Shamitz v. Taffler
The Appellate Court could not draw an inference of impropriety from the trial court's silence regarding evidence in the record when it was not apparent from the oral decision that the court improperly disregarded that evidence. The plaintiff, Randi Shamitz, appealed from the trial court's judgment, denying her motion to modify the child support and alimony orders directed to the defendant, Jonathan Tafler. The plaintiff contended that the trial court improperly concluded that she failed to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances because the court disregarded evidence of changes in her financial circumstances and those of her children. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The plaintiff argued that, because the court only made findings related to the defendant's income and employment in its oral decision denying her motion, the court disregarded evidence that the marital home had been sold, that the parties no longer lived together, and that she had increased living expenses. The Appellate Court was not persuaded. The plaintiff's claim was unavailing because the court's oral decision did not demonstrate that it disregarded any evidence. Because the decision was silent as to the sale of the home, the parties' independent living arrangements and the plaintiff's increased living expenses, the plaintiff sought to have the Appellate Court infer that the trial court improperly disregarded such evidence. The Appellate Court declined to do so. The trial court denied the plaintiff's motion for articulation and the plaintiff failed to move for review of that denial in the Appellate Court. Because the plaintiff failed to take the appropriate steps to provide the Appellate Court with an adequate record from which it could discern any error by the court, the Appellate Court would not presume such error. Making every reasonable presumption in favor of the correctness of the decision based on the record before it, the panel concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for modification.