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 Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3554

AC41625 - Dinham v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner argues that the court improperly dismissed his claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for the failure to state a claim upon which habeas relief can be granted. Specifically, the petitioner argues that the court improperly dismissed his claims that (1) he relied on ‘governmental representations’ that he would receive risk reduction credit when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm, (2) the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, misconstrued and misapplied several statutes pertaining to the petitioner receiving a parole suitability hearing, earning risk reduction credit in the future, and applying risk reduction credit toward the advancement of the petitioner’s parole eligibility date, and (3) the respondent’s customary practices have created a vested liberty interest in receiving a parole suitability hearing, earning future risk reduction credits, and applying risk reduction credits to advance his parole eligibility date. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3552

AC40321 - State v. Daniels (Intentional manslaughter in first degree; reckless manslaughter in first degree; misconduct with motor vehicle; "The defendant, Patricia Daniels, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered by the trial court following a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (3) (reckless manslaughter) and misconduct with a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 53a-57 (a) (criminally negligent operation). The defendant also had been convicted of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of § 53a-55 (a) (1) (intentional manslaughter), but at sentencing the trial court vacated her conviction of that charge. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the jury's verdict was legally inconsistent because each of these crimes requires a mutually exclusive mental state, and (2) the court erred in failing to exclude testimonial hearsay. We agree that the verdict is legally inconsistent, and, therefore, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41183 - State v. Francis (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Ernest Francis, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence filed pursuant to Practice Book § 43-22. On appeal, the defendant claims that his sentence was imposed in an illegal manner because the court substantially relied on materially inaccurate information concerning his prior criminal history and the manner in which he had committed the underlying crime. We disagree and, thus, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3553

AC40855 - Stone v. East Coast Swappers, LLC ("The plaintiff, Thomas G. Stone III, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, finding that the defendant, East Coast Swappers, LLC, had violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and awarding the plaintiff compensatory damages, but declining to award punitive damages and attorney's fees. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred when it failed to award him attorney's fees. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41675 - Freeman v. A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc. ("The defendant, A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding supplemental attorney's fees to the plaintiff, Sharay Freeman. In the underlying action, the plaintiff brought a two count complaint in which she claimed a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and fraudulent misrepresentation related to the defendant's failure to refund the plaintiff's $2500 deposit for an attempted sale of a used vehicle. The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff on both counts, and this court affirmed the judgment on appeal. See Freeman v. A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc., 174 Conn. App. 649, 651, 166 A.3d 857, cert. denied, 327 Conn. 927, 171 A.3d 60 (2017). On August 17, 2017, the plaintiff filed with the trial court a motion for supplemental attorney's fees. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court subsequently granted in part the plaintiff's motion for supplemental attorney's fees and awarded her $49,980.

In the present appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) erred in awarding the plaintiff supplemental attorney's fees, and (2) abused its discretion in awarding attorney's fees in the amount of $49,980. We disagree.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3550

AC41014 - Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Ponger ("The defendant Theresa Ponger appeals from a judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court. On appeal, the defendant's principal claim is that the court erred when it concluded that the plaintiff, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee, in Trust, for Registered Holders of Long Beach Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-WL3, Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-WL3, had provided notice of default and acceleration to her when it sent notice to the subject property addressed to her former spouse, Joseph R. Ponger (Ponger), who no longer resided at the property. Because the court correctly held that the notice requirement under the mortgage was satisfied because notice to one joint tenant or joint obligor constitutes notice to the others, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3551

SC20023 - Northrup v. Witkowski ("This certified appeal requires us to consider the continued vitality of this court's decision in Spitzer v. Waterbury, 113 Conn. 84, 88, 154 A. 157 (1931), which held that "[t]he work of constructing drains and sewers, as well as that of keeping them in repair, is ministerial, and the municipality is responsible for negligence in its performance." The plaintiffs, Helen M. Northrup, George W. Northrup, and Timothy Northrup, brought this action against the defendants, the borough of Naugatuck (town) and several town officials, claiming, inter alia, that the defendants' negligence in maintaining and repairing the town's storm drains and drainage pipes had caused the repeated flooding of the plaintiffs' residence. The plaintiffs now appeal, upon our granting of their petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's granting of the defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that the negligence claims were barred because, under more recent cases refining and clarifying Spitzer, the maintenance of storm drains and drainage systems is a discretionary function subject to governmental immunity, rather than a ministerial function, the negligent performance of which can subject a municipality to liability. Northrup v. Witkowski, 175 Conn. App. 223, 250, 167 A.3d 443 (2017). We disagree with the plaintiffs' claim that the Appellate Court improperly failed to follow Spitzer because we conclude that decision must be overruled in light of modern case law governing the distinction between ministerial and discretionary duties. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Family Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3548

SC20049, SC20053 - Boisvert v. Gavis ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether an order granting a third party's petition for visitation pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-59 over the objection of a fit custodial parent must include a provision requiring the third party to abide by all of the parent's decisions regarding the care of the child during the visitation. We conclude that neither § 46b-59 nor the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution requires the trial court to impose such a broad term and condition on an order of third-party visitation. With respect to the more limited claim of the custodial parent, the defendant James Gavis, that the denial of his postjudgment motion for a no contact order between the minor child and the child's maternal aunt violated the defendant's fundamental parental right to make decisions regarding his child's associations, we conclude that the defendant failed to meet his burden of demonstrating any such constitutional violation because he failed, as a threshold matter, to articulate a reason in support of the requested term and condition. We reject the defendant's remaining claims and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Juvenile Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3547

AC42478 - In re Leo L. (Third party; motion to transfer guardianship to grandfather; (“On appeal, the intervenor contends that the court erroneously determined that the transfer of guardianship would not be in the children’s best interests and, thus, abused its discretion in denying his motion. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Connecticut Law Journal - June 25, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3546

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 52, for June 25, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 332: Connecticut Reports (Pages 67 - 114)
  • Volume 332: Orders (Pages 904 - 907)
  • Volume 332: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 190: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 693 - 871)
  • Volume 190: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Volume 191: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 1 - 33)
  • Volume 191: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Law Library Hours Update - June 24th - June 28th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3545

Tuesday, June 25th

  • New London Law Library opens at 11:00 a.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library closes at 4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, June 26th

  • New London Law Library opens at 1:00 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library closes at 4:15 p.m.

Thursday, June 27th

  • Danbury Law Library closes at 12:30 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library closes at 4:15 p.m.

Friday, June 28th

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



Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3538

AC41601 - Farmington-Girard, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Hartford, The Pamela Corporation et al. v. Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Hartford ("The plaintiff Farmington-Girard, LLC, appeals from the judgments of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, dismissing the plaintiff's four consolidated appeals that challenged text amendments to the Hartford Zoning Regulations (regulations) and zoning map changes made by the defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Hartford (commission), for failure to exhaust its administrative remedies. In this appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the trial court improperly concluded that it was required to appeal to the city's Zoning Board of Appeals (board) and, thus, failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, and (2) the defendant is estopped from applying the current regulations to the plaintiff's property. 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=3539

AC39919 - Roger B. v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance of counsel due to trial counsel failing to assert a statute of limitations affirmative defense. “In the present case, the petitioner not only failed to prove that his counsel’s performance was deficient but also failed to demonstrate that he was prejudiced by the alleged deficient performance. A detailed review of this case’s tangled procedural history is required to place this decision in its proper context.”)


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3541

AC41312 - Almeida v. Almeida ("In this postdissolution matter, the defendant, Renato Almeida, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion for clarification filed by the plaintiff, Cristiane M. Almeida. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly modified the dissolution judgment when it rendered its clarification. We agree and, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40108 - DeChellis v. DeChellis ("In this postdissolution matter, the defendant, Anthony DeChellis, appeals from the judgments of the Superior Court granting the motion of the plaintiff, Amber DeChellis, to confirm the arbitration award and denying his motion to vacate that award in part. On appeal, the defendant claims that: (1) the court improperly confirmed the award of attorney's fees because, to the extent that it was based on the efforts of Louise Truax, one of the plaintiff's attorneys, to comply with the orders of the arbitrator, the award does not conform to the submission; (2) the award of attorney's fees to Gary Cohen, another of the plaintiff's attorneys, does not conform to the submission and violates public policy because the court never approved an agreement to arbitrate Cohen's fees pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-66 (c); (3) the court improperly confirmed the award of attorney's fees related to motions to reargue the underlying judgment because the arbitrator exceeded his powers by issuing an award that was contrary to the dissolution judgment, which specified that each party should bear its own fees and costs, and thereby "effectively undid the carefully crafted financial mosaic rendered by the [dissolution] court in the underlying dissolution"; and (4) we should invoke our supervisory authority to provide guidance to the trial courts with respect to the proper application of § 46b-66 (c) and reverse the court's approval of the parties' agreement to arbitrate the plaintiff's motion for counsel fees, dated March 19, 2014.In response, the plaintiff contends that the defendant has not preserved any of the claims he raises on appeal and that our use of supervisory authority is not warranted in this case. We agree with the plaintiff and, therefore, affirm the judgments of the court.")

AC41284 - Maria W. v. Eric W. ("The self-represented defendant, Eric W., appeals from the judgment of dissolution and the court's order related to the postjudgment motion for contempt filed by the plaintiff, Maria W. On appeal, the defendant has raised numerous claims, which we have distilled to his claims that the court (1) abused its discretion by admitting evidence at the dissolution trial of his arrest and (2) with respect to the plaintiff's motion for contempt, improperly found him to be in arrears on his child support and alimony obligations and ordered him to make certain weekly payments to the plaintiff to cover his current and delinquent child support and alimony obligations. We affirm the judgment of dissolution and dismiss the appeal with respect to the motion for contempt for lack of a final judgment.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3537

AC41179 - State v. Turner (Felony murder; robbery in first degree; attempt to possess narcotics; "This case tragically exemplifies the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. In February, 2012, Donna Bouffard invited a homeless couple, the defendant, Elizabeth K. Turner, and her husband, Claude Turner, to live with her in her home. In June of the same year, Turner brutally murdered both Bouffard and her adult son, Michael Perkins, in Bouffard's Watertown home. The defendant appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, one count of criminal attempt to possess narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 53a-49 and General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 21a-279 (a), one count of larceny in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-124 (a), one count of burglary in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-103 (a), one count of hindering prosecution in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-166 (a), two counts of forgery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-139 (a) (1), two counts of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (1), one count of robbery in the first degree in violation of § 53a-134 (a) (3), one count of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-134 (a), one count of tampering with evidence in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-155 (a) (1), one count of conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree in violation of §§ 53a-48 and 53a-124, one count of accessory to larceny in the third degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8 and 53a-124, one count of larceny in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-123, and one count of using a motor vehicle without the owner's permission in violation of General Statutes § 53a-119b. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly allowed the jury to consider a legally invalid but factually supported theory for the robbery and felony murder convictions, specifically, that a larceny by false pretenses that is part of a continuous course of larcenous conduct culminating in a murder can provide the predicate felony for a robbery and felony murder, and (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of attempted possession of narcotics. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")

AC40402 - State v. Pugh (Robbery in first degree; assault in first degree; carrying pistol or revolver without permit; "The defendant, Matthew M. Pugh, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (2), assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (5), and carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction on each of these charges, (2) the trial court improperly denied his motion to dismiss in which he contended that his right to due process was violated by a preaccusation delay, and (3) the court abused its discretion in giving any consciousness of guilt instruction and committed plain error in giving the actual instruction in this case. We disagree with the first claim and conclude that the evidence sufficed to permit a reasonable jury to find the defendant guilty of all charges. We further conclude that the defendant has failed to show the requisite actual, substantial prejudice to establish a due process violation resulting from the preaccusation delay. Finally, the court did not err by giving a consciousness of guilt instruction because such an instruction is permissible under our law and the evidence supported the giving of such an instruction in this case. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3540

AC41276 - 1916 Post Road Associates, LLC v. Mrs. Green's of Fairfield, Inc. (Guarantee of commercial lease; "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant United Natural Foods, Inc. The plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment because two separate letters sent by the defendant create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant's guarantee of the terms of a commercial lease continued through an optional extension period following the expiration of the original lease term. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3544

AC41237 - Brocuglio v. Thompsonville Fire District #2 (Heart and Hypertension Act (sec. 7-433c); notice of claim (sec. 31-294c (a)) “The defendant claims that the board improperly affirmed the commissioner’s award because the plaintiff’s heart disease claim was not timely filed pursuant to General Statutes § 31-294c (a), and § 7-433c (a) does not allow a claimant to file more than one claim for heart disease. We conclude that because the plaintiff failed to file a claim in 2000 when he was first informed by a medical professional that he had heart disease, the claim he filed for heart disease in 2013 is jurisdictionally barred. We, therefore, reverse the decision of the board.”)


Tort Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3542

SC20135 - Fiano v. Old Saybrook Fire Co. No. 1, Inc. ("The issue that we must resolve in this certified appeal is whether the trial court properly determined that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant James M. Smith, a junior volunteer firefighter with the named defendant, the Old Saybrook Fire Company No. 1, Inc. (fire company), was acting within the scope of his employment with the fire company at the time that the motor vehicle that he was driving collided with a motorcycle being driven by the plaintiff, Michael A. Fiano. The plaintiff brought this action alleging that he had been injured as the result of Smith's negligent operation of his motor vehicle and that the fire company and the defendant town of Old Saybrook (town) were vicariously liable for Smith's negligence pursuant to General Statutes §§ 7-308[1] and 7-465. The fire company and the town (collectively, municipal defendants) filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that, because Smith had left the firehouse and was on his way home to attend to personal matters when the collision occurred, there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Smith was acting within the scope of his employment with the fire company at that time. The trial court ultimately granted that motion and rendered judgment in favor of the municipal defendants. Thereafter, the plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of the trial court. See Fiano v. Old Saybrook Fire Co. No. 1, Inc., 180 Conn. App. 717, 744, 184 A.3d 1218 (2018). We then granted the plaintiff's petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court, limited to the following issue: “Did the Appellate Court properly uphold the trial court's granting of summary judgment on the ground that there is no genuine issue of material fact that an agency relationship did not exist between the [municipal] defendants and [Smith] at the time of his motor vehicle accident with the plaintiff?” Fiano v. Old Saybrook Fire Co. No. 1, Inc., 329 Conn. 910, 186 A.3d 14 (2018). We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")

AC41219 - Smith v. Marshview Fitness, LLC ("In this commercial dispute relating to the sale of certain property belonging to two fitness centers, the plaintiff, Brant Smith, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant Marshview Fitness, LLC. The trial court concluded that the defendant was entitled to summary judgment because the transfer of certain property, in which the plaintiff claims to have had an economic interest, was not fraudulent, as a matter of law, under either the common law or the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), General Statutes § 52-552a et seq. In doing so, the trial court also rejected the plaintiff's related claim under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq.

On appeal, the plaintiff claims, among other things, that the trial court improperly (1) concluded that the transfer at issue was not fraudulent under the common law or UFTA because the property that was transferred did not constitute "assets," (2) rejected his CUTPA claim on the ground that it was based solely on his allegations of fraudulent transfer, and (3) denied his motion to reargue. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3543

AC41513 - U.S. Bank, National Assn. v. Fitzpatrick ("The defendant Christopher M. Fitzpatrick appeals from the denial of his motion to dismiss and from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, U.S. Bank, National Association, as trustee for MASTR 2007-2.On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) denied his motion to dismiss by concluding that the plaintiff had standing to commence and maintain its foreclosure action and (2) granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment by determining that no genuine issues of material fact existed with respect to the plaintiff's standing and his special defenses of laches and unclean hands. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the denial of the defendant's motion to dismiss and the summary judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff.")



Contract Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3536

SC20032, SC20033, SC20036 - Girolametti v. Michael Horton Associates, Inc. ("This certified appeal poses the question of whether and under what circumstances arbitration of a construction dispute between a property owner and a general contractor is res judicata as to the claims of subcontractors that did not participate in the arbitration. We agree with the Appellate Court that, in the absence of clear evidence of contrary intent by the parties, subcontractors are presumptively in privity with the general contractor on a construction project for purposes of res judicata. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")

SC0034, SC20035 - Girolametti v. VP Buildings, Inc.



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