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Colon-Collazo v. Cox

Appellate Court of Connecticut

October 1, 2019

Juan COLON-COLLAZO
v.
Leslie COX

         Argued May 15, 2019

         Appeal from the Superior Court, Judicial District of Stamford, Edward R. Karazin, Jr., Judge Trial Referee.

Page 513

          Thomas B. Noonan, Darien, for the appellant (defendant).

          Juan Colon-Collazo, pro se, the appellee (plaintiff) filed a brief.

         Lavine, Prescott and Eveleigh, Js.

          OPINION

         PRESCOTT, J.

         [193 Conn.App. 253] In this appeal from postjudgment proceedings to obtain satisfaction of a civil dissolution judgment, the defendant judgment creditor, Leslie Cox, appeals from the judgment of the trial court ordering that certain property of the plaintiff judgment debtor, Juan Colon-Collazo, is exempt from a property execution.[1] On appeal, the judgment creditor claims that the court improperly concluded that certain property she sought to levy was exempt because (1) the judgment debtor never filed a claim for an exemption as required by our statutes and case law and (2) its conclusion was not supported by any evidence. We reverse, in part, the judgment of the trial court.

          The following facts, as found by the trial court, and procedural history are relevant. In February, 2012, the judgment debtor initiated an action against his former wife, the judgment creditor, alleging defamation.

Page 514

The judgment debtor withdrew the complaint, and the action proceeded on the judgment creditor’s amended counterclaim, which alleged various breaches of the parties’ separation agreement, including that the judgment debtor was in arrears on his obligations to pay unallocated alimony and child support. The judgment debtor was unrepresented during these underlying proceedings and on appeal. The parties stipulated to the amount due on the counterclaim, and, on November 23, 2015, the court, Heller, J., rendered judgment on the counterclaim in the amount of $448,946.61, plus postjudgment interest.

          On August 15, 2016, the judgment creditor applied for a property execution pursuant to General Statutes § 52-356a, which was issued by the clerk of the court. A levying officer seized the property in a storage unit [193 Conn.App. 254] at Uncle Bob’s Self Service Storage in Stamford (storage unit).[2]

         On May 12, 2017, the judgment creditor filed a "Claim for Determination of Interests in Disputed Property" form that sought a determination of the parties’ interests in the personal property in the storage unit, stating that the storage unit was leased in the name of the judgment debtor’s father, Juan Colon-Pagan, but that the judgment debtor stored property in the storage unit that either belonged to him or was a former marital asset. See General Statutes § 52-356c.

         The clerk of the court signed the section of the "Claim for Determination of Interests in Disputed Property" form entitled "Order For Hearing and Notice" and set a hearing date for June 5, 2017. Following an evidentiary hearing, the court, Hon. Edward R. Karazin, Jr., judge trial referee, issued a memorandum of decision on July 28, 2017, that determined the interest in the disputed property contained in the storage unit. The court found that the storage unit was in the name of the judgment debtor’s father, but that the judgment debtor owned the contents of the storage unit. The court noted that none of the witnesses provided a complete list of the items in the storage unit, and that it searched the records and photographs of the inside of the storage unit to determine its contents. The court determined that a variety of items in ...


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