RONALD F. BOZELKO
STATEWIDE CONSTRUCTION, INC., ET AL.
November 29, 2018
to quiet title to certain real property, brought to the
Superior Court in the judicial district of New Haven and
tried to the court, Hon. Richard E. Burke, judge trial
referee; judgment for the defendants, from which the
plaintiff appealed to this court. Affirmed.
F. Bozelko, self-represented, with whom, on the brief, was
Ira B. Grudberg, for the appellant (plaintiff).
Michael E. Burt, for the appellees (defendants).
DiPentima, C. J., and Moll and Sullivan, Js.
DiPENTIMA, C. J.
plaintiff, Ronald F. Bozelko, appeals from the judgment of
the trial court, rendered following a trial to the court, in
favor of the defendants, Statewide Construction, Inc., and
Robert Pesapane, in an action to quiet title under General
Statutes § 47-31. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that
the court's conclusions with respect to his quiet title
claim are improper. We affirm the judgment of the trial
following facts and procedural history are relevant to the
resolution of this appeal. In 2011, the plaintiff commenced
an action against the defendants seeking to quiet title to
property known as 105 McLay Avenue in East Haven. In their
amended answer, the defendants admitted the allegation in the
operative complaint that they may claim an interest in whole
or in part in 105 McLay Avenue. The defendants denied the
remainder of the allegations in the complaint and did not
assert any special defenses or counterclaims, but made a
statement in their amended answer, pursuant to § 47-31
(d), that they each owned a portion of 105 McLay Avenue. At
trial, the parties submitted evidence of their chains of
title. Following trial, the court found in its memorandum of
decision that the defendants are the owners of 105 McLay
Avenue ‘‘in various proportions.'' This
appeal, the plaintiff contends that the court erred in its
conclusion as to the ownership of 105 McLay Avenue.
Specifically, he argues that the evidence he submitted at
trial established that he has title to 105 McLay Avenue. We
first set forth our standard of review. Section 47-31 (a)
provides in relevant part: ‘‘An action may be
brought by any person claiming title to . . . real . . .
property . . . against any person who may claim to own the
property, or any part of it . . . adverse to the plaintiff .
. . to clear up all doubts and disputes and to quiet and
settle the title to the property. Such action may be brought
whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to the immediate or
exclusive possession of the property.'' In Har
v. Boreiko, 118 Conn.App. 787, 986 A.2d 1072
(2010), we stated: ‘‘Under § 47-31, the
claim for relief calls for a full determination of the rights
of the parties in the land. . . . To prevail, the plaintiff
must do so on the strength of [his] own title, not on the
weakness of the defendants' . . . and by the
preponderance of the evidence.'' (Citations omitted;
internal quotation marks omitted.) Id., 795.
a disputed parcel of land should be included in one or
another chain of title is a question of fact for the court to
decide. . . . In such a determination, it is the court's
duty to accept the testimony or evidence that appears more
credible. . . . It is well settled that we review the
court's findings of fact under the clearly erroneous
standard. We cannot retry the facts or pass on the
credibility of the witnesses. . . . A finding of fact is
clearly erroneous when there is no evidence in the record to
support it . . . or when although there is evidence to
support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is
left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has
been committed . . . .'' (Citations omitted; internal
quotation marks omitted.) Highstead Foundation, Inc.
v. Fahan, 105 Conn.App. 754, 758-59, 941
A.2d 341 (2008).
trial, both parties agreed that the first deed in the
plaintiff's chain of title, a warranty deed recorded in
July, 1924, by which Lyman A. Granniss transferred a thirty
acre parcel of land known as ‘‘Pond Lot''
to John H. Howe, included a parcel that would later become
known as 105 McLay Avenue. The next deed in the
plaintiff's chain of title is an October, 1924 warranty
deed by which Howe transferred to Gertrude H. LaBell and Emma
G. McLay the parcel of land referenced on a 1924 McLay
Heights subdivision map (1924 subdivision map), with the
exception of lots one through forty. The plaintiff claimed
that the deed from Howe to LaBell and McLay included 105
McLay Avenue, and the defendants disagreed.
1924 subdivision map included a street named McLay Avenue. It
is not disputed that 105 McLay Avenue is a triangular portion
of land that comprises a portion of McLay Avenue as shown on
the 1924 subdivision map, and that 105 McLay Avenue appears
to have been created in ...