The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.
Property Law

Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=730

SC19693 - Wellswood Columbia, LLC v. Hebron ("In Wellswood Columbia, LLC v. Hebron, 295 Conn. 802, 804–805, 825, 992 A.2d 1120 (2010) (Wellswood I), this court reversed the judgment of the trial court, which denied the application of the plaintiffs, Wellswood Columbia, LLC (Wellswood), and its managing partner, Ronald Jacques, for a permanent injunction barring the defendant, the town of Hebron (town), from closing a road that provided the sole existing access to a property that Wellswood owned in the adjoining town of Columbia. Shortly after the trial court issued the injunction upon remand from this court, the plaintiffs commenced the present action against the town seeking damages for, inter alia, a temporary taking, temporary nuisance and tortious interference with the plaintiffs' business expectancies. The trial court, Elgo, J., granted the town's motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata because they arose out of the same operative facts as the plaintiffs' claim for injunctive relief and, therefore, should have been brought in Wellswood I. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court incorrectly determined that their claims in the present action are barred by the principles of res judicata. 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=725

AC38646 - Emerick v. Glastonbury (Private nuisance; "In the present case, the self-represented plaintiff, Roger Emerick, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his case against the defendant, the town of Glastonbury, as a sanction for his actions during trial. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the dismissal constituted reversible error. We are not persuaded that the court abused its discretion in dismissing the plaintiff's case after his deliberate, continuing, and at times contumacious disregard for the court's authority. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=706

AC38912N759ZD v. Stratford ("In this joint tax appeal, the plaintiffs, David H. Faile, Jr., Paul A. Lange, and N759ZD, LLC (LLC), appeal from the judgments of nonsuit, rendered by the trial court, in favor of the defendant, the town of Stratford (town). They also appeal from the court’s denial of their motions to open the nonsuits. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court’s findings that they violated its orders were clearly erroneous, and that, even if we assume, arguendo, that they did violate the orders, the court abused its discretion in rending judgments of nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs. Therefore, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

AC38853Zhang v. 56 Locust Road, LLC (Quiet title; "Having examined the appellate record and having considered the briefs and the arguments of the parties, we conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed. The trial court fully and accurately addressed the issues relevant to the parties' appeals and, in its memorandum of decision, set forth a proper statement of both the facts and the applicable law. Any further discussion by this court would serve no useful purpose.
The judgment is affirmed.")

AC38912Faile v. Stratford (Tax appeals; "In this joint tax appeal, the plaintiffs, David H. Faile, Jr., Paul A. Lange, and N759ZD, LLC (LLC), appeal from the judgments of nonsuit, rendered by the trial court, in favor of the defendant, the town of Stratford (town). They also appeal from the court's denial of their motions to open the nonsuits. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court's findings that they violated its orders were clearly erroneous, and that, even if we assume, arguendo, that they did violate the orders, the court abused its discretion in rending judgments of nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs. Therefore, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

  • AC38912 – Lange v. Stratford (see Faile v. Stratford above)


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=602

AC38554 - Stratford v. Hawley Enterprises, Inc. (Eminent domain; "The defendant IP Media Products, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding damages to it for the taking of certain real property by the plaintiff, the town of Stratford . . . The defendant claims that the court erred in concluding that the town was entitled to recover back taxes from the condemnation award. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=586

AC38878 - Northrup v. Witkowski (Negligence; "The underlying action arose as a result of the repeated flooding of residential property due to inadequate street drainage of which the municipality and its officials allegedly were aware but failed to correct. The plaintiffs, George Northrup and Helen Northrup, the owners of the property at issue, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants—the borough of Naugatuck (town); Henry J. Witkowski, Jr., the town's former superintendent of streets; James Stewart, the former town engineer and, later, the town's director of public works; and Robert A. Mezzo, the town's mayor —upon its determination that all counts of the plaintiffs' complaint were barred by governmental immunity.

"The plaintiffs claim on appeal that the court improperly determined that (1) the defendants were entitled to governmental immunity on all counts as a matter of law because the acts or omissions of which they complained were discretionary rather than ministerial in nature, (2) the identifiable person-imminent harm exception to governmental immunity did not apply to the flooding at issue because the plaintiffs were not subject to imminent harm, and (3) the allegations of recklessness directed against the individual defendants could not be sustained as a matter of law. We disagree with the plaintiffs and, for the reasons that follow, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38716 - Questell v. Farogh (Negligence; "The defendant, Sheeba Farogh, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her motion to open the default judgment, which was rendered after she failed to appear at a scheduled trial management conference. On appeal, the defendant claims that she was prevented from appearing at the conference by mistake and that a valid defense existed at the time the judgment was rendered. We affirm 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=544

AC37281 - Santos v. Zoning Board of Appeals (Inverse condemnation; unjust enrichment; "The plaintiff, Anthony Santos, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants, the town of Stratford (town) and its Zoning Board of Appeals (board). On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the court improperly held that the plaintiff had failed to prove his claims for (1) inverse condemnation and (2) unjust enrichment. 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=543

AC38689 - Avery v. Medina ("Injunction; motion for contempt; "This dispute between the parties, which returns to this court for the third time, concerns the enforcement of a restrictive covenant in the deed to real property in Norfolk that is owned by the defendants, Luis Medina and Amanda Medina. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court finding Luis Medina in contempt of the judgment rendered pursuant to Avery v. Medina, 151 Conn. App. 433, 94 A.3d 1241 (2014) (Avery I). On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly (1) modified the Avery I judgment by transforming a mandatory injunction into a prohibitive injunction, (2) exceeded its equitable powers, (3) denied them a fundamental right, and (4) awarded the plaintiffs attorney's fees for which there was no evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=529

SC19671 - Barton v. Norwalk (Inverse condemnation; "In this certified appeal, the defendant, the city of Norwalk, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court awarding the plaintiff Robert Barton $899,480 in damages plus prejudgment interest for his claim that the defendant inversely condemned a parcel of real property located at 70 South Main Street in Norwalk (70 South Main) by taking, through the power of eminent domain, the plaintiff's parking lot located across the street at 65 South Main Street (65 South Main). See Barton v. Norwalk, 163 Conn. App. 190, 193–94, 135 A.3d 711 (2016). The defendant raises two claims in the present appeal. First, the defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly affirmed the judgment of the trial court that the plaintiff had proven inverse condemnation because 70 South Main retains significant value and generates significant income. Second, the defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the plaintiff's inverse condemnation claim was not barred by judicial estoppel. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=512

AC37928 - Redding Life Care, LLC v. Redding ("The plaintiff in error, David R. Salinas, an appraiser, provided two opinions to banks regarding the value of a certain property. In a subsequent, unrelated tax appeal regarding that property, a party sought to compel him to testify in a deposition regarding those opinions. The issue presented in this writ of error is whether an expert, who previously has rendered an opinion on an issue material to a later, unrelated case in which neither party has engaged his services, may be compelled by subpoena to provide an opinion in that case. We hold that Connecticut recognizes a qualified testimonial privilege for unretained expert witnesses and, accordingly, we grant the writ of error and remand the case for further proceedings.")



Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=497

AC37719 - Grovenburg v. Rustle Meadow Associates, LLC (Injunction; planned communities; "In this appeal, we address the contours of judicial review in cases in which a discretionary determination of a common interest ownership association is challenged. The defendants, Rustle Meadow Associates, LLC (company), Rustle Meadow Homeowners Association, Inc. (association), and its president, Jeffrey D. Miller, appeal from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiffs, Duane Grovenburg and Kristine Grovenburg. The defendants' principal contention is that the court improperly set aside the association's discretionary determination regarding the plaintiffs' request to erect a fence on their property. Specifically, they claim that the court failed to apply the proper legal standard governing review of such determinations, as established by our Supreme Court in Weldy v. Northbrook Condominium Assn., Inc., 279 Conn. 728, 904 A.2d 188 (2006). The defendants also claim that the court improperly rejected the substance of their counterclaim, that it improperly invalidated a special assessment levied by the association, and that it abused its discretion in awarding the plaintiffs $72,718.25 in attorney's fees. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=477

AC38254 - Brander v. Stoddard ("In this action seeking to quiet title to a parcel of property located along the Farmington River in New Hartford, the plaintiff, Bert Brander, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding in favor of the defendants, Trisha Stoddard, in her capacity as the temporary administrator for the estate of Lily B. Frey, and the Farmington River Watershed Association, Inc., on both counts of the operative complaint. The plaintiff, who began using the disputed parcel in 1984 to graze sheep and grow hay, alleged that he acquired title through adverse possession or, in the alternative, had a prescriptive easement for its use. In response, the defendants argued that, for certain periods of time, the plaintiff's use of the property had been with the permission or implied consent of the owners. The matter was tried to the court, Marano, J., over two days in February, 2015. On August 6, 2015, the court issued a memorandum of decision finding in favor of the defendants. . .

Having examined the record on appeal and having considered the briefs and the arguments of the parties, we conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed. Further, because the court thoroughly addressed in its memorandum of decision all of the arguments raised by the parties on appeal, we adopt that well reasoned decision as a proper statement of both the facts and the applicable law at issue. See Brander v. Stoddard, 173 Conn. App. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2015) (appendix).")

AC38254 Appendix- Brander v. Stoddard

AC37568 - Thurlow v. Hulten and Hulten v. Thurlow ("This appeal and cross appeal arise out of two actions brought to the trial court, which were consolidated for trial, stemming from a property dispute between adjoining landowners in Canterbury. In the first action, Luther E. Thurlow, Anthony Denning, and Steven Pelletier (Thurlow parties), claimed that Lee Ann Hulten and Linda K. Dieters (Hulten parties), had interfered with their right to access their landlocked property via easements over the Hulten parties' property, comprised of two separate parcels, lot A and lot B. The Thurlow parties claimed an express easement over lot A and an easement by necessity or an easement by implication over lot B. The Thurlow parties claimed that they had sustained damages as a result of the actions of the Hulten parties in restricting their use of the easements. In the second action, the Hulten parties claimed that the Thurlow parties had been trespassing on their property and sought to quiet title to the disputed property. The Hulten parties denied the existence of any easement over their property, but claimed that, even if an easement existed, it was limited to lot A. They thus sought to enjoin the Thurlow parties from using the claimed easement over lot B. The Hulten parties also sought to quiet title as to the size and boundaries of lot B and to recover damages for the unauthorized cutting and removal of timber from land they claimed to be part of lot B. . .

Having examined the record on appeal and considered the briefs and the arguments of the parties, we conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed. Because the court's memorandum of decision fully addresses the arguments raised in the present appeals, we adopt its thorough and well reasoned decision as a proper statement of the facts and the applicable law on these issues. See Thurlow v. Hulten, 173 Conn. App. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2014) (appendix).")

AC37568 Appendix - Thurlow v. Hulten and Hulten v. Thurlow



Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=464

SC19568, SC19569 - Mayer v. Historic District Commission (Historic districts; certificate of appropriateness; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether the statutory aggrievement principles of General Statutes § 8-8 extend to appeals from the decisions of historic district commissions brought pursuant to General Statutes § 7-147i. The plaintiffs, Robert Mayer and Mary Pat Mayer, appeal from the judgments of the trial court dismissing their appeals from two decisions of the named defendant, the Historic District Commission of the Town of Groton (commission), with respect to alterations to a barn located on real property owned by the defendants Steven Young and Caroline Young (applicants). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly concluded that: (1) statutory aggrievement under § 8-8 does not extend to historic district commission appeals brought pursuant to § 7-147i; and (2) they had failed to establish that they were classically aggrieved with respect to each of the commission's two decisions. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=455

SC19797 - Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc. v. Platner ("This case raises the questions of whether a conservation restriction on private property was violated by the owner of that property and, if so, whether the remedies ordered by the trial court were proper. The defendant Beverly Platner appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding legal and equitable relief to the plaintiff Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc., after concluding that the defendant had violated a conservation restriction granted to the plaintiff by a former owner of the defendant’s property. The defendant claims that the trial court improperly found violations of the conservation restriction by misinterpreting it and improperly ordered relief that was either legally unauthorized or lacking in evidentiary support. We agree with the trial court’s interpretation of the conservation restriction and its consequent finding that the defendant had violated it in multiple respects, and we see no impropriety with respect to the portion of the court’s judgment awarding the plaintiff equitable relief. We agree with the defendant, however, that the court’s award of punitive damages was noncompliant with the authorizing provision, General Statutes § 52-560a (d), and that its award of attorney’s fees, in one respect, was improper. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=439

AC37620 - Mangiafico v. Farmington (Injunction; "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing four of the five counts in his complaint and rendering summary judgment on the remaining count. In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the actions of the municipal defendants, the town of Farmington (town) and five individuals sued in their official capacities (individual defendants), in placing his residential property on the town's blight list, issuing citations for blight violations, imposing daily fines for blight violations and recording liens on his property for failing to pay those fines, violated his due process rights, constituted an unconstitutional taking of his property, and inflicted severe emotional distress. The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, a discharge of the municipal blight liens, and indemnification by the town for damages caused by the individually named defendants.

On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendants' motion to dismiss on the ground that he had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as provided by statute and the Code of the Town of Farmington (code). Further, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on his count seeking discharge of the municipal blight liens on the ground that he could not collaterally attack the validity of the assessments underlying those liens. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC37976 - Mangiafico v. Farmington (Petition to open blight citation; "The defendant, the town of Farmington (town), appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court . . . in favor of the plaintiff . . . on his 'Petition to Reopen Assessment.' The plaintiff's petition challenged the town's issuance of various citations for violations of the town's blight ordinance. On appeal, the town claims that the court . . . improperly (1) denied its motion to dismiss the plaintiff's action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) determined that the town was judicially estopped from arguing that the plaintiff's claims were not ripe for adjudication because it had taken an inconsistent position in a prior action between the parties. We agree with the town's claims and, accordingly, remand the case to the trial court with direction to dismiss the plaintiff's action.")



Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=385

AC34950 - Fairfield Merrittview Ltd. Partnership v. Norwalk (Tax appeal; "In this real estate tax appeal, the defendant city of Norwalk appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the appeal of the plaintiff, Fairfield Merrittview SPE, LLC, pursuant to General Statutes § 12-117a, and ordering the reduction of the defendant's tax assessment levied against the plaintiff's real property. The defendant raises two arguments in support of its claim that the court erred when it reduced the subject property's assessed fair market value, as of October 1, 2008, from $49,036,800 to $34,059,753. First, the defendant claims that the court improperly relied upon a 2006 'annual income and expense report' to calculate the property's net rentable area, when instead it should have used the plaintiff's December 2008 rent roll for that purpose, because the 2008 rent roll assertedly reflected the subject property's net rentable area as of October 1, 2008, more accurately than the 2006 report. Second, the defendant argues that the court improperly excluded $190,000 of 'other income' attributable to the subject property from its calculations and, therefore, the court's calculation regarding the property's potential gross income was clearly erroneous. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=384

AC37930 - Friedman v. Gomez (Summary process; "The defendants . . . appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff . . . on his summary process complaint and against the defendants on their special defenses and counterclaims. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court (1) improperly limited its jurisdiction when it concluded that it did not have the authority to determine title to the subject property, (2) improperly determined that Guillermo Sanchez, Sr. (Sanchez Sr.), was no longer a party to this action, and (3) abused its discretion in finding that the defendants failed to prove that they had an equitable interest in the subject property. The plaintiff claims that the defendants' appeal is moot and must be dismissed because they voluntarily vacated the premises after the appeal was filed. We conclude that the appeal is not moot, and 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=348

AC39746 - Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc. (Personal property taxes; "The motion before the court challenges our jurisdiction over the appeal of the defendant, WMS Gaming, Inc., from the decision of the trial court rendering summary judgment as to liability only in favor of the plaintiff, the town of Ledyard, with respect to certain attorney's fees incurred by the plaintiff. The plaintiff moves to dismiss the defendant's appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, claiming that the trial court's decision is not an appealable final judgment because the trial court has not determined the amount of the attorney's fees. We conclude that the trial court's decision rendering summary judgment as to liability only in favor of the plaintiff with regard to the attorney's fees at issue is not an appealable final judgment. Accordingly, we grant the plaintiff's motion to dismiss the defendant's appeal.

The record before the court reveals the following facts and procedural history. In 2008, the plaintiff commenced the underlying action to collect unpaid personal property taxes that it had imposed on slot machines that the defendant owned and leased to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (Tribal Nation) for use in its gaming facilities.")


1 2