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.

A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual

   by Zigadto, Janet

The Columbia Human Rights Law Review publishes a book called A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual. According to the JLM website, this book is "a legal resource produced to assist prisoners and others in negotiating the U.S. legal system. With thirty-six chapters on legal rights and procedures including the appellate process, federal habeas corpus relief, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, religious freedom in prison, the rights of prisoners with disabilities, and many more, the JLM is a major legal reference for prisoners and libraries across the country." Some chapter titles are "Choosing a Court and a Lawsuit: An Overview of the Options", "Using 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 28 U.S.C. 1331 to Obtain Relief from Violations of Federal Law" and "Rights of Incarcerated Parents". You can access the 10th edition, its latest edition, online.

Law Library Hours: September 26th - 30th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

Monday, September 26th

  • The Danbury Law Library will be open from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • The Rockville Law Library will open at 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, September 27th

  • The Litchfield Law Library will be closed from 10:00 a.m. - noon.

Friday, September 30th

  • The Middletown Law Library will open at noon.
  • The New Britain Law Library will open at 1:00 p.m.
  • The New London Law Library will open at 10:30 a.m.
  • The Rockville Law Library will open at 2:00 p.m..

The Putnam Law Library will be closed from September 26th - September 30th.

Our regularly scheduled hours can be found here.

Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Mazur, Catherine

Connecticut Treatise Index - Updated

   by Mazur, Catherine

Wondering if there is a Connecticut treatise on education law? Looking for Connecticut-specific personal injury law forms?

The Connecticut Treatise Index is a comprehensive listing of contemporary Connecticut legal treatises and form books, organized into useful subject headings. It has been recently updated to include all Connecticut materials as of September 2016.

Some examples of newly released or revised Connecticut law books you'll find in the index:

You can contact one of our twelve law libraries located throughout the state with questions about any of the materials listed in the index.

Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

AC37975 - Graham v. Commissioner of Transportation ("The plaintiff, Barry Graham, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, the Commissioner of Transportation, in this action to recover damages under the state defective highway statute, General Statutes § 13a-144.The plaintiff commenced this action on July 9, 2012, to recover for injuries he claims to have suffered on December 12, 2011, in a motor vehicle accident allegedly caused by the sliding of the vehicle that he was then operating on untreated black ice in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 as it crosses the Thames River between New London and Groton on the Gold Star Memorial Bridge. The trial court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that because his statutory duty to keep the bridge in a reasonably safe condition is purely reactive rather than anticipatory, he did not breach that duty to the plaintiff by failing to treat or otherwise remedy the icing condition that caused the plaintiff's accident because he had no actual notice of the specific patch of ice before the accident occurred, and even if he had constructive notice of that ice patch based upon prior reports to the Department of Transportation (department) from the state police about earlier ice related accidents on the bridge that morning, he had insufficient time after receiving such notice to remedy that ice patch before it caused the plaintiff's accident.

"On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant because the evidence before it on the defendant's motion, when considered in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, gave rise to a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant had sufficient time, after receiving actual or constructive notice of the dangerous icing condition that caused his accident, to remedy that condition before the accident occurred.")

Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

AC38308 - State v. Quail ("The defendant, Timothy J. Quail, Sr., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, and larceny in the fifth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-125a. The defendant claims that the court improperly denied his motion to suppress physical evidence, including the results of forensic testing performed on such physical evidence, that the police seized during a warrantless search of his sister's residence. We affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC38571 - State v. Torres ("The defendant, Julio Torres, 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 (1) the court improperly admitted evidence of his prior misconduct, (2) the court provided an incorrect jury instruction regarding the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, (3) the prosecutor engaged in impropriety during closing and rebuttal arguments, and (4) the court erred in failing to disclose the psychiatric records of a state's witness following the court's in camera inspection of the records.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38311 - State v. Best ("On the second day of evidence in his criminal trial, the defendant, Durante Best, filed a written request for a jury instruction of self-defense. The trial court denied his request. Following the trial, he was convicted of one count of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), two counts of attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-54a (a), two counts of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a). On appeal, he claims that the court improperly failed to instruct the jury on self-defense, and, therefore, that he was deprived of his constitutional right to establish a defense. We agree that he was entitled to an instruction of self-defense with respect to some, but not all, of the crimes of which he was convicted. Accordingly, we reverse in part and affirm in part the judgment of the trial court.")

Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

AC37738 - Sewell v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred by concluding that his trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance. The petitioner claims that his trial counsel failed to adequately investigate the state’s witnesses and prepare for trial, and as a result, he was prejudiced. We disagree with the petitioner and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

AC37763 - Nadel v. Luttinger ("In this postdissolution action, the defendant, Steven Luttinger, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting in part the motion for contempt filed by the plaintiff, Sue Nadel. He claims that the court erred in (1) categorizing a cash performance award received by the defendant as an asset to be distributed as property pursuant to the separation agreement, rather than as earned income to be distributed pursuant to provisions regarding alimony, and (2) finding the amount owed to the plaintiff. We disagree with the defendant's first claim, but agree with the second.")

AC38082 - Ferraro v. Ferraro ("In this marital dissolution action, the defendant, David Ferraro, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court with respect to the court's financial orders. The defendant claims that the court improperly (1) made factual findings with respect to his net income without evidentiary support, and (2) entered an order regarding expenses for the minor children's extracurricular activities when neither he nor the plaintiff, Christine L. Ferraro, had requested such an order. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

AC38057 - Tomey Realty Co. v. Bozzuto’s, Inc. ("The plaintiff in this breach of contract action, Tomey Realty Co., Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment on the plaintiff's complaint in favor of the defendant, Bozzuto's, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment because, in doing so, it ignored the operative language of the parties' integrated contractual agreement regarding the lease of commercial property and determined the amount of base rent owed under the lease, as amended, by improperly relying on a "whereas" clause in the preamble of the lease assignment.We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

Land Use Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

AC37942 - JAG Capital Drive, LLC v. East Lyme Zoning Commission ("The defendant, the East Lyme Zoning Commission (commission), appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining the administrative appeal of the plaintiff, JAG Capital Drive, LLC, from the commission's denial of the plaintiff's application for approval of a proposed affordable housing development.The commission claims that the trial court erred in concluding that it failed to meet its burden of proof in denying the plaintiff's application on the ground of the industrial zone exemption—that the proposed affordable housing development would be located in an area which is zoned for industrial use and does not permit residential uses—pursuant to General Statutes § 8-30g (g) (2) (A).More specifically, the commission claims that the trial court erred in determining that the area in which the proposed affordable housing project would be located permits residential uses. We disagree with the commission, and thus affirm the judgment of the trial court sustaining the plaintiff's appeal from the commission's denial of its affordable housing application.")

Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

AC38011 - Cornelius v. Arnold ("The self-represented plaintiff, Frederick Cornelius, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Linda Arnold, the tax assessor of the town of Farmington. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that (1) his action for relief from wrongful assessment was untimely because he commenced the action beyond the one year time limitation set forth in General Statutes § 12-119, and (2) he failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether a continuing course of conduct tolled that time limitation.We disagree with both claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

Consumer Complaints -

   by Mazur, Catherine

Several of Connecticut's state agencies assist Connecticut residents with resolving issues or disputes between consumers and the entities or businesses the agency regulates. has a Consumer Complaints portal which directs the user to the appropriate agency to file their complaint.

Consumer Complaints Portal

In addition to providing complaint forms, many of the agencies also describe what type of assistance they can, and cannot, provide. For example, the Connecticut Department of Banking states:

Please note that the department's ability to take action with respect to a particular complaint is limited to situations where there is an apparent violation of those laws subject to its jurisdiction. In such cases, the department can pursue administrative remedies, injunctive relief through the office of the Attorney General or refer the matter for criminal prosecution.

New Judicial Branch Publication - Firearm Safety Warrants

   by Booth, George

The Judicial Branch has published a pamphlet on the subject of Firearm Safety Warrants. This pamphlet provides:

"Information about warrants that allow police officers to search for and take firearms away from someone when there is an immediate risk of personal injury."

Don't forget that the Judicial Branch Law Libraries.have, among many other topics, a comprehensive CT Law About - Firearms Law webpage.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

SC19592 - State v. Nathaniel S. (Sexual assault first degree; sexual assault fourth degree; risk of injury to child; reservation by trial court of certain question for advice of Supreme Court regarding whether public act (P.A. 15-183) that increased age of child whose case was subject to automatic transfer from docket for juvenile matters to regular criminal docket to fifteen years was to be applied retroactively to pending cases; "A person convicted of a class A or class B felony on the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court may be subject to a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence and may suffer various adverse consequences attendant to a felony conviction. By contrast, a child adjudicated a delinquent on the juvenile docket for committing that same offense is subject to at most four years confinement at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and is spared many of those attendant consequences. Our juvenile justice statutory scheme requires the automatic transfer of certain cases involving children who have been charged with the commission of a class A or class B felony from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket. In 2015, the legislature amended the juvenile transfer statute to increase the age of a child whose case was subject to an automatic transfer by one year, to fifteen years old. Public Acts 2015, No. 15-183, § 1 (P.A. 15-183, or act), codified at General Statutes (Supp. 2016) § 46b-127 (a) (1). Prior to this amendment, the court was required to transfer a case from the juvenile docket to the regular criminal docket in which a child, such as the defendant, Nathaniel S., had been charged with the commission of certain felonies and had attained the age of fourteen years prior to the commission of such offenses. See General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 46b-127 (a) (1). The question presented by this reserved question of law is whether that amendment applies retroactively, so that the case of a child who has been charged with committing a class A or class B felony prior to the enactment of P.A. 15-183, and whose case already has been transferred to the regular criminal docket, should now have his case transferred back to the juvenile docket. We conclude that the legislature intended that P.A. 15-183 apply retroactively and, accordingly, we answer the reserved question in the affirmative.")

CCJEF v. Rell appeal

   by Mazur, Catherine

The Connecticut Judicial Branch has posted a number of documents regarding the recent CCJEF v. Rell decision and the granting of certification to appeal directly to the Connecticut Supreme Court:

The full text of C.G.S. 52-265a. Direct appeal on questions involving the public interest is available at the Connecticut General Assembly's website.

Overview of CCJEF v. Rell

   by Booth, George

The Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has published an informative backgrounder on the recent Connecticut Superior Court education funding case, Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell:

“…the court found that although the state exceeded the minimum public school funding level standard required by the constitution, it fell short of meeting its constitutional obligation in the following areas: (1) intervening in struggling school districts when local government falters; (2) distributing education aid; (3) defining elementary and secondary education; (4) setting standards for hiring, firing, evaluating, and paying teachers; and (5) funding special education, identifying eligible students, and delivering services.”

“We summarize below the case’s history; the Superior Court’s findings, reasoning, and orders for each of the above five areas; and the decision’s two appendices.”

The full ruling in CCJEF v. Rell is available on the Judicial Branch's website.

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

AC37794 - Scarfo v. Snow ("The plaintiff, Neil Scarfo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the defendants, Patrick Snow, Cider Hill Associates, LLC (Cider Hill), Premier Building & Development, Inc., Kane Street Associates, LLC, Cobblestone Associates, LLC, Premier Financial, Inc., Sydney Property Management, LLC, and Premier Development, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that he did not establish his claims of spoliation of evidence, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty against Snow. Although the trial court authored a well written and thorough memorandum of decision, we, nevertheless, conclude that the form of judgment was improper because the plaintiff lacked standing to assert these claims in his individual capacity, and we reverse the judgment and remand the matter with direction to dismiss the case.")

Probate Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

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.")