Baillergeau v. McMillan
Where the defendant briefly mentioned a statute but did not quote its language or provide the trial court with any meaningful analysis of its alleged relevance to the case, the issue was not 'distinctly raised' before the trial court and review of the claim on appeal that the statute applied was declined. The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiff, Elizabeth Baillergeau, against her brother, Benet McMillan, and his wife, Doloures McMillan, finding that Benet McMillan fraudulently conveyed property to his wife to avoid a creditor. The court found that Benet McMillan, an attorney, inter alia, served as administrator of his and the plaintiff's mother's estate and failed to pay the plaintiff bequest monies. The defendants appealed from the judgment and from the denial of their motions to open and reargue. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The defendants first asserted that the judgment should be opened and re-argument allowed to correct the trial court's misapprehension of the consideration purportedly given for the transfer. The defendants claimed that the trial court ignored the quitclaim deed's language regarding 'other valuable consideration,' and testimony concerning the consideration and circumstances of the transfer. The Appellate Court was unpersuaded. The defendants attempted to provide the trial court with additional documents purportedly demonstrating the court's misunderstanding of the facts. The defendants did not assert that the proffered documentation was newly discovered; rather, they simply asserted that they compiled the documents to correct the courts purported misapprehension of the nature of the consideration. This argument was effectively nothing more than an attempt to have an impermissible second bite of the apple for the determination regarding the transfer. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendants' motions. The Appellate Court declined review of the defendants' remaining claims, including that the trial court overlooked C.G.S. §52-552b (2). The claim was not presented sufficiently to the trial court. Benet McMillan briefly mentioned the statute during oral argument on the motions to open and reargue, stating that his interest in the property would be excluded under the section, 'according to [his] reading' of the statute. He did not quote the statute's language and no meaningful analysis of the statute's alleged relevance was provided. The trial court did not respond to the purported statutory argument.