from Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Hon.
Joseph M. Shortall, judge trial referee [summary judgment as
to liability]; Wiese, J. [judgment].
to recover damages for, inter alia, breach of a credit card
agreement, and for other relief, brought to the Superior
Court in the judicial district of New Britain, where the
defendants were defaulted for failure to plead; thereafter,
the court, Abrams, J., granted the defendants'
motion to open the judgment; subsequently, the court,
Hon. Joseph M. Shortall, judge trial referee,
granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to
liability; thereafter, following a hearing in damages, the
court, Wiese, J., rendered judgment for the
plaintiff, from which the defendants appealed to this court.
M. Schwartz, for the appellants (defendants).
Gesing, for the appellee (plaintiff).
Sheldon, Beach and Sheridan, Js.
defendants appealed from the trial court's judgment
rendered in favor of the plaintiff in connection with the
plaintiff's action to recover for the defendants'
breach of a contractual credit agreement. The defendants
opened a credit card account with the plaintiff, were mailed
a credit card and card member agreement, used the account to
pay for various goods and services, and received monthly
billing statements from the plaintiff. When the defendants
failed to make payments on the account, the plaintiff closed
the account, which had a balance of $182, 367.29. In opposing
the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, the
defendants asserted, inter alia, that the plaintiff's
claim was barred by the statute of frauds (§ 52-550 [a]
), which bars civil actions upon any agreement for a loan
in excess of $50, 000 unless the agreement is written and
signed by the party to be charged. The trial court granted
the motion for summary judgment as to liability and,
following a hearing in damages, rendered judgment for the
plaintiff for the full amount of the balance, plus costs. On
appeal to this court, the defendants claimed that the trial
court improperly granted summary judgment on the issue of
liability because the credit card agreement constituted a
loan under the statute of frauds, and, therefore, enforcement
of the agreement was barred in the absence of a writing
signed by the defendants. Held that the trial court
properly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment because the present action was not barred by the
statute of frauds: the plaintiff's claim for breach of a
contractual credit agreement was not related to any agreement
for a loan that exceeded $50, 000 because the underlying
agreement was not a loan within the meaning of § 52-550
(a) (6); furthermore, the defendants were never given a sum
of more than $50, 000 by the plaintiff but, rather, were able
to make third party transactions in varying amounts through
the use of the credit card account.
defendants, Krzysztof Rutkowski and Tri-City Trading, LLC,
appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court in favor
of the plaintiff, American Express Bank, FSB. On appeal, the
defendants claim that the court improperly rendered summary
judgment as to liability on the plaintiff's claim of
breach of a contractual credit agreement because the statute
of frauds, General Statutes § 52-550 (a) (6), bars
enforcement of the agreement. We disagree and, accordingly,
affirm the judgment of the trial court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to this
appeal. The defendants opened a credit card account with the
plaintiff on February 26, 2004. Upon opening the account, the
defendants were mailed a credit card along with a copy of the
card member agreement. The defendants used the credit card
account to pay for various goods and services and received
monthly billing statements from the plaintiff. The defendants
did not object to the balances shown as due and owing on the
monthly statements provided by the plaintiff. Following the
defendants' failure to make payments on the credit card
account, the plaintiff closed the account with a remaining
balance due and owing of $182, 367.29.
August 15, 2013, the plaintiff commenced the present action
against the defendants. The amended complaint filed on
December 20, 2013, alleged one count of breach of a
contractual credit agreement (count one) and one count of
unjust enrichment (count two). The defendants filed an answer
denying the allegations of the complaint and alleging special
defenses claiming inter alia, that the plaintiff's claims
were barred by the statute of frauds, § 52-550 (a) (6).
plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment on
both counts on August 13, 2015. The court, Hon. Joseph M.
Shortall, judge trial referee, found that the statute of
frauds did not bar the plaintiff's claim, there was no
genuine issue of material fact, and thus the plaintiff was
entitled to judgment as a matter of law on count one as to
liability only. Following a hearing in damages, the court,
Wiese, J., rendered judgment for the plaintiff on