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.


Habeas Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3271

SC19928 - Breton v. Commissioner of Correction (“Claim that the “2013 amendment to General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 54-125a; see Public Acts 2013, No.13-3, § 59 (P.A. 13-3), codified at General Statutes (Supp.2014) § 54-125a; which eliminated risk reduction credit awarded pursuant to General Statutes § 18-98e from the calculation of a violent offender’s initial parole eligibility date, thereby requiring the offender to complete 85 percent of his definite sentence before becoming parole eligible, as applied retroactively to him, violates the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution because he was statutorily entitled to such earlier parole consideration when he committed the crimes for which he is now incarcerated.”… On appeal, the petitioner renews his claim of an ex post facto violation. We agree with the petitioner that the ex post facto clause bars the respondent from applying the 2013 amendment to the petitioner, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court.”)

SC19927 - Garner v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance; claim that a “2013 amendment to General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 54-125a; see Public Acts 2013, No. 13-3, § 59 (P.A. 13-3), codified at General Statutes (Supp. 2014) § 54-125a; which eliminated risk reduction credit awarded pursuant to General Statutes § 18-98e from the calculation of a violent offender’s initial parole eligibility date, as applied retroactively to him, violates the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution, because, under the version of § 54-125a in effect when he committed his offenses, he was entitled to have any such credit that he had earned applied to advance his initial parole eligibility date…The habeas court, Fuger, J., rejected the petitioner’s ex post facto claim…On appeal, the petitioner challenges both of these determinations by the habeas court. Although we reject the petitioner’s ineffective assistance claim, we agree that the ex post facto clause bars the respondent from applying the 2013 amendment retroactively to the petitioner. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC39715 - Boria v. Commissioner of Correction (Practice Book § 23-29; “The petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly dismissed his claim (1) that amendments to the risk reduction earned credits statute in 2013 and 2015 violated the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution and (2) that his right to due process had been violated because his guilty plea in his underlying criminal case was not knowingly and voluntarily made. As to the first claim, we disagree and, accordingly, affirm that aspect of the judgment of the habeas court. As to the second claim, although we agree with the petitioner that the habeas court should not have dismissed that claim as an improper successive petition under Practice Book § 23-29, we affirm that aspect of the judgment on the alternative ground that it was barred by collateral estoppel.”)

AC40090 - Davis v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) erred in concluding that his trial counsel had not rendered ineffective assistance by failing to (A) file a motion in limine to preclude certain evidence, (B) consult with and present the testimony of an eyewitness identification expert, (C) object to the testimony of a laboratory supervisor on the ground that the testimony violated his right to confrontation under the federal constitution and (D) prepare the petitioner for the presentence investigation interview. We dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.”)

AC40101 - Nicholson v. Commissioner of Correction (Amended writ; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) erroneously concluded that he failed to establish that his state and federal constitutional rights to the effective assistance of counsel were violated,1 (3) abused its discretion in declining to treat a witness at the habeas trial as an expert witness, and (4) abused its discretion in failing to review certain evidence admitted at the habeas trial prior to denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.”)



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3270

AC40477 - State v. Barjon (Robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; robbery in second degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in second degree; "The defendant, Jean Barjon, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (2), conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2), robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-135 (a) (1), and conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree in violation of § 53a-48 and General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-135 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his right to conflict free counsel under the sixth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40694 - State v. Davis (Violation of probation; motion to dismiss; motion for continuance; "The defendant, Frederick M. Davis, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and committing him to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction for nine years. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly denied his motion to dismiss predicated on an alleged lack of jurisdiction, (2) violated his constitutional right to be present at a critical stage of the probation revocation proceeding, and (3) improperly denied his request for a continuance. 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=3273

AC39759 - LeSueur v. LeSueur ("In this postmarital dissolution appeal, the plaintiff, Janine LeSueur, appeals from the postjudgment orders of the trial court granting the motion for modification of custody and child support filed by the defendant, Andrew LeSueur, and denying her motion for modification of unallocated alimony and child support. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the court, Tindill, J., (1) abused its discretion by granting the defendant's motion to modify custody and child support because the child support order is predicated on clearly erroneous factual findings and because it terminated the defendant's child support obligation retroactively without sufficient information to evaluate the parties' financial circumstances, and without considering that she continued to incur and pay expenses for the parties' son from September 2, 2015, until the date of the hearing; (2) misconstrued the parties' separation agreement (agreement) regarding the parties' obligations to pay for their children's postsecondary education; and (3) abused its discretion by denying her motion to modify unallocated alimony and support. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3274

AC40282 - Bruno v. Whipple ("This case returns to us following a remand to the trial court for a hearing in damages. See Bruno v. Whipple, 162 Conn. App. 186, 130 A.3d 899 (2015), cert. denied, 321 Conn. 901, 138 A.3d 280 (2016).The self-represented plaintiff, Lisa Bruno, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Heritage Homes Construction Company, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) improperly concluded that she failed to prove actual damages resulting from the defendant's breach of a residential construction contract and (2) exceeded the scope of the remand order. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Connecticut Law Journal - November 27, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3269

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 22, for November 27, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 447 - 462)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 942 - 944)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 186: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 224 - 299)
  • Volume 186: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3268

AC40439 - State v. Mark T. ("The defendant, Mark T., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding relevant evidence, and thereby violated his constitutional right (1) to present a defense and (2) to testify in his own defense. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3267

AC40112 - Moore v. Commissioner of Correction (Whether petitioner established that trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to inform petitioner of potential total sentence exposure if petitioner succeeded at trial in proving lesser included offense; whether trial counsel provided adequate information for petitioner to make informed decision as to whether to accept state's plea offers; "The petitioner, Joseph Moore, appeals following the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel had rendered ineffective assistance. We conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner's appeal.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3266

AC40199 - Citibank, N.A. v. Stein ("The present appeal concerns the foreclosure of real property located at 983 New Norwalk Road in New Canaan (property). The self-represented defendant, Brian Stein, appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Wilmington Trust, N.A. (Wilmington Trust), as successor trustee to the plaintiff, Citibank, N.A. (Citibank), as trustee of the holders of Bear Stearns Alt-A Trust 2006-6, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-6. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court, Heller, J., (1) erred by denying his motion to dismiss, (2) abused its discretion by denying his motion to reargue and for reconsideration, (3) abused its discretion by refusing to consider, after the June 2015 trial, documents the defendant considered newly discovered evidence, (4) erred in finding that the mortgagor had defaulted on the note and default notice, and (5) erred under J.E. Robert Co. v. Signature Properties, LLC, 309 Conn. 307, 71 A.3d 492 (2013), in concluding that Citibank had proven its right as a nonholder in possession to bring the foreclosure action. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3265

AC39973 - DE Auto Transport, Inc. v. Eurolite, LLC (Wrongful repossession, statutory theft; "The plaintiff, DE Auto Transport, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants, Eurolite, LLC (Eurolite), and Leopold Zayaczkowski. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in its damages analysis. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Legal Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3264

AC40466 - Bozelko v. D'Amato ("In this legal malpractice action, the plaintiff, Chandra Bozelko, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Tina Sypek D'Amato and the Law Offices of Tina Sypek D'Amato. The trial court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to disclose an expert witness in support of her malpractice claim. The plaintiff challenges the summary judgment on the grounds that expert testimony was unnecessary to prove her claim of legal malpractice because her allegations against D'Amato fit the gross negligence exception to the expert testimony requirement for legal malpractice claims and expert testimony is not required when a legal malpractice case is tried to the court rather than to a jury. Because the plaintiff failed to disclose an expert witness who would testify that her alleged injury was caused by D'Amato's alleged grossly negligent representation of her, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3262

SC20010 - Browning v. Van Brunt, DuBiago & Co., LLC ("The sole question presented in this appeal is whether the trust beneficiaries are the proper parties to bring an action against third parties on behalf of the trust. The plaintiffs—Ann Browning, Richard Browning, Lance Browning, Karen Guinta, and Jill Milligan—are beneficiaries of a trust, and appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their breach of contract claim against the defendants Dougherty & Company, LLC (Dougherty), the financial advisor for the trust, and Thomas Olander, an employee of Dougherty. Although the parties agree that the general rule is that beneficiaries of a trust lack standing to bring an action against a third party for liability to the trust, they disagree that the general rule applies under the facts of the present case. See 4 Restatement (Third), Trusts, § 107, p. 102 (2012). Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that they fit within an exception that allows beneficiaries to bring an action against third parties if the trustee improperly refuses or neglects to do so. The defendants respond that the plaintiffs do not fit within the exception to the general rule because they failed to demand that the current trustee bring an action and they did not allege in their complaint that the current trustee improperly neglected to sue the defendants. The defendants further argue that, because standing implicates subject matter jurisdiction, they properly raised the issue by way of a motion to dismiss. We conclude that the trial court properly determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the claim and, therefore, that the trial court properly granted the motion to dismiss. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - November 20, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3261

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 21, for November 20, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 400 - 447)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 939 - 942)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 186: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 163 - 224)
  • Volume 186: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 901 - 901)
  • Volume 186: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Law Library Hours Update November 16th - November 23rd

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3260

Tuesday, November 20th

  • New London Law Library will be closed.

Thursday, November 22nd

  • All Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, November 23rd

  • Bridgeport Law Library will be closed.
  • Danbury Law Library will be closed.
  • New London Law Library will be closed.
  • Stamford Law Library will be closed.



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3257

AC40031 - State v. Washington (Conspiracy to commit home invasion; attempt to commit home invasion; attempt to commit robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; attempt to commit assault in first degree; "The defendant, Trajuan A. Washington, appeals from the judgment of conviction that was rendered against him, upon the verdict of a jury in the Hartford Superior Court, on charges of conspiracy to commit home invasion in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-100aa (a) (2) and attempt to commit home invasion in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-100aa (a) (2). The defendant was tried under an amended information dated May 2, 2016, in which the state alleged, in relevant part, that on February 19, 2014 (1) he conspired to commit home invasion by agreeing with one or more persons to enter a dwelling at 33 Seyms Street in Hartford with the intent to commit a crime therein, while he was armed with a deadly weapon and another person not participating in the crime was actually present inside the dwelling, and (2) he attempted to commit home invasion by intentionally taking a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in the commission of home invasion, while acting with the mental state required for the commission of that offense. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of conspiracy to commit home invasion and attempt to commit home invasion, and (2) the trial court erred in instructing the jury on a common essential element of conspiracy to commit home invasion and attempt to commit home invasion by repeatedly substituting the word building for the term dwelling in its final instructions describing those offenses. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39628 - State v. Spring (Strangulation in second degree; assault in third degree; "The primary issue in this appeal involves the admissibility at trial of the defendant's written statement, which was made during an unrecorded custodial interrogation at the Enfield police station.The defendant, Christopher M. Spring, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of strangulation in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64bb (a) and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court erred when it granted the state's motion to admit his statement, which was taken in violation of General Statutes § 54-1o, during an unrecorded custodial interrogation, because the state failed to prove that the statement was both voluntarily given and reliable under the totality of the circumstances, as required by § 54-1o (h), (2) the court abused its discretion when it overruled an objection made by the defendant regarding an inaccurate argument made by the state about the defendant's statement, and (3) this court should exercise its supervisory authority over the administration of justice by ordering a new trial in this case and by requiring the judges of our Superior Court to instruct juries in a particular manner when faced with statements or confessions obtained during unrecorded custodial interrogations that violate § 54-1o. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40879 - State v. Farrar (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The self-represented defendant, Chad Lamar Farrar, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that the sentence imposed on him for a term of incarceration followed by a period of special parole was authorized by statute and, therefore, was not illegal. 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=3259

AC40174 - Gabriel v. Mount Vernon Fire Ins. Co. ("The defendant, Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiffs, Domingos Gabriel and his wife, Laurinda Gabriel. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred in (1) finding that the plaintiffs' primary insurance policy qualified as an underlying policy entitling the plaintiffs to excess coverage; (2) finding that the business exception of the plaintiffs' umbrella insurance policy did not apply; and (3) its determination of damages. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3258

SC19867 - Graham v. Commissioner of Transportation ("In this appeal, we consider whether the waiver of sovereign immunity under General Statutes § 13a-144, the state's highway defect statute, extends to a claim that the state police failed to close a bridge before a crew from the Department of Transportation (department) could arrive to address an icy surface on that bridge. The defendant, the Commissioner of Transportation (commissioner), appeals, upon our grant of his petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the commissioner on the ground that the personal injury action brought by the plaintiff, Barry Graham, was barred by sovereign immunity. Graham v. Commissioner of Transportation, 168 Conn. App. 570, 611, 148 A.3d 1147 (2016). On appeal, the commissioner asks us to overrule this court's decision in Lamb v. Burns, 202 Conn. 158, 520 A.2d 190 (1987), to the extent that it expands the waiver of sovereign immunity under § 13a-144 to include actions of the state police. We decline to overrule Lamb, and conclude that the waiver of sovereign immunity under § 13a-144 extends to the actions of state employees other than those employed by the commissioner, but only to the extent that they are performing duties related to highway maintenance and the plaintiff proves that a relationship exists between the commissioner and the state employee such that the commissioner can be found to have breached his statutory duty to keep the highways, bridges, or sidewalks in repair. We further conclude that, in the present case, there is nothing in the record to indicate that the requisite relationship existed between the commissioner and the state police. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.")




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