Case of the Day: Panchenkova v. Chigirisnky

The case of the day is Panchenkova v. Chigirinsky (Conn. Super. Ct. 2015). Tatiana Panchenkova and Shalva Chigirinsky were married in Russia in 2003. In 2009 they divorced, and a Russian court ordered Chigirinsky to pay one-half of his income to the wife as child support. The court also divided the parties’ assets evenly, and because Chigirinsky was awarded certain particularly valuable assets, the award included an order requiring him to pay Panchenkova more than 350,000 rubles. Panchenkova, who then resided in Connecticut, sought recognition and enforcement of the Russian judgment.

Because Panchenkova was proceeding under Connecticut’s enactment of the UFMJRA, which carves out of the definition of “foreign judgment” any “judgment for support in matrimonial or family matters.” Relying on Connecticut precedent in domestic cases, the court held that a judgment for a lump sum in a property division proceeding is a property settlement, not alimony. Thus the Russian judgment was not a judgment for support, and it could be recognized under the statute.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *