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.



Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3753

SC20215 - Sobel v. Commissioner of Revenue Services (Income tax; administrative appeal; "This appeal arises from a dispute as to whether the income of a general partner who lives in Connecticut and manages intangible property owned by limited partnerships operating in New York constitutes income derived from trading intangible property for the general partner's own account, in which case it would be taxable in this state or, instead, constitutes income from a trade or business, in which case it would be taxable in New York. The plaintiff, Jonathan A. Sobel, who resided in Connecticut and worked in New York, was a member of a limited liability company that was the managing partner of two limited partnerships that operated as hedge funds. The plaintiff reported his income derived from the two partnerships on his Connecticut tax returns in 1997 and 1998, and sought a credit pursuant to General Statutes § 12-704 (a) (1) for income taxes that he had paid on the income as a nonresident in New York. The defendant, the Commissioner of Revenue Services (commissioner), disallowed the credit after conducting an audit. Specifically, the commissioner concluded that the plaintiff was not entitled to a credit because (1) the plaintiff's income must be treated as if it derived from trading intangible property for his own account because the limited partnerships were trading their own intangible property and the character of the partnerships' income passed through to the income of their general partner; see General Statutes §§ 12-712 (c) (1) and 12-715 (b); (2) Connecticut does not tax the income of nonresidents from trading intangible property for their own accounts; see General Statutes § 12-711 (f); and (3) residents of this state are not entitled to a credit for income taxes paid in other states unless Connecticut would tax nonresident income of the same character. See General Statutes § 12-704 (a) (1). The plaintiff then filed a protest against the proposed income tax assessment. The commissioner denied the protest in relevant part. The plaintiff appealed from that denial to the trial court, which, after conducting a trial de novo, concluded on two independent grounds that the plaintiff was not trading intangible property for his own account but was engaged in the trade or business of trading intangible property owned by the limited partnerships. Accordingly, the court concluded that the plaintiff was entitled to a credit for the income tax that he paid in New York. The commissioner then filed this appeal, in which he challenged only one of the two independent bases for the trial court's decision. After oral argument, this court, sua sponte, ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefs on the issue of whether the appeal was moot as a consequence of the commissioner's failure to challenge both grounds for the trial court's decision. See, e.g., State v. Lester, 324 Conn. 519, 526–27, 153 A.3d 647 (2017) ("[w]here an appellant fails to challenge all bases for a trial court's adverse ruling on his claim, even if this court were to agree with the appellant on the issues that he does raise, we still would not be able to provide [him] any relief in light of the binding adverse finding[s] [not raised] with respect to those claims," and, therefore, appeal is moot [internal quotation marks omitted]). The commissioner contended in his supplemental brief that the appeal is not moot because there was only one basis for the trial court's ruling that the plaintiff was engaged in a trade or business, which he had challenged on appeal. The plaintiff contended in his supplemental brief that the appeal is moot. We agree with the plaintiff that the appeal is moot because the commissioner failed to challenge an independent basis for the trial court's ruling and that the appeal must therefore be dismissed.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3759

AC41599 - Telman v. Hoyt ("The plaintiff, Kathleen Telman, appeals from the trial court's judgment denying her motion to set aside the verdict as to damages and for additur. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court abused its discretion in denying her motion to 'set aside [the] verdict' as to damages and for additur because the court's award of attorney's fees to the plaintiff was so low that it shocks the conscience. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff's motion for additur as to attorney's fees and, therefore, affirm the judgment.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3758

AC41895 - Robert S. v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that he had received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel because they failed to conduct a proper investigation and to advise him of the viability of an intoxication defense. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal”).


Foreclosure Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3754

AC42099 - Wells Fargo Bank, N.A v. Ferraro ("The defendants Thomas J. Ferraro and Danielle Ferraro appeal from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Wilmington Trust, National Association, as trustee for MFRA Trust 2015-2. The defendants claim that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment as to liability in favor of the plaintiff after it held an evidentiary hearing, and weighed and relied on the evidence adduced at that hearing, in resolving an issue of material fact in favor of the plaintiff. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3756

AC41924 - Benchmark Municipal Tax Services, Ltd. v. Greenwood Manor, LLC ("In this action to foreclose certain municipal property tax liens on a 9.9 acre parcel of property in Bridgeport (property), the substitute defendant and cross claim plaintiff, Main Street Business Management, Inc. (Main Street), appeals from the trial court's judgment rendered against it on its cross claim alleging that the cross claim defendant, Manuel Moutinho, tortiously interfered with a business expectancy and violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, General Statutes § 42-110 et seq. (CUTPA), and on its counterclaim alleging that the city engaged in tortious interference with a business expectancy and improperly sought to affect the property's value adversely by interfering with a proposed zone change.

On appeal, Main Street, as Greenwood's successor in interest, claims that the court improperly determined that (1) Moutinho did not tortiously interfere with a proposed sale of the property by Greenwood to the city, (2) the city did not tortiously interfere with the business relationship between Greenwood and Moutinho, and (3) the city did not tortiously interfere by causing the city's planning and zoning commission (commission) to reject a zoning reclassification that would have benefited Greenwood by increasing the property's marketability. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3757

AC42136 - M.M. v. H.F. ("In this postjudgment marital dissolution matter, the defendant, H. F., appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her request for leave to file a motion to modify custody and visitation of the parties' minor child. The trial court denied the defendant's request for leave to file a motion to modify on the ground that she failed to allege facts sufficient to constitute a substantial change in circumstances, and, further, that her motion simply reiterated allegations that she previously had presented to the court. On the basis of our careful and thorough review of the record, we cannot conclude that the trial court erred in so holding.")

AC40830 - Shear v. Shear ("The plaintiff, Daniel Shear, appeals from the judgment rendered by the Superior Court affirming in part an order of a family support magistrate regarding his postdissolution motion for modification and remanding the case for further proceedings. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the Superior Court applied an improper standard of review in the appeal from the family support magistrate's order and (2) the family support magistrate improperly failed to credit and refund money to the plaintiff for lump sum and monthly social security disability benefits paid to the defendant, Yupaporn Shear, in excess of the postdissolution financial orders. We conclude that the plaintiff's appeal from the order of the family support magistrate was not taken from a final judgment. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment and remand the case to the Superior Court with direction to dismiss the plaintiff's appeal.")


Legal Malpractice Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3755

AC41927 - Costello & McCormack, P.C. v. Manero (Summary judgment in favor of the cross claim defendants; claim of breach of fiduciary obligations; whether cross claim was operative complaint; "On appeal, Fetscher claims that the court improperly (1) construed his cross claim as one sounding in legal malpractice and (2) concluded that no genuine issue of material fact existed with respect to that claim. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3751

AC41888 - State v. Carpenter (Murder; arson in second degree; "The defendant, Benjamin Chase Carpenter, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder and arson in the second degree.The defendant claims that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury, as he requested, on third-party culpability. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42470 - State v. Pernell (Murder; prosecutorial impropriety; "The defendant, Anthony Pernell, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that the prosecutor committed prosecutorial improprieties in his closing argument, which deprived the defendant of his due process right to a fair trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42097 - State v. Cecil (Murder; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Lashawn R. Cecil, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and the judgment of conviction, rendered following a trial to the court, of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erroneously (1) admitted video recorded statements into evidence under State v. Whelan, 200 Conn. 743, 513 A.2d 86, cert. denied, 479 U.S. 994, 107 S. Ct. 597, 93 L. Ed. 2d 598 (1986), and, simultaneously, admitted those same statements as impeachment evidence without instructing the jury how to evaluate that evidence, and (2) admitted into evidence a handgun magazine that was irrelevant, highly prejudicial, and misleading. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")