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Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Connecticut

A contract dispute in the State of Connecticut occurs when one party refuses to fulfill a part of a deal sealed with a signed contract. According to Connecticut contract law, this is a breach of contract. A property dispute is a disagreement, a misunderstanding, or outright conflict between two or more parties centered around a property-related situation. This property can be vacant land, a unit, industrial or commercial property, or a residential house. Once a person signs a contract in Connecticut, the individual has three days (72 hours) to terminate the agreement without consequences. However, this is only applicable for certain contracts.

The Small Claims Court in Connecticut handles all cases involving contract or property disputes. The small claims court is a section of the court system in Connecticut that allows a person to sue for up to $5000 worth of money damages. This amount was put in place by the state’s laws and it is possible to change from time to time.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are Contract Disputes in Connecticut?

According to Connecticut General Statutes 62, a contract dispute is defined as when two or more parties conflict over the terms of a contract and both parties or just one is seeking damages or performance of responsibilities from the other. It is in the interest of both parties to resolve the dispute without going to court. However, if that is not possible, a small claims court in Connecticut will handle the case.

What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Connecticut

Contract disputes can occur in a wide range of areas, however, the most common contract disputes in Connecticut are;

  • Commercial Leases
  • Consumer Contract Disputes
  • Company Contracts
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
  • Sale of Goods Contracts
  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • General Material Breach

What is Connecticut Contract Law?

Under Connecticut General Statutes 42–158m, Connecticut contract law, using construction contracts as an example, states that any provision in a contract for work performed on a construction site in Connecticut requires that any dispute emerging from the construction contract be mediated, judged, or resolved under the state law. If judged using laws of a state other than Connecticut, it shall be void and invalid even if the contract was executed in the state of Connecticut.

What is a Breach of Contract in Connecticut?

A breach of contract is when one party in a contract fails to accomplish the required part or required. When this happens, the other party/parties can file a claim for breach of contract. Examples of breach of contract are failure of a tenant to pay for house rent and inability to perform services as a contractor. In a breach of contract lawsuit, several elements must be submitted as evidence so that the non-breaching party can get restitution, including;

  • Proof the contract exists
  • Presentation by the plaintiff
  • Defendant’s failure to fulfill the contract
  • Damages caused to the plaintiff

What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Connecticut?

A breach of contract can be remedied through;

Monetary Damages: The non-breaching party/plaintiff may receive. The court may also decide to provide nominal damages if there is proof of a breach but no loss of money or liquidated damages in the contract.

Restitution: The court can choose to cancel the contract and let the non-breaching party file for restitution if the defendant has some benefit from the agreement.

Specific Performance: If the monetary award is not enough to compensate the non-breaching party adequately due to the contract being unique, the court can give a specific performance award. The defendant is to honor the contract terms.

To file a breach of contract, interested persons must complete the Small Claims Writ and Notice of Suit and follow the instructions stated therein. According to Connecticut’s small claims court rules, the plaintiff must deliver (using an approved method) the lawsuit to the defendant through mail or an officer.

What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, there are many defenses to a breach of contract. According to Connecticut State Statute chapter 925 and Connecticut State Statute chapter 926, some useful defenses in a breach of contract claim include;

Mutual or Unilateral Mistake: Mutual mistake occurs when both parties make an error in a contract, while a unilateral mistake is when only one party is mistaken regarding the agreement. When a mistake significantly changes the content or the purpose of the contract, the court will not enforce it. However, a unilateral mistake is not a basis for voiding a contract unless one party caused the other’s mistake or has foreknowledge that the other party made an error and did not correct it; the court will probably not enforce such a contract.

Duress or Undue Influence: This is applicable if a party uses force, threat, violence, or torture to coerce a party to enter into a contract. In such a case, a court would not find that contract binding.

Unconscionability: Applies when to parties who enter into a contract wrongly (usually with unfair terms). It usually occurs when one party has a much stronger bargaining position than the other party leaving the weaker party without reasonable options, and the resulting contract may be unconscionable. A court may determine such an agreement to be invalid.

Misrepresentation or Fraud: This defense is suitable when one party accidentally or intentionally misrepresents or conceals a material matter and the other party reasonably relied on that misinformation.

Impossibility or Impracticability: This is relevant when something happens after the formation of the contract that makes the performance of the contract impossible or impracticable. The circumstance creating this impossibility must not have been intentional by the party seeking to avoid obligations under the contract. Besides, a clause stating the non-occurrence of the said circumstance as a basis for dissolution must be in the contract.

The Frustration of Purpose: This defense can be used when events occur, or circumstances arise which substantially frustrates a party’s reason for entering a contract. The party seeking relief must be innocent of having caused the frustration. Also, similar to impossibility, there must be a clause clearly stating that the non-occurrence of the event that frustrated the purpose was a basis for invalidity in the contract.

What are Property Disputes in Connecticut?

A property dispute refers to a disagreement involving real estate between two or more entities. It covers all disputes over a wide range of property types, including vacant lots and any structure on it like homes, farmlands, ponds, and driveways, among other possible types of properties. Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries contain statutes regarding realty.

What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Connecticut?

Commonly reported property disputes in Connecticut include;

  • Property Line Disputes: The essence of a property line is to demarcate properties. Encroaching these boundaries might bring displeasure.
  • Landlord or Tenant Dispute: Most times, landlords and tenants disagree over unpaid rent, commercial lease, and eviction.
  • Nuisance: This refers to disputes from noise pollution or other forms of pollution within the neighborhood.
  • Failed real estate transactions

How to Find Property Lines

A property line is a term that describes the officially registered boundary of property at various points. It defines the surface area of landed property, revealing the specific dimensions of the lot or realty. In Connecticut, to find property lines, parties can visit the county recorder’s office and request maps available for public viewing, which contain the address and clear dimensions of the property in question. Also, online maps can be generated using Library of Congress maps or other reliable online sources.

How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?

In Connecticut, searching for an experienced licensed property dispute lawyer can easily be done by contacting the Connecticut bar association or the American bar association. The association links prospective clients with seasoned, licensed, disciplined, and professional attorneys with excellent reviews in property law based on the client’s location and facts of the case. Interested parties can also conduct an attorney search by using other reputable third-party websites.

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