721 A.2d 1197 (Conn.App. 1998), 16900, Citino v. Redevelopment Agency of City of Hartford

CourtAppellate Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtDUPONT, J.
JudgeBefore SCHALLER, SPEAR and DUPONT, JJ. In this opinion the other judges concurred.
Citation721 A.2d 1197,51 Conn.App. 262
Date15 December 1998
Docket Number16900.
PartiesFrank A. CITINO v. REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF the CITY OF HARTFORD.

Page 1197

721 A.2d 1197 (Conn.App. 1998)

51 Conn.App. 262

Frank A. CITINO

v.

REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF the CITY OF HARTFORD.

No. 16900.

Appellate Court of Connecticut.

December 15, 1998

Argued Sept. 23, 1998.

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[51 Conn.App. 263] Kevin B. Carroll, Rocky Hill, for the appellant-appellee (plaintiff).

Kenneth B. Kaufman, assistant corporation counsel, for the appellee-appellant (defendant).

Before SCHALLER, SPEAR and DUPONT, JJ.

DUPONT, J.

The two main issues of this appeal are (1) whether the plaintiff, Frank A. Citino, was entitled to a judgment against the defendant Hartford redevelopment agency for alleged misrepresentations made by the defendant to the plaintiff and (2) whether the doctrine of inverse condemnation requires the conclusion that the plaintiff's real estate was taken for a public use by the defendant without just compensation, in violation of the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution and article first, § 11, of the Connecticut constitution.

The trial court did not rely on the doctrine of inverse condemnation in rendering its judgment for the plaintiff on count one of his complaint but, rather, concluded that a judgment should be rendered for the plaintiff on the basis of unjust enrichment of the defendant. 1 The judgment ordered damages to be paid to the plaintiff in the amount of $278,500, and ordered that the subject real estate be transferred by the plaintiff to the defendant free and clear of all mortgages, liens and encumbrances. The court did not award appraiser's fees or [51 Conn.App. 264] attorney's fees to the plaintiff. 2 The plaintiff, in counts two and three of his complaint, also sought damages for negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation. He appeals from the judgment for the defendant on the latter counts. The defendant cross appeals from the judgment for the plaintiff on the first count of the plaintiff's complaint. The plaintiff claims, in connection with the cross appeal, that the trial court should have awarded him appraiser's fees and attorney's fees in connection with the first count, and that the trial court should not have ordered him to convey his realty.

This action arises out of activities in connection with a redevelopment project known as the Park-Squire-Wolcott project in the city of Hartford (city). The defendant agency, which was responsible for the redevelopment project, was created pursuant to the Redevelopment Act (act), General Statutes

Page 1202

§ 8-124 et seq. 3 Pursuant to the act, redevelopment agencies are authorized to prepare redevelopment plans, 4 to acquire property by eminent domain within redevelopment areas 5 and to [51 Conn.App. 265] dispose of property within redevelopment areas to redevelopers. 6 Redevelopment agencies may also issue bonds 7 and accept grants and other financial assistance to further redevelopment projects. 8 The act further requires that municipalities approve certain agency undertakings, and it authorizes municipalities to appropriate funds to the agencies. 9

The trial court found certain facts. The plaintiff purchased real property located at 457-469 Park Street and 17-19 Squire Street in Hartford on or about November [51 Conn.App. 266] 15, 1985. The defendant admitted in its answer that on or about May 30, 1988, the plaintiff met with officials from the defendant to secure financing in the form of a loan for the development of the two properties owned by him in an area to be redeveloped. At that time, the plaintiff was informed that the defendant wanted to acquire the property located at 17-19 Squire Street and 457-469 Park Street for purposes of a redevelopment project.

On February 15, 1990, the defendant approved a redevelopment plan for the Park-Squire-Wolcott project. The plan was amended on July 19, 1990. On September 14, 1990, the city council approved the plan as required by statute. See General Statutes § 8-127. The plan provided for the acquisition of eleven parcels of privately owned land located on Squire, Park and Wolcott Streets in Hartford. Property owners could retain their property if, within 180 days of the defendant's preliminary acquisition notice, rehabilitation plans were approved by the

Page 1203

city's planning department and proof of financial resources sufficient to complete the proposed construction was presented to the agency. The plan, according to the trial court's memorandum of decision, provided that "[t]he ... project activities will be financed through the city of Hartford's community development block grant program."

The plaintiff met with officials of the defendant on several occasions to discuss his retaining and developing both properties pursuant to the redevelopment plan. In October, 1990, the defendant told the plaintiff that he could keep both properties and develop them himself if plans for the new construction were submitted and approved and if he could provide the defendant with evidence of financial resources for the development. Also, in October, 1990, the city served the plaintiff with an antiblight citation concerning the Squire Street property. The plaintiff's buildings on Park Street and [51 Conn.App. 267] Squire Street had been the sites of fires and, by 1990, the Park Street building had been totally demolished and the Squire Street building, although still standing, was uninhabited. The antiblight citation levied a fine of $17,820 against the plaintiff, and the plaintiff filed an appeal. Faced with the fine, the plaintiff secured financing in the form of a mortgage to rehabilitate the Squire Street property.

The plaintiff's proposal for the development of Park Street was rejected and, consequently, he was unable to secure financing for that property. Because the plaintiff failed to submit new plans and evidence of financial resources for the Park Street property, it was taken by the defendant by eminent domain on April 10, 1992. The plaintiff does not claim in this action that he was not fairly compensated for the taking of the Park Street property. He took no appeal claiming to be aggrieved by the statement of compensation; see General Statutes § 8-132; 10 nor did he take any action claiming negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation by the defendant as to statements about Park Street. The trial court specifically noted that when the Park Street property was condemned, the plaintiff "received by judicial award the fair market value of that property and any severance damage which would be appropriate to compensate [the] taking of the Park Street property." 11

[51 Conn.App. 268] After the defendant acquired the Park Street property, the defendant acquired by eminent domain all of the other properties within the Park-Squire-Wolcott redevelopment area except the plaintiff's property on Squire Street. The plaintiff's Squire Street property was the only property not formally taken by eminent domain, but it was not removed from the redevelopment plan. The defendant, as of the date of trial, had not implemented its redevelopment plan and the subject area had significantly deteriorated since 1988 when the plaintiff and the defendant first discussed the redevelopment of the area.

The trial court expressly found that there has been no formal abandonment of the redevelopment project. The court found that the process had been slow but that significant steps were scheduled to take place in early 1997, and stated that it could not "predict, one way or the other, whether, or at which point in time the project will actually come to fruition so as to physically develop the redevelopment property."

The trial court found that "Squire Street was in fact able to be funded through various housing funding loans available through the public sector including the city of Hartford and the Capitol Housing Finance Corporation. The availability of those funds for the project caused the plaintiff to believe, though

Page 1204

mistakenly, that adequate funding would be available to [rehabilitate the Park Street property].... [T]he city of Hartford was putting additional pressure upon the plaintiff to renovate the Squire Street building, under threat of very substantial fines, which pressure was unwarranted, as the building was a part and parcel of the designated redevelopment area scheduled for public acquisition and redevelopment. Consequently the plaintiff, in reliance on that mistaken belief, and in response to the assessing of fines by the city, did reconstruct the Squire Street property, thereby incurring mortgage obligations [51 Conn.App. 269] of $248,500." At the time Squire Street was reconstructed, the plaintiff's Park Street property had not yet been taken by eminent domain.

The plaintiff was told (1) that he could not demolish the Squire Street building and (2) that if he did, he would have to post a bond of $108,000, which would be forfeited if he did not replace the building within eighteen months. He was not told that if he did not do anything and let the property be condemned, the antiblight fine would be waived. The plaintiff rehabilitated his property at Squire Street to the satisfaction of the defendant. It was renovated with modern and updated appliances, but it was situated within an area of deteriorated and boarded-up buildings owned by the defendant. The defendant moved all of the tenants out of the adjacent buildings, which buildings are all now vacant and their grounds strewn with litter. Of the six apartments in the plaintiff's Squire Street property, only two were producing rent at the time of trial.

I

THE PLAINTIFF'S APPEAL AS TO NEGLIGENT AND FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION

The plaintiff sought damages for negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations by the agency. 12 Before turning to the substantive claims of the parties, we must [51...

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137 practice notes
  • 511 F.Supp.2d 742 (S.D.Tex. 2005), C. A. H-01-3624, In re Enron Corp. Securities, Derivative & 'ERISA' Litigation
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • February 16, 2005
    ...the truth." Richard v. A. Waldman & Sons, Inc., 155 Conn. 343, 346, 232 A.2d 307, 309 (1967); Citino v. Redevelopment Agency, 51 Conn.App. 262, 273, 721 A.2d 1197, 1206 In Williams Ford Inc. v. The Hartford Courant Co., 232 Conn. 559, 657 A.2d 212, asserting causes of action of int......
  • 596 F.Supp.2d 347 (D.Conn. 2009), 3 07-CV-01783, Petrucelli v. Palmer
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • January 9, 2009
    ...for any kind of misrepresentation-fraudulent, negligent, or unintentional-may proceed. See Citino v. Redev. Agency of City of Hartford, 721 A.2d 1197, 1207, 51 Conn.App. 262, 275 Palmer may also have made misrepresentations on the Residential Real Estate Disclosure Report and breached the w......
  • Jaser v. Fischer, 030100 CTSUP, CV 980418196S
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Connecticut
    • Invalid date
    ...or 'clear, precise and unequivocal.' " (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Citing v. Redevelopment Agency, 51 Conn.App. 262, 275-76, 721 A-2d 1197 (1998). "[A] plaintiff asserting a claim under [the fraudulent misrepresentation theory] must first prove a false s......
  • Cumberland Farms, Inc. v. Groton, 012201 CTSUP, CV 96-0539192 S
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Connecticut
    • Invalid date
    ...restricted and its profitability greatly reduced as a result of the action of the government." Citino v. Redevelopment Agency, 51 Conn.App. 262, 278-79, 721 A.2d 1197 (1998), citing Laurel, Inc. v. Commissioner of Transportation, 180 Conn. 11, 46, 428 A.2d 789 (1980). Even though falli......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
136 cases
  • 511 F.Supp.2d 742 (S.D.Tex. 2005), C. A. H-01-3624, In re Enron Corp. Securities, Derivative & 'ERISA' Litigation
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • February 16, 2005
    ...the truth." Richard v. A. Waldman & Sons, Inc., 155 Conn. 343, 346, 232 A.2d 307, 309 (1967); Citino v. Redevelopment Agency, 51 Conn.App. 262, 273, 721 A.2d 1197, 1206 In Williams Ford Inc. v. The Hartford Courant Co., 232 Conn. 559, 657 A.2d 212, asserting causes of action of int......
  • 596 F.Supp.2d 347 (D.Conn. 2009), 3 07-CV-01783, Petrucelli v. Palmer
    • United States
    • United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • January 9, 2009
    ...for any kind of misrepresentation-fraudulent, negligent, or unintentional-may proceed. See Citino v. Redev. Agency of City of Hartford, 721 A.2d 1197, 1207, 51 Conn.App. 262, 275 Palmer may also have made misrepresentations on the Residential Real Estate Disclosure Report and breached the w......
  • Jaser v. Fischer, 030100 CTSUP, CV 980418196S
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Connecticut
    • Invalid date
    ...or 'clear, precise and unequivocal.' " (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Citing v. Redevelopment Agency, 51 Conn.App. 262, 275-76, 721 A-2d 1197 (1998). "[A] plaintiff asserting a claim under [the fraudulent misrepresentation theory] must first prove a false s......
  • Cumberland Farms, Inc. v. Groton, 012201 CTSUP, CV 96-0539192 S
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Connecticut
    • Invalid date
    ...restricted and its profitability greatly reduced as a result of the action of the government." Citino v. Redevelopment Agency, 51 Conn.App. 262, 278-79, 721 A.2d 1197 (1998), citing Laurel, Inc. v. Commissioner of Transportation, 180 Conn. 11, 46, 428 A.2d 789 (1980). Even though falli......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • 74 CBJ 135. 1999 Connecticut Appellate Review.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Bar Journal Nbr. 2009, January 2009
    • January 1, 2009
    ...912, 739 A.2d 1248 and 251 Conn. 925 (1999). 113. 54 Conn. App. 296, 734 A.2d 1040 (1999). 114. 53 Conn. App. 1 (1999). 115. 51 Conn. App. 262, 721 A.2d 1197 (1998). 116. 52 Conn. App. 69, 726 A.2d 604 (1999). 117. 54 Conn. App. 251, 733 A.2d 902 (1999). 118. 52 Conn. App. 136, 72......

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