The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=523

SC19575 - Channing Real Estate, LLC v. Gates ("The plaintiff, Channing Real Estate, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant, Brian Gates, on both the plaintiff’s complaint seeking recovery on six promissory notes (notes) and on the defendant’s counterclaim alleging a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq. Channing Real Estate, LLC v. Gates, 159 Conn. App. 59, 83, 122 A.3d 677 (2015). The plaintiff, which prevailed in the Appellate Court, challenges only the scope of the court’s remand order, claiming that it improperly ordered a new trial rather than restricting the proceedings on remand to a hearing in damages. The plaintiff contends that a new trial is unnecessary because the Appellate Court’s proper application of the parol evidence rule resolved the issue of liability on the notes in favor of the plaintiff as a matter of law and because the defendant lacks standing to raise a CUTPA claim. The defendant argues that the Appellate Court correctly concluded that a new trial is necessary to allow him to pursue valid special defenses and counterclaims. We conclude that a new trial is unnecessary, and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.")



Family Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=520

SC19635 - O'Brien v. O'Brien ("In this certified appeal arising from a marital dissolution action, we must determine whether a trial court properly may consider a party's violation of a court order when distributing marital property, even if the trial court finds that the violation is not contemptuous. The plaintiff, Michael J. O'Brien, filed this action to dissolve his marriage to the defendant, Kathleen E. O'Brien. During the pendency of the action, the plaintiff sold shares of stock and exercised certain stock options without first receiving permission from either the defendant or the trial court, as required by Practice Book § 25-5, which also provides that a party who fails to obey the orders automatically entered thereunder may be held in contempt of court. The trial court found that the plaintiff's transactions violated those orders but did not hold the plaintiff in contempt because the court concluded the violations were not wilful. Nevertheless, because the transactions had caused a significant loss to the marital estate, the court considered that loss when it distributed the marital property between the parties, awarding a greater than even distribution to the defendant. On appeal, the Appellate Court concluded that, in the absence of a finding of contempt, the trial court lacked the authority to afford the defendant a remedy for the plaintiff's violation of the automatic orders. See O'Brien v. O'Brien, 161 Conn. App. 575, 591, 128 A.3d 595 (2015). We thereafter granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following issue: 'Did the Appellate Court correctly determine that the trial court abused its discretion when it considered the plaintiff's purported violations of the automatic orders in its decision dividing marital assets [even though the court did not hold the plaintiff in contempt of court for those violations]?' O'Brien v. O'Brien, 320 Conn. 916, 131 A.3d 751 (2016). We agree with the defendant that the trial court properly exercised its discretion in considering the plaintiff's violations of the automatic orders in its division of the marital assets, and, therefore, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=519

AC39068 - Godaire v. Dept. of Social Services (Administrative appeal; "The self-represented plaintiff, Raymond Godaire, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his appeal from the final decision of the defendant the Department of Social Services (department). The decision appealed from discontinued the plaintiff's benefits under the department's Medical Assistance to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled program (program or Husky C) on the ground that he had not met the program's spenddown requirements. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the transfer of his administrative appeal from the judicial district of New London to the judicial district of New Britain did not violate his due process rights by denying him reasonable access to the courts, and (2) failed to conclude that his appeal should be sustained because the hearing officer's decision was based on "faulty records" and "records changed by the department . . . ." We reverse the judgment of the trial court for the reason that substantial rights of the plaintiff have been prejudiced because the hearing officer's decision was made upon unlawful procedure. See General Statutes § 4-183 (j).")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=518

SC19790 - State v. Seeley (Forgery second degree; supervisory authority over administration of justice; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether, in a trial to the court, the state presented sufficient evidence in its case-in-chief to support the conviction of the defendant, James Seeley, of forgery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-139 (a) (1) in connection with a document created to facilitate the purchase of a vehicle on behalf of a corporation. In challenging the sufficiency of the evidence presented, the defendant claims that we should exercise our supervisory authority over the administration of justice to abandon the waiver rule in the context of court trials, and review the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal following the state's case-in-chief, despite the fact that he elected to introduce evidence of his own. We need not reach the defendant's claim regarding the waiver rule because we conclude that there was sufficient evidence in the state's case-in-chief to support the defendant's conviction. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=517

SC19665 - Brenmor Properties, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("This certified appeal requires us to consider the relationship between a town's roadway construction standards and the more flexible treatment given to development proposals made pursuant to the Affordable Housing Appeals Act, General Statutes § 8-30g. The defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Lisbon (commission), appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court sustaining the administrative appeal of the plaintiff, Brenmor Properties, LLC. Brenmor Properties, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission, 162 Conn. App. 678, 680, 136 A.3d 24 (2016) . . . On appeal, the commission claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that (1) the commission was required to grant the plaintiff's application for subdivision approval, despite the application's lack of compliance with a municipal road ordinance (road ordinance), and (2) the trial court properly ordered the commission to approve the plaintiff's application 'as is,' rather than remand the case to the commission for consideration of potential conditions of approval. We disagree and, accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")



2017 Major Public Acts

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=515

The Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has made available the following publication:

These summaries, composed by the Office of Legislative Research (OLR), briefly describe the most significant, far-reaching, and publicly debated acts adopted by the General Assembly in its 2017 regular session.

Not all provisions of the acts are included. More detailed summaries can be found at the OLR website.




Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=512

AC37928 - Redding Life Care, LLC v. Redding ("The plaintiff in error, David R. Salinas, an appraiser, provided two opinions to banks regarding the value of a certain property. In a subsequent, unrelated tax appeal regarding that property, a party sought to compel him to testify in a deposition regarding those opinions. The issue presented in this writ of error is whether an expert, who previously has rendered an opinion on an issue material to a later, unrelated case in which neither party has engaged his services, may be compelled by subpoena to provide an opinion in that case. We hold that Connecticut recognizes a qualified testimonial privilege for unretained expert witnesses and, accordingly, we grant the writ of error and remand the case for further proceedings.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=511

AC38599 - Healey v. Haymond Law Firm, P.C. ("The defendant, The Haymond Law Firm, P.C., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, awarding its former employee, the plaintiff, Robert E. Healey, damages for unpaid wages pursuant to General Statutes § 31-72. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred by charging the jury on the amended version of § 31-72 because the amendment took effect after this action had commenced. Therefore, the defendant argues, the court was required to charge the jury on the repealed version of that statute that had been in effect at the time the alleged injuries occurred. The defendant also claims that the court’s instruction on the amended version of the statute was a clear, obvious, and indisputable error that warrants reversal under the plain error doctrine.

We conclude that the defendant’s claim is unreviewable because it induced the alleged instructional impropriety by affirmatively requesting that the court charge the jury on the amended version of § 31-72. We also conclude that plain error reversal is not warranted in this case. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=510

AC38604 - Pajor v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act ("The plaintiff, John Pajor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the Employment Security Appeals Division Board of Review (board), which dismissed his appeal from the dismissal of his challenge to a finding that he had been overpaid certain unemployment compensation benefits. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) applied the wrong standard of review to the board’s decision on his motion to correct findings, and (2) concluded that the board’s determination that the plaintiff did not show good cause for failing to attend a hearing on remand before an appeals referee was not arbitrary, unreasonable, or an abuse of discretion. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=508

AC38333 - Williams Ground Services, Inc. v. Jordan ("The defendant, Williams Ground Services, Inc., appeals from the judgment rendered, following a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Robert F. Jordan, on the plaintiff’s claim of payment due for unpaid landscaping and snow plowing services. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) determining that the statute of limitations had been tolled because he unequivocally acknowledged the debt and (2) admitting certain documents that he argues are inadmissible under various provisions of the Connecticut Code of Evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38497 - Valley National Bank v. Marcano ("The defendant, Steven Marcano, appeals from the judgment rendered against him, after a court trial, for breach of his obligation under a personal guarantee of a $250,000 line of credit extended to My Little Star Baby Products, Inc. (My Little Star), by the plaintiff, Valley National Bank, as successor in interest to Park Avenue Bank (Valley National). The defendant challenges the trial court’s findings that (1) Valley National established a proper chain of title regarding its ownership of the promissory note originally executed and personally guaranteed by the defendant to Park Avenue Bank (Park Avenue), thereby giving Valley National standing to bring an action on the guarantee of payment of that note and (2) Valley National submitted sufficient evidence to accurately establish the loan balance it claimed was owed by the defendant. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=509

AC38473 - State v. Joseph ("The defendant, Jose Ronald Joseph, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his statutory right under General Statutes § 54-82m to a speedy trial, (2) violated his sixth amendment right to a speedy trial, (3) violated his right to procedural due process by not holding hearings on his motions for a speedy trial, and (4) committed plain error in providing a constancy of accusation instruction to the jury. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC163346 - State v. Patel ("In this criminal matter, the petitioner, American News and Information Services, Inc., seeks relief, pursuant to Practice Book § 77-1 and General Statutes § 51-164x (c), from an order of the trial court that, although allowing the petitioner to view certain documents that were marked as exhibits in the underlying murder trial prosecuted by the respondent, the state of Connecticut, against the defendant, Hiram M. Patel, prevented the petitioner from obtaining copies of those exhibits....

"On the basis of our review of the record, we agree with the petitioner that the court improperly limited the disclosure of judicial documents without adhering to the procedural safeguards required under our rules of practice. Accordingly, we vacate that portion of the court's order preventing the petitioner from obtaining copies of trial exhibits and direct the court to follow the procedures set forth in Practice Book § 42-49A prior to rendering any new order limiting disclosure of exhibits.")

AC37632 - State v. Smith ("The defendant, Stacy Smith, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1) (count one), risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2) (count two), sexual assault in the second degree in violation of § 53a-71 (a) (1) (count three), risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (2) (count four), sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53-73a (a) (1) (count five), risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (2) (count six), and risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (1) (count seven). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) his conviction violated his right to due process under the constitution of Connecticut because the police lost potentially exculpatory evidence, in the form of a text message, in violation of State v. Morales, 232 Conn. 707, 720, 657 A.2d 585 (1995), and (2) his conviction for both sexual assault in the second degree (counts one and three) and risk of injury to a child (counts two and four) constituted a violation of his constitutional right against double jeopardy. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38583 - Johnson v. Preleski ("The petitioner, Anthony Johnson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his petition for a new trial brought against the respondent, Brian Preleski, the state’s attorney for the judicial district of New Britain. The petitioner claims that, in concluding that the petitioner’s action was time barred under General Statutes § 52-282, the court improperly rejected his argument that General Statutes § 52-593a saved his cause of action. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=507

SC19799 - Middlebury v. Connecticut Siting Council ("This appeal concerns a proviso contained in General Statutes § 16-50p, which precludes the defendant, Connecticut Siting Council, from granting a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need (certificate) for operation of an electric generating or storage facility unless the council, among other things, 'considers neighborhood concerns' with respect to specified factors. The plaintiffs, the town of Middlebury and sixteen residents and entities situated in Middlebury and adjacent towns, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their appeal from the decision of the council granting the petition of CPV Towantic, LLC (CPV), to open and modify a certificate for an electric generating facility. The plaintiffs' principal claim is that the trial court improperly determined that the council adequately had considered neighborhood concerns, despite the absence of express findings or analysis in its decision addressing the plaintiffs' concerns about adverse impacts from the facility. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=506

AC38178 - Access Agency, Inc. v. Second Consolidated Blimpie Connecticut Realty, Inc. ("The plaintiff, The Access Agency, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Richard Tarascio, Jr. The plaintiff claims the court erred in (1) finding that a guaranty signed in connection with an expired lease did not obligate the guarantor under a new lease and (2) using an exhibit for purposes beyond the limited purpose for which it was introduced. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Law Library Hours Update: June 19th - June 23rd

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=505

Monday, June 19th

  • Danbury Law Library is closed.
  • New Britain Law Library will be closed from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 21st

  • Putnam Law Library will be closed.
  • Rockville Law Library will be closed until 1:00 p.m.
  • Stamford Law Library will be closed at 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 22nd

  • Waterbury Law Library will open at 10:00 a.m.


See our regularly scheduled hours.


Law Library Hours Update: June 16th - June 23rd

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=504

Friday, June 16th

  • Rockville Law Library will be closed after 2:45 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library will be closed after 4:15 p.m.

Monday, June 19th

  • New Britain Law Library will be closed from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 21st

  • Putnam Law Library will be closed.
  • Rockville Law Library will be closed until 1:00 p.m.
  • Stamford Law Library will be closed at 1:00 p.m.

See our regularly scheduled hours.