Bryan v. Reynolds

Decision Date29 May 1956
Citation123 A.2d 192,143 Conn. 456
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesJohn W. BRYAN et al. v. Karl B. REYNOLDS et al. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

Nelson Harris, New Haven, with whom, on the brief, was Joseph R. Apter, New Haven, for appellants (plaintiffs).

Macgregor Kilpatrick, Branford, for appellees (defendants).

Before INGLIS, C. J., and BALDWIN, O'SULLIVAN, WYNNE and DALY, JJ.

O'SULLIVAN, Associate Justice.

John W. Bryan and Muriel S. Bryan instituted this action against Karl B. Reynolds, Lewis E. Uhl and John P. Uhl. The action was returnable to the Superior Court at New Haven, where it was docketed as case No. 81465. The complaint is in three counts. Under the first count, the named plaintiff seeks an injunction to restrain the defendants from proceeding further against him in a summary process action pending in the Town Court of Branford and docketed as case No. 434A; under the second, both plaintiffs seek damages from the defendants for an alleged breach of contract; and under the third, the plaintiff Muriel S. Bryan seeks an injunction to restrain the defendants from further prosecution of an action, brought to the Court of Common Pleas in New Haven County and there docketed as case No. 51503, wherein damages are sought from her for the use and occupancy of the premises which are the subject matter of the summary process action mentioned in the first count.

On March 15, 1955, Karl B. Reynolds, Lewis E. Uhl and John P. Uhl, the defendants in the case at bar, sued John W. Bryan and Muriel S. Bryan, the plaintiffs in the case at bar, in an action in which legal and equitable relief was demanded. The writ was returnable to the Superior Court at New Haven on the first Tuesday of April, 1955, and, when returned, was docketed as case No. 81547.

On April 20, 1955, counsel for Reynolds and the Uhls, on the one hand, and counsel for the Bryans, on the other, appeared before Roberts, J., presiding at a session of the Superior Court at New Haven. The following colloquy, as disclosed by the stenographer's minutes, then occurred: 'The Court--I'll take up for the moment the cases of 81547, Reynolds versus Bryan, and 81465, Bryan versus Reynolds. I believe you gentlemen have a stipulation? Mr. Kilpatrick [counsel for Reynolds et al.]--If it please the Court, in 81465, Bryan against Reynolds, the parties have stipulated that the complaint may be dismissed. As to 81547, Reynolds versus Bryan, the parties have stipulated that if the sum of $16,600 is not paid to the plaintiffs within a period of thirty days from today, a mandatory injunction may issue to vacate the premises subject to the action; and, further, that upon payment to the plaintiffs of said sum all outstanding causes of action will be withdrawn without further costs, and those actions are Superior Court No. 81547, Common Pleas Court No. 51503, and the Branford Town Court No. 434A. It is further stipulated that all of the aforesaid cases are to remain pending until this stipulation is complied with. The Court--You say thirty days. I think we had better have a set day. Suppose you make it May 20, which is one month from today. * * * Mr. Harris [counsel for the Bryans]--So stipulated. We want to thank your Honor very much for your efforts. Mr. Kilpatrick--Should I add to that stipulation, your Honor please, that the quitclaim--The Court--Upon the payment of this sum mentioned, which is $16,600, the plaintiffs, that is, Reynolds, will give a good and sufficient quitclaim deed to the defendants or whomever they may nominate. Counsel are present and they both agree.'

On May 19, 1955, the Bryans filed a motion to extend for two weeks the time referred to in the stipulation made in open court on April 20. The court granted the motion in part by extending the time until May 27. On that date, John W. Bryan appeared in court by counsel and, upon his request, the court granted an additional extension to June 1 but, in doing so, observed that no further extension would be ordered and that judgment would enter on that date in conformity with the stipulation of April 20. On June 1 counsel for Reynolds and the Uhls appeared in court but neither of the Bryans was in attendance, nor was their counsel. Upon motion then made, the court entered judgment in case No. 81547, ordering the Bryans to vacate certain premises in Branford. It also entered judgment in case No. 81465 (the case at bar) dismissing the action. The Bryans have appealed from the latter judgment. The sole issue involved in the appeal is whether they were bound by the oral stipulation of April 20 and, if so, whether the stipulation authorized the court to dismiss action No. 81465.

The Superior Court, having had jurisdiction of the subject matter, had inherent power to enter judgment by stipulation. Such a judgment is not a judicial determination of any litigated right. New York Cent. & H. R. R. Co. v. T. Stuart & Son Co., 260 Mass. 242, 248, 157 N.E. 540; Dulles v. Dulles, 369 Pa. 101, 107, 85 A.2d 134. It may be defined as a contract of the parties acknowledged in open court and ordered to be recorded by a court of competent jurisdiction. Owsiejko v. American Hardware Corporation, 137 Conn. 185, 187, 75 A.2d 404; Risk v. Director of Insurance, 141...

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  • Dougan v. Dougan, No. 28711.
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    ...of Ins., 141 Neb. 488, 496, 3 N.W.2d 922 (1942); Dulles v. Dulles, 369 Pa. 101, 107, 85 A.2d 134 (1952); see also Bryan v. Reynolds, 143 Conn. 456, 460-61, 123 A.2d 192 (1956). "A judgment rendered in accordance with such a stipulation of the parties is to be regarded and construed as a con......
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    ...of the parties acknowledged in open court and ordered to be recorded by a court of competent jurisdiction." Bryan v. Reynolds , 143 Conn. 456, 460, 123 A.2d 192 (1956). "The essence of the [stipulated] judgment is that the parties to the litigation have voluntarily entered into an agreement......
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    ... ... v. Milano, 191 Conn. 555, 558, 468 A.2d 1230 (1983). The terms of a consent judgment may not be enlarged or lessened by the court. Bryan v. Reynolds, 143 Conn. 456, 460-61, 123 A.2d 192 (1956); Owsiejko v. American Hardware Corporation, 137 Conn. 185, 187-88, 75 A.2d 404 (1950) ... ...
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