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.
Recent Opinions

Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=629

AC38685 - Commissioner of Social Services v. Zarnetski ("The plaintiff, the Commissioner of Social Services, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court affirming the order of the Family Support Magistrate (magistrate) dismissing the plaintiff’s support petition for failure to provide a copy of the acknowledgment of paternity. The plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in affirming the order of the magistrate because the plaintiff was not required to provide a copy of the acknowledgment of paternity for the magistrate to proceed on the support petition. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreign Judgment Enforcement Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=628

AC38126 - JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Herman ("The defendant, J. Maurice Herman, appeals following the trial court’s issuance of a turnover order pursuant to General Statutes § 52-356b. The plaintiff, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., applied for the order.The defendant claims that (1) the court improperly exercised personal jurisdiction over him, and (2) the order improperly deviated from the court’s prior oral ruling granting the plaintiff’s application. We disagree. Accordingly, we 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=627

AC38896 - Windsor Federal Savings & Loan Assn. v. Reliable Mechanical Contractors, LLC ("The defendants, Reliable Mechanical Contractors, LLC (Reliable Mechanical), and its sole member, Elijah El-Hajj-Bey, appeal from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Windsor Federal Savings and Loan Association, on its collection claim, and from the judgment of dismissal of their counterclaims. As to the summary judgment, the defendants claim that the plaintiff failed to prove the nonexistence of any genuine issue of material fact and that it was thus entitled to judgment on its complaint as a matter of law. As to the dismissal of the counterclaims, the defendants argue that the court erred in concluding that their counterclaims were barred by the three year statute of limitations. Because El-Hajj-Bey was not a party to the underlying action at the time final judgment was rendered on the plaintiff’s complaint, he does not have standing to appeal from that judgment. Accordingly, we dismiss El-Hajj-Bey’s appeal from the summary judgment. As to the dismissal of the counterclaims, that judgment applied only to Reliable Mechanical’s counterclaims, not to those advanced by El-Hajj-Bey. There is thus no final judgment on El-Hajj-Bey’s counterclaims from which to appeal, and, accordingly, we dismiss El-Hajj-Bey’s appeal from the judgment of dismissal as to those counterclaims. We reverse the summary judgment ordered by the trial court against Reliable Mechanical and dismiss as moot the appeal from the judgment of dismissal of its counterclaims.")

AC39342 - TD Bank, N.A. v. Salce ("In this action seeking to collect on a promissory note, the defendant, Anthony H. Salce, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, Hon. Edward F. Stodolink, judge trial referee, rendered in favor of the plaintiff, TD Bank, N.A. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court, Hon. Richard P. Gilardi, judge trial referee, erred in denying his motion to dismiss by improperly placing the burden of proof on him to establish a lack of personal jurisdiction due to ineffective service of process; and (2) the court, Radcliffe, J., erred in granting summary judgment as to liability in favor of the plaintiff because the defendant’s second special defense was viable. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=624

AC38380 - Procaccini v. Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Inc. (Medical malpractice; "In this medical malpractice action, the defendant Emergency Medicine Physicians of New London County, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, after a jury trial, rendered in favor of the plaintiff, James M. Procaccini, administrator of the estate of Jill A. Procaccini (decedent). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence supporting the jury's verdict and award of noneconomic damages. Specifically, it claims that the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence for the jury (1) to find that the defendant's negligence caused the death of the decedent, and (2) to award $150,000 in damages for the destruction of the decedent's capacity to carry on and enjoy life's activities. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=623

AC38588 - State v. Walton (Robbery first degree; larceny second degree; assault on elderly person third degree; prosecutorial impropriety; "The defendant, Antoine Walton, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (4), larceny in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-123 (a) (3), and assault on an elderly person in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims for the first time that the prosecutor engaged in impropriety and misstated the law during rebuttal closing argument when he argued to the jury that, had the investigating detectives wanted to fabricate evidence, they would have done so in a manner that was more favorable to the state's case. The prosecutor made these remarks in response to the defendant's suggestion during his closing argument that certain detectives had conformed witness statements concerning the height, footwear and other identifying characteristics of the defendant to make them consistent. We conclude that because binding precedent arising out of similar facts controls, in light of it, the defendant has failed to show that the prosecutor's remarks were improper. We agree with the state that the prosecutor did not misstate the law, because he did not make a statement of the law, at all, and we accordingly affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38612 - State v. Soto (Criminal possession of pistol; risk of injury to child; reviewability of claim; "The defendant, Luis Xavier Soto, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered after a jury trial of one count of criminal possession of a pistol in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c (a) (1) and one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). The defendant's sole claim on appeal is that this court should remand the case for a new trial because the jury's verdict was against the weight of the evidence. We decline to review the defendant's claim because it is unpreserved and not entitled to review under State v. Golding, 213 Conn. 233, 239–40, 567 A.2d 823 (1989). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=625

AC38176 - Rockstone Capital, LLC v. Sanzo (Foreclosure; homestead exemption statute (§ 52-352b [t]); amendment of complaint to foreclose mortgage instead of judgment liens; jurisdiction to hear appealable final judgment; "The plaintiff, Rockstone Capital, LLC, appeals and the defendants, John Sanzo and Maria Sanzo, cross appeal from the judgment of the trial court. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in not foreclosing its mortgage on the defendants' property and in applying the homestead exemption to its judgment liens, for which foreclosure was not sought. In their cross appeal, in part agreeing with the plaintiff, the defendants claim that the trial court erred in entering a judgment of foreclosure in favor of the plaintiff as to the judgment liens. As to the plaintiff's appeal, we reverse the judgment of the trial court that determined that the mortgage was void as against public policy and remand the matter for further proceedings in accordance with law. We also reverse the judgment of the trial court with respect to the defendants' cross appeal.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=626

AC38879 - Renaissance Management Co. v. Barnes (Summary process; retaliatory eviction; summary judgment; mootness; capable of repetition, yet evading review exception to mootness doctrine; "In this summary process action for possession of an apartment in New Haven, the plaintiff, Renaissance Management Co., Inc., appeals from the summary judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Andre Barnes. The court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff was prohibited by the retaliatory eviction statute; General Statutes § 47a-20; from initiating the action and that the exceptions claimed by the plaintiff under General Statutes § 47a-20a, which would preclude application of § 47a-20 and thereby allow it to initiate the action, did not apply. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it (1) determined that this court's holding in Visco v. Cody, 16 Conn. App. 444, 547 A.2d 935 (1988), was inapplicable to the defendant's special defense of retaliatory eviction under § 47a-20; (2) determined that its complaint did not allege nonpayment of rent; and (3) interpreted the definition of rent in § 47a-20a to include the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's payment of its share of the agreed total rent for the premises such that the total amount of money received by the plaintiff was unaffected by the defendant's alleged underpayment. Following oral argument before this court, but before this court rendered its judgment, the plaintiff obtained possession of the apartment. Notified of this fact, we ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefs on the issue of mootness. Following our review of the parties' supplemental briefs, we dismiss the appeal because it is moot and no exception to the mootness doctrine is applicable to the facts and circumstances of this appeal.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=622

SC19829 - Williams v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc. ("Connecticut law requires employers to pay certain employees one and one-half times their 'regular rate' of pay for any overtime hours they work. General Statutes § 31-76c. Calculating overtime pay for employees paid a fixed hourly wage is straightforward—their 'regular rate' is their hourly wage, so they must be paid one and one-half times their hourly wage for each overtime hour worked. General Statutes § 31-76c. But for employees paid in whole or in part by commission, their average hourly rate will tend to fluctuate, leaving them without a readily apparent regular rate to use for calculating overtime pay. In the present case, we are asked to consider how employers must determine the regular rate for retail employees whose pay fluctuates each week because they receive commissions.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=621

SC19803 - Kellogg v. Middlesex Mutual Assurance Co. ("In this appeal, we consider whether the trial court properly vacated an arbitration award setting the amount of an insured loss caused by a tree falling on the insured’s home. We conclude that the trial court improperly substituted its judgment for that of the appraisal panel, and we therefore reverse the trial court’s judgment.")


Connecticut Law Journal - August 15, 2017

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=618


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=610

AC38701 - Arroyo v. University of Connecticut Health Center (Medical malpractice; "In this action seeking damages for medical malpractice relating to a vasectomy, the defendants, the University of Connecticut Health Center (health center) and the state of Connecticut, appeal, following a bench trial, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Jose Arroyo and Marie Arroyo, in the amount of $386,249.81. The defendants claim that the court improperly (1) rendered judgment on a cause of action for which the plaintiffs had not obtained a waiver of sovereign immunity from the state's Claims Commissioner (commissioner), (2) awarded damages on a theory of liability that was not alleged in the plaintiffs' Superior Court complaint, and (3) concluded that the plaintiffs had satisfied their burden of proving that the defendants' employee, Peter Albertsen, a urologist, had negligently injured Arroyo's testicular artery. We disagree with the defendants' claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38576 - DiNapoli v. Regenstein (Dental malpractice; "The plaintiff, Nicole DiNapoli, appeals from the judgment, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendants, Steven Regenstein, a dentist, and his practice, Novsam-Regenstein, P.C., doing business as Westport Esthetic Dental Group. The plaintiff claims that the trial court abused its discretion by (1) striking four portions of the testimony of her expert witness regarding the standard of care, (2) precluding her from presenting testimony regarding the facts that the experts relied on in forming their opinions, and (3) precluding her expert from giving his opinion in response to a hypothetical question. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=609

SC19608 - State v. Skipwith (Writ of error; certification from Appellate Court; claim that trial court improperly dismissed plaintiff in error's motion to correct illegal sentence based on violation of her rights under victim's rights amendment in state constitution; "The question that we must answer in this certified appeal is whether a crime victim who has been deprived of her state constitutional rights to object to a plea agreement between the state and the defendant and to make a statement at the sentencing hearing is entitled to have the defendant’s sentence vacated so that she may attend a new sentencing hearing and give a statement. The defendant, Justin Skipwith, was charged with, inter alia, manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle after the vehicle that he was driving struck and killed Brianna Washington, the daughter of the plaintiff in error, Tabatha Cornell. Although the plaintiff in error notified the defendant in error, the state's attorney for the judicial district of Waterbury (state), that she was invoking her rights as a victim of the crime pursuant to article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution, as amended by articles seventeen and twenty-nine of the amendments, she was not afforded an opportunity to object to the plea agreement between the defendant and the state or to make a statement at the defendant’s sentencing hearing. Thereafter, the plaintiff in error filed a motion to vacate the sentence, which the trial court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff in error then filed a writ of error claiming that the trial court improperly dismissed her motion to vacate the defendant’s sentence, naming the state as the defendant in error. See State v. Skipwith, 159 Conn. App. 502, 503, 123 A.3d 104 (2015). The Appellate Court determined that the trial court had properly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the motion to vacate and dismissed the writ of error. Id., 512. We then granted the plaintiff in error’s petition for certification to appeal. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court on the alternative ground that the writ of error must be dismissed on the merits because it seeks a form of relief that is barred by the victim’s rights amendment. Accordingly, we need not reach the question of whether the Appellate Court properly found that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the plaintiff in error’s motion to vacate the defendant’s sentence.")

AC38348 - State v. Raynor (Assault first degree as accessory; conspiracy to commit assault first degree; "The defendant, James Raynor, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered against him following a jury trial on charges of accessory to assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-59 (a) (5) and 53a-8, and conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-59 (a) (5). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction as an accessory to assault in the first degree; (2) there was insufficient evidence to sustain his conviction of conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree; (3) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting uncharged misconduct evidence as evidence of the defendant's motive and intent to commit the crimes charged against him in this case; and (4) the court improperly denied the defendant's Batson challenge to the state's exercise of a peremptory challenge during jury selection. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38771 - State v. McGee (Robbery second degree; conspiracy to commit robbery second degree; sexual assault fourth degree; breach of peace second degree; "On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly rejected his claim that the imposition of separate sentences upon him on two counts of robbery in the second degree, each prosecuted in connection with the robbery of a single victim, but under a different subdivision of the second degree The defendant, Frank McGee, appeals following the trial court's dismissal of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. robbery statute, General Statutes (Rev. to 2007) § 53a-135 (a), violated his constitutional right against double jeopardy. We are not persuaded.")

AC39466 - State v. Bozelko (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "This case returns to this court following our reversal of the trial court's ruling that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence, and the resulting remand to the trial court, Arnold, J., for further proceedings on the merits of the defendant's motion. State v. Bozelko, 154 Conn. App. 750, 766, 108 A.3d 262 (2015). The defendant claimed that the sentencing court, Cronan, J., sentenced her in an illegal manner by relying on misleading or inaccurate information set forth in her presentence investigation report (PSI). Id., 763–64. On remand, Judge Arnold denied the defendant's claim, finding that the defendant had failed to present any evidence showing that the sentencing court had relied on misleading or inaccurate information in imposing her sentence. On appeal, the defendant challenges that determination. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=611

AC38737 - Cohen v. Meyers (Contracts; claim that trial court improperly failed to pierce corporate veil of corporate defendant and to hold individual defendant personally liable for fraud and violation of Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) (§ 42-110a et seq.) by corporate defendant; "On appeal, Cohen challenges the court's judgment in favor of Meyers, individually, on his claims for fraud and violation of CUTPA, asserting that the court erred in declining to pierce RMMI's corporate veil. Cohen also claims that the court improperly held him liable for defamation because his speech was protected by the first amendment, he did not make any of the allegedly defamatory statements against Meyers with actual malice, the court employed the wrong legal standard in determining the issue of malice, and each of his allegedly defamatory statements was substantially true even though the burden of proof was assertedly on Meyers to prove that they were not.

In their cross appeal, the defendants first claim that the court erred in awarding damages on the plaintiff's CUTPA claim against RMMI because he failed to prove that he suffered any actual loss or injury as a result of the CUTPA violation. Meyers also claims that the court erred in failing to award punitive damages on his defamation claim and in rejecting his claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Civil Protection Order Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=614

AC38871 - Ellen S. v. Katlyn F. ("The defendant, Katlyn F., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the application for a civil protection order filed by the plaintiff, Ellen S. The defendant claims that the court improperly determined 'that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant had stalked the plaintiff and would continue to do so in the absence of an order of protection.' We affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=613

AC38563 - Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Henderson ("In this foreclosure action, the self-represented defendant, Genevieve Henderson, appeals from the trial court's rendering of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. The defendant claims that (1) the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that it had standing to foreclose, and (2) she was deprived of due process of law in connection with several motions that she brought during the course of the litigation. We conclude that the defendant's claims lack merit and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=612

SC19525 - Munn v. Hotchkiss School (Negligence; "The issues in this case, which comes to us on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199b (d), are: (1) Does Connecticut public policy support imposing a duty on a school to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect-borne disease when it organizes a trip abroad? (2) If so, does a damages award of approximately $41.5 million, $31.5 million of which are noneconomic damages, warrant a remittitur? We answer the first question in the affirmative and the second question in the negative.")

AC39204 - Costa v. Board of Education (Negligence; "The plaintiffs, Ricky E. Costa, who suffered serious injury to his right eye during a pick-up basketball game at a Plainville High School senior class picnic, and his mother, Maria Costa, appeal from the summary judgment rendered on all counts in favor of the defendants, the town of Plainville (town), the town's Board of Education (board), and Steven LePage, Plainville High School's principal. The plaintiffs claim that the court improperly rendered summary judgment on the basis of governmental immunity. The plaintiffs contend that the evidence presented raised a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether discretionary act immunity applied and whether Ricky Costa was an identifiable person for purposes of the identifiable person-imminent harm exception to governmental immunity. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38721 - Washburne v. Madison (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Jennifer Washburne, who brought the underlying action on behalf of her minor son, the plaintiff Benjamin Washburne (Benjamin), and herself individually, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants—the town of Madison (town); the town's Board of Education (board); Kelly Spooner, the principal of Ryerson Elementary School (Ryerson Elementary); and Erik Delehanty, a substitute physical education teacher—on the ground that the action was barred by governmental immunity. According to the complaint, Benjamin's leg was broken when he was kicked in the shin or ankle by another student while playing soccer at school. The incident occurred during a physical education class at Ryerson Elementary that Delehanty was supervising. The defendants did not provide Benjamin or the other children with shin guards, and Benjamin was not wearing shin guards at the time he was injured, which the plaintiff alleged violated existing school policies and resulted in Benjamin's injuries.

"The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court improperly rendered summary judgment as a matter of law despite the existence of genuine issues of material fact regarding (1) whether safety guidelines in a curriculum guide, which provided that students playing soccer should 'wear shin guards for additional protection,' imposed a ministerial duty on the defendants to require the use of shin guards by students, and (2) whether, even if such a duty was discretionary, Benjamin had been subject to imminent harm and, thus, an exception to governmental immunity was applicable. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=615

AC38544 - Torres v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that he was not entitled to earn ‘‘risk reduction earned credit,’’ pursuant to General Statutes § 18-98e, during the period of time he was confined as a pretrial detainee, and improperly concluded that he was not deprived of his right to equal protection guaranteed by the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution. We agree that the habeas court abused its discretion by denying the petitioner’s petition for certification to appeal, but conclude that it properly denied his second petition. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Juvenile Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=607

SC19695 - In re Elijah C. (Termination of parental rights; dismissal of appeal by Appellate Court as moot; certification from Appellate Court; "In this certified appeal, the respondent, Marquita C., appeals from the judgment of Appellate Court, which dismissed her appeal from the judgment of the trial court terminating her parental rights as to her son, Elijah C.[1] See In re Elijah C., 164 Conn. App. 518, 519, 137 A.3d 944 (2016). The respondent claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that she had failed to adequately brief one of the two independent grounds for reversing the judgment of the trial court and, consequently, that her appeal was moot. She further claims that the trial court incorrectly determined, first, that the Department of Children and Families (department) made reasonable efforts to reunify her with Elijah and, second, that she was unable to benefit from those efforts.[2] We agree with the respondent that the Appellate Court improperly dismissed her appeal as moot. We further conclude, however, that the evidence supports the trial court's determination that the respondent was unable to benefit from reunification efforts. Because our resolution of that issue constitutes an independent basis for affirming the trial court's judgment, we need not address the respondent's claim that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the department made reasonable efforts to reunify her with Elijah. We therefore vacate the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case to that court with direction to affirm the trial court's judgment.")


Connecticut Law Journal - August 8, 2017

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=606


Declaratory Judgment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=604

SC19432, SC19433 - Ferri v. Powell-Ferri ("These appeals arise from a declaratory judgment action filed by the plaintiffs, Michael J. Ferri and Anthony J. Medaglia, who are the trustees of a trust created by Paul John Ferri, Sr., in 1983 (1983 trust) solely for the benefit of his son, the defendant, Paul John Ferri, Jr. (Ferri). Specifically, the plaintiffs sought a judgment declaring that they were authorized to decant certain assets from the 1983 trust and that the named defendant, Nancy Powell-Ferri, had no right, title, or interest in those assets. On appeal, the plaintiffs and Ferri assert, inter alia, that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the plaintiffs did not have authority to decant the 1983 trust because Ferri had a vested and irrevocable interest in its assets. We disagree. In light of the opinion issued by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in response to this court’s certified questions; see Ferri v. Powell-Ferri, 476 Mass. 651, 72 N.E.3d 541 (2017); we conclude that, under Massachusetts law, it was proper for the plaintiffs to have decanted assets from the 1983 trust, and, therefore, we reverse the judgment of the trial court on that issue. We also reverse the trial court’s award of attorney’s fees to Powell-Ferri in this matter. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other aspects.")


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