May 16, 2019
Court, Judicial District of Hartford, Adelman, J.
Bistor, for the appellant (plaintiff).
A. Crawford, Middletown, for the appellee (defendant).
C. J., and Elgo and Sullivan, Js.
Conn.App. 352] The plaintiff, Daniel Shear, appeals from the
judgment rendered by the Superior Court affirming in part an
order of a
family support magistrate regarding his postdissolution
motion for modification and remanding the case for further
proceedings. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the
Superior Court [194 Conn.App. 353] applied an improper
standard of review in the appeal from the family support
magistrates order and (2) the family support magistrate
improperly failed to credit and refund money to the plaintiff
for lump sum and monthly social security disability benefits
paid to the defendant, Yupaporn Shear, in excess of the
postdissolution financial orders. We conclude that the
plaintiffs appeal from the order of the family support
magistrate was not taken from a final judgment. Accordingly,
we reverse the judgment and remand the case to the Superior
Court with direction to dismiss the plaintiffs appeal.
detailed review of the facts and procedural history is
necessary for our resolution of this appeal. On October 6,
2011, the plaintiff commenced the present action, seeking a
dissolution of the parties marriage and sole custody of
their minor child. On November 29, 2012, the court,
Carbonneau, J., rendered a judgment dissolving the
marriage. The court incorporated the terms of the parties
written separation agreement into the judgment. That
agreement provided that the parties would have joint custody
of the minor child, with her primary residence with the
defendant. The plaintiff agreed to pay $71 per week in child
support and $4 per week toward an existing arrearage. The
parties also agreed to share the work-related day care costs,
with the plaintiff paying 42 percent and the defendant paying
58 percent. Neither party was to receive alimony.
December 27, 2016, the defendant filed a motion for
modification and sought to reduce his child support and day
care obligations. He alleged that a disability determination
by the Social Security Administration constituted a
substantial change in circumstances. He also claimed that the
orders pertaining to his child support and day care
obligations substantially exceeded [194 Conn.App. 354] the
"guidelines amount" based on his present income and
January 5, 2017, the defendant was served with the
plaintiffs motion for modification. On January 18, 2017,
two days before the scheduled hearing on the plaintiffs
motion, the defendants counsel filed a motion for a
continuance until February 3, 2017. The plaintiffs counsel
did not consent and filed an objection.
January 20, 2017, the parties executed a stipulation that
provided: (1) the defendants counsel was unable to appear in
court due to a previously scheduled matter; (2) support
enforcement services received $307.70 on January 3, 2017,
from an income withholding lodged with the Social Security
Administration, which resulted in a deduction from the
plaintiffs January, 2017 disability payment; (3) the
plaintiff had received notice that the Social Security
Administration deducted $4982.20 from his benefits to pay his
child support and that this "substantially exceeds"
the $3054.52 arrearage owed to the plaintiff and the state;
(4) the minor child was entitled to a monthly dependent
benefit and a retroactive lump sum dependent benefit from the
Social Security Administration and the amount of these
benefits would not be known until the defendant completed,
and the Social Security Administration processed, an
application; and (5) the parties wanted to protect their
respective positions and to prevent overpayment of child
support and the arrearage until a hearing was held on the
plaintiffs motion for modification. The parties, [194
Conn.App. 355] therefore, agreed (1) to continue the hearing
on the motion for modification until February ...