole issue presented by this appeal is whether the dormant commerce clause of the United States constitution precludes the named defendant, the town of Somers (town), from taxing vehicles that are owned by a Massachusetts company and registered in Massachusetts, but leave from and return each day to Somers. The plaintiffs, Alico, LLC (Alico), and Helder Nunes, appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their request for a judgment declaring that the tax is unconstitutional because it impermissibly subjects the vehicles to double taxation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Quo Warranto Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5678

AC45662 - Speer v. Brown Jacobson P.C. ("The self-represented plaintiff, Sheri Speer, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing, on the grounds of res judicata and collateral estoppel, her quo warranto action challenging the qualifications of the defendants Brown Jacobson P.C. (Brown Jacobson) and one of its attorneys, Aimee Wickless, to serve as corporation counsel for the defendant city of Norwich (city). On appeal, the plaintiff claims, inter alia, that the court improperly concluded that her claims are barred by the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. We agree and, therefore, 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=5676

AC45774 - Speer v. Danjon Capital, Inc. ("The self-represented plaintiff, Sheri Speer, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her present action against the defendant, Danjon Capital, Inc., as a sanction for abuse of discovery. On appeal, she claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by dismissing this action as a sanction for her alleged discovery abuse, which it found that she had engaged in by insisting repeatedly that she had served the defendant with requests for admissions to which the defendant had failed to respond although the court file and her own records contradicted her claim that requests for admissions had been served; (2) improperly denied her timely motion for reassignment of all matters concerning the amount of attorney's fees she should be ordered to pay the defendant as a sanction for her discovery abuse after the court failed to decide that matter within 120 days of the parties' final court-ordered submission thereon; and (3) erred in denying her motion for summary judgment. We agree with the plaintiff that the court improperly dismissed this action as a sanction for her alleged abuse of discovery and that it improperly denied her motion for reassignment of the pending matter concerning the amount of attorney's fees that should be awarded to the defendant as a sanction for her discovery abuse, which the court failed to decide within 120 days of the last court-ordered submission on that matter. We dismiss that portion of the plaintiff's appeal challenging the purported denial of her motion for summary judgment."

________________________

"As for the plaintiff's third claim, alleging error in the denial of her motion for summary judgment, we lack jurisdiction to decide that claim because the plaintiff's motion was not, in fact, denied, or otherwise finally adjudicated. In addition, we note that the denial of a motion for summary judgment, except in limited circumstances that do not exist here, is not an appealable final judgment over which we would have jurisdiction. See, e.g., Kellogg v. Middlesex Mutual Assurance Co., 211 Conn. App. 335, 346–47, 272 A.3d 677 (2022).

The judgment of dismissal, the order requiring the plaintiff to pay attorney's fees to the defendant, and the denial of the plaintiff's motion for reassignment are reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion; the portion of the appeal pertaining to the purported denial of the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is dismissed.")



Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5614

AC45523 - Commissioner of Transportation v. ACP, LLC ("The plaintiff, the Commissioner of Transportation (commissioner), appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding damages to the defendant ACP, LLC, for the taking by eminent domain of a portion of its real property by the commissioner. On appeal, the commissioner claims that the court improperly relied on the expert opinion of the defendant's appraiser to award the defendant temporary severance damages because that expert opinion was arbitrary and speculative. 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=5609

AC45623 - Williams v. Green Power Ventures, LLC ("The plaintiffs, Davidson D. Williams and Barbara R. Williams, appeal from the judgment of the trial court on their complaint against the defendants, Green Power Ventures, LLC (Green Power), 141 Anchorage, LLC, Edward Stern and Amy Stern (Sterns), and Keith J. Manca Building Company, LLC (Manca Building), and on the counterclaim filed by Green Power and 141 Anchorage, LLC. The plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and damages for trespass and nuisance arising out of the defendants' alleged interference with the plaintiffs' use of a right-of-way easement over Green Power's property, which abuts 141 Anchorage, LLC's property. In their counterclaim, Green Power and 141 Anchorage, LLC, sought a declaratory judgment defining the permissible uses of the easement. In resolving the parties' competing claims, the court concluded that the plaintiffs' easement is limited to foot passage only, that the plaintiffs were not entitled to injunctive relief or attorney's fees, and that the plaintiffs were entitled to $500 as 'token damages' on their nuisance claim.

On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) concluded that their easement is limited to foot passage only, (2) found that the fence and gate that the defendants placed across the right-of-way did not constitute an unreasonable interference with the plaintiffs' use of the easement, (3) found that the defendants did not engage in brazen and wanton conduct in connection with the planning, permitting, and development of their project that interferes with the plaintiffs' use of the easement, and (4) failed to consider evidence that the defendants are altering the location and dimensions of the easement. We agree with the plaintiffs' first claim and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5588

AC45645 - Miriam v. Summit Saugatuck, LLC ("In this action to enforce a restrictive covenant, the plaintiffs Selma Miriam and Leslie Ogilvy appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court following its granting of a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant, Summit Saugatuck, LLC, and denial of their motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly determined, as a matter of law, that a common plan of development does not exist for certain lots of real property located within the historic Saugatuck neighborhood area of Westport, where both plaintiffs reside. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the court.")



Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5547

AC45065 - Cazenovia Creek Funding I, LLC v. White Eagle Society of Brotherly Help, Inc., Group 315, Polish National Alliance ("The named defendant, The White Eagle Society of Brotherly Help, Inc., Group 315, Polish National Alliance, appeals from the judgment of foreclosure by sale rendered by the trial court in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Benchmark Municipal Tax Services, Ltd. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) rendered summary judgment against it as to liability after determining that the tax liens for the grand lists of 2012 and 2013 properly were assigned to the plaintiff and (2) found that the debt was due to the plaintiff. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC45473 - U.S. Bank National Assn. v. Booker ("In this residential mortgage foreclosure action, the defendants Linda Booker and Ulish Booker, Jr., appeal from the trial court’s denial of their motion to open the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered in favor of the plaintiff U.S. Bank National Association as Legal Title Trustee for Truman 2016 SC6 Title Trust. The defendants claim that the court erred in denying their motion to open the judgment because the court improperly decided not to exercise its discretion and afford them relief in connection with the grounds of mistake and fraud raised therein. The plaintiff argues that this court should dismiss the appeal because (1) the defendants’ appeal is moot, as title in the mortgaged property has vested in the plaintiff, and (2) the defendants should not be allowed to raise their claim of error because it could have been raised in the defendants’ prior appeal in this action. The plaintiff also argues that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to open. We reject the plaintiff’s jurisdictional and reviewability arguments and conclude that the court properly denied the defendants’ motion to open. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Civil Procedure Supreme Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5526

SC20746 - In re Cole (“In 1993, the legislature, for the first time, enacted a so-called ‘homestead act,’ whereby a debtor could protect up to $75,000 of the value of a primary residence from attachment in postjudgment proceedings or bankruptcy. See Public Acts 1993, No. 93-301, § 2 (P.A. 93-301). Although P.A. 93-301 had an effective date of October 1, 1993, and thus applied to any proceedings initiated on or after that date, the act included a special carve-out: the homestead exemption could not be claimed for debts accrued prior to the effective date. See P.A. 93-301, § 3. In 2021, the legislature amended the homestead act and replaced it with a new version that included several changes from the prior version of the act. For purposes of this appeal, the relevant change made by the legislature was to increase the exemption from $75,000 to $250,000, but this time the legislature did not include any carve-out for preexisting debts. See Public Acts 2021, No. 21-161, § 1 (P.A. 21-161). The primary question presented by this appeal, which reaches us in the form of a certified question in a bankruptcy appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, is whether we should nevertheless read a carve-out into the 2021 public act. We decline to do so.”

“The District Court therefore certified to this court the question of ‘[w]hether [P.A.] 21-161 applies retroactively to debts incurred by the debtor before [P.A.] 21- 161 took effect or prospectively.’ We accepted certification but, pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199b (k), and for the reasons discussed in part II B 3 of this opinion, we will answer a slightly modified version of the certified question: does the expanded homestead exemption contained in P.A. 21-161, § 1, apply in bankruptcy proceedings filed on or after the effective date of the act to debts that accrued prior to that date? We answer that question in the affirmative.”