Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. v. Sciortino

Decision Date22 April 1952
Citation138 Conn. 690,88 A.2d 379
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesBRIDGEPORT HYDRAULIC CO. v. SCIORTINO et al. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

James C. Shannon, Bridgeport, for the appellants (defendants).

Daniel F. Wheeler, Bridgeport, for the appellee (plaintiff).


O'SULLIVAN, Associate Justice.

The plaintiff brought this action to quiet and settle the title to a parcel of land which it claimed to own. Several defendants were defaulted. Each of the three who appeared filed a general denial and a special defense alleging title by adverse possession. The court found the issues on the complaint and special defenses for the plaintiff and rendered judgment that it has title to the land in fee simple and that none of the defendants has any estate or interest therein. While all three defendants have appealed, we shall treat the case as if it involved a controversy solely between the plaintiff and the named defendant, to whom we shall refer as the defendant. The determination of the merit of his appeal will similarly dispose of the other two.

No useful purpose will be served by a recital of the extensive and complicated facts found by the court. It will suffice to say at this point that on September 30, 1947, the plaintiff acquired the realty described in the complaint by virtue of a conveyance from Isabel L. Radcliffe, who was then the owner and in possession of the land. The parcel lies in a secluded and rather inaccessible section of the town of Trumbull. It comprises about 17.7 acres and on the north abuts the defendant's property. The terrain is rough, stony and hilly. Almost all of the land is covered with scrub timber. The basic quarrel of the parties was concerned with the location and course of the boundary between their respective lands. The court, agreeing with the plaintiff, found that it was a straight line, 'extending from the highway known as Broadway at its westerly end to the old railroad right of way at its easterly end, all as delineated in the map' drawn upon the Radcliffe deed to the plaintiff. The defendant's claim was that this line in fact constituted one side of a triangular piece of land, title to which was traceable to a survey bill executed by a proprietor's committee in 1742 and recorded in 1944, and that this triangular piece extended into the parcel described in the complaint, of which the plaintiff alleged that it is the owner.

The defendant relies on two assignments of error. The first deals with the court's conclusions. These may be summarized as follows: (1) The plaintiff sustained the burden of proving its ownership of the parcel in fee simple. (2) The defendant has no right, title or interest in the parcel by adverse possession or otherwise. The second assignment of error is addressed to the overruling by the court of various claims of law. These need not be enumerated since most of them will be covered in the discussion of the attack upon the court's conclusions. The only one requiring special mention relates to the question of adverse possession, upon which we shall later comment.

The obstacle which the defendant can neither surmount nor by-pass is the finding. Since there is no assignment of error seeking their correction, the subordinate facts cannot be changed. Samaha v. Mauro, 104 Conn. 300, 301, 132 A. 455; Maltbie, Conn.App.Proc., §§ 103, 104. The defendant's attempt to escape from the significance of the subordinate facts by asserting that the vital ones are inconsistent with recitals in the deeds is unavailing. Upon this record, the deeds, although made a part of the finding, may not, without more, be used to correct it. Goldblatt v. Ferrigno, 138 Conn. 39, 42, 82 A.2d 152. The conclusions in the case at bar must be tested by the facts as found and must stand unless they are legally or logically inconsistent with those facts or unless they involve the application of some erroneous rule of law material to the case. Horowitz v. F. E. Spencer Co., 132 Conn. 373, 377, 44 A.2d 702; Johnson v. Shattuck, 125 Conn. 60, 62, 3 A.2d 229; Maltbie, Conn.App.Proc., § 96.

In the light of this rule, the defendant's grievances are without foundation. The court found such facts as these: Isabel L. Radcliffe was the owner and in possession of the parcel when she conveyed it to the plaintiff. She had acquired it from her husband, John J. Radcliffe, by deed dated May 3, 1930, and he, in turn, through two conveyances. Each was by warranty deed, the one dated June 14, 1884, executed by James S. Cole, and the other, dated May 21, 1888, by Louis N. Middlebrook. On August 26, 1874, Cole had been the owner of the entire tract. On that date he had conveyed to Middlebrook that portion of the whole which, as just stated, the latter subsequently deeded to...

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40 cases
  • Lisiewski v. Seidel
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • May 30, 2006
    ...the plaintiff's possession was continuous and exclusive. In support of this argument, the defendants cite Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. v. Sciortino, 138 Conn. 690, 88 A.2d 379 (1952). In that case, our Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the trial court denying the claim of adverse possession.......
  • State v. Mogulnicki, CR
    • United States
    • Circuit Court of Connecticut. Connecticut Circuit Court, Appellate Division
    • October 12, 1970
    ...95, 100, 90 A.2d 881; 16 Am.Jur.2d, Constitutional Law, § 131. Moreover, the finding has not been challenged. Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. v. Sciortino, 138 Conn. 690, 692, 88 A.2d 379. Aside from these considerations, however, we have limited our review to the facts in the finding, including t......
  • Smith v. Smith
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • March 21, 1978
    ...finding since there was no assignment of error seeking to correct the finding by the addition of these facts. Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. v. Sciortino, 138 Conn. 690, 692, 88 A.2d 379; Maltbie, Conn.App.Proc. § 172. The conclusion of the trial court is logically supported by the findings made ......
  • Jespersen v. Jespersen
    • United States
    • Connecticut Superior Court
    • August 23, 2018
    ... ... Cunningham, 97 Conn.App. 640, ... 650-51; 905 A.2d 1256 (2006). Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. v ... Sciortino, 138 Conn. 690, 695, 88 A.2d 379 (1952), ... indicates ... ...
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