Connecticut Housing Finance Authority v. Brown
A defendant's appeal of a judgment of foreclosure by sale can become moot, if the trial court opens the original judgment and issues a judgment of strict foreclosure. The plaintiff, CHFA, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, filed a foreclosure suit against the defendant, the owner of property located at 108 South Main Street in Brooklyn, Conn. After the court granted CHFA's motion for summary judgment as to liability, CHFA moved for a judgment of strict foreclosure. The defendant owner protested that a foreclosure sign that had been placed on his property incorrectly listed the address as 106 South Main Street, as opposed to 108 South Main Street. The trial court found that the sign was for a different foreclosure case and was not pertinent. The trial court granted judgment of foreclosure by sale to CHFA. The defendant appealed. The trial court granted CHFA's motion to end the appellate stay. CHFA moved to open the judgment, and in April 2012 the trial court granted the motion to open, calculated the amount of debt, the fair market value of the subject property and the amount of attorneys' fees. The trial court granted judgment of strict foreclosure to CHFA. The Connecticut Appellate Court found that when the trial court issued the judgment of strict foreclosure, it effectively set aside the earlier judgment of foreclosure by sale. As a result, the defendant's appeal of the earlier judgment of foreclosure by sale became moot. Existence of an actual controversy is an essential prerequisite to appellate jurisdiction. The Appellate Court dismissed the defendant's appeal.