Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gordon v. Gordon

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

February 14, 2017


          Argued November 28, 2016

         (Appeal from Superior Court, judicial district of New Haven, B. Fischer, J.)

          Alan J. Gordon, self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff).

          Irving H. Perlmutter, for the appellee (defendant).

          Keller, Mullins and Sullivan, Js.


          KELLER, J.

         In this civil action, the plaintiff, Alan J. Gordon, [1] appeals from the trial court's order granting summary judgment for the defendant, Carol Gordon, on the ground that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the three tort actions alleged in the plaintiff's complaint were barred by the applicable statute of limitations, General Statutes § 52-577.[2] The plaintiff claims that the court committed plain error in granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment because the defendant had not properly pleaded the statute of limitations as a special defense, and, therefore, had waived her right to raise it as a ground for summary judgment.[3] We affirm the judgment of the court.

         The following facts and procedural history, as determined by the trial court in its memorandum of decision, are relevant to this appeal. ‘‘The plaintiff . . . instituted the present action through service of process on the defendant . . . on May 18, 2014. The [amended and] revised complaint filed on March 12, 2015, alleges three counts of extortion, fraud, and larceny arising out of the parties' divorce on April 18, 2011.

         ‘‘In the extortion count, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant obtained a restraining order against him, then convinced him to break that order by asking him to watch their children while she vacationed in Mexico. [H]e believed the restraining order applied to her, rather than the family residence. The defendant filed a complaint against the plaintiff on March 17, 2011, and an arrest warrant was issued without the plaintiff's knowledge. In order to coerce the plaintiff into signing the separation agreement, the defendant and her attorney . . . who is the defendant in a companion case, told the plaintiff that if he signed the separation agreement, no charges would be brought against him. The plaintiff [signed the separation agreement] on April 18, 2011, completely against his will. On April 24, 2011, the police arrested the plaintiff for violation of the protective order.

         ‘‘In the fraud count, the plaintiff alleges the defendant abetted her attorney in leading the plaintiff to believe things which were not true. He also alleges that she did so in ‘taking the steps necessary to have plaintiff removed from his home' even though she had never called the police before in their twenty-two years of marriage . . . . The plaintiff also alleges that the defendant committed fraud when she filed her financial [affidavit in the dissolution action], stating that the family residence was in an irrevocable trust when it was not, [4] that two other residences were worth considerably less than their actual value, and that her ‘other personal property' had a total value of $4700 when the plaintiff paid over $5000 for her wedding ring twenty years prior and the house contained a substantial quantity of furniture and shoes.[5]

         ‘‘In the larceny count, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant ‘refused to return any of the more than forty household items owned by the plaintiff and purchased many years prior to their marriage.' '' (Footnotes added.)

         The defendant moved for summary judgment pursuant to Practice Book § 17-44[6] on March 30, 2015, on the ground that the statute of limitations for tort actions had expired prior to the date on which the defendant was served with process.[7] In support of her motion, the defendant provided a memorandum of law and her own affidavit, and requested that the court take judicial notice of the parties' dissolution file and this court's decision in the plaintiff's direct appeal from the dissolution judgment in Gordon v. Gordon, 148 Conn.App. 59, 84 A.3d 923 (2014). The plaintiff filed a memorandum in opposition, which he styled a ‘‘reply, '' on May 18, 2015. In his reply, the plaintiff asserted that there was no statute of limitations applicable to his fraud claim and that he filed his complaint within the limitations period, but had to wait until his application for a fee waiver was approved so that he could serve process on the defendant.[8] The plaintiff did not file a counter affidavit or submit any documentation in opposition to the motion for summary judgment.

         The court noted that the first count[9] of the revised complaint clearly alleged a civil action for fraud, but that the larceny and extortion claims required ‘‘further explication, '' as larceny and extortion are crimes set forth in General Statutes § 53a-119, rather than claims that may be brought in a civil action. The court stated, ‘‘[p]ursuant to General Statutes § 52-564, [a]ny person who steals any property of another, or knowingly receives and conceals stolen property, shall pay the owner treble his damages. Statutory theft under § 52-564 is synonymous with larceny under . . . § 53a-119. Hospital of Central Connecticut v. Neurosurgical Associates, P.C., 139 Conn.App. 778, 788-89, 57 A.3d 794 (2012). Section 53a-119 states that larceny includes extortion. Therefore, the larceny and extortion claims made by the plaintiff are properly statutory theft claims . . . .'' (Internal quotation marks omitted.)

         The court concluded that the plaintiff's claims for fraud and statutory theft were subject to the three year statute of limitations contained in § 52-577. Citing Kidder v.Read, 150 Conn.App. 720, 726-27, 93 A.3d 599 (2014), the court stated that the ‘‘three year limitation period of § 52-577 begins with the date of the act or omission complained of, not the date when the plaintiff first discovers an injury. . . . The relevant date of the act or omission complained of, as that phrase is used in § 52-577, is the date when the negligent conduct of the defendant occurs and not the date when the [plaintiff] first sustain[s] damage. . . . Ignorance of his rights on the part of the person against whom the statute has begun to run, will not suspend its operation. . . . When conducting an analysis under § 52-577, the only ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.