Lisa O'Connell v. Jacob T. Chachkes,
No. CV020394916 (Conn.Super. 04/16/2003)
SUPERIOR COURT OF CONNECTICUT, JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF FAIRFIELD, AT BRIDGEPORT
April 16, 2003, Decided
April 16, 2003, Filed
NOTICE: [*1] THIS DECISION IS UNREPORTED AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO FURTHER APPELLATE
REVIEW. COUNSEL IS CAUTIONED TO MAKE AN INDEPENDENT DETERMINATION OF THE STATUS
OF THIS CASE.
DISPOSITION: Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment denied.
JUDGES: Joseph W. Doherty, Judge.
OPINIONBY: Joseph W. Doherty
OPINION: MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
The plaintiff, Lisa O'Connell, has commenced this action against the defendant, Jacob T.
Chachkes, in two counts. Count One alleges medical malpractice and Count Two alleges fraudulent
transfer of real estate.
In her Complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant, a psychiatrist, repeatedly deviated
from professional standards of care by engaging in a personal and sexual relationship with the
plaintiff at a time when she was a patient of his and by his failure to utilize the care, skill
and professional conduct ordinarily exercised by psychiatrists.
The Complaint also alleges that the defendant fraudulently transferred his interest in his
commercial and residential properties to his spouse in contemplation of litigation against him
and after the commission of the conduct alleged in the Complaint.
The defendant, in his objection to this motion, [*2] has denied the allegations in the Complaint
and has provided an affidavit in which he contradicts the claims by the plaintiff as they relate
to his care and treatment of her and as to their relationship. He also maintains that certain
acts done by him were the result of her attempts to manipulate him and extort him.
"Summary judgment shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, affidavits and other proof
submitted show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Doucette v. Pomes, 247 Conn. 442, 452, 724 A.2d 481
(1999). "In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the trial court must view the evidence in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party . . . The party seeking summary judgment has the
burden of showing the absence of any genuine issue [of] material facts which, under applicable
principles of substantive law, entitle him to a judgment as a matter of law . . . and the party
opposing such a motion must provide an evidentiary foundation to demonstrate the existence of a
genuine issue of material fact." Miles v. Foley, 253 Conn. 381, 386, 752 A.2d 503 (2000). [*3]
Practice Book § 17-49 provides that "the judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the
pleadings, affidavits and any other proof submitted show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
The defendant's counsel, in her argument to the court in opposition to the motion for summary
judgment, remarked that the claims of the parties are in direct contradiction and constitute a
classic "she said . . . he said" scenario. The court agrees with that assessment.
As for the allegation of fraudulent transfer, it is the plaintiff's burden to prove by a fair
preponderance of the evidence not only that property was conveyed, but that it was conveyed by
the defendant for certain motives: e.g., to frustrate the plaintiff in her efforts to satisfy any
judgment obtained against the defendant. Intent of the transferor is critical to that allegation.
It is well recognized that allegations of misrepresentation and the like present questions of
fact, and that "summary judgment procedure is particularly inappropriate where the inferences
which the parties seek to have drawn deal with questions of motive, intent and subjective [*4]
feelings and reactions . . . It is only when the witnesses are present and subject to cross-
examination that their credibility and the weight to be given to their testimony can be
appraised." Miller v. Bourgoin, 28 Conn.App. 491, 497-98, 613 A.2d 292 (1992).
For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is hereby denied.
By the Court,
Joseph W. Doherty, Judge