SC 18538

Judicial District of Danbury


Foreign Judgments; Personal Jurisdiction; Summary Judgment. In 2007, the plaintiff, a resident of Alaska, commenced this action to enforce an Alaska default judgment that had been rendered against the defendant in 2006. The defendant filed an answer and special defense, alleging that the judgment was not enforceable because the Alaska court did not have personal jurisdiction over him. Thereafter, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment, claiming that the Alaska judgment was valid and that the defendant had waived his right to assert a claim of lack of personal jurisdiction. The defendant opposed the motion and filed an affidavit stating, among other things, that he resided in Connecticut, that he had not been to Alaska in twenty years and that he did not enter an appearance or consent to the entry of judgment against him in the Alaska action. He also asserted that he was entitled to establish Alaska's lack of jurisdiction over him at trial. The court rendered summary judgment for the plaintiff. In doing so, it noted that under Practice Book 10-32, a claim of lack of personal jurisdiction is waived if a party does not file a motion to dismiss within the time and in the proper sequence specified in the applicable rules of practice. The court further observed that, pursuant to Practice Book 10-31 (a), such a motion must be filed "where appropriate, with supporting affidavits as to facts not apparent on the record." Applying the rule that the party opposing summary judgment must demonstrate the existence of a genuine issue of material fact by counter affidavits and concrete evidence, the court found that the defendant had presented no evidence in support of his claim of lack of personal jurisdiction. Accordingly, relying on established case law that the judgment of another state is presumed valid and that "the burden of proving lack of jurisdiction rests heavily on the assailant," the court determined that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the Alaska judgment was valid. The defendant now appeals.