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.

Family Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Roy, Christopher


SC19504 - Sousa v. Sousa ("On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly failed to consider aspects of the doctrine of finality of judgments on the basis of its conclusion that it was 'entirely obvious' that, under General Statutes § 46b-81 (a) and General Statutes (Supp. 2016) § 46b-86 (a), Judge Resha lacked subject matter jurisdiction to modify the pension division in the prior judgment of dissolution. We conclude that: (1) given a conflict in the case law on point and the Superior Court's plenary jurisdiction over family relations matters, the Appellate Court improperly determined that it was 'entirely obvious' that Judge Resha lacked subject matter jurisdiction to modify the property distribution in the judgment of dissolution; and (2) considerations of finality of judgments, as set forth in § 12 of the Restatement (Second) of Judgments, do not support permitting the defendant to mount a collateral attack on the modified judgment. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")