January 7, 2016.
to foreclose a mortgage on certain real property, and for
other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial
district of Stamford-Norwalk, where the matter was
transferred to the Complex Litigation Docket; thereafter, the
plaintiff withdrew the complaint as to the defendant John R.
Christophersen; subsequently, the court, Brazzel-Massaro, J.,
denied the motion for stay filed by the named defendant et
al., and the named defendant et al. appealed to this court,
which dismissed the appeal for lack of a final judgment;
thereafter, the matter was tried to the court, Genuario, J.;
subsequently, following a hearing on attorney's fees, the
court, Genuario, J., rendered judgment of strict foreclosure;
thereafter, the court, Genuario, J., denied the motion to
open filed by the named defendant et al., and the named
defendant et al. appealed to this court; subsequently, the
court, Genuario, J., issued an articulation of its decision.
plaintiff bank sought to foreclose a mortgage on certain real
property of the defendant C, who had an ownership interest in
two adjacent parcels of land. The trial court rendered
judgment of strict foreclosure, from which C appealed to this
court. He claimed that because there was uncertainty as to
the value of the property and, as a result, as to whether the
debt owed the plaintiff was greater than the value of the
property, the trial court abused its discretion in ordering a
judgment of strict foreclosure, rather than a foreclosure by
sale. Specifically, he claimed that the trial court
improperly valued the parcels as a one two-acre lot, rather
than as two separate buildable lots, which he claimed would
have resulted in a value in excess of the debt owed the
plaintiff. Held that the trial court did not abuse
its discretion in ordering a judgment of strict foreclosure;
on the basis of a review of the record and the trial
court's detailed and well reasoned memorandum of
decision, this court concluded that the trial court correctly
applied the law and reasonably could have reached the
conclusion that it did.
M. McPherson, with whom, on the brief, was William J.
Kupinse, Jr., for the appellants (named defendant et al.).
M. Fahey, for the appellee (plaintiff).
Alvord and Wilson, Js.
Conn.App. 430] PER CURIAM.
defendant Erling C. Christophersen, individually and as
trustee, appeals from the judgment of strict
foreclosure rendered by the trial court. On appeal, the
defendant claims that the court abused its discretion by
ordering a judgment of strict foreclosure rather than a
foreclosure by sale. We affirm the judgment of the trial
memorandum of decision issued on June 2, 2014, the trial
court made the following findings of fact that are relevant
to the defendant's appeal. Prior to December, 2006, the
defendant in his individual capacity had an ownership
interest in two adjacent parcels of real property in Westport
known as 1 Chalmers Landing (Chalmers parcel) and 259
Saugatuck Avenue (Saugatuck parcel), (collectively the
property). The defendant acquired his interest in the
property by conveyances [163 Conn.App. 431] from members of
his family or family trusts. In 2006, the defendant was in
need of cash to pay off encumbrances on the property, back
taxes, and personal expenses. To secure a loan, he met with a
representative of the plaintiff, Salisbury Bank and Trust
Company, on November 24, 2006, and represented that the
property was being offered for sale for $9 million. He
suggested that the plaintiff serve as a cotrustee of the
property and eventually as cotrustee of the net proceeds from
of the property. At all times relevant, both parties
understood that the only way that the defendant could repay
the loan was with the proceeds from the sale of the property.
The plaintiff was interested in the defendant's proposal
given the potential for funds to accrue to its trust
plaintiff commissioned a summary appraisal of the property
that valued the Saugatuck parcel at $4.675 million and the
Chalmers parcel at $4.725 million. The defendant's lawyer
drafted a document entitled " The Erling C.
Christophersen Revocable Trust" (trust), which the
defendant signed as both grantor and trustee on November 21,
2006, and the plaintiff signed on December 4, 2006.
Thereafter, the plaintiff issued a loan commitment letter in
the amount the defendant requested, $740,000. The loan was
conditioned on the plaintiff's remaining a cotrustee
" `so long as there is debt owed to [it].'"
February, 2007, the parties realized that the defendant's
original plan was insufficient. The defendant, therefore,
prepared a second business plan, which revealed that the
property was subject to certain family interests. In
particular, the defendant represented that his mother, Lorna
B. Christophersen, who previously [163 Conn.App. 432] had a
25 percent interest in the property, had conveyed her
interest to the defendant. As a result of the conveyance, the
defendant had a 75 percent interest in the property. The
remaining 25 percent interest was owned by the
defendant's aunt, Elena B. Dreiske. The defendant
represented in his second business plan that Dreiske had
agreed to accept $1.5 million for her interest in the
property. The ...