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=3157

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

State Law Regarding Homeschooling Students In Other States - 2018-R-0164
This report provides a summary of homeschooling laws in 12 states including Connecticut.

Inmate Wages - 2018-R-0179
This report provides a summary of the laws in Connecticut regarding inmate wages for work they perform while imprisoned and how do inmate pay rates in Connecticut compare to other states?

Massachusetts' Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Woman Act - 2018-R-0198
This report provides a brief summary of a recently enacted Massachusetts abortion law: The Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Women Act ("NASTY Women Act"), and could Connecticut adopt similar legislation?

Issue Brief: Service Animals And The Law - 2018-R-0199
This report describes service animals and the law.

Municipal Responsibility For Renters' Rebate Program Costs - 2018-R-0197
This report discusses municipal responsibility for renters' rebate program costs.

Connecticut's Animal Cruelty Laws - 2018-R-0215
This report summarizes Connecticut's animal cruelty laws.


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3156

AC40172 - Merk-Gould v. Gould ("The defendant, Robert F. Gould, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving his marriage to the plaintiff, Linda Merk-Gould, and entering certain financial and property orders. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court: (1) improperly ordered tax-free alimony to the plaintiff; (2) erroneously found that the defendant had an annual earning capacity of $200,000; (3) improperly awarded the plaintiff 60 percent of the pretax amount of the defendant’s pension; (4) abused its discretion in valuing the defendant’s interests in several private equity companies on the basis of the cost of the assets at the time of purchase, rather than the value of the assets as of the date of the dissolution; (5) abused its discretion in awarding the plaintiff attorney’s fees; and (6) abused its discretion in denying his motion for a mistrial. Because we agree with the defendant’s second and fourth claims, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for a new trial on the financial and property orders.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3155

SC19649 - State v. Harris ("The sole issue presented by this appeal is whether the trial court deprived the defendant, Ernest Harris, of his right to due process under the federal and state constitutions when it denied his motion to suppress an out-of-court and subsequent in-court identification of him by an eyewitness to the crimes of which the defendant was convicted. The defendant was charged with felony murder and first degree robbery, among other crimes, after he and an accomplice, Emmitt Scott, allegedly robbed Ruben Gonzalez (victim) and Jose Rivera at gunpoint and Scott shot and killed the victim. The trial court denied the defendant's pretrial motion to suppress an identification that Rivera had made of the defendant while the defendant was being arraigned in an unrelated robbery case, as well as any in-court identification that Rivera might later be asked to make of the defendant. Following a trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of one count each of felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, and two counts of robbery in the first degree. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his due process rights under the federal constitution by denying his motion to suppress Rivera's out-of-court and in-court identifications of him because, contrary to the conclusion of the trial court, the former was the product of an unnecessarily suggestive procedure and neither was reliable. The defendant further claims that, even if the state's use of Rivera's out-of-court and in-court identifications did not violate his due process rights under the federal constitution, the admission of those identifications violated his due process rights under the state constitution, which, the defendant contends, are more protective than his federal due process rights. Although we agree with the defendant that the out-of-court identification procedure was unnecessarily suggestive, we also conclude that Rivera's identification of the defendant was nevertheless sufficiently reliable to satisfy federal due process requirements. Accordingly, for purposes of the federal constitution, the defendant was not entitled to suppression of those identifications. We further conclude that the due process guarantee of the state constitution in article first, § 8, provides somewhat broader protection than the federal constitution with respect to the admissibility of eyewitness identification testimony but that, in the present case, the trial court's failure to apply the state constitutional standard that we adopt today was harmless because the court reasonably could not have reached a different conclusion under that more demanding standard. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court."

AC40512 - State v. Carney ("The defendant, Jonathan W. Carney, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the sentencing court properly construed General Statutes § 17a-566 as limiting the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to a recommendation as to the appropriate place of confinement only and, therefore, properly declined to consider information provided by Whiting Forensic Division (Whiting) at the § 17a-566 hearing when it imposed the sentence; and (2) failed to conclude that the sentencing court relied on inaccurate information provided by Whiting. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40995 - State v. Durdek ("The defendant, Steven Robert Durdek, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (2), sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1), arson in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-111 (a) (1), and tampering with physical evidence in violation of General Statutes § 53a-155 (a) (1). The defendant’s sole claim on appeal is that the trial court improperly restricted his cross-examination of a state’s witness by preventing him, for purposes of impeachment, from asking the witness about misconduct that he allegedly had committed as a juvenile. Because the defendant failed to make an offer of proof regarding how the witness would have responded to any question about the alleged misconduct, we conclude that the record is inadequate to review that claim and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3154

AC39993 - Diaz v. Dept. of Social Services ("On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the board improperly: (1) affirmed the commissioner’s finding and dismissal; (2) affirmed the commissioner’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion to correct the finding; and (3) denied the plaintiff’s motion to submit additional evidence. We affirm the decision of the board… the plaintiff characterizes this evidence as ‘‘new evidence,’’ the documents that the plaintiff sought to submit as additional evidence were in existence in 2010, approximately four years before the formal hearing on her workers’ compensation claim commenced in 2014. In light of this, we conclude that the board reasonably could have concluded that the plaintiff did not demonstrate that she had good reason for not presenting such evidence to the commissioner. The board did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s motion to submit additional evidence.")


Habeas Appellate Law Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3153

AC39952 - Chance v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance by failing to file motion to suppress incriminating statements and failing to present to trial court jury instructions; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his second amended petition, and (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. 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.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3152

SC19917 - Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc. (Personal property taxes; attorney's fees; "The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the trial court's determination that General Statutes § 12-161a, which requires that a property owner pay the attorney's fees of a municipality in actions brought to collect delinquent personal property taxes, entitled a municipality to an award for the attorney's fees it incurred in a related federal action is an appealable final judgment under our decisions in Hylton v. Gunter, 313 Conn. 472, 97 A.3d 970 (2014), and Paranteau v. DeVita, 208 Conn. 515, 544 A.2d 634 (1988), when the trial court has not yet determined the amount of those fees. The defendant, WMS Gaming, Inc., appeals, upon our granting of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court granting the motion to dismiss the defendant's appeal filed by the plaintiff, the town of Ledyard. Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc., 171 Conn. App. 624, 625, 157 A.3d 1215 (2017). On appeal, the defendant relies on the bright line rule set forth in Paranteau, namely, that 'a judgment on the merits is final for purposes of appeal even though the recoverability or amount of attorney's fees for the litigation remains to be determined'; Paranteau v. DeVita, supra, 523; and contends that the Appellate Court improperly dismissed its appeal for lack of a final judgment by relying on footnote 11 of this court's decision in Paranteau, which states that a 'supplemental postjudgment award of attorney's fees becomes final and appealable . . . not when there is a finding of liability for such fees, but when the amount of fees are conclusively determined. A finding as to liability only, prior to a determination on the issue of damages, is not a final judgment from which an appeal lies.' Id., 524 n.11. Guided by our analysis of Paranteau and Hylton, we agree with the defendant, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case to that court for further proceedings.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3151

AC40258 - Vaccaro v. D'Angelo ("In this interpleader action, the plaintiff-stakeholder, Attorney Enrico Vaccaro, sought an order determining the rights of the defendant-claimant, Stephen Boileau, and the other defendant-claimant, William DeAngelo, Boileau's chiropractic physician, to a portion of the proceeds from a settlement resolving Boileau's personal injury action. Boileau cross appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, ordering that $5780 of the contested funds be disbursed to DeAngelo. On appeal, Boileau claims that the court improperly determined that DeAngelo is entitled to any portion of the settlement funds because: (1) DeAngelo failed to comply with the notice requirement of the provider services agreement between DeAngelo and the administrator of Boileau's health plan, and, therefore he may not bill Boileau for services rendered; and (2) the form that Boileau signed acknowledging his financial responsibility for services rendered by DeAngelo is illegal and unenforceable. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Connecticut Law Journal - August 28, 2018

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3150

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 9, for August 28, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 1 - 75)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 184: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 356 - 455)
  • Volume 184: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3147

AC39522 - State v. Jackson (Sexual assault in first degree; unlawful restraint; collateral estoppel; double jeopardy; "The defendant, Jalenn Jackson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to the court, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly and in violation of the collateral estoppel component of the double jeopardy clause of the United States constitution admitted into evidence a portion of a witness' statement that the jury in his previous trial necessarily had rejected when it found the defendant not guilty on the charge of unlawful restraint. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39852 - State v. Si (Negligent homicide with commercial motor vehicle; "The defendant, Lin Qi Si, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial, on the charge of negligent homicide with a commercial motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 14-222a (b). The defendant was tried on that charge under a long form information dated August 16, 2016, in which the state alleged that on December 5, 2012, he negligently operated a commercial motor vehicle at the intersection of Sandy Desert Road and Trading Cove Road on the premises of the Mohegan Sun Casino (casino) in Montville, and thereby caused the death of the decedent, Pui Ying Tam Li. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) failing to instruct the jury properly on the essential element of causation and (2) providing the jury with a copy of the jury charge during deliberations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3148

AC40643 - Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Barros ("The defendants, Arly Barros and Anthony’s Services, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Government Employees Insurance Company, on its claim for equitable subrogation. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred by concluding that the statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 52-577 or General Statutes § 52-584 does not apply to bar the plaintiff’s claim for equitable subrogation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3145

AC40041 - Blossom's Escort, LLC v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act (Unemployment compensation benefits; "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the defendant, the Administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act (administrator), dismissing the plaintiff's appeal from the decision of the Employment Security Appeals Division, Board of Review (board), affirming the decision of the appeals referee, which affirmed the decision of the administrator that the plaintiff was liable for unpaid unemployment compensation contributions under the Unemployment Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-222 et seq. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly affirmed the decision of the board because a then recent statutory amendment, General Statutes (Rev. to 2007) § 31-222 (a) (5) (O), as amended by No. 08-150 of the 2008 Public Acts, exempted the claimant . . . and certain other individuals from the definition of 'employee' under the act. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3146

AC39185 - Teodoro v. Bristol ("On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment (1) without considering the deposition transcript excerpts she had filed in opposition to the motion, and (2) without considering her surreply brief and attached exhibits. We agree with the plaintiff that the trial court erred in not considering the deposition excerpts she offered in opposition to the motion on the ground that they were not authenticated properly. We disagree, however, that the trial court abused its discretion in not considering the plaintiff’s surreply brief and attached exhibits. We therefore reverse the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, and remand this case for further consideration of the defendants’ motion in accordance with this opinion, and for such other proceedings as may thereafter be appropriate, according to law.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3144

AC39229 - Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. v. Squillante ("The defendant Laura Squillante appeals from an order of the trial court denying her motion to reopen a judgment of strict foreclosure. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in denying her motion because, although it was filed approximately nine months after the applicable law day, title had not vested in the plaintiff, Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc., and, thus, the court had jurisdiction to reopen the judgment of strict foreclosure. We do not agree.")

AC39907 - Glastonbury v. Sakon ("In this tax lien foreclosure action, the defendant John Alan Sakon appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. On appeal, the defendant claims that the attorney’s fees awarded by the court were excessive and unreasonable. We conclude that the amount of attorney’s fees awarded to the plaintiff did not constitute an abuse of discretion and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38937 - Sovereign Bank v. Harrison ("In this foreclosure action, the plaintiff, Sovereign Bank, appeals from the order of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant, Angela Harrison, to restore her third special defense to the docket following the plaintiff’s voluntary withdrawal of its action. The plaintiff’s principal claim on appeal is that the trial court erred in interpreting the defendant’s special defense as a counterclaim and, therefore, lacked the authority to restore it to the docket. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the order of the trial court.")


Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3143

SC19874, SC19875 - Standard Petroleum Co. v. Faugno Acquisition, LLC. (Class action; "Standard Petroleum Company, the counterclaim defendant and the defendant, respectively, in the two cases that comprise this consolidated action (defendant), appeals from the trial court's orders certifying class actions against it.The class actions are premised on allegations that the defendant overcharged service station operators and franchisees for gasoline products. Generally, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in certifying the class because it failed to apply the 'rigorous analysis' that is required before such a certification may be granted. In particular, the defendant claims that the trial court’s error is most clearly evidenced by its failure to address various elements of the causes of action and the special defenses when it determined that common issues predominated. We conclude that the defendant has failed to establish that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering class certification.")


Connecticut Law Journal - August 21, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3142

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 8, for August 21, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 329: Connecticut Reports (Pages 770 - 845)
  • Volume 329: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 184: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 278 - 356)
  • Volume 184: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices



Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3141

AC39217 - Carson v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of North America ("The plaintiff, Elizabeth Carson, Trustee, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether her action was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Specifically, the plaintiff argues that fraudulent concealment on the part of the defendant’s agent, David Faubert, and the continuing course of conduct doctrine tolled the applicable statute of limitations. 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=3140

AC38718 - Doyle v. Chaplen ("On appeal, Chaplen claims that the trial court erred in granting Doyle’s motion to open the judgment of paternity in the support action for the purpose of declaring him not to be the father of the minor child. Specifically, he claims that the trial court improperly (1) found that Doyle signed the acknowledgment of paternity on the basis of a material mistake of fact, (2) concluded that opening the judgment was in the best interests of the minor child after making a clearly erroneous finding that there was no parent-like relationship between Chaplen and the minor child, and (3) applied the law regarding laches and equitable estoppel. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3138

AC39804, AC39806 - Landmark Development Group, LLC v. Water & Sewer Commission (Administrative appeal; appeal from decision by water and sewer commission granting in part application for sewer treatment capacity determination; "This chapter of the protracted dispute between the town of East Lyme (town), and the plaintiffs, Landmark Development Group, LLC, and Jarvis of Cheshire, LLC, involves the plaintiffs' application to the defendant, the town's Water and Sewer Commission (commission), for a determination of sewer treatment capacity.The commission appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining the plaintiffs' appeal and ordering the commission to grant the plaintiffs' application. On appeal, the commission argues that the court (1) abused its discretion by allowing the plaintiffs to submit supplemental evidence to the court, and (2) improperly concluded that the commission abused its discretion by allocating to the plaintiffs 14,434 gallons per day in sewer treatment capacity. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


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