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Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

by Zigadto, Janet


AC38879 - Renaissance Management Co. v. Barnes (Summary process; retaliatory eviction; summary judgment; mootness; capable of repetition, yet evading review exception to mootness doctrine; "In this summary process action for possession of an apartment in New Haven, the plaintiff, Renaissance Management Co., Inc., appeals from the summary judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Andre Barnes. The court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff was prohibited by the retaliatory eviction statute; General Statutes § 47a-20; from initiating the action and that the exceptions claimed by the plaintiff under General Statutes § 47a-20a, which would preclude application of § 47a-20 and thereby allow it to initiate the action, did not apply. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it (1) determined that this court's holding in Visco v. Cody, 16 Conn. App. 444, 547 A.2d 935 (1988), was inapplicable to the defendant's special defense of retaliatory eviction under § 47a-20; (2) determined that its complaint did not allege nonpayment of rent; and (3) interpreted the definition of rent in § 47a-20a to include the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's payment of its share of the agreed total rent for the premises such that the total amount of money received by the plaintiff was unaffected by the defendant's alleged underpayment. Following oral argument before this court, but before this court rendered its judgment, the plaintiff obtained possession of the apartment. Notified of this fact, we ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefs on the issue of mootness. Following our review of the parties' supplemental briefs, we dismiss the appeal because it is moot and no exception to the mootness doctrine is applicable to the facts and circumstances of this appeal.")