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Edizione, S.P.A. v. Dragone

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

February 25, 2016

EDIZIONE S.P.A.
v.
EMMANUEL DRAGONE ET AL.

Submitted on briefs December 9, 2015.

Appeal from Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, Bellis, J.

Daniel G. Sergiacomi filed a brief for the appellant (plaintiff).

Alvord, Sheldon and Mullins, Js.

OPINION

MULLINS, J.

The plaintiff, Edizione S.P.A., appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered against it following the appearance of this matter on the trial court’s dormancy docket. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly dismissed the action, instead of ordering that it be stayed pursuant to General Statutes § 52-606. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.

The following facts inform our review. The plaintiff, by complaint dated January 28, 2013, returnable on February 26, 2013, pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, General Statutes § 52-604 et seq., [1] brought this action to enforce a June 9, 2012 judgment rendered in Italy, by the Court of Rome, against the defendants, Emmanuel Dragone and Dragone Classic Motorcars, Inc.[2] The plaintiff alleged that Dragone is a resident of Connecticut, and that Dragone Classic Motorcars, Inc., is a Connecticut corporation. See General Statutes § 52-604. It further alleged that it had obtained a judgment in Italy in the amount of 109, 096 euros against the defendants, and that the judgment had not been obtained by default in appearance of the defendants or by confession of judgment. It further alleged that there had been a full and fair hearing on the merits of the claims in Italy, that the judgment remained unsatisfied, and that the judgment had not been stayed or appealed. The defendants are nonappearing in this case.[3]

On October 27, 2014, the trial court conducted a dormancy hearing. At that proceeding, the plaintiff informed the court that the defendants had filed a notice of appeal in Rome and that it had not moved forward on this action because the appeal in Rome had ‘‘stayed everything.’’ The plaintiff then requested that this matter be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal in Rome. The plaintiff also requested that the court give it thirty days to respond further, but the court refused. The court then denied the plaintiff’s request to stay the matter and, pursuant to Practice Book § 14-3, [4] rendered judgment dismissing the action. The plaintiff asked the court if it was dismissing the matter without prejudice, but the court simply reiterated that it was dismissing the matter.

On February 23, 2015, the plaintiff filed a motion for clarification or to open the judgment. In that motion the plaintiff requested that the court either clarify that its dismissal was without prejudice to the plaintiff refiling the action after the Court of Appeals of Rome[5]decided the appeal, or that the court restore the matter to the docket and order that it be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal in the Court of Appeals of Rome. The court denied the motion on March 23, 2015. This appeal followed.

The plaintiff claims that the trial court committed reversible error by dismissing the action instead of staying it pending the outcome of the appeal in the Court of Appeals of Rome. The plaintiff argues that, during these enforcement proceedings, the defendants filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals of Rome, of the Court of Rome’s judgment, and that, pursuant to § 52-606, this matter should be stayed pending the outcome of that appeal. We agree.

Section 52-606 provides: ‘‘(a) If the judgment debtor shows the court that an appeal from the foreign judgment is pending or will be taken, or that a stay of execution has been granted, the court shall stay enforcement of the foreign judgment until the appeal is concluded, the time for appeal expires or the stay of execution expires or is vacated, upon proof that the judgment debtor has furnished the security for the satisfaction of the judgment required by the state in which it was rendered. The judgment debtor shall provide notice of the stay of enforcement to the judgment creditor (1) by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, or (2) by verified delivery to the judgment creditor as the named addressee by private messenger, delivery or courier service.

‘‘(b) If the judgment debtor shows the court any ground upon which enforcement of a judgment of a court of this state would be stayed, the court shall stay enforcement of the judgment for an appropriate period, upon requiring the same security for satisfaction of the judgment as is required in this state. The judgment debtor shall provide notice of the stay of enforcement to the judgment creditor.’’

Although generally, a request to stay enforcement of a foreign judgment is made by the judgment debtor, which in this case would be the nonappearing defendants, the plaintiff requested that this action to enforce the Court of Rome’s judgment be stayed pending the outcome of the defendants’ appeal of that judgment to the Court of Appeals of Rome. We can ascertain no reason why it would be improper to allow the plaintiff, a judgment creditor in this case, to make such a request. Because the plaintiff initiated this action alleging compliance with General Statutes§ 52-605, [6] and represented to the trial court that it later learned that an appeal from the judgment is pending in the Court of Appeals of Rome, we conclude that the court should have stayed the matter upon request of the plaintiff until that appeal is concluded. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded to the trial court with direction to restore the case to the docket and to stay the matter pending the outcome of ...


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