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.

Law Library Hours Update - February 18th - February 22nd

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3362

Monday, February 18th

  • All Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries will be closed in observance of Washington's Birthday.

Tuesday, February 19th

  • Torrington Law Library will be closed after 2:00 p.m.

Friday, February 22nd

  • New Haven Law Library will open at 9:15 a.m.
  • Rockville Law Library will be closed after noon.




Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3358

AC40747 - Smith v. Commissioner of Correction (Whether court properly accepted petitioner's withdrawal of writ of habeas corpus; ("The petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion because it conditioned the petitioner’s withdrawal of his petition to be with prejudice. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3359

AC41378 - Connecticut Community Bank, N.A. v. Kiernan ("The plaintiff, Connecticut Community Bank, N.A., doing business as the Greenwich Bank & Trust Company, appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding what it claims to be an allegedly insufficient amount of attorney's fees after finding the defendant James T. Kiernan, Jr., liable pursuant to a mortgage note that he executed in favor of the plaintiff. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the trial court erred by excluding from its award any attorney's fees that it had incurred in protecting the priority of its mortgage as to a subsequent encumbrancer, M&T Bank, formerly known as Hudson City Savings Bank (M&T Bank), which it had brought into this action as a defendant on its claim of interpleader. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3360

AC40612 - Colinet v. Brown (Alleged deprivation of plaintiff's federal constitutional rights; "In this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff, Jean Colinet, who is an inmate serving a sentence for murder, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, David Brown, a retired former director of correctional enterprises for the Department of Correction (department). The plaintiff claims that the court erred in rejecting his claims that his fourteenth amendment rights to due process and equal protection, and his first and fourteenth amendment right against retaliation were violated. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Election Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3361

SC20165 - Independent Party of CT—State Central v. Merrill ("This appeal is the latest battle in the war for control over the state's Independent Party between its Danbury faction, which is led by the plaintiffs, the Independent Party of CT—State Central and its officers, Michael Duff, Donna L. LaFrance, and Roger Palanzo, and its Waterbury faction, which is led by two of the defendants, Michael Telesca and Rocco Frank, Jr. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, for Telesca and Frank on the complaint and the counterclaim in the present action, which both sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the trial court ordered the named defendant, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill, to accept candidate endorsements made pursuant to the Independent Party's 2010 bylaws (2010 bylaws), which, in effect, gave the Waterbury faction control over the Independent Party's statewide nominations. There are two principal issues among the plaintiffs' plethora of claims in the present appeal. First, we consider whether the trial court's order of supplemental briefing and oral argument concerning its subject matter jurisdiction, issued just prior to the 120 day decision deadline pursuant to General Statutes § 51-183b, and after the plaintiffs' objection to the trial court's request for an extension, preserved its personal jurisdiction over the parties by stopping and later restarting the decision period. The second principal issue is whether the trial court properly determined that General Statutes § 9-374, which requires the filing of party rules before the name of a candidate endorsed by a minor political party may be printed on an election ballot, rendered the 2010 bylaws controlling, as opposed to bylaws that the Danbury faction had filed with the Secretary in 2006 (2006 bylaws) prior to the Independent Party's receiving the 1 percent of statewide votes necessary to confer minor party status. Because we conclude that the order of supplemental briefing and argument opened the 120 day decision period and later restarted it, thus rendering the trial court's decision timely under § 51-183b, and also conclude that the trial court properly construed § 9-374, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

SC20160 - Independent Party of CT—State Central v. Merrill ("This writ of error is the companion case to Independent Party of CT—State Central v. Merrill, 330 Conn. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2019), in which this court affirmed the judgment of the trial court resolving a long running dispute between the Danbury and Waterbury factions of the state's Independent Party by, inter alia, granting declaratory and injunctive relief directing the named defendant in the underlying action, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill (Secretary), to accept only those endorsements made pursuant to the party's 2010 bylaws. The plaintiffs in error, thirteen candidates for the state House of Representatives endorsed by the Danbury faction prior to the issuance of the trial court's decision in the underlying action, brought this writ of error to protect their rights with respect to the judgment of the trial court. The endorsed candidates now argue that their writ of error is moot given the unchallenged decision of the Secretary to accept the Danbury faction's endorsements with respect to twelve of them, thus allowing them to be on the Independent Party's ballot line for the 2018 election. Rebekah Harriman-Stites, a candidate endorsed by the Waterbury faction for the 106th assembly district, however, has appeared in the present proceeding as a defendant in error and contends that the writ of error is not moot in light of her request that we order the Secretary to print her name on the ballot in accordance with the trial court's decision. Because the writ of error is moot, and Harriman-Stites' separate request for relief is not properly before us, we dismiss this writ of error.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3357

AC39816 - State v. Rivera (Breach of peace in second degree; criminal mischief in third degree; threatening in second degree; "The defendant, Elvin G. Rivera, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (1), criminal mischief in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-117 (a) (1), and threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-62 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court erroneously prohibited him from cross-examining the state's key witness, Stephen Chase, as to the specific acts underlying several misdemeanor convictions rendered against Chase, (2) the court erroneously denied his motion seeking a disclosure and an in camera review of Chase's medical, mental health, and drug and alcohol treatment records, (3) the court committed instructional error, and (4) the state failed to meet its burden to disprove his defense of property and self-defense justification defenses beyond a reasonable doubt. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40443 - State v. Bennett (Felony murder; home invasion; burglary in first degree; "The defendant, Calvin Bennett, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues that the court improperly rejected his claim that his sentence for both burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3) and home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1) violates his constitutional protection against double jeopardy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40468 - State v. Tyson (Violation of probation; "The defendant, DeShawn Tyson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and sentencing him to nine years of incarceration. See General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly admitted into evidence details of his prior criminal history, and (2) abused its discretion in concluding that he was no longer amenable to probation and imposing the entire period of incarceration remaining on his underlying sentence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")


Connecticut Law Journal - February 12, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3356

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 33, for February 12, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 642 - 680)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 967 - 968)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 187: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 776 - 813)
  • Volume 187: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 187: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3351

SC19722 - Do v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor; administrative hearing to suspend plaintiff's motor vehicle operator's license; propriety of admission of exhibit into evidence; administrative appeal; certification from Appellate Court; "Under General Statutes § 14-227b (c), anytime someone is arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or intoxicating liquor and refuses to submit to or fails a blood, breath or urine test, the arresting officer must, among other things, prepare a report of the incident for the Department of Motor Vehicles (department), and, pursuant to § 14-227b-19 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, that report is admissible at a hearing to suspend an operator's license conducted in accordance with § 14-227b (g), as long as it conforms to the requirements of § 14-227b (c). The defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner), suspended the operator's license of the plaintiff, Angel Huang Do, for ninety days following a hearing at which the hearing officer relied on such a report, which consisted of an A-44 form, a four page police investigation report, and the results of the plaintiff's breath analysis tests.The plaintiff appealed to the Superior Court from the decision of the commissioner, claiming, inter alia, that this report, which had been admitted into evidence by the hearing officer as a single exhibit, was unreliable, even though it complied with § 14-227b (c), due to certain inconsistencies and errors contained therein. The plaintiff asserted, therefore, that the hearing officer had abused his discretion by admitting the exhibit into evidence. The trial court rejected the plaintiff's claim but remanded the case to the hearing officer for an articulation of the type of vehicle the plaintiff was driving at the time of her arrest. The plaintiff appealed from the trial court's judgment to the Appellate Court which, in a two to one decision, reversed, concluding that the inconsistencies and errors in the exhibit rendered it so unreliable that its admission violated principles of fundamental fairness. See Do v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, 164 Conn. App. 616, 618–19, 138 A.3d 359 (2016). Because there was no other evidence in the record to support the hearing officer's findings, the Appellate Court sustained the plaintiff's appeal. Id., 619. We granted the commissioner's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the issue of whether the Appellate Court properly determined that principles of fundamental fairness required the preclusion of the exhibit as unreliable even though it complied with § 14-227b (c). See Do v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, 322 Conn. 901, 138 A.3d 931 (2016). Because we agree with the commissioner that the hearing officer did not abuse his discretion in admitting and relying on the exhibit, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3352

AC41114 - State v. Walker (Aggravated sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in first degree; kidnapping in first degree with firearm; kidnapping in first degree; threatening; criminal possession of weapon; credit card theft; illegal use of credit card; fraudulent use of automatic teller machine; larceny in sixth degree; "The defendant, Robert L. Walker, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing in part and denying in part his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction his claim that the sentencing court failed to canvass him or his counsel regarding their review and the accuracy of the presentence investigation report, and (2) denied on the merits, without first providing him with an adequate hearing before the sentencing court, his claim that the sentencing court relied on inaccurate facts contained in the presentence investigation report. We conclude that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider both of the defendant's claims raised by the motion to correct an illegal sentence. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3354

AC40176 - Morera v. Thurber ("The plaintiff, Hector G. Morera, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion for modification of the court's visitation orders, and requesting court assistance in reunifying him with the teenaged daughter he shares with his former wife, the defendant, Stephenie C. Thurber. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court violated his right to due process of law by improperly dismissing his motion without giving him the benefit of an evidentiary hearing. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Juvenile Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3353

AC41577 - In re Angelina M. ("The self-represented respondent mother appeals from the judgment of the trial court terminating her parental rights as to Angelina M., her minor child. She contends that the court improperly concluded that (1) she failed to achieve the requisite degree of personal rehabilitation required by General Statutes § 17a-112 and (2) termination of her parental rights was in the best interest of the child. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41829 - In re Tresin J. ("On appeal, the respondent claims that the trial court erred when it determined, pursuant to General Statutes § 17a-112 (j) (3) (D), that no ongoing parent-child relationship exists between the respondent and Tresin. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - February 5, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3350

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 32, for February 5, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 963 - 967)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 187: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 587 - 775)
  • Volume 187: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 902)
  • Volume 187: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3349

SC20154 - Restaurant Supply, LLC v. Giardi Ltd. Partnership ("The present appeal requires us to consider whether a plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded that a transaction was an auction without reserve by simply alleging that the owner of the real property for sale sought highest and best offers from potential buyers and the plaintiff submitted the highest and best offer, and, if so, whether an auction without reserve for the sale of real property creates an enforceable agreement constituting an exception to the statute of frauds. The plaintiff, Restaurant Supply, LLC, appeals from the trial court's judgment rendered after it had granted motions to strike by the defendants, Giardi Limited Partnership (Giardi) and Hartford Auto Park, LLC (Hartford Auto Park). The court determined that the plaintiff failed to allege that Giardi's request that potential buyers of its property, 19 and 43 West Service Road, Hartford (property), submit their highest and best offers constituted an auction without reserve and, thus, created an exception to the requirement under the statute of frauds that there be a 'writing . . . signed by the party . . . to be charged . . . .' General Statutes § 52-550 (a). The parties disagree as to whether the plaintiff's allegation that Giardi's request for '"[h]ighest and [b]est" offers' constitutes 'explicit terms' that Giardi was putting the property up for auction without reserve for purposes of General Statutes § 42a-2-328 (3). We conclude that, under the facts of this case, the plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to allege an auction without reserve, and, as such, we do not resolve the issue of whether an exception to the statute of frauds should be created for auctions without reserve.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3347

AC39835 - Daley v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. ("The defendants, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. (J.B. Hunt), and David Bryant, appeal, and the plaintiff, Dwight Daley, cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in accordance with a jury verdict returned in favor of the plaintiff. The threshold issue raised by the defendants on appeal that we must resolve is whether the court erred in declining to conduct a postverdict evidentiary hearing to determine whether one of the jurors, R.L., had been competent to serve on the jury. We conclude that the court committed error, and we reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case for further proceedings while retaining our jurisdiction over the remaining claims on appeal and over the cross appeal pending the outcome of the proceedings on remand.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3345

AC40043 - State v. Berrios (Manslaughter in first degree; tampering with witness; intimidating witness; evasion of responsibility in operation of motor vehicle; "The defendant, Dennis Berrios, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1), tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151 (a), intimidating a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151a (A) (1) and evasion of responsibility in the operation of a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 14-224 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction of tampering with a witness and intimidating a witness, (2) the trial court improperly permitted certain testimony from a state medical examiner, (3) the court abused its discretion in admitting certain prior misconduct evidence, (4) the court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence crude text messages sent by the defendant and (5) the court improperly instructed the jury with respect to self-defense. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of conviction.")

AC39923 - State v. Bumgarner-Ramos (Assault in first degree; aggravated sexual assault of minor; risk of injury to child; manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Carroll L. Bumgarner-Ramos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a court trial, of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (3), aggravated sexual assault of a minor in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-70c (a) (3) and 53a-70 (a) (2), risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), and manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of aggravated sexual assault of a minor and (2) his conviction of both assault in the first degree and manslaughter in the first degree violated the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy. We agree with the defendant with regard to his double jeopardy claim and vacate his conviction of assault in the first degree. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other respects.")

AC41584 - State v. Jones (Murder; carrying pistol without permit; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Billy Ray "BJ" Jones, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a), and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in its charge to the jury by failing to provide (1) a special credibility instruction and (2) a specific instruction on the dangers of eyewitness identification. We disagree, and accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3348

AC40407 - Wethersfield v. PR Arrow, LLC (Zoning; "In this zoning enforcement action, the defendant, PR Arrow, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting permanent injunctive relief in favor of the plaintiffs, the town of Wethersfield (town) and its zoning enforcement officer, Justin LaFountain. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in multiple respects, (2) the court improperly applied the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, (3) the zoning regulation in question is void for vagueness, (4) the court improperly interpreted that regulation, (5) the court improperly granted the permanent injunction, (6) the injunction lacked sufficient clarity and definiteness, (7) the court abused its discretion in imposing daily fines pursuant to General Statutes § 8-12, (8) the court abused its discretion in awarding costs and attorney's fees pursuant to § 8-12 without making a finding that it wilfully violated the zoning regulations and (9) the court improperly found the defendant in contempt. We dismiss as moot the defendant's jurisdictional challenge with respect to the standing of LaFountain. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other respects.")



Tort Law Appellate Court Advance Release Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3346

AC39959 - Mosby v. Board of Education (Discrimination; "The self-represented plaintiff, John Mosby, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his action against the defendant, the Board of Education of the City of Norwalk, alleging discrimination in violation of General Statutes §§ 46a-58, 46a-64 and 46a-82, and retaliation in violation of General Statutes § 46a-60. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly dismissed his complaint as untimely. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")