CRISTIANE M. ALMEIDA
March 5, 2019
for the dissolution of a marriage, and for other relief,
brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of
Hartford and tried to the court, Ficeto, J.;
judgment dissolving the marriage and granting certain other
relief; thereafter, the court granted the plaintiff's
motion for clarification and issued a clarification of the
dissolution judgment, and the defendant appealed to this
court. Reversed; judgment directed.
R. Peck, with whom, on the brief, was Brittany Wallace, for
the appellant (defendant).
Giovanna Shay, with whom, on the brief, were Ramona
Mercado-Espinoza and Enelsa Diaz, for the appellee
Keller, Elgo and Bishop, Js.
postdissolution matter, the defendant, Renato Almeida,
appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the
motion for clarification filed by the plaintiff, Cristiane M.
Almeida. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court
improperly modified the dissolution judgment when it rendered
its clarification.We agree and, therefore, reverse the
judgment of the trial court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to this
appeal. The parties' marriage was dissolved on October
16, 2015. In its memorandum of decision, the court,
Ficeto, J., found, inter alia, that "[t]he
defendant acquired four properties during the course of the
marriage. The property at 409 Sigourney Street, Hartford
[property], is where the parties made their home and the
defendant currently resides. It is a three family home; the
defendant resides in one unit and rents two. [The defendant]
listed the value of [the property] at $144, 000 on his
financial affidavit. He alleges [that] he is only a 50
percent owner of [the property] and that his business partner
owns 50 percent through a business entity known as Talyah
Home Improvement, LLC. . . . All properties were purchased
with cash. Counsel for the plaintiff inquired how the
defendant was able to acquire the . . . properties with no
loans or mortgages. [The defendant] testified that a sister
brought him $100, 000 from Brazil and that he used it as seed
money for 'flipping' houses. He alleges [that] the
money was his and that he had saved it in Brazil. He was
unable to provide documentation relative to the $100, 000.
The defendant testified relative to his business entity,
Talyah Home Improvement, LLC. There was no evidence
introduced relative to either the limited liability [company]
or its members. [The defendant] vaguely testified about his
partner, who has been in Brazil for the past year. [The
defendant] alleges that he deals with his partner's
'people.' A review of the defendant's tax returns
for the years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 show[s] no schedules
related to income from a business entity known as Talyah Home
Improvement, LLC. . . . The court does not find credible
[the defendant's] recitation relative to his financial
affairs." (Footnote in original.)
of its judgment of dissolution, the court ordered, inter
alia, that "[t]he defendant shall forthwith vacate and
quitclaim to the plaintiff all interest in [the property].
[The] [p]laintiff shall thereafter be responsible for all
expenses relating to said [property], including, but not
limited to, real estate taxes, insurance, and utilities, and
shall indemnify and hold the defendant harmless in regard to
on December 4, 2015, the defendant signed a quitclaim deed,
assigning his rights and interest in the property to the
plaintiff. On February 2, 2016, the parties entered
into an agreement, which provided, in relevant part, that the
"[p]laintiff will execute a substitution of agent and
interim change of member for Talyah Home Improvement, LLC,
and [the] defendant will file said documents and pay the
associated filing fees to the Connecticut Secretary of State.
This will allow [the] plaintiff to lawfully collect rents at
[the property] going forward."
September 21, 2017, the plaintiff filed a motion for contempt
in which she claimed: "1. On October 16, 2015, the court
ordered the defendant to vacate and quitclaim to the
plaintiff all interest in [the property]. 2. On December 4,
2015, the defendant quitclaimed to the plaintiff [the
property]; however, it has come to the plaintiffs attention
that there was another person on the deed of the property. 3.
The plaintiff is now being sued by Domingos, Joelson, in care
of Salatiel De Matos through a power of attorney. ... 4.
During the divorce proceedings, the defendant never stated
that he was only [one-half] owner of the aforementioned
property. 5. As a result, the plaintiff may have to sell the
aforementioned property and [lose one half] of the equity in
the home. 6. The defendant is in violation and in contempt of
the court orders."
December 4, 2017, the plaintiff filed a postjudg-ment motion
for clarification, in which she argued that
"[clarification of the [dissolution] judgment [was]
necessary to determine if the court intended for the
defendant to make whatever arrangements were necessary with
his business partner in Brazil to transfer 'all
interest' in the [property] to the plaintiff, or if it
was the court's intention to award the plaintiff with a
50 percent interest in the property and/or [the limited
December 5, 2017, the court, Nastri, J., entered an
order, which provided that: "1. Upon agreement of the
parties, [the] plaintiff will withdraw the motion for
contempt . . . and pursue the more appropriate motion for
clarification filed [on] December 4, 2017. 2. The plaintiffs
new motion will be calendared at a later date. It will be
appropriate for Judge Ficeto to hear the ...