Attorney Busher obtains favorable appellate ruling in action arising out of eviction

2013-05-03 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

Category: Appellate Lawyers

Joseph M. Busher

In a ruling to be released on May 7, 2013, Attorney Joseph M. Busher, Jr., has obtained the affirmation of a lower court ruling holding that an evicted commercial tenant does not have the right to pursue tort claims against the former landlord arising out of the eviction process. After a stipulated judgment entered requiring the tenant to vacate the premises by a date certain, the tenant was notified: “If you do not move out by that date, this paper gives your landlord the legal right to inventory your possessions and personal effects and to store them in the premises or to remove them and store them elsewhere. If you do not claim your possessions and personal effects and pay the removal and storage costs within 15 days after the date listed below, your possessions and personal effects will be forfeited to the landlord.” The tenant failed to remove the property and filed for bankruptcy. “The bankruptcy action was dismissed on November 23, 2010. On December2, 2010, Victorian Elegance,LLC, filed a motion asking the housing court ‘to extend the time for [it] to claim its property until midnight December 21, 2010.’ In that motion, Victorian Elegance, LLC, asserted that because of the fourteen day bankruptcy appeal period, any stay previously in effect with respect to the moving of assets at the subject premises would remain in effect through December 6, 2010. It claimed that the defendants were interfering with the plaintiffs’ efforts to obtain a lease of new premises and that Tarro would need more than the one day being offered to remove everything. The court denied the motion on December 7, 2010.” “The [tenant] commenced the two actions underlying the present appeals on January 27, 2011. The action underlying AC 33922 sought a writ of replevin (replevin action). The action underlying AC 33921 consisted of a four count complaint sounding in statutory conversion, statutory lockout, tortious interference in business relationships and negligence (civil action).” In those lawsuits, the lessor, represented by Attorney Philip R. Dunn, Jr., moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the housing court action had previously addressed the personal property issues and could not be collaterally attacked in a separate lawsuit. The Superior Court granted summary judgment in favor of the lessor, and the former tenant appealed. The Appellate Court ruling affirms the Superior Court ruling, finding that the personal property issues were raised and decided in the Housing Court action and could not be re-litigated in another lawsuit. The Court first rejected the claim that the Housing Division lacked jurisdiction to decide the personal property issues. “A judge of the Superior Court assigned to hear housing matters does not lose his general authority to hear any cause of action pending in that court. Thus, there is no merit to the argument that the housing court in the present case somehow lacked the necessary jurisdiction or authority to adjudicate any and all issues the parties wished to raise vis-a-vis the personal property at issue.” (Citations & internal quotation marks omitted.) Second, the Appellate Court rejected the claim that the issues raised in the new lawsuits were different than those addressed by the Housing Division. “Although on appeal, the plaintiffs claim that they could not have raised the issues they now seek to adjudicate before the housing court, the December 2, 2010 motion filed with the housing court shows differently. Victorian Elegance, LLC, filed a motion with the housing court on December 2, 2010, in which it asked the court that it be allowed until midnight on December 21, 2010 to remove the contents of the premises. The motion included allegations that the defendants intended unnecessarily to limit access to the property and that the defendants had contacted a third party landlord in an effort to dissuade that landlord from renting to Victorian Elegance, LLC. The court denied the motion, and no appeal was taken from that ruling.” The ruling can be viewed in its entirety here: http://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROap/AP142/142AP315.pdf The appellate attorneys in Hartford at Jackson O'Keefe, represent men and women as well as businesses throughout Connecticut. Since the 1950s, the lawyers at Jackson O'Keefe, in Hartford, have played a significant role in the development of Connecticut law, successfully arguing cases before state and federal appellate courts. The rulings issued in these cases have been cited in hundreds of subsequent court opinions, in law review articles, and in legal treatises. Attorney Joseph M. Busher has handled over 45 Connecticut appeals, covering a wide range of subjects. His biography can be viewed here http://jacksonokeefe.com/attorneys/joseph-busher Jackson O'Keefe handles Connecticut appeals throughout the State of Connecticut, including clients in West Hartford, Farmington, Avon, Simsbury, Old Lyme, Ellington, Tolland, North Haven, Wallingford, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Cromwell, Bethlehem, Moodus, East Haddam, Hadlyme, Madison, Middletown, Hartford, Southington, Plantsville, Hartford County, New Haven County, Middlesex County, New London County and Litchfield County.

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