Legal Memorandum: Determination of a Summary Process Action

Issue: Whether in a summary process action the court can enter a judgment when there has been no competent testimony from the holder of a life estate in the property.

Area of Law: Estate Planning & Probate, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary process action; Testimony of owner; Proof of legal ownership of the premises
Jurisdiction: Connecticut
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2011

Research revealed virtually no authority on this issue.  However, a few Connecticut cases were located in which the testimony of the owner was important in the determination of a summary process action.

Crossdale v. Lazu, No. NBSP052255 (Conn. Super. Ct. Nov. 16, 2009) (concluding, based on the evidence including testimonial evidence, that the plaintiff did not sustain her burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that she was the owner of the premises, and therefore she had no standing to maintain summary process action)

Dang v. Dang, No. HDSP-147757 (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 8, 2009) (stating elements of summary process action the plaintiff must prove, including that he or she is the owner of the premises, and concluding in this case that the plaintiff failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she was the vested owner of the property, given the “serious flaws in her testimony”)

Torre v. Moltkau, No. CV 88 25 25 51 (Conn. Super. Ct. Aug. 20 1990) (concluding that given that there was no testimony from anyone in support of the summary process eviction, and because this summary remedy is “narrowly construed and strictly followed,” judgment must be entered for the defendant)

Boyle v. Boyle, No. SPH 820514836SI 360 (Conn. Super. Ct. Sept. 30, 1982) (finding, base on the parties’ testimony, that the plaintiff was legal owner of the premises and thus was entitled to bring summary process action)


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