Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

M. B. v. S. A.

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

December 10, 2019

M. B.
v.
S. A. [*]

          Argued October 10, 2019

         Procedural History

         Application for relief from abuse, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Stamford, where the court, Sommer, J., granted the application; thereafter, the court granted the defendant's motions to vacate and transfer and for reargument or reconsideration and transferred the matter to the judicial district of New Haven, where the court, Tindill, J., denied the application and issued sanctions against the plaintiff, and the plaintiff appealed to this court. Affirmed.

         M. B., self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff).

          DiPentima, C. J., and Lavine and Bishop, Js.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         The self-represented plaintiff, M. B., appeals from the trial court's order denying his application for relief from abuse seeking the issuance of a domestic violence restraining order against the defendant, S. A., who he alleges has engaged in a ‘‘continuous pattern of stalking and harassment.” Specifically, the plaintiff contends that the court abused its discretion in (1) denying his application for relief from abuse and (2) issuing sanctions against him pursuant to Practice Book § 1-25 for filing a frivolous application for relief from abuse. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The following facts, as evidenced by the record, and procedural history are relevant to our consideration of this appeal. On August 3, 2018, the plaintiff filed, pursuant to § 46b-15, an application for relief from abuse seeking a temporary restraining order against the defendant. The plaintiff alleged in the application for relief from abuse that the defendant engaged in a “clear and continuous pattern of stalking and harassment” that included incidents of her secretly photographing the plaintiff in public, and hiring a third party to surveil the plaintiff at his apartment in Greenwich. The court, Tindill, J., thereafter set a hearing date for August 17, 2018. That hearing resumed on September 10, 2018, and concluded on September 11, 2018.

         At the hearing, both the defendant and the self-represented plaintiff appeared, testified, and submitted evidence on the issue of the plaintiff's application for relief from abuse. The court, Tindill, J., subsequently denied the plaintiff's application for relief from abuse and, pursuant to Practice Book § 1-25, issued sanctions against him for filing a frivolous General Statutes § 46b-15 application.[1] Accordingly, the plaintiff was ordered to pay the defendant's attorney's fees incurred in defending against the application. This appeal followed.[2] Additional facts and procedural history will be set forth as necessary.

         Though the plaintiff has presented ten issues on appeal, [3] the substance of his claims is encapsulated within two broader claims. The plaintiff asks this court to consider whether the trial court abused its discretion in (1) denying his application for relief from abuse on the basis of the evidence presented at trial and (2) issuing sanctions in the form of attorney's fees against him for filing a frivolous § 46b-15 application. Following our review of the record, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. We address both claims in turn.

         I

         The plaintiff's first claim on appeal is that the court abused its discretion in denying his application for relief from abuse from the defendant. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in making several findings by improperly considering or failing to consider certain facts in evidence. For example, the plaintiff asserts that the court “abused its power . . . in finding that the plaintiff was not terrified by the defendant.” Additionally, the plaintiff contends that the court “abused its power . . . in denying [the] plaintiff's attempt to introduce exhibits/evidence of a third party stalking.” The record reveals that the court did in fact admit the evidence that the plaintiff claims was not introduced. The plaintiff also argues that the court did not give the weight to the evidence that he felt it deserved. We disagree.

         We first set forth the applicable standard of review. “The standard of review in family matters is well settled. An appellate court will not disturb a trial court's orders in domestic relations cases unless the court has abused its discretion or it is found that it could not reasonably conclude as it did, based on the facts presented. . . . It is within the province of the trial court to find facts and draw proper inferences from the evidence presented. . . . In determining whether a trial court has abused its broad discretion in domestic relations matters, we allow every reasonable presumption in favor of the correctness of its action. . . . [T]o conclude that the trial court abused its discretion, we must find that the court either incorrectly applied the law or could not reasonably conclude as it did. . . . Appellate review of a trial court's findings of fact is governed by the clearly erroneous standard of review. . . . A finding of fact is clearly erroneous when there is no evidence in the record to support it . . . or when although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.'' Krahel v. Czoch, 186 Conn.App. 22, 47, 198 A.3d 103, cert. denied, 330 Conn. 958, 198 A.3d 584 (2018).

         “It is well established that [i]n a case tried before a court, the trial judge is the sole arbiter of the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be given specific testimony . . . and the trial court is privileged to adopt whatever testimony [she] reasonably believes to be credible. . . . On appeal, we do not retry the facts or pass on the credibility of witnesses.” (Internal ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.