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Castro v. Mortgage Lenders Network USA, Inc.

Appellate Court of Connecticut

July 7, 2015

BAYRON CASTRO
v.
MORTGAGE LENDERS NETWORK USA, INC., ET AL

Argued November 19, 2014

Action to quiet title to certain real property, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford, where the court, Hon. John W. Moran, judge trial referee, granted the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc., et al., and rendered judgment thereon, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court.

SYLLABUS

The plaintiff sought to quiet title to certain of his real property that was subject to a mortgage entered into between himself and the defendant E Co., which subsequently had been assigned to the defendant H Co. The plaintiff's complaint seeking to quiet title alleged that he did not hold title to the property but had been in adverse possession thereof for approximately seven years. The trial court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, concluding that the plaintiff did not have standing under the quiet title statute (§ 47-31) because he could not prove that he held legal title to the property. On appeal, the plaintiff claimed that the court improperly granted the motion to dismiss. Held that the trial court improperly granted the defendants' motion to dismiss on the ground that the plaintiff was required to hold legal title to the property in order to have standing under § 47-31, as an action to quiet title under § 47-31 may be brought by any person claiming any interest in real property, and the plaintiff here claimed in his complaint that he had acquired title to the property through adverse possession; furthermore, under our case law, the sufficiency of the allegations of the plaintiff's complaint could be attacked only by a motion to strike, or by a motion for summary judgment if the defect could not be cured by repleading.

Bayron Castro, self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff), filed a brief.

Sean R. Higgins, with whom, on the brief, was Patrick T. Uiterwyk, for the appellees (defendant Mortgage Electronic Registration System et al.).

DiPentima, C. J., and Keller and West, Js. WEST, J. In this opinion the other judges concurred.

OPINION

WEST, J.

Page 640

[158 Conn.App. 372] In this statutory action to quiet title to property in Seymour, the plaintiff, Bayron Castro, appeals from the judgment granting a motion to dismiss in favor of the defendants, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc., A.S.C.-America Servicing Company, and HSBC Bank USA National Association (HSBC).[1] On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly dismissed his quiet title complaint.[2] We reverse the judgment of the court.

[158 Conn.App. 373] The following facts and procedural

Page 641

history are relevant.[3] On December 8, 2006, the plaintiff executed a note in favor of Mortgage Lenders Network USA, Inc. to purchase property at 8-10 Rimmon Street in Seymour, the repayment of which was secured by a mortgage. Mortgage Electronic Registrations System, Inc., is identified as the mortgagee in the mortgage, and on April 11, 2012, the mortgage was assigned to HSBC. Thereafter, the plaintiff defaulted on the note, and HSBC began foreclosure proceedings on June 24, 2013. The foreclosure action is still pending. See HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Trustee v. Castro, Superior Court, judicial district of Ansonia-Milford, Docket No. CV-13-6013507-S.[4]

On October 28, 2013, the plaintiff filed the present action to quiet title to the Seymour property pursuant [158 Conn.App. 374] to General Statutes § 47-31. In his complaint titled " Complaint for Quiet Title," the plaintiff alleged, among other things, that he " did not hold the title and is only in adverse possession of the property . . . ." [5] On December 23, 2013, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, asserting that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff did not have standing to pursue the action. The defendants argued that the plaintiff was not aggrieved under ยง 47-31 because he could not prove that he had legal title to the property or that he had obtained the property through adverse possession by occupying the property for more than fifteen years. On January 23, 2014, ...


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