Articles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the trial court insofar as it rendered judgment in Defendant's favor on counts alleging fraudulent transfer under the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-552a through 52-552l, and unjust enrichment, holding that the trial court erred in rejecting Plaintiff's CUFTA claim but did not err in rejecting Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim. Defendant Stephen McGee used a power of attorney granted to him by his elderly mother, Helen McGee, to transfer to himself funds from Helen's checking account. As a consequence of the transfers, Helen had insufficient assets to pay her debt to Plaintiff Geriatrics, Inc. Plaintiff brought this action, and the trial court rendered judgment in Defendant's favor on Plaintiff's CUFTA and unjust enrichment claims. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) in rejecting the CUFTA claim the trial court improperly failed to consider and apply agency principles; and (2) in light of the unrequited evidence, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim. View "Geriatrics, Inc. v. McGee" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court in this interlocutory appeal regarding what preclusive effective to give in this action to the findings and judgment rendered by an English court in a prior action brought by Plaintiff against the named defendant, holding that the Appellate Court correctly found that none of the parties was entitled to the claimed preclusive effect. The English action resulted in a $243,023,089 judgment, plus interest, against the named defendant, Sebastian Holdings, Inc. Plaintiff, Deutsche Bank AG, later commenced the instant action against Sebastian and Alexander Vik, the sole shareholder and sole director of Sebastian. Plaintiff sought to pierce Sebastian's corporate veil and hold Vik personally liable for his corporation's judgment debt. All parties claimed, unsuccessfully, an entitlement to a preclusive effect as a result of the final judgment rendered in the prior English action. The Appellate Court agreed with the trial court that the parties were not entitled to have this action decided in their respective favor on the basis of the alleged preclusive effect of the English judgment. The Supreme Court adopted the Appellate Court's opinion as the proper statement of the issues and the applicable law concerning those issues and affirmed. View "Deutsche Bank AG v. Sebastian Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether, under Connecticut law, after a judgment debtor’s wages have been garnished, the remaining wages are exempt from execution, and whether the transfer of those wages to a third party constitutes a fraudulent transfer. Pursuant to two state court judgments, The Cadle Company was Terry Fletcher’s judgment creditor, Fletcher owing the company more than $3 million. Since at least 2005, Terry has transferred more than $300,000 of his residual wages to the bank account of his wife, Marguerite Fletcher. The Cadle Company sued the Fletchers in federal district court, alleging, inter alia, that the transfer violated the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA). The district court granted the Fletchers’ motion for partial summary judgment, granted The Cadle Company’s motion for partial summary judgment, and ultimately rendered judgment for The Cadle Company in the amount of $401,426 on its CUFTA claim. The Fletchers appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The Second Circuit subsequently certified a question to the Supreme Court, which the Court accepted. The Supreme Court answered that Terry’s residual wages would not have been exempt from execution if he had retained possession of them, and therefore, they were subject to execution after Terry transferred them to his wife’s account. View "Cadle Co. v. Fletcher" on Justia Law

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This case arose when plaintiff initiated a foreclosure action against defendant. At issue on appeal was whether the trial court had authority to open a judgment of foreclosure by sale and related supplemental judgments after title had passed to the purchaser when a series of errors by the court and the parties caused the purchaser to buy a property that, unbeknownst to him but actually known by the second mortgagee, was in fact subject to a first mortgage that was to be foreclosed shortly thereafter. The court concluded that the appellate court incorrectly determined that the purchaser lacked standing under the circumstances of the present case; defendants inadequately briefed the issue of 17 Ridge Road, LLC's standing to intervene as a defendant and, therefore, the issue was deemed abandoned; and the appellate court correctly determined that the passing of title divested the trial court of jurisdiction to open the judgment of foreclosure by sale. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the appellate court insofar as that court concluded that the trial court lacked authority to open the supplemental judgments. View "Citibank, N.A. v. Lindland" on Justia Law

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Defendant executed a promissory note secured by a mortgage deed. Plaintiff subsequently sought to foreclose on the mortgage, claiming it was the holder of the note and mortgage. The trial court rendered a judgment of foreclosure by sale. Defendant filed an objection to the foreclosure, alleging that because he was no longer in default, Plaintiff did not have standing to foreclose the mortgage. Defendant also requested that the court direct Plaintiff to produce the original note to prove Plaintiff had standing to institute the foreclosure action. The court determined Plaintiff had standing and rendered judgment of strict foreclosure. The appellate court reversed, concluding that the trial court erred by failing to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Plaintiff had standing to bring this action after Defendant challenged Plaintiff's standing. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, under the circumstances, Defendant failed to demonstrate that he was entitled to a full evidentiary hearing on the issue of Plaintiff's standing where the trial court's determination that Plaintiff had standing to commence this action was not in error. Remanded. View "Equity One, Inc. v. Shivers" on Justia Law

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Signature Properties executed a promissory note payable to JPMorgan Chase Bank. The loan was secured by a mortgage and security interest on Signature's commercial property. The loan was guaranteed by Signature's members (guarantors). JPMorgan later assigned Signature's note and mortgage to LaSalle Bank National Association. A pooling agreement established a mortgage back security wherein LaSalle was identified as trustee and paying agent and J.E. Robert Company as loan servicer for Signature's mortgage loans. After Signature ceased to make payments on the loan, J.E. Robert brought a foreclosure action against Signature. LaSalle subsequently assigned the note to Shaw's New London, and Shaw's was substituted as the plaintiff. The guarantors were then added as defendants. The trial court ordered strict foreclosure of Signature's property and a deficient judgment against the defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court properly determined that, under the facts of this case, J.E. Robert had standing to institute this foreclosure action in its own name. The Court rejected the remainder of the defendants' claims. View "J.E. Robert Co. v. Signature Props., LLC" on Justia Law

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Midland Funding obtained judgments against Plaintiff Susan Ballou in two cases. The small claims court entered installment payment orders pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-356d. Defendant, the Law Offices Howard Lee Schiff, P.C., which represented Midland in small claims court, did not apply for an order of postjudgment interest in either of the two cases, and the small claims court did not issue an order of postjudgment interest in either case. Defendant thereafter sought a bank execution against Plaintiff for the judgment amounts and directed the state marshal to add postjudgment interest of ten percent to the amount of the judgments. Plaintiff commenced an action in the U.S. district court disputing the amount of the debts. At issue before the court was whether postjudgment interest accrues automatically on any unpaid balance under a judgment for which the court has entered an installment payment order. The Connecticut Supreme Court accepted certification to answer this question and held that section 52-356d(e) does not provide for the automatic accrual of postjudgment interest on all judgments in which an installment payment order has been entered by the court. View "Ballou v. Law Offices Howard Lee Schiff, P.C." on Justia Law