Leftridge v. Wiggins
Allegations that the plaintiff fraudulently misrepresented his address, to the detriment of the defendant, can be sufficient to prove fraud and to grant the defendant's request to open the judgment. The defendant, Kenisha Wiggins, alleged that in August 2010 the plaintiff, Vernon Leftridge, misrepresented his address to the court, and that this constituted a "fraud and/or mistake." The defendant produced evidence from a housing court matter that apparently indicated that Leftridge resided at 49 Spring Street in Hartford. The court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that in May 2010 Leftridge resided at 49 Spring Street in Hartford. In August 2010, Leftridge allegedly claimed that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant the defendant's May 2010, motion to modify child support from $50 to $150 per week, because he did not reside at 49 Spring Street in Hartford. Fraud is defined as a false representation made as a statement of fact. Here, the court found that the plaintiff made a representation to the court that he knew was false, with the intent to induce reliance. There was no evidence of a mutual mistake. Connecticut permits a court to order a new trial, when a judgment is opened because of alleged fraud. A reasonable probability exists that a new trial would produce a different result. Crediting the defendant's claim that the allegedly fraudulent misrepresentation operated to the defendant's detriment, the court granted the defendant's motion to open and for a new trial.