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Reale v. State

Appellate Court of Connecticut

September 17, 2019

Daniel REALE et al.
v.
STATE of Rhode Island et al.

         Argued May 23, 2019

Page 724

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 725

         The Superior Court, Judicial District of Windham at Putnam, Cole-Chu, J.

         Affirmed.

          Daniel Reale, self-represented, the appellant (named plaintiff).

         Michael W. Field, assistant attorney general for the state of Rhode Island, with whom, on the brief, was Peter F. Neronha, attorney general for the state of Rhode Island, for the appellee (named defendant).

         Steven M. Richard, for the appellee (defendant town of Coventry).

         Keller, Elgo and Harper, Js.

          OPINION

         HARPER, J.

         [192 Conn.App. 760] In this spoliation of evidence action, the plaintiff Daniel Reale[1] appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant town of Coventry, Rhode Island (town), and the state defendants, the state of Rhode Island; the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families; Investigator Harry Lonergan; and Attorneys Brenda Baum and Diane Leyden, on the ground of a lack of personal jurisdiction.[2] On appeal, the plaintiff claims [192 Conn.App. 761] that the court erred in (1) determining that the state defendants did not waive their right to seek dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction by concurrently moving to strike the plaintiff’s complaint as an alternative to dismissal, and (2) granting the state defendants’ motions to dismiss on the ground of a lack of personal jurisdiction.[3] We affirm the judgment of the court.

         The following facts, as set forth in the trial court’s memoranda of decision and procedural history are relevant to our resolution of this appeal. "The plaintiff is a Connecticut resident and father of two children who has joint custody with his ex-wife, who, during the pertinent time, was a resident of Rhode Island. In June, 2016, two neglect petitions were commenced against the plaintiff by the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families arising from an allegation by a school psychologist employed by the town ... that the plaintiff’s son suffered a gunshot wound ...." "That incident was investigated by the Coventry, Rhode Island, Police Department, which determined that no crime, abuse or neglect had occurred."

          Thereafter, the "neglect petitions terminated in favor of [the plaintiff] and his ex-wife in August, 2016, and September, 2016, respectively." "The plaintiff subsequently joined a civil action against the town, inter alia, in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island ...." In the federal action, ...


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