U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, TRUSTEE
DALPHINE BENNETT ET AL.
September 16, 2019
from the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford,
where the defendant Money Market Mortgage, LLC, et al. were
defaulted for failure to plead; thereafter, the named
defendant filed counterclaims; subsequently, the court,
K. Tougas, for the appellant (named defendant).
Zachary Grendi, for the appellee (plaintiff).
Judges: Alvord, Prescott and Flynn, Js. FLYNN, J. In this
opinion the other judges concurred.
Conn.App. 98] FLYNN, J.
defendant Dalphine Bennett appeals from the entry of a
strict foreclosure in favor of the plaintiff, U.S. Bank
National Association as trustee, successor in interest to
Bank of America, National Association, as trustee, successor
by merger to LaSalle Bank, National Association, as trustee
for Bear Stearns Asset Backed Securities Trust 2005-4,
Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2005-4. The defendant
claims that the court improperly (1) granted the
plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to the
defendant's counterclaims alleging (a) vexatious
litigation and (b) abuse of process; and (2) failed to hold
an immediate hearing in damages following the entry of
summary judgment as to liability only, which violated
Practice Book § 17-50. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm
the judgment of the trial court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to the
defendant's claims on appeal. In January, 2016, the
plaintiff commenced a foreclosure action against the
defendant in which it alleged that a 2004 note was in default
and that it sought to accelerate the balance due on the note,
to declare the note to be due in full, and to foreclose on
the mortgage securing the note. The defendant filed an
answer, special defenses, and a two count counterclaim
alleging vexatious litigation and abuse of process. The
counterclaims centered [195 Conn.App. 99] on a previous 2009
foreclosure action brought by Bank of America on the same
2004 note against the same defendant.
plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment as to liability
only on the foreclosure complaint and on the counterclaims.
The defendant filed an objection in which she argued, inter
alia, that genuine issues of material fact exist as to her
counterclaims. The defendant attached to her motion a JDNO
notice from the 2009 foreclosure action,
which indicated that a show cause hearing had been scheduled
for March 18, 2013. At the hearing in the 2009 action, a
transcript of which was also attached to the defendant's
motion, the court had inquired as to the status of the case,
and the plaintiff's counsel had indicated that he was
waiting on documents from Bank of America. In the 2009
action, the court then ordered the matter dismissed. By an
order dated March 18, 2013, in the 2009 action the court
stated: " Any motions to open the judgment must state in
the first paragraph that the matter needs to be referred to
the presiding judge. Motions to open will only be considered
by the court when the plaintiff moves for judgment."
present action, on September 7, 2018, the court granted the
plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and entered
judgment in favor of the plaintiff as to liability on the
foreclosure complaint and against the defendant on her
counterclaims. On September 20, 2018, the defendant appealed
from the court's decision granting the plaintiff's
motion for summary judgement as to liability only. The
plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, arguing that
the court's decision rendering [195 Conn.App. 100]
summary judgment as to liability only on the foreclosure
complaint was not a final judgment and that the claims on
appeal from the judgment on the counterclaim were frivolous.
This court ordered the motion " granted as to the
the appeal challenging the granting of summary judgment as to
liability only on the complaint and denied as to any portion
of the appeal challenging the granting of summary judgment ...