American Tax Funding, LLC v. AAAA Legal Services et al.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
This is an action to foreclose City of Hartford tax liens in which the defendant AAAA Legal Services, P.C. is alleged to be the property owner and the defendants Metropolitan District, Sovereign Bank and Bank of New York hold subsequent interests. AAAA moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction by reasons of faulty service. This court granted the motion to dismiss as to defendant AAAA but denied it as to the other defendants. Subsequently, plaintiff moved to cite in AAAA as defendant and the court (Aurigemma, J.) granted the motion. The court required plaintiff to amend the complaint showing the interest of AAAA Legal Services, P.C. and summoning said defendant “to appear as a defendant in this action on or before the second day following 3/22/11 by causing some proper officer to serve on it in the manner prescribed by law a true and attested copy of the Order and a true and attested copy of the Complaint, as amended and due return make.”
Plaintiff served the new summons and amended complaint on the defendant AAAA by leaving it in the hands of Neil Johnson, President and authorized to accept service for said defendant. That service has not been contested.
AAAA now moves for summary judgment on the ground by this court granting the motion to dismiss it terminated the case and the plaintiff's only recourse was to appeal or to start an entirely new action.
Defendant is technically right. This court's order to grant the motion to dismiss as to AAAA and deny it as to the other defendants was wrong because AAAA was the property owner against which the tax liens were being foreclosed upon. The other defendants held subsequent interests as to which, without the foreclosure on the tax liens, were not being foreclosed upon. The entire case should have been dismissed and plaintiff required to start the action over again.
But the order of the court (per Aurigemma, J.) allowing plaintiff to cite in AAAA accomplished the very same purpose. The order required the plaintiff to amend the complaint and to summon defendant AAAA to appear and to cause a proper officer to serve the summons and complaint upon AAAA. Plaintiff did as the court ordered and served the summons and amended complaint on Neil Johnson as President of AAAA.
Thus, the procedure was exactly the same as if a new action had been started. The court will not dignify technicality over common sense and require plaintiff to do again what it has already done.
Defendants' motion for summary judgment is denied.
Satter, Robert, J.T.R.