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.
Declaratory Judgment Law

Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=306

SC19574 - CCT Communications, Inc. v. Zone Telecom, Inc. (Breach of contract; declaratory judgment; "The plaintiff, CCT Communications, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Zone Telecom, Inc., on the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim for damages. The case arises from a purchase agreement (purchase agreement) entered into by the parties in which the plaintiff was to provide various telecommunications equipment, software, and services to the defendant for a switch room located in Los Angeles, California (switch room). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court incorrectly rendered judgment in favor of the defendant on its complaint and the defendant's counterclaim. Specifically, the plaintiff asserts that the trial court incorrectly: (1) concluded that it breached the purchase agreement; (2) failed to award the plaintiff certain damages on count one of its complaint; and (3) awarded damages, costs and attorney's fees in excess of a limitation of liability clause in the purchase agreement. We disagree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Environmental Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=264

SC19620 - Connecticut Energy Marketers Assn. v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection (Declaratory judgment; sovereign immunity; "The issue that we must address in this appeal is whether the issuance of a comprehensive energy strategy by the defendant Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (department), pursuant to a legislative directive, and the subsequent approval of a plan to expand the use of natural gas in this state by the department and the defendant Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (authority) constituted ' "actions which may significantly affect the environment" ' within the meaning of General Statutes § 22a-1c, thereby triggering the requirement for written evaluation of the expansion plan's environmental impact pursuant to General Statutes § 22a-1b (c). The plaintiff, Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, brought this action against the defendants claiming that they violated the Environmental Policy Act (act), General Statutes § 22a-1 et seq., when the department issued a comprehensive energy strategy that contemplated a significant expansion of the use of natural gas in this state, and when both defendants approved a plan for such expansion, without evaluating the environmental impact of, among other things, an increase in the use of natural gas pursuant to § 22a-1b (c). The defendants filed separate motions to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint claiming that only 'individual activities or a sequence of planned activities proposed to be undertaken by state departments, institutions or agencies, or funded in whole or in part by the state, which could have a major impact on the state's' environmental resources; General Statutes § 22a-1c; constitute 'actions which may significantly affect the environment' for purposes of § 22a-1b (c). Because they did not undertake any such activities, the defendants claimed, no environmental impact evaluation was required. The trial court agreed with the defendants and rendered judgment dismissing the complaint. The plaintiff claims on appeal to this court that the trial court improperly determined that the defendants' activities did not constitute 'actions which may significantly affect the environment' for purposes of § 22a-1b (c). We disagree with the plaintiff, and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

  • SC19620 Dissent - Connecticut Energy Marketers Assn. v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=262

SC19668 - Lackman v. McAnulty (Declaratory judgment; quiet title; "In this case, we consider whether a grantor's failure to record a separate document limiting his powers ' "as trustee" ' in accordance with General Statutes § 47-20, when that grantor quitclaimed real property to himself as trustee, has the effect of nullifying the transfer of that property to the trust corpus, thereby allowing that grantor, as an individual, subsequently to devise that property through his will. The plaintiffs . . . appeal from the trial court's award of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, who are beneficiaries of a trust settled by the decedent . . . . On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly determined that the phrase 'otherwise dispose of' within § 47-20 does not include a specific devise in a will. The plaintiffs argue, therefore, that the decedent's failure to record a separate document limiting his powers as trustee when he quitclaimed a certain parcel of real property to himself as trustee subsequently allowed the decedent to devise the property to the plaintiffs in his will. We disagree with the plaintiffs, and conclude that § 47-20 does not apply in this case because it protects only the interests of third parties who obtain property by means of a conveyance from a grantor who had received that property as trustee in the first instance. Because § 47-20 did not nullify the decedent's quitclaim deed to himself as trustee, the property was a trust asset, and the specific devise in the decedent's will adeemed. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=172

SC19769 - Price v. Independent Party of CT—State Central (This case involves a dispute between two factions of this state's Independent Party. The question before the court is whether it has original jurisdiction, pursuant to General Statutes § 9-323, to remedy certain alleged violations of party procedure and election law by caucus officials of one of those factions, the named defendant, the Independent Party of CT—State Central, pertaining to its nomination of the defendant Daniel Carter for the United States Senate. After an expedited hearing on September 29, 2016, the court concluded that the plaintiffs, John R. Price, the nominee for the United States Senate of the other faction, the Independent Party of Connecticut, and Michael Telesca, an elector and registered member of the Independent Party of Connecticut, had failed to establish that the court had jurisdiction to entertain their claims under § 9-323. The court therefore granted the motion to dismiss filed by the Independent Party of CT—State Central and Carter. This written opinion followed.)


Probate Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=123

AC37967 - Heisinger v. Dillon
AC37969 - In re Probate Appeal of Heisinger
("In the first action, Cody B. Heisinger v. Ann H. Dillon et al. (AC 37967) (declaratory judgment action), the plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment against Dillon and the trustees, construing the trust to provide that following his father’s death, the trust income formerly distributed to his father should be distributed to him rather than to Dillon. In the second action, In re Probate Appeal of Cody B. Heisinger (AC 37969) (probate action), the plaintiff appealed from a Probate Court order approving an interim accounting of the trust’s assets, including distributions to Dillon of income previously distributed to Frank Heisinger before his death. After all parties in the two actions filed and argued motions for summary judgment, the trial court concluded that the plaintiff was not entitled to receive his deceased father’s distribution of trust income, and thus rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendants in both actions. The plaintiff appeals, claiming that the trial court erred in construing the trust not to entitle him to receive his father’s share of the trust income. We disagree with the plaintiff, and we thus affirm the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants in the declaratory judgment action and dismiss the appeal in the probate action as moot.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=82

AC37588 - Prime Locations of CT, LLC v. Rocky Hill Development, LLC ("The defendants MPM Enterprises, LLC (MPM), and Luke DiMaria appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Prime Locations of CT, LLC (Prime Locations), Hasson Holdings, LLC (Hasson), SMS Realty, LLC (SMS), and C&G Holdings, LLC (C&G). On appeal, the defendants argue that the court improperly (1) concluded that the plaintiffs had standing and (2) decided the case on a basis that was not pleaded, briefed or argued during the proceedings in the trial court. We agree with the defendants' second claim, and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=65

SC19600 - State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Tully ("The principal issue in these appeals is whether evidence of an insured person’s voluntary intoxication may be used, when an insurance policy excludes coverage for intentional acts, to negate intent and thereby establish the insurer’s duty to defend the insured person against civil claims arising from sexual misconduct with a minor. The plaintiff, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, brought this action seeking a declaratory judgment that it owed no duty to defend the named defendant, Mark Tully, under a homeowners insurance policy (policy), in a separate civil action filed on behalf of the defendant Child Doe. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that, because the policy excluded coverage for acts ‘intended’ by the insured, Tully’s actions fell outside the scope of the policy and, thus, the plaintiff had no duty to defend him under the presumption of intent established in United Services Automobile Assn. v. Marburg, 46 Conn. App. 99, 104–105, 98 A.2d 914 (1997). On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff because evidence that Tully was intoxicated at the time of the incident created a genuine issue of material fact as to whether his actions were intentional. Specifically, the defendants assert that evidence of voluntary intoxication may negate the intent presumed under Marburg and thereby establish an insurer’s duty to defend. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



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