Accredited Home Lenders v. Vossbrinck
Tenants can be joined as parties to a foreclosure suit for the purposes of staying an order of ejectment. Owen Kozlovich, a tenant, requested an emergency stay of an order of ejectment and argued that he did not receive proper notice of the foreclosure suit. Connecticut General Statutes §49-22 provides that in a foreclosure suit, "the court may, if it renders judgment in his favor and finds that he is entitled to the possession of the land, issue execution of ejectment, commanding the officer to eject the person or persons in possession." Kozlovich credibly testified that on July 1, 2011, he signed a lease with the foreclosure defendant and that he occupies the property. On June 21, 2011, judgment of strict foreclosure entered. The foreclosure defendant filed an appeal. In August 2012, the court granted the foreclosure plaintiff's motion to eject. When Kozlovich requested a stay, the foreclosure plaintiff objected that Kozlovich was not a bona fide tenant. Kozlovich produced written leases. The court did not find any Connecticut decisions directly on point with respect to whether tenants can be joined as parties to a foreclosure suit for the purpose of staying an order of ejectment. The court found it was "logical and efficient" to join Kozlovich as a party to the foreclosure suit for the purpose of ruling on the ejectment. "Kozlovich's removal from the foreclosed property originated with the court's order of ejectment," wrote the court, "and he should … be able to seek a remedy from the court issuing the order." Kozlovich is a "necessary party," who meets the criteria for permissive intervention. A bona fide lease can be entered after a court grants judgment of strict foreclosure (which was June 21, 2011) and prior to the law day (which was Jan. 24, 2012). The foreclosure plaintiff failed to prove that Kozlovich colluded to prevent the plaintiff's possession of the property. The court found that Kozlovich was in possession of the property pursuant to a written lease at the time that the order of ejectment issued, and that he could not be ejected pursuant to C.G.S. §49-22.