February 11, 2016
from Superior Court, judicial district of Ansonia-Milford,
Hon. John W. Moran, judge trial referee.
I. Milas, with whom, on the brief, was Jaime Paoletti, for
the appellant (defendant Professional Services Group, Inc.).
Stephen G. Walko, with whom were Frank Velardi and, on the
brief, Julia E. Braun, for the appellee (substitute
Keller, Mullins and Norcott, Js.
foreclosure action, the defendant Professional Services
Group, Inc.,  appeals from the trial court’s
judgment granting the motion filed by the plaintiff, Bellmore
Partners, Inc.,  to dismiss the defendant’s cross
claim. The defendant claims that the court erred by granting
the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss because it improperly
concluded that the defendant lacked standing. We agree and
accordingly reverse the judgment of the court.
following procedural history is relevant to this appeal. On
October 15, 2009, Astoria Federal Mortgage Corporation
(Astoria) filed a four count complaint against Genesis
Limited Partnership (Genesis) and the defendant, seeking,
inter alia, foreclosure of two mortgages that Genesis had
executed and delivered to Astoria for property located at 89
Minerva Street in Derby (Derby property). In the complaint,
Astoria alleged that it was in possession of two notes that
were secured by two mortgages on the Derby property: (1) a
note dated May 14, 2004, wherein Genesis had promised to pay
Astoria $210, 000; and (2) a note dated June 20, 2005,
wherein Genesis had promised to pay Astoria $165, 000.
Furthermore, Astoria acknowledged that the defendant
maintained an encumbrance of record on the Derby property,
which it alleged was subordinate in right to the claimed
mortgages, ‘‘by virtue of a [m]echanic’s
[l]ien in the original principal amount of [$293, 800] dated
September 8, 2009, and recorded in volume 589 at page 253 of
the Derby land records.’’ On October 23, 2009,
Astoria filed a motion for default against the defendant for
its failure to appear, which the court denied on October 27,
2009. On December 10, 2009, Astoria filed a demand for
disclosure of defense against the defendant.
December 21, 2009, the defendant filed its disclosure of
defense and its answer and special defense. In its disclosure
of defense and as a special defense, the defendant asserted
that it held a valid mechanic’s lien on the Derby
property, which was security for construction work on the
Derby property that it had commenced on March 12, 2002, and
which it alleged was a claim prior in right to the mortgages
claimed by Astoria.
19, 2010, Genesis filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in
the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of
the pendency of Genesis’ bankruptcy proceedings, the
defendant, on August 13, 2011, assigned its mechanic’s
lien on the Derby property to Viking Acquisitions, LLC
(Viking). On September 30, 2011, this assignment was recorded
at volume 633, page 273of the Derby land records.
April 12, 2012, the Bankruptcy Court issued an
‘‘Order Regarding Limited Relief from the
Automatic Stay, ’’ which stated the following:
‘‘The court having held a hearing on March 20,
2012, with respect to the motion for relief from stay filed
by [the plaintiff] on January 10, 2011 . . . and the motion
for immediate order of relief from stay for violation of
court ordered stipulations filed by [the plaintiff] on
February 13, 2012 . . . the parties having requested limited
relief at the hearing to allow the parties to move forward
with proceedings in Connecticut Superior Court as to the
extent, validity, and priority of the mechanic’s lien .
. . allegedly held by [the defendant] on [the Derby
property]; and the court having determined that cause exists
to grant limited relief from stay as requested by the
parties, it is hereby
that relief from the automatic stay is granted, for cause,
pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362 (d) (1) to allow the parties
to move forward with proceedings in Connecticut Superior
Court for the limited purpose of determining the extent,
validity and priority of the [defendant’s
mechanic’s lien]; and it is hereby further
that relief from the automatic stay is also granted to allow
the parties to proceed in Connecticut state court with any
appeals from any decision of the Connecticut Superior Court
as to the extent, validity, and priority of [the
defendant’s mechanic’s lien] . . .
April 18, 2012, Astoria moved to substitute the plaintiff in
the foreclosure proceeding. The court granted Astoria’s
motion on May 14, 2012.
September 20, 2012, the court granted the plaintiff’s
motion for a determination of priorities and ordered the
following: ‘‘The court finds the priorities to be
(1) the first mortgage dated May 14, 2004, and (2) the second
mortgage dated June 20, 2006. No further determination is
October 12, 2012, Viking assigned the defendant’s
mechanic’s lien back to the defendant, but this
assignment was not recorded in the Derby land records until
June 26, 2014.
March 18, 2014, the bankruptcy court dismissed Genesis’
chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
April 16, 2014, the defendant filed a cross claim against
Genesis, in which it sought, inter alia, to foreclose the
mechanic’s lien that it held on the Derby property. In
its cross claim, the defendant alleged that it had
‘‘furnished materials and rendered services to
Genesis in the construction, raising, removal or repairs to
the property owned by Genesis, ’’ and that it had
‘‘commenced to furnish materials and render
services on or about March 12, 2002, and ceased furnishing
materials and rendering services on August 20,
17, 2014, the plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss the
defendant’s cross claim. In the motion, the plaintiff
asserted that the defendant’s cross claim should be
dismissed because ‘‘[a]t the time the cross claim
was filed, [the defendant] was not the holder of the
[mechanic’s] lien and therefore [did] not have standing
to pursue foreclosure.’’ In its memorandum of law
in support of the motion, which was also filed on June 17,
2014, the plaintiff argued, inter alia, that the defendant
did not have standing to foreclose its mechanic’s lien
on the Derby property because it had failed to record the
October 12, 2012 assignment whereby Viking assigned the
mechanic’s lien back to the defendant. Therefore, the
plaintiff argued, the defendant did not have standing because
it was not the record holder of the lien on April 16, 2014,
which was the date on which it filed its cross claim seeking
foreclosure of the lien.
15, 2014, the defendant filed its opposition to the
plaintiff’s motion to dismiss, wherein it argued that
it did have standing to bring its cross claim against Genesis
because the October 12, 2012 assignment was valid despite the
defendant’s failure to record the assignment prior to
its commencement of the foreclosure action. The defendant
also asserted that on June 26, 2014, it had recorded the
October 12, 2012 assignment in volume 696, page 51 of the
Derby land records. The defendant attached a copy of the
recorded assignments to its opposition.
October 14, 2014, the court held a hearing on the
plaintiff’s motion to dismiss. On January 22, 2015, the
court issued a memorandum of decision wherein it granted the
plaintiff’s motion to dismiss the defendant’s
cross claim. In its memorandum of decision, the court stated
the following: ‘‘On April 16, 2014, the defendant
. . . filed a cross [claim] against codefendant Genesis . . .
seeking to foreclose a mechanic’s lien, dated September
8, 2009, against Genesis . . . .
thereto, [the defendant] assigned its mechanic’s lien
to Viking . . . on August 13, 2011. On September , 2011,
at 12:13 p.m., this assignment was recorded at volume 633, page
273, of the Derby land records.
on October 12, 2012, Viking . . . assigned the same
mechanic’s lien back to [the defendant]. This second
assignment was not recorded until 4:01 p.m. on June ...