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.

New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2985

The Office of Legislative Research has recently published the following reports:

Federal and State Taxes on Capital Gains - 2018-R-0101
This report briefly explains capital gains and how they are taxed for personal income tax purposes by the federal government, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

School Resource Officers - 2018-R-0094
This report identifies towns in Connecticut utilizing school resource officers in their public schools and the associated costs for those officers.

sHB 5305: An Act Concerning a Request for Proposals to Qualify an Entity to Develop a Casino Gaming Facility in the State - 2018-R-0109
This report analyzes sHB 5305, which was reported favorably by the Public Safety and Security Committee on March 16, 2018.

Animal Cruelty Cases in Connecticut (2007-2017) - 2018-R-0111
This report summarizes Connecticut's primary animal cruelty statute (CGS sec. 53-247) and provides the outcome of offenses brought under it from 2007 through 2017.

Restraining Pregnant Inmates - 2018-R-0082
This report summarizes state laws and currently proposed legislation on the use of restraints on pregnant women in correctional facilities, including during transportation, labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery.



Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2983

SC19891 - FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. v. Stewart (Trepass; "This appeal arises from an action in which the plaintiff . . . alleged that the defendants . . . were trespassing on property that the plaintiff owned along the shore of Candlewood Lake (lake). The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiff in part. On appeal, the defendants claim that (1) there was insufficient evidence to prove the plaintiff's ownership of the subject property, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by ordering injunctive relief that was overly broad and exceeded the scope of the relief sought by the plaintiff. We conclude that there is sufficient evidence to support the trial court's finding that the plaintiff owned the subject property and, thus, that the trial court properly found that the defendants had trespassed on the plaintiff's property. We further conclude that the scope of the trial court's injunctive relief is not overly broad. Accordingly, 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=2982

AC39014 - Steller v. Steller ("The plaintiff, Linda Steller, appeals from the judgment of the trial court modifying the alimony, life insurance, and disability insurance obligations of the defendant, Rodney Steller. The plaintiff claims that the trial court: (1) improperly determined that the defendant’s earning capacity was less than his actual income and then based its alimony order on that determination; (2) made clearly erroneous findings, which were unsupported by the evidence, regarding the defendant’s gross and net earning capacities, her earning capacity, and the amount she would receive from the purported sale of the defendant’s dental practice later that year; (3) failed to apply the proper legal principles, in accordance with General Statutes § 46b-82 and relevant case law, for resolving a motion for modification of alimony; and (4) abused its discretion by lowering the defendant’s disability and life insurance obligations. We agree with the plaintiff on the second claim and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Attorney Discipline Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2980

SC19892 - Disciplinary Counsel v. Hickey ("After the defendant, Thomas J. Hickey, voluntarily resigned from the bar of this state, he filed an application for reinstatement, and the plaintiffs, Disciplinary Counsel, and the Statewide Grievance Committee (committee), filed motions to dismiss the defendant’s application for reinstatement. The issue that we must resolve in this appeal is whether the trial court properly granted the plaintiffs’ motions to dismiss the defendant’s application for reinstatement to the bar on the ground that the defendant had resigned from the bar and waived his right to apply for reinstatement. The defendant contends that the trial court incorrectly determined that the portion of Practice Book § 2-53 (b) providing that ‘[n]o attorney who has resigned from the bar and waived the privilege of applying for readmission or reinstatement to the bar at any future time hall be eligible to apply for readmission or reinstatement to the bar,’ which became effective January 1, 2014, applied retroactively to his application for reinstatement filed in 2012. The defendant also claims that, under Practice Book (2012) § 2-53 (a), which, according to him, is the rule of practice that the trial court should have applied to his application, the court had no authority to entertain the plaintiffs’ motions to dismiss on the ground that he was ineligible to apply for reinstatement but, rather, was required to forward his application to a standing committee on recommendations for admission to the bar (standing committee) for a determination of that issue.

We conclude that the trial court correctly determined that the defendant was ineligible to apply for reinstatement to the bar as the result of his voluntary resignation and waiver of his right to apply for reinstatement, regardless of whether Practice Book § 2-53 (b) is retroactive. We further conclude that the trial court was not required to forward the defendant’s application to a standing committee and properly granted the plaintiffs’ motions to dismiss. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2981

AC39426 - Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Melahn ("The defendant . . . appeals, specifically pursuant to Practice Book § 61-2, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff . . . as trustee, on the defendant's second amended counterclaim. In his appellate brief, the defendant also claims to be appealing from the court's order striking his amended special defenses. We dismiss the appeal as to the striking of the special defenses, and we affirm the judgment in all other respects.")


Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2984

AC39655 - Carter v. Watson ("The self-represented plaintiff, Anthony C. Carter, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his action against the defendants, the attorney general for the state of Connecticut and four state employees, in their official and individual capacities, on the grounds of sovereign immunity, lack of personal jurisdiction due to insufficient service of process, and mootness. On appeal, the plaintiff asserts that the court erred in dismissing his action against the defendants in their official capacities because his allegations fall within (1) an exception to the doctrine of sovereign immunity and (2) the capable of repetition, yet evading review exception to mootness. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2977

AC39140 - State v. Grajales (Assault in first degree; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Luis A. Grajales, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (5) and one count of carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35. He claims that the court improperly instructed the jury on consciousness of guilt because the evidence does not reasonably support a finding of flight. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40082 - State v. Vega (Murder; home invasion; burglary in first degree; attempt to commit murder; attempt to commit assault in first degree; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Miguel A. Vega, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of the following six offenses: (1) murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a); (2) home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (2); (3) burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3); (4) attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-54a; (5) attempt to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53-59 (a) (5); and (6) carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion by admitting out-of-court statements as spontaneous utterances pursuant to § 8-3 (2) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence; (2) abused its discretion by excluding a letter that contained statements that were against the author's penal interest; and (3) improperly admitted hearsay statements from an unavailable witness in violation of his sixth and fourteenth amendment right to confrontation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40248 - State v. Turner (Felony murder; robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; "The defendant, Tyquan Turner, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (2), and conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims: (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree; (2) the trial court improperly admitted documentary and testimonial evidence regarding cell phone coverage maps in violation of his federal due process right to a fair trial; (3) prosecutorial improprieties during the state's closing and rebuttal arguments deprived him of his right to a fair trial; and (4) the trial court improperly instructed the jury with respect to robbery in the first degree. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38674 - State v. Stephenson (Failure to appear in first degree; possession of narcotics; engaging police in motor vehicle pursuit; falsely reporting incident in second degree; interfering with officer; "The defendant, Larry Lamar Stephenson, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, on charges of failure to appear in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-172 (a) (1); possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a); engaging police in a motor vehicle pursuit in violation of General Statutes § 14-223 (b); falsely reporting an incident in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-180c (a) (1); and interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion and deprived him of his sixth amendment right to counsel by denying his request for a recess to discuss with his attorney the terms of a plea deal offered by the court; and (2) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction of possession of narcotics. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2979

AC39946 - Johnson v. Commissioner of Correction ("In his habeas petition, the petitioner alleged that his conviction is illegal because he did not understand, due to his compromised mental state, what was occurring when he pleaded guilty to one charge and then proceeded to trial on a second charge. The habeas court sua sponte dismissed the petition because it raised the same ground as two prior petitions that had been denied, and it failed to state new facts or to proffer new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the prior petitions. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal because he has a meritorious claim that his prior habeas counsel was ineffective. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, argues that the issue raised on appeal is not reviewable because the petitioner did not raise it in his habeas petition or in his petition for certification. We agree and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2978

AC39272 - Jepsen v. Camassar (Declaratory judgment; "The plaintiffs . . . appeal from the declaratory judgment rendered by the trial court in this dispute regarding the modification of a beach deed. In this opinion, we address the plaintiffs' claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the modification in question was properly enacted, (2) concluded that they had not met their burden in establishing slander of title, and (3) declined to render an award of attorney's fees in their favor. We agree with the plaintiffs' first claim and, accordingly, affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Reminder: Practical Skills & Resources for Drafting Effective Motions in Connecticut

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2976

Law Library Services is offering a course on effective motion drafting at the Danbury J.D. courthouse: Practical Skills & Resources for Drafting Effective Motions in Connecticut.

The course will be held at the Danbury Superior Court on Monday, April 30, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. To RSVP, email your name and contact information to lawlibraryservices@jud.ct.gov

Please see the flyer for more information, including the MCLE Notice.


Proposed Revisions to the Connecticut Practice Book

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2974

Proposed Practice Book amendments being considered by the Rules Committee of the Superior Court have been published in the latest edition of the Connecticut Law Journal. Changes to Rule of Professional Conduct 1.11 and Superior Court rules 1-22, 2-8, 2-13, 2-27, 2-27A, 2-52, 3-17, 3-19, 3-21, 4-8 (New), 16-1, 23-15, 25-32, 34a-21, 35a-12, 38-1, 38-2, 38-3, 38-4, and 38-5 have been proposed. From the notice:


Connecticut Law Journal - April 24, 2018

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2973

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 43, for April 24, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 610 - 647)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 925 - 927)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 181: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 248 - 440)
  • Volume 181: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 901 - 902)
  • Volume 181: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases
  • Connecticut Practice Book Amendments


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2972

SC19818 - State v. Porter (Assault of public safety personnel; interfering with officer; possession of narcotic substance; "The sole question presented in this appeal is whether a court may look to the evidence presented at trial when determining if a defendant's conviction violated the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. The defendant, Kenneth Porter, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming his judgment of conviction, following a jury trial, of assault of public safety personnel in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a) (1) and interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a. State v. Porter, 167 Conn. App. 281, 283–84, 142 A.3d 1216 (2016). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court could review only the charging documents when determining whether his conviction of both charges violated the prohibition on double jeopardy and that it improperly looked to the evidence presented at trial to make that determination. The state counters that State v. Schovanec, 326 Conn. 310, 163 A.3d 581 (2017), permits the review of evidence in double jeopardy analysis for the limited purpose of deciding whether the offenses stem from the same act or transaction, and that it was proper for the Appellate Court to consider evidence in that analysis. We agree with the state that the Appellate Court properly considered the evidence presented at trial and, accordingly, affirm its judgment.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2970

AC40240 - Anderson v. Ocean State Job Lot (False arrest; "The self-represented plaintiff, Michael Anderson, brought this action alleging that the defendants, Ocean State Job Lot, William Lapore, Tiffany Canon and Robin Givens, furnished false information, causing his false arrest and malicious prosecution. Before trial, the defendants moved to dismiss the action on the ground that the plaintiff failed to appear for a court-ordered deposition on November 18, 2016, which the court granted on December 12, 2016. The plaintiff then moved to open the judgment on the basis that he was incarcerated at the time of the deposition and was prevented from attending through no fault of his own, which the court denied on January 9, 2017. This appeal followed.

On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the defendants' attorney (1) 'influenced the court . . . to grant the dismissal using lies, misrepresentations and deceptions to prevail on his motions and ignored the plaintiff's handwritten change of address notice that the plaintiff mailed to him on November 3, 2016,' and (2) 'thereafter sought to produce false documents and take certain action to deceive the court and deprive the plaintiff of his right of action and remedy by fraud.' We affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39398 - Windsor v. Loureiro Engineering Associates (Professional negligence; "The plaintiff, the town of Windsor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants Newman Architects, LLC, Herbert S. Newman, and Michael Raso. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly discharged the jury and rendered judgment as a matter of law on the defendants' special defense asserting that the plaintiff's action was barred by the seven year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 52-584a. We conclude that the court properly rendered judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendants and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2969

AC38934 - Aurora Loan Services, LLC v. Condron ("The defendants . . . appeal from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff Nationstar Mortgage, LLC. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly rendered judgment of strict foreclosure because (1) the plaintiff failed to satisfy a contractual condition precedent to foreclosure, namely, compliance with the requirement of notification by mail specified in the mortgage deed; (2) the plaintiff failed to satisfy a statutory condition precedent, as required by the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (mortgage program) pursuant to the provisions of General Statutes § 8-265ee (a); and (3) the plaintiff lacked the authority to foreclose. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded with direction to dismiss the action.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2966

AC39772 - Hirschfeld v. Machinist (Dissolution of marriage; "The plaintiff, Caroline Hirschfeld, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered on three postjudgment motions filed by the plaintiff in this dissolution action. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by: (1) failing to find the defendant, Robert B. Machinist, in contempt for not complying with the property division terms of the separation agreement; (2) failing to find the defendant in contempt for underpaying alimony in the same year that their marriage had been dissolved; (3) determining that the parties' separation agreement was ambiguous and improperly considering extrinsic evidence in violation of the parol evidence rule; and (4) failing to award the plaintiff attorney’s fees on her motions. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40445 - Packard v. Packard (Marital dissolution; "The defendant, Rebecca M. Packard, appeals from the judgment dissolving her marriage with the plaintiff, Jay B. Packard. This appeal has been amended three times, challenging orders entered after judgment. Specifically, the defendant (1) claims that as to the April 7, 2017 judgment, the findings, conclusions and orders are erroneous; (2) challenges the July 28, 2017 order regarding renovations to the marital home; (3) challenges the August 18, 2017 order requiring her to sign a release of medical information to the guardian ad litem; and (4) challenges the October 6, 2017 orders regarding facilitating the sale of the marital home. Additionally, she asserts state and federal constitutional violations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39175 - Schimenti v. Schimenti (Dissolution of marriage; postjudgment orders; plain error doctrine; "In this postjudgment marital dissolution matter, the defendant, Matthew Schimenti, appeals from the trial court's orders requiring him to pay for one half of the initiation fee for a full membership into a country club for the plaintiff, Heather Schimenti, and certain of her counsel fees. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court's orders were improperly based on the trial judge's admitted bias and prejudice arising from her personal experience as a female golfer. He additionally claims that the court's order requiring him to pay the plaintiff's counsel fees constituted an abuse of discretion where the court made no finding of contempt on the basis of his challenged conduct and the plaintiff had ample financial means to pay her own counsel fees. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2965

AC39039 - State v. Kukucka (Strangulation in first degree; sexual assault in third degree; assault in third degree; "The defendant, Dale Kukucka, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of strangulation in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64aa (a) (1) (B), sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (1), and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) failed to inquire into a potential conflict of interest between him and his defense counsel due to the existence of a grievance filed against defense counsel by the defendant and (2) denied his motion to suppress the in-court and out-of-court identifications of him made by a witness to the assault. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40020 - State v. Artiaco (Sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, William A. Artiaco, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in precluding the testimony of his expert witness and (2) he was deprived of a fair trial due to prosecutorial impropriety during closing argument. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of conviction.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2968

AC38174 - Bridgeport v. Grace Building, LLC (Summary process; "The defendant, Grace Building, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to open the default judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the city of Bridgeport. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion in so doing. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2967

SC19726 - Marchesi v. Board of Selectmen (Statutory (§ 13a-39) petition by defendant adjoining landowners requesting definition of highway boundaries by defendant board of selectmen; administrative appeal from determination of board pursuant to statute (§ 13a-40); "This case returns to us after the remand ordered in Marchesi v. Board of Selectmen, 309 Conn. 608, 72 A.3d 394 (2013), for a trial de novo to determine the length and width of a particular highway known as Brockway Ferry Road. The plaintiff, Rhonda M. Marchesi, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her appeal, brought pursuant to General Statutes § 13a-40, from the decision of the defendants, the town of Lyme (town) and its Board of Selectmen (board), determining the lost or uncertain boundaries of the westerly end of Brockway Ferry Road pursuant to General Statutes § 13a-39. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that (1) the board and the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under §§ 13a-39 and 13a-40, respectively, because it had not been judicially established as a condition precedent that Brockway Ferry Road was in fact a public highway, and (2) there were numerous other defects in the prosecution of the underlying petition before the board. Turning to the merits, the plaintiff also claims that the trial court's finding with respect to the width of Brockway Ferry Road was clearly erroneous. We disagree with the plaintiff's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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