Perugini v. Giuliano
An amended complaint can restate a cause of action, by supplying the allegation lacking in the complaint previously stricken. The plaintiff, Michael Perugini, sued the defendant attorney, Rosemary Giuliano, alleging in an Aug. 6, 2012, amended complaint that when Attorney Giuliano represented his former wife in a dissolution-of-marriage action in 2006, Giuliano engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the plaintiff. Perugini also alleged that Giuliano violated the Rules of Professional Conduct and that he suffered emotional distress when threatened with possible incarceration, as a result of a motion for contempt filed by the guardian ad litem. Attorney Giuliano moved to strike the amended complaint and argued it was barred as a result of earlier court rulings. The plaintiff objected that Practice Book §10-44 permitted the amended complaint and that he did not require court permission to amend. Practice Book §10-44 provides in part, "Within fifteen days after the granting of any motion to strike, the party whose pleading has been stricken may file a new pleading." The court found that counts in Perugini's amended complaint were not materially different than counts in an earlier complaint that were ordered stricken. The earlier complaint alleged violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Superior Court Judge Kari Dooley previously ruled in July 2012 that counts alleging that Giuliano violated the Rules of Professional Conduct were legally insufficient. This constitutes the law of the case. The amended complaint also sought to add factual claims and legal allegations that Superior Court Judge Wilson Trombley's March 2012 ruling did not permit. Trombley's earlier ruling barred the plaintiff's attempt to allege conspiracy to defraud. "The plaintiff's proposed amended complaint's changes in legal theories," added the court, "are even more untimely now than when Judge Trombley sustained the defendants' objection to the plaintiff's request to amend in March 2012." The plaintiff may not utilize Practice Book §10-44 to circumvent Judge Trombley's decision. The amended complaint failed to restate a cause of action by supplying the allegation lacking in the complaint previously stricken. The court granted the defendant's motion to strike Perugini's amended complaint.