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.

Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George


SC19583 - Cadle Co. v. Fletcher ("This case, which comes to us on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199b, requires us to determine whether, and under what circumstances, residual postgarnishment wages (residual wages) are subject to postjudgment execution by a judgment creditor. The plaintiff, The Cadle Company, is the defendant Terry B. Fletcher's judgment creditor pursuant to two state court judgments, under which Fletcher (Terry) owed the plaintiff more than $3 million. To satisfy these judgments, the plaintiff garnished Terry's wages. Since at least 2005, Terry has transferred to the bank account of his wife, the named defendant, Marguerite Fletcher (Marguerite), more than $300,000 of his residual wages. The plaintiff brought an action against the defendants in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, claiming, among other things, that Terry's transfer of his residual wages to his wife violated the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), General Statutes § 52-552 et seq.The plaintiff claimed that, as a result of the fraudulent transfer of Terry's residual wages to Marguerite, she was personally liable to the plaintiff for the full amount of the funds that were transferred within the four years preceding the commencement of the action. The defendants filed a motion for partial summary judgment, claiming that, under Connecticut law, after a judgment debtor's wages have been garnished, the remaining wages are exempt from execution, and, therefore, the transfer of those wages to a third party cannot constitute a fraudulent transfer. The plaintiff also filed a motion for partial summary judgment, contending that there was no genuine issue of material fact with respect to Terry's transfer of his residual wages to Marguerite. The District Court denied the defendants' motion for partial summary judgment, granted the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment and, after conducting various proceedings related to the plaintiff's other claims, ultimately rendered judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $401,426.16 on its CUFTA claim. The defendants appealed from the District Court's judgment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Thereafter, the Second Circuit certified the following question to this court pursuant to § 51-199b: "Do [General Statutes] §§ 52-361a and 52-367b, read together, exempt [postgarnishment] residual wages held in a third party's bank account from further execution, so that they become freely transferable under [CUFTA] . . . ?" (Citation omitted.) Cadle Co. v. Fletcher, 804 F.3d 198, 202 (2d Cir. 2015). This court accepted the certified question. We conclude that Terry's residual wages would not have been exempt from execution if he had retained possession of them and, therefore, that they were subject to execution after Terry transferred them to Marguerite's account. Accordingly, we answer the certified question in the negative.")