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.

Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3680

AC41364 - State v. Gomes (Assault in second degree; "The defendant, Wagner Gomes, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in omitting from its jury instruction his proposed sentence, "[h]owever, you may consider evidence of the police investigation as it might relate to any weaknesses in the state's case," and, in doing so, deprived him of his right to present a defense of investigative inadequacy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40657 - State v. Cane (Criminal possession of firearm; criminal possession of ammunition; possession of controlled substance with intent to sell; "The defendant, Robert A. Cane, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of two counts of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1), three counts of criminal possession of ammunition in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1), and one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell in violation of General Statutes § 21a-277 (b). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) erroneously denied his motion to suppress evidence that was obtained in violation of his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, (2) improperly granted the state's motion for joinder of the two separate cases against him for trial, and (3) demonstrated judicial bias, thereby violating his right to due process. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3681

AC41220 - Autumn View, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of East Haven, appeals from the decision of the Superior Court, sustaining the appeal of the plaintiffs, Autumn View, LLC (Autumn View), Statewide Construction Corporation, and Vicki Imperato. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) the September 27, 2016 affordable housing application filed by the plaintiffs pursuant to § 8-30g was not a new application, (2) the September 27, 2016 application complied with a remand order issued by the Superior Court, (3) evidence regarding the failure to comply with town regulations did not support the defendant's denial of the application, and (4) evidence of how the storm water drainage aspects of the application posed significant dangers to human health and safety did not support the defendant's denial of the application. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")

AC41696 - Putnam Park Apartments, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The plaintiffs, Putnam Park Apartments, Inc. (Putnam Park), and Putnam Hill Apartments, Inc. (Putnam Hill), appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court affirming the decision of the defendant Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Greenwich (commission), which had approved the special permit and site plan applications of the defendant Neighbor to Neighbor, Inc. (Neighbor), to construct a new building on property, owned by the defendant Parish of Christ Church (Church) and leased to Neighbor, abutting the plaintiffs' properties. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) agreed with the commission's interpretation of § 6-94 (b) (1) of the Greenwich building zone regulations (regulations), (2) concluded that the commission properly found that the record contained substantial evidence that Neighbor's proposal was consistent with §§ 6-15 and 6-17 of the regulations, and (3) concluded that § 6-95 of the regulations did not apply to Neighbor's special permit application. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3682

AC40903 - Echeverria v. Commissioner of Correction- (The petitioner’s sole claim on appeal is that the habeas court improperly rejected his claim that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel due to his attorney’s failure to advise him properly of the immigration consequences of his guilty plea pursuant to Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010). We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.)

AC40904 - King v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the petitioner failed to establish that he had received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel, and (2) dismissed the petitioner’s claims that his right to due process was violated by the trial court’s not stating on the record its refusal to accept the petitioner’s pretrial plea agreement. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Reverse Piercing of the Corporate Veil Prohibited

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3679

Our Enforcing Money Judgments Research Guide (Table 9) has been updated to reflect Public Act 19-181, which eliminates Reverse Piercing of the Corporate Veil in Connecticut. In addition, the Public Act Summary states that "[t]his act sets specific conditions that must be met in granting a veil piercing claim to override limitations on a domestic entity interest holder’s liability in connection with the entity’s transactions. (Under the act, a 'domestic entity' is an entity whose internal affairs are governed by Connecticut law.) In doing so, the act generally codifies the 'instrumentality test,' one of two methods Connecticut courts use to determine whether to grant a veil-piercing claim." Below is revised table 9 in the Enforcing Money Judgments Research Guide.

Table 9: Enforcing Money Judgments



Law Library Hours Update - September 19th - September 27th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3678

Thursday, September 19th

  • Putnam Law Library closes at 2:30 p.m.
  • Torrington Law Library closes at 2:45 p.m.

Friday, September 20th

  • Rockville Law Library closes at 4:30 p.m.

Monday, September 23rd

  • Middletown Law Library closes at 4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, September 25th

  • Middletown Law Library closes at 4:45 p.m.
  • New Britain Law Library closes at 4:00 p.m.


Connecticut Law Journal - September 17, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3677

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 12, for September 17, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 333: Connecticut Reports (Pages 176 - 224)
  • Volume 333: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 192: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 634 - 863)
  • Volume 192: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3676

SC19888 - State v. Ayala (Murder; conspiracy to commit murder; "This appeal arises from a judgment of conviction against the defendant, Vincente Ayala, on the charges of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a and conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant raises two evidentiary claims. First, he claims that the trial court improperly admitted testimony implicating him in the murder under the coconspirator exception to the hearsay rule. Second, he claims that the trial court improperly admitted certain state of mind evidence. We disagree with both claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3670

AC41213 - Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC v. Frimel ("The defendant Sandra Frimel appeals from the judgment of foreclosure by sale rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment without the motion appearing on the short calendar and without permitting oral argument on the motion. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41702- Ditech Financial, LLC v. Joseph ("The self-represented defendant, Maud Joseph, appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, MTGLQ Investors, L.P. (MTGLQ). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the named plaintiff, Ditech Financial, LLC (Ditech), lacked standing to commence this action, (2) improperly granted Ditech's motion to substitute, (3) lacked authority to render a judgment of strict foreclosure, and (4) improperly denied her motion for reargument. Because the resolution of the defendant's first claim as to standing is dependent on disputed factual findings that cannot be resolved due to an inadequate appellate record, and because this claim implicates the subject matter jurisdiction of the trial court, we are unable to review the merits of this appeal. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")

AC40479- JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Assn. v. Virgulak ("In this foreclosure action, the plaintiff, Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, also known as M&T Bank (M&T Bank), appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant Theresa Virgulak. The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) failed to exercise its discretion in considering the plaintiff's foreclosure claim as a stand-alone claim independent from its other causes of action and failed to grant the plaintiff the equitable remedy of foreclosure, (2) declined to reform the mortgage deed, (3) denied its motion to amend its responses to the defendant's requests for admission, (4) concluded that its admissions limited its recovery under its unjust enrichment count, and (5) denied its motion for reargument. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3669

SC19946 - Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency v. Jackson ("To prevail in a negligence action, a plaintiff ordinarily must establish all of the elements of that cause of action, namely, duty, breach, causation, and damages. See, e.g., Snell v. Norwalk Yellow Cab, Inc., 332 Conn. 720, 742, ___ A.3d ___ (2019). In this appeal, which presents an issue of first impression for this court, we must decide whether to adopt the alternative liability doctrine, which was first articulated in Summers v. Tice, 33 Cal. 2d 80, 85–87, 199 P.2d 1 (1948), and later endorsed by the Restatement (Second) of Torts. That rule provides that, when "the conduct of two or more actors is tortious, and it is proved that harm has been caused to the plaintiff by only one of them, but there is uncertainty as to which one has caused it, the burden is upon each such actor to prove that he has not caused the harm." 2 Restatement (Second), Torts § 433 B (3), pp. 441–42 (1965). We are persuaded that the doctrine is a sound one and therefore adopt it.

The plaintiff, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, as subrogee of its insured, the town of Somers (town), brought this action against the defendants, Christopher Jackson, Wesley Hall, and Erin Houle, claiming that their negligent disposal of cigarettes inside an abandoned, privately owned mill in the town ignited a fire that destroyed both the mill and a public, aboveground sewage line in the basement of the mill. The trial court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff could not establish which of the defendants' cigarettes had sparked the blaze and, therefore, could not establish causation, an essential element of its cause of action. In doing so, the trial court declined the plaintiff's request that it adopt the alternative liability doctrine as set forth in § 433 B (3) of the Restatement (Second), concluding, inter alia, that whether to do so was a decision only this court, the Appellate Court or the legislature properly should make. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


AC42044 - Reale v. Rhode Island ("In this spoliation of evidence action, the plaintiff Daniel Reale appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant town of Coventry, Rhode Island (town), and the state defendants, the state of Rhode Island; the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families; Investigator Harry Lonergan; and Attorneys Brenda Baum and Diane Leyden, on the ground of a lack of personal jurisdiction. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in (1) determining that the state defendants did not waive their right to seek dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction by concurrently moving to strike the plaintiff's complaint as an alternative to dismissal, and (2) granting the state defendants' motions to dismiss on the ground of a lack of personal jurisdiction. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3674

AC39746 - Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc. (Personal property taxes; attorney's fees; summary judgment; "In this action to collect unpaid personal property taxes, the defendant, WMS Gaming, Inc., appeals from the summary judgment as to liability only rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, the town of Ledyard, awarding it attorney's fees pursuant to General Statutes § 12-161a. The defendant's sole claim on appeal is that the trial court improperly concluded that the defendant was liable for attorney's fees incurred by the plaintiff while litigating a collateral action in federal court in addition to the fees incurred while pursuing this action. Specifically, it argues that the court improperly determined that the fees incurred in the collateral action were 'as a result of and directly related to' this collection action within the meaning of § 12-161a. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3675

AC40926 - McCarthy v. Commissioner of Correction ("In his underlying criminal case, the petitioner allegedly rejected a plea offer from the state after being misled regarding the strength of the state’s case against him because his prior counsel, Joseph Elder, fabricated affidavits from certain eyewitnesses to the underlying crime. The habeas court denied the petition on the ground that an ineffective assistance of counsel claim was not cognizable because Elder was no longer representing the petitioner when he fabricated the affidavits or at the time the plea offer was made.")

AC40719 - Abrams v. Commissioner of Correction (He claims that counsel who represented him in the appeal taken from the denial of his first petition for a writ of habeas corpus, John C. Drapp, rendered ineffective assistance by withdrawing the appeal pursuant to Practice Book § 63-9. On appeal, the petitioner asserts that the habeas court erred in concluding that Drapp did not render ineffective assistance by withdrawing the appeal at the petitioner’s direction because his decision to withdraw the appeal was based on Drapp’s poor advice. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3671

AC40828 - State v. Coltherst (Capital felony; murder; felony murder; kidnapping in first degree; robbery in first degree; robbery in second degree; larceny in first degree; conspiracy to commit kidnapping in first degree; larceny in fourth degree; motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Jamaal Coltherst, appeals from the judgment of the trial court resentencing him for crimes which he had committed when he was seventeen years old. The defendant claims that the court improperly (1) failed, pursuant to General Statutes § 54-91g, to account adequately for the defendant's youth at the time he committed the underlying crimes, and (2) afforded the defendant an opportunity to provide additional remarks to the court, in violation of his rights to counsel, due process, and allocution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3672

AC40723 - Callahan v. Callahan ("In this postjudgment dissolution matter, the plaintiff, Jill Gilbert Callahan, appeals from the judgments of the trial court, rendered on remand from this court, granting a motion to modify alimony filed by the defendant, James Callahan, and issuing additional postjudgment orders. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court (1) erred in granting the defendant's motion to modify alimony, (2) abused its discretion in modifying alimony retroactively, (3) lacked the legal authority to suspend the defendant's alimony payments to her as a condition of granting her motion for a continuance, (4) erred in determining the effective date of financial orders that this court mandated be reinstated, (5) erred in ordering her to execute certain documents to transfer her interest in the companies owned by the parties, and (6) improperly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to require the defendant to endorse two insurance checks. We dismiss as moot the plaintiff's third claim regarding the suspension of alimony payments and affirm the judgments of the trial court in all other respects.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3673

AC41467 - Weinshel, Wynnick & Associates, LLC v. Bongiorno ("The plaintiff, Weinshel, Wynnick & Associates, LLC, appeals from the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendants, Marie Bongiorno, individually (Marie Bongiorno), and Marie Bongiorno, executrix of the estate of George Bongiorno (Marie Bongiorno, executrix), on its claims of successor liability and breach of contract. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the court improperly (1) concluded that Marie Bongiorno could not be held personally liable for the plaintiff's damages pursuant to a theory of successor liability, and (2) rendered judgment in favor of Marie Bongiorno, executrix, on the basis of General Statutes 52-599 (b). We affirm the judgment in favor of Marie Bongiorno, and reverse the judgment in favor of Marie Bongiorno, executrix.")


Law Library Hours Update - September 12th - September 20th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3668

Friday, September 13th

  • Torrington Law Library is closed.
  • Waterbury Law Library opens at 9:30 a.m.

Monday, September 16th

  • Middletown Law Library closes at 3:15 p.m.
  • Torrington Law Library closes between 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 17th

  • Putnam Law Library opens at 2:15 p.m.

Wednesday, September 18th

  • Middletown Law Library closes at 3:15 p.m.

Thursday, September 19th

  • Putnam Law Library closes at 2:30 p.m.
  • Torrington Law Library closes at 2:45 p.m.


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3667

SC20031 - State v. Elmer G. (Sexual assault second degree; risk of injury to child; criminal violation of restraining order; certification from Appellate Court; "A jury found the defendant, Elmer G., guilty of several offenses stemming from the sexual assault of his minor daughter, including three counts of criminal violation of a restraining order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223b. The Appellate Court upheld his convictions. State v. Elmer G., 176 Conn. App. 343, 383, 170 A.3d 749 (2017). On further appeal to this court, the defendant claims that the state presented insufficient evidence to convict him of any of the counts of criminal violation of a restraining order. In addition, he claims that he was deprived of a fair trial as a result of certain improprieties committed by the prosecutor. We disagree with both claims and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - September 10, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3666

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 11, for September 10, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 333: Connecticut Reports (Pages 60 - 175)
  • Volume 333: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 192: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 378 - 634)
  • Volume 192: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases



Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3658

AC40985 - Blinn v. Sindwani ("In this personal injury action arising out of an automobile accident, the plaintiff, David Blinn, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a jury verdict against the defendant, Desh Sindwani. The plaintiff claims that the court erred by sustaining the defendant's objection to his motions in limine that sought to preclude evidence of the plaintiff's (1) prior misconduct and (2) citation arising from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on June 6, 2014, which resulted in a violation of the plaintiff's probation stemming from a 2013 conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40574 - Iino v. Spalter ("The defendant, Dianne Rogers Spalter, executrix of the estate of Harold Spalter, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Elizabeth Spalter Iino, the biological daughter of Harold Spalter, the decedent (decedent).On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) denied her motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, (2) admitted certain evidence, (3) permitted the jury to find her liable for punitive damages without evidence as to the plaintiff's litigation expenses and reserved to itself the issue of the amount of punitive damages to be awarded, and (4) denied her motion to set aside the verdict, which alleged that there was insufficient evidence that the plaintiff suffers from psychological trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse. We agree with the defendant's third claim. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41049 - Vodovskaia-Scandura v. Hartford Headache Center, LLC ("The plaintiff, Nailia Vodovskaia-Scandura, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, the Hartford Headache Center, LLC, and Tanya Bilchik, M.D. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to (1) the extreme and outrageous conduct element of her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, and (2) the duty and causation elements of her negligence claim. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3659

AC42349 - Seminole Realty, LLC v. Sekretaev ("The present appeal has its genesis in a foreclosure action commenced by the plaintiff, Seminole Realty, LLC, in 2010.This court affirmed the 2014 judgment of strict foreclosure rendered against the self-represented defendant, Sergey Sekretaev, in Seminole Realty, LLC v. Sekretaev, 162 Conn. App. 167, 169, 131 A.3d 753 (2015), cert. denied, 320 Conn. 922, 132 A.3d 1095 (2016).Since that time, the defendant has filed at least five federal bankruptcy petitions and taken one bankruptcy appeal. The defendant's present appeal is from the trial court's judgment overruling his objection to the plaintiff's proposed execution of ejectment and denying his emergency motion for a stay of ejectment. On appeal, the defendant has raised numerous claims[2], but only two of them have not been raised previously, namely, that the trial court (1) abused its discretion by overruling his objection to the execution of ejectment and denying his emergency motion for a stay of execution of ejectment because title has not yet vested in the plaintiff and (2) erred in finding that his claims of financial and emotional damages were not of the plaintiff's making. We conclude that title vested in the plaintiff when the defendant failed to redeem his interest in the subject property following the sixty day extension of the law day. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court as to the propriety of the order of ejectment and as to the denial of the defendant's emergency motion for a stay, and dismiss the remainder of the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See footnote 2 of this opinion.")



("[2]The defendant also claims that the court erred in granting the execution of ejectment because (1) the underlying mortgage was made in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1639 (b) and (c), (2) he rescinded the underlying mortgage pursuant to the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., (3) the judgment of strict foreclosure is void, and (4) the court violated Rule 60 (b) (4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by failing to vacate the judgment of foreclosure. All of those claims are predicated on the validity of the underlying mortgage, which the plaintiff argues was adjudicated in the defendant's appeal from the judgment of strict foreclosure. See Seminole Realty, LLC v. Sekretaev, supra, 162 Conn. App. 167.Although we agree with the plaintiff that the validity of the mortgage was decided in the defendant's prior appeal, the claims fail because title to the property has vested in the plaintiff. Accordingly, the claims are moot, and we lack jurisdiction to consider them.")