New Alliance Bank v. Schaeppi
Pursuant to C.G.S. §33-820(a)(4), all property owned by, and all contract rights possessed by the plaintiff bank were vested in its successor following the merger of the banks and the trial court was not required to hold an evidentiary hearing with respect to a motion to substitute the successor bank as plaintiff in this foreclosure proceeding. The pro se defendants, Ernest and Ellen Schaeppi, appealed from the judgment of foreclosure by sale rendered by the trial court in favor of the substituted plaintiff, First Niagara Bank, National Association. On appeal, the defendants argued that the trial court improperly deprived them of the right to due process by granting the motion to substitute First Niagara for the plaintiff, New Alliance Bank, without holding an evidentiary hearing. The Appellate Court disagreed and affirmed the judgment. This case did not involve the assignment of the note or mortgage; it involved the merger of New Alliance Bank with and into First Niagara. Attached to the motion to substitute were copies of the certificate of merger from the Comptroller of the Currency and the certificate of change of name filed with the town of Glastonbury, where the property at issue in this case is located. The defendants failed to provide any authority supporting their claim that due process required an evidentiary hearing under the circumstances. Pursuant to C.G.S. §33-820(a)(4), all property owned by and all contract rights possessed by New Alliance Bank were vested in First Niagara following the merger. This included both ownership of, and the right to enforce, the note and mortgage. The defendants, in their objection to substitute, merely requested a hearing and the presence of a witness who could testify as to the merger and that First Niagara had "assumed title to the mortgage that is the basis of this foreclosure action." They never raised any factual issues concerning the validity of the merger itself. The lack of an evidentiary hearing did not deprive the defendants of the right to due process.