March 2, 2016.
from Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Ficeto,
J. [motion for continuance; orders].
Isabella Mensah, self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff).
S. Rome, for the appellee (defendant).
DiPentima, C. J., and Beach and Schaller, Js.
postjudgment marital dissolution matter, the plaintiff,
Isabella Mensah, appeals from the judgment of the trial
court. She claims that the court abused its discretion by (1)
denying her motion for a continuance, and (2) making improper
financial orders. We affirm the judgment of the court.
October 27, 2014, the court issued its memorandum of
decision, in which it recounted the relevant procedural
history of the case and made the following factual findings.
‘‘This matter comes before the court by way of a
remand from the Appellate Court. [See Mensah v.
Mensah, 145 Conn.App. 644, 75 A.3d 92 (2013)
(Mensah I).] The dissolution was tried before the
court on December 12, 15, and16, 2011. [See Mensah
v. Mensah, judicial district of Hartford,
Docket No. FA-10-4051277-S (February 23, 2012).] A decision
dissolving the marriage and entering the financial orders was
issued on February 23, 2012. The decision was appealed and
judgment was reversed as to the financial orders only.
matter was scheduled for five days of trial commencing
September 15, 2014. The trial did not commence until
September 17. Counsel for the plaintiff [Attorney Josephine
Smalls Miller (Miller)] and the plaintiff did not appear. The
reasons for the plaintiff’s failure to appear and the
court’s ensuing actions are articulated in the court
uncontroverted evidence is as follows. The parties were
married for over twenty years. The parties’ three
children have reached the age of majority; two children are
under the age of twenty-three. The defendant is an
independent contractor for a trucking company. The plaintiff
is a long-term employee of the United States Postal Service.
plaintiff’s pension with the U.S. Postal Service had an
accrued benefit of $1656 per month payable at age sixty as of
December 31, 2011. The January 1, 2012 value of the accrued
benefit was $229, 744. The marital portion of the pension was
calculated at $223, 269. The plaintiff is also holder of a
Thrift Savings Plan.
parties are owners of the marital home located at 101
Rockville Road, Broad Brook . . . . The plaintiff has had
exclusive possession of the home since April, 2011. . . . The
plaintiff has not made mortgage payments on the home since
she took possession. . . . The home is now ‘under
water.’ [The defendant] testified that he and the
plaintiff paid $120, 000 toward the purchase price of the
home. . . . The court notes . . . that based on the evidence
produced by the defendant, the equity in the home at the time
of dissolution was approximately $86, 000.’’
making its findings, the court issued the following orders
relevant to this appeal: (1) no party was awarded alimony;
(2) the marital home was awarded to the plaintiff; she was
ordered to hold the defendant harmless on the mortgage,
arrearages, interest, penalties, and associated expenses; and
she was ordered to pay the defendant $43, 000, representing
one half of the equity in the home; and ...