S. A. [*]
October 10, 2019
for custody of the parties' minor child, brought to the
judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk and transferred to the
judicial district of New Haven, where the court, Tindill,
J., rendered judgment in favor of the defendant;
thereafter the court granted the defendant's motions for
contempt and awarded her attorney's fees, and the
plaintiff appealed to this court. Affirmed.
self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff).
M. Moore, for the appellee (defendant).
DiPentima, C. J., and Lavine and Bishop, Js.
self-represented plaintiff, M. B., appeals from the trial
court's orders, rendered in a child custody action,
granting certain postjudgment motions for contempt filed by
the defendant, S. A., and awarding her attorney's fees as
a sanction against the plaintiff. Specifically, the plaintiff
contends that the court erred in (1) finding him in contempt
for nonpayment of support orders when the support orders were
on appeal, (2) prioritizing the resolution of motions for
contempt over a simultaneously pending motion pertaining to
child visitation (3) failing to consider financial affidavits
he had submitted, (4) awarding the defendant attorney's
fees in connection with the granted contempt motions, and (5)
accepting the defendant's affidavits of fees with
incorrect docket numbers. We affirm the judgment of the trial
following facts, as evidenced by the record, and procedural
history are relevant to this appeal. The plaintiff and the
defendant are an unmarried couple who are the parents of
their minor child, born in June, 2014. After the child's
birth, the plaintiff filed an action seeking joint legal
custody of the child. By way of a memorandum of decision
issued on September 7, 2016, the trial court, Tindill,
J., awarded sole legal and primary physical custody to
the defendant. The award provided for the plaintiff to have
parenting time on weekends, restricted entirely to the town
of Greenwich. The plaintiff, who resided in New York City at
the time, thereafter rented an apartment in Greenwich solely
to exercise parenting time with his child. The award further
ordered the plaintiff to pay $253 per week to the defendant
in child support payments. Additionally, the court granted a
number of motions for contempt filed by the defendant that
were predicated on the plaintiff's failure to pay
unreimbursed medical expenses and work-related child care, as
ordered pendente lite, and the court calculated an arrearage.
On November 18, 2016, the court issued a corrected memorandum
of decision in which, inter alia, it corrected various
grammatical and calculation errors.
to the issuance of the corrected memorandum of decision on
November 18, 2016, the plaintiff filed an appeal on September
22, 2016, asking this court to consider whether the trial
court erred in not considering how its orders impacted his
rental expenses for the Greenwich apartment that he is
required to maintain to have parenting time with his child.
the pendency of that appeal, between October, 2016 and June,
2017, the defendant filed multiple postjudgment motions for
contempt against the plaintiff for failing to make both
arrearage payments and child support payments as required by
the September 7, 2016 support orders. On June 16, 2017, the
court ordered the defendant to submit an affidavit regarding
attorney's fees she had incurred in pursuing her
postjudgment motions for contempt.
December 11, 2017, the court granted one of the
defendant's motions for contempt, filed on October 17,
2016, finding that the plaintiff had failed to pay his
required share of the work-related child care expenses.
Following the plaintiff's failure to pay the arrearage by
the date set by the court, January 31, 2018, the court
ordered the plaintiff to be incarcerated, setting a purge
amount of $15, 000. The plaintiff paid the purge amount that
same day and was released from custody. On April 16, 2018,
the court granted four more of the defendant's
postjudgment motions for contempt, two of which were filed on
December 21, 2016, and two others that were filed on March 9,
2017, determining that the plaintiff had failed to pay
work-related child care costs, unreimbursed medical expenses,
child support payments, and child support arrearages.
2018, this court issued its decision in the prior appeal.
This court determined that the trial court had abused its
discretion in failing to analyze whether the plaintiff's
significant visitation expenses warranted a deviation from
the child support guidelines and remanded the matter for a
new hearing on this issue. This court otherwise affirmed the
judgment of the trial court.
May, 2018, the trial court issued an order vacating its
findings of arrearages with respect to the expenses
underlying the defendant's postjudgment motions for
contempt. On October 15, 2018, the trial court
ordered $9825 in attorney's fees to be paid by the
plaintiff in connection with expenses incurred by the
defendant for litigating those same motions for ...