COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION et al. v. JOSEPH J. FARRICIELLI et al., SC 18596
Judicial District of Hartford
Writ of Error; Whether Court Properly Determined that a Non-Party was Bound by its Orders; Whether Court Properly Found that a Non-Party Must Vacate Leased Premises; Whether Non-Party's Leasehold Interest was Terminated Without Due Process. The plaintiff brought this action against Joseph Farricielli and several of his companies seeking to enforce a 1998 consent order requiring the defendants to cease operating unpermitted solid waste facilities on their property and to remediate a "tire pond" used for the unauthorized disposal of over fifteen million tires. In 2001, the trial court rendered a judgment in favor of the plaintiff requiring the defendants to retain a consultant to close the tire pond. The judgment further provided that if the defendants failed to do so, the plaintiff would retain a consultant at the defendants' expense, and it also enjoined the defendants from interfering with the closure of the tire pond. Prior to the 2001 judgment, Farricielli conveyed a portion of the tire pond property to a corporation which in turn leased the property to the plaintiff in error, Modern Materials Corporation (Modern). In 2004, the trial court enjoined "all persons who are given notice thereof from preventing the [plaintiff] . . . from having full and complete access to the tire pond . . . and from interfering with actions taken by the [plaintiff] pursuant to . . . the  judgment." The plaintiff served Modern with a copy of the order. Thereafter, in 2009, the plaintiff filed a postjudgment motion to enforce the trial court's prior orders regarding the tire pond. In particular, the plaintiff sought an order directing Modern to vacate the portion of the tire pond that it occupies, claiming that the tire pond could not be properly closed until Modern vacated the leased premises. Modern appeared and argued that it was not a party to the plaintiff's action and therefore that it was not bound by any judgments or orders arising from the action. The trial court rejected Modern's claims and granted the plaintiff's motion. In ordering Modern to vacate the leased premises, it stated that although Modern had never been made a party to the action, it had full knowledge of the 2001 judgment through the land records, from Farricielli and through its counsel, as well as from the general activity in the area. It also found that Modern had been served with notice of its 2004 order prohibiting interference with the closure of the tire pond and that the court had the equitable authority to vindicate its judgments and enforce its orders. Moreover, it determined that Modern was not deprived of due process of law because it had the opportunity to appear and show cause why the plaintiff's motion to enforce should not be granted. In this writ of error, Modern argues that the trial court improperly (1) found that it was bound by the court's prior orders, (2) determined that it was necessary for it to vacate the leased premises, and (3) terminated its leasehold interest without due process of law.