Veneziano v. Veneziano

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*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** DONNA VENEZIANO v. JAMES VENEZIANO (AC 41296) Elgo, Cradle and Suarez, Js. Syllabus The defendant, whose marriage to the plaintiff had previously been dis- solved, appealed to this court from the decision of the trial court denying his motion to open the judgment of dissolution on the basis of, inter alia, fraud. The defendant claimed that the court erred by, sua sponte, quashing certain subpoenas he issued in connection with his motion to open the judgment and in finding that he failed to establish probable cause that the dissolution judgment was procured through fraud or mutual mistake. Held: 1. The defendant could not prevail on his claim that the trial court abused its discretion in quashing the subpoenas at issue because the underlying civil action resulting in a final judgment of dissolution had been resolved and there was no active civil matter pending that would have permitted the defendant to subpoena witnesses and to conduct discovery in con- nection with his motion to open the judgment: the court properly inter- preted the applicable legal principle of Oneglia v. Oneglia (14 Conn. App. 267), that once a court has rendered a final judgment, until and unless the court has opened that judgment, there can be no civil action within the meaning of the applicable statute (§ 52-197) or rule of practice (§ 13-2); moreover, because the fraud alleged by the defendant took place prior to the rendering of the judgment of dissolution, the motion to open did not implicate the trial court’s continuing jurisdiction over an outstanding order; furthermore, because the plaintiff filed certain motions for contempt to effectuate and enforce orders of the court issued after it had rendered its judgment of dissolution, and the plaintiff did not take issue with the underlying judgment but, rather, the defen- dant’s failure to comply with it, there was no active civil matter pending that gave …

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