From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

Pinnix v. Lamorte

Supreme Court of Connecticut
Nov 11, 1980
438 A.2d 102 (Conn. 1980)

Opinion

Argued October 16, 1980

Decision released November 11, 1980

Action by the plaintiff for a declaratory judgment determining the validity of a mortgage, and counter-claim by the defendant for damages, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield at Stamford, where the court, Curran, J., granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment and rendered judgment for the defendant, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court. Error in part; judgment directed.

Jules Lang, for the appellant (plaintiff).

James J. Farrell, for the appellee (defendant).


The plaintiff brought this action seeking a judgment declaring a mortgage note and deed invalid on the ground that the defendant lender had charged an excessive rate of interest on the loan. The plaintiff's wife was solely liable on the note, but was never given reasonable notice of or made a party to the action. The court rendered summary judgment in the defendant's favor and the plaintiff appealed.

Practice Book, 1978, 390(d) governing actions for declaratory judgment requires all persons having an interest in the subject matter of the complaint to be parties to the action or have reasonable notice thereof. Failure to observe this requirement deprives the court of jurisdiction over the case. State ex rel. Kelman v. Schaffer, 161 Conn. 522, 526-27, 290 A.2d 327 (1971). Along with his prayer for declaratory relief, the plaintiff sought an injunction and damages. These claims must fall with the claim for a declaratory judgment because they were merely ancillary to it. Clough v. Wilson, 170 Conn. 548, 556, 368 A.2d 231 (1976).

The defendant filed a counterclaim for damages resulting from the plaintiff's failure to pay to the defendant funds held as security for the note, which the defendant alleged was in default. The court's granting of summary judgment on this counterclaim is also appealed from. Neither in the judgment file nor in the memorandum of decision, however, are any damages awarded to the defendant. We therefore view the judgment as relating only to the question of liability. See Practice Book, 1978, 385. Such a judgment is not a final judgment from which an appeal lies. New Haven Redevelopment Agency v. Research Associates, Inc., 153 Conn. 118, 120, 214 A.2d 375 (1965). Because the lack of a final judgment is a jurisdictional defect, we must dismiss the appeal. Id.


Summaries of

Pinnix v. Lamorte

Supreme Court of Connecticut
Nov 11, 1980
438 A.2d 102 (Conn. 1980)
Case details for

Pinnix v. Lamorte

Case Details

Full title:BURRIE T. PINNIX v. NICHOLAS D. LAMORTE, TRUSTEE

Court:Supreme Court of Connecticut

Date published: Nov 11, 1980

Citations

438 A.2d 102 (Conn. 1980)
438 A.2d 102

Citing Cases

Hertz Corporation v. Federal Insurance Company

" Although this document appears on its face to resolve the issue raised in this appeal, it is obvious from…

BENHAM v. RUDE

This subsequent grantee is, in the judgment of the court, a "person having an interest in the subject matter…