R.S. v. E.S. 210 Conn. App. 327 (2022) (mootness of appeal of certain pendente lite orders)
Officially released January 25, 2022
In Short: (1) The per curiam decision is not long, but don’t bother to read it. (2) In fact, stop after this paragraph, it’s not even worth reading the rest of this summary, I don’t know why I kept writing. (3) Pendente lite orders are vacated by the entrance of a final judgment, and an appeal of a pendente lite order will be dismissed as moot if there is no practical relief that prevailing on the appeal could provide to the litigant.
The parties were married in 2010 and had twins, one of whom died shortly after birth. Wife commenced a dissolution of marriage action in 2017. By stipulation, the parties vacated a temporary restraining order the same month. Over the pendency of the action, trial court entered various pendente lite orders regarding travel restrictions and Husband’s passport, granted Wife’s motion to appoint a GAL for the minor child, sealed certain documents and ordered that neither party would be permitted to file further “proceedings without permission of the court.”
The trial court granted Wife’s motion in limine precluding Husband from presenting evidence at trial for failure to comply with the court’s standing orders and denied Husband’s oral request for a continuance at the start of trial. After the conclusion of trial at which both parties testified, the trial court issued a memorandum of decision dissolving the marriage. Husband filed this appeal pro se. The trial court granted Wife’s motion for an order that Husband pay $52,531 to Wife’s counsel to be held in escrow pending the resolution of the appeal and Husband amended his appeal to challenge that order as well.
Husband’s appeal challenged the trial court’s pendente lite order of travel restrictions. The Appellate Court determined that this issue was moot as the final judgment vacated the pendente lite orders. As there was no practical relief that could be rendered, the Appellate Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction, and that aspect of the appeal was dismissed as moot.
Husband’s appeal also challenged numerous other aspects of the order. The Appellate Court declared “[w]e carefully have considered each of the [Husband’s] claims and conclude that they are unfounded and do not merit substantive discussion.”
The appeal was dismissed in part as moot and the judgment affirmed.