Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dills v. Town of Enfield case brief

Dills v. Town of Enfield case brief summary
557 A.2d 517 (1989)

Plaintiffs, individual and corporation, brought an action against defendants, town and agency, to recover a deposit paid to the agency under an option and contract for sale. The trial court (Connecticut) referred the case to a state trial referee who recommended that judgment enter for the individual and the corporation. The trial court rejected the recommendation and rendered judgment for the town and the agency. The corporation appealed.


  • The court held that the principal issue in the appeal was whether the doctrine of commercial impracticability excused the agency from submitting construction plans when it discovered that necessary financing had become unavailable. 
  • The court first held that the trial court had the inherent authority to render whatever judgment was appropriate in light of the facts found by the attorney trial referee. 
  • The court held that there was no procedural impediment to the trial court's exercise of this jurisdiction. 
  • The court concluded that the trial court did not exceed its authority by impermissibly engaging in fact-finding contrary to the report of the referee. 
  • The court found that the doctrine of impracticability and impossibility was not relevant. 
  • The fact that preparing the construction plans would have cost the individual a great deal of money did not excuse the individual from submitting them as the contract provided. 
  • The court held that only in exceptional circumstances could the duty to perform have been discharged because additional financial burdens made performance less practical than initially contemplated.

The court found that there was no error.

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