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The Cadle Co. v. Ogalin

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

July 25, 2017

THE CADLE COMPANY
v.
FRANK F. OGALIN

          Argued March 9, 2017

         Procedural History

         Action, inter alia, to enforce a judgment, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield, where the court, Kamp, J., granted in part the plaintiff's motion to strike the defendant's special defenses; thereafter, the court, Hon. Richard P. Gilardi, judge trial referee, granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment; subsequently, the court, Hon. Richard P. Gilardi, judge trial referee, issued a corrected memorandum of decision and rendered summary judgment for the plaintiff; thereafter, the plaintiff withdrew the complaint in part, and the defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          Roy W. Moss, for the appellant (defendant).

          Paul N. Gilmore, with whom, on the brief, was Christopher A. Klepps, for the appellee (plaintiff).

          DiPentima, C. J., and Beach and Westbrook, Js. [*]

         Syllabus

         The plaintiff, the assignee of a judgment rendered against the defendant in 1994, brought this action in 2013 seeking, in a two count complaint, to enforce the 1994 judgment, which remained unsatisfied. After the trial court granted in part the plaintiff's motion to strike the defendant's special defenses directed at count one of the complaint, it granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to the first count of the complaint. Thereafter, the court issued an amended memorandum of decision rendering judgment in favor of the plaintiff as to count one and awarding the plaintiff postjudgment interest. Subsequently, the court granted the plaintiff's motion to withdraw the second count of the complaint, and the defendant appealed to this court.

         Held:

1. The defendant could not prevail on his claim that the trial court improperly granted the plaintiff's motion to strike his second special defense to count one of the complaint, which alleged that because the plaintiff already had taken steps in 2013 to collect on the 1994 judgment via weekly payments, wage executions and property executions, the present action was duplicative, unfair, inequitable, vexatious and oppressive: although an action on a judgment is not favored as being generally vexatious and oppressive, our Supreme Court has determined previously that the weight of authority is that an allegation of nonpayment is sufficient reason for initiating an action, and the plaintiff here alleged nonpayment of the 1994 judgment; moreover, the defendant failed to provide any authority in support of his claim that the present action was unfair and duplicative due to the fact that active collection proceedings remained pending before the trial court.
2. The trial court properly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to count one of the complaint; that court properly determined that the defendant's special defense of laches, an equitable defense, was not applicable to the plaintiff's action for monetary damages, which was filed within the relevant limitations period pursuant to statute (§ 52-598), and that even if the doctrine of laches applied, the defendant had not alleged facts other than the mere lapse of time that would create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he was prejudiced by any delay in enforcement, especially given that the action was brought within the period authorized by § 52-598, and, thus, it was presumed that there was no prejudice, and the doctrine of laches was not imputed to the plaintiff's claim.
3. This court declined to consider the defendant's claim, raised for the first time on appeal, that the trial court improperly awarded the plaintiff postjudgment interest; although the defendant claimed on appeal that because the 1994 judgment did not award postjudgment interest, it was res judicata as to the issue of postjudgment interest, the defendant failed to specifically plead the issue of res judicata as a special defense, nor was it mentioned in his opposition to the motion for summary judgment.

          OPINION

          DiPENTIMA, C. J.

         The defendant, Frank F. Ogalin, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, The Cadle Company. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) granted the plaintiff's motion to strike his second special defense, (2) granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and (3) awarded postjudgment interest to the plaintiff. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of trial court.

         The following facts and procedural history are relevant to our discussion. On September 25, 2013, the plaintiff commenced the present action via a two count complaint alleging a common-law action on a judgment and an action on a judgment under principles of unjust enrichment.[1] Specifically, the complaint alleged that the plaintiff was the assignee of a judgment rendered against the defendant in the amount of $137, 055.17 in a case titled Great Country Bank v.Ogalin, Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield Docket No. CV-93-0303908-S, (March 15, 1994) (1994 judgment). The plaintiff claimed that the 1994 judgment remained ...


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