Payne v. TK Auto Wholesalers
Appellate Court of Connecticut
911 A.2d 747 (2006)
On February 7, 2003, the plaintiff met the defendant’s employee, Michal Robson, to look at cars for purchase. The plaintiff identified himself as Paul Payne. In actuality, Payne is the plaintiff’s cousin. The plaintiff had stolen Payne’s identifying documents and $3,000 in cash. The plaintiff agreed to purchase a car and provided Payne’s driver’s license for the paperwork. Robson noticed the discrepancy between the plaintiff’s appearance and the photo on the driver’s license, but continued with the sale and received $1,300 from the plaintiff as a down payment. After the plaintiff left, Robson located Payne’s phone number and called him regarding the sale. Payne explained to Robson that the plaintiff had stolen his identity and requested that Robson call the police. The police instructed Robson to arrange for the plaintiff to pick up the car, at which time the police arrested the plaintiff. The plaintiff was convicted for identity theft, forgery, and criminal attempt to commit larceny. The plaintiff subsequently brought suit against the defendant seeking $1,300 in compensatory damages and $9 million in punitive damages. The trial court ruled that the plaintiff had no possessory interest in the stolen money and therefore lacked standing to bring the suit. Accordingly, the trial court dismissed the case. The plaintiff filed a motion to open the judgment. The court denied the motion and the plaintiff appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gruendel, J.)
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