May 13, 2019
Court in the judicial district of Fairfield, Hon. Alfred J.
Jennings, Jr., judge
Joseph, self-represented, the appellant (named defendant).
T. Staskiewicz, Hartford, for the appellee (substitute
Keller and Harper, Js.
Conn.App. 828] The self-represented defendant, Maud Joseph,
appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by
the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, MTGLQ Investors,
L.P. (MTGLQ). On appeal, the
defendant claims that the court (1) lacked subject matter
jurisdiction because the named plaintiff, Ditech Financial,
LLC (Ditech), lacked standing to commence this action, (2)
improperly granted Ditechs motion to substitute, (3) lacked
authority to render a judgment of strict foreclosure, and (4)
improperly denied her motion for reargument. Because the
resolution of the defendants first claim as to standing is
dependent on disputed factual findings that cannot be
resolved due to an inadequate appellate record, and because
this claim implicates the subject matter jurisdiction of the
trial court, we are unable to review the merits of this
appeal. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court
and remand the case for further proceedings.
briefly set forth the procedural history and facts relevant
to this appeal. On October 27, 2016, Ditech commenced this
action alleging that the defendant and Manita Cenat (Cenat)
executed and delivered to Countrywide Bank, FSB, a note for a
loan in the principal amount of $140,000 (note). To secure
the note, Ditech alleged that the defendant and Cenat
executed a mortgage dated December 12, 2007, for property
located at 116 North Bishop Avenue in Bridgeport. Ditech
alleged that it was the holder of the note and that the note
was [192 Conn.App. 829] in default. Accordingly, it elected
to accelerate the balance due, declared the balance due in
full, and sought to foreclose the mortgage securing the note.
11, 2017, the defendant and Cenat filed jointly a motion to
dismiss arguing that the court lacked personal jurisdiction
over them because service of process was not properly
effectuated. By order dated June 7, 2017, the court denied
the defendants motion. The court concluded that the
defendant had not sustained her burden of overcoming the
presumption of the truth of the facts stated in the return of
service attested to by the marshal.
discussed in footnote 1 of this opinion, Ditech filed a
motion to substitute MTGLQ as the plaintiff on June 22, 2017,
representing that it had assigned the subject mortgage deed
and note, including the cause of action, to MTGLQ. The
defendant filed an objection to Ditechs motion to substitute
arguing, inter alia, that the assignment was not made while
the action was pending and that Ditech lacked standing in the
first instance. The court granted Ditechs motion on July 13,
2017. In addressing the defendants objection, it concluded
that the assignment took place thirty-nine days after this
action commenced and, thus, it overruled the defendants
objection. The court did not address the defendants standing
argument and stated: "Defendants challenge to Ditech
Financials standing to commence this action is not properly
raised in an objection to motion to substitute. See Practice
Book § 10-30."
September 22, 2017, the plaintiff filed a motion for default
for failure to plead arguing that the defendant and Cenat had
failed to plead within the time required by Practice Book §
10-8. That same day, ...