350 ROUTE 32 HOLDING, LLC v. SOMEPLACE ELSE CAFE, No. 14869 (Feb. 21, 2006)


2006 Ct. Sup. 3306
No. 14869Connecticut Superior Court Judicial District of New London Geographic Area 21 at Norwich, Housing Session
February 21, 2006

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.]


On or about December 8, 2004, the plaintiff, 350 Route 32 Holding, LLC purchased the premises known as 350 Route 32, thereby inheriting a number of tenants. At the time of the purchase, a bar establishment occupied a portion of the premises (approximately 3,000 square feet). The identities of the principals of this business were unknown to the plaintiffs at that time, but the signatories on the lease were “Gina Priest and Craig Macdonald.” The rent for this space was consistently in arrears and on November 30, 2005, the plaintiff caused a notice to quit to be served on Gina Priest and Craig Macdonald, and others, to vacate the premises on December 15, 2005. Having failed to do so, the plaintiff instituted a summary process action on or about December 21, 2005, returnable to this court on January 12, 2006.

Upon further investigation with the Liquor Control Commission, the plaintiff learned that the bar occupying the premises was known as the Plan B Café, and that other backers and permittees were involved. A subsequent notice to quit dated December 28, 2005 was served on December 31, 2005 to bring those parties, including the new establishment, Plan B Café, and Gina L. Macdonald (f/k/a Gina Priest) before the court. An Amended Summons and Complaint was filed with a return date of January 30, 2006. Thereafter the defendant Gina Priest (a/k/a Gina Macdonald) and the Plan B Café have moved to dismiss this case. For the reason that follows, the defendants’ motion is granted.

It is undisputed that the issuance of a notice to quit itself is an unequivocal act terminating a lease agreement with the tenant. O’Brien Properties, Inc. v. Rodriguez, 215 Conn., 367, CT Page 3307 372 (1990). The issuance of a proper notice to quit, addressed to the tenants is a condition precedent to a summary process action and proper notice is a jurisdictional necessity. Lampasona v. Jacobs, 209 Conn. 724, 729 cert denied 492 U.S. 919 (1989); see also HUD/Willow Street Apartments v. Gonzales, 68 Conn.App. 638, 654 (2002). Here, it is not disputed that all occupants were not named in the notice to quit. This is not a particularly onerous burden on the plaintiff since an alias may be used which reasonably characterizes the person or entity sought to be served § 47a-23(b). It is also admitted that the plaintiff, upon inquiry, learned from the Liquor Control Commission, and probably could have learned from a physical inspection of the premises, the actual name of the entity occupying the building. This should have been achieved before the notice to quit was served and before any action was commenced in the Superior Court.

While the defendant has advanced other reasons; scrivener’s error and equivocation, as reasons for dismissing the case, those defenses were unnecessary and without merit. Failing to serve a proper notice to quit is a condition precedent to the commencement of the action. Failure to do so is fatal. The case is dismissed. CT Page 3308