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.

Juvenile Appellate Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4386

AC43959 - In re Riley B. (Termination of parental rights; "The respondent mother, Jacquanita B., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the petitioner, the Commissioner of Children and Families, terminating her parental rights with respect to her minor daughter, Riley B. On appeal, the respondent argues that the court deprived her of substantive due process as guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution because there was no compelling reason, as required under the strict scrutiny standard, to sever the respondent's liberty interest in the integrity of her family while the parties waited to learn whether guardianship of the child could be transferred to a maternal relative in New Jersey. We conclude that the record is inadequate to review the respondent's unpreserved constitutional claim. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Juvenile Appellate Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4385

AC44264 - In re Kiara Liz V. (Termination of parental rights; "The respondent father, Luis V., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the petitioner, the Commissioner of Children and Families (commissioner), terminating his parental rights as to his minor child, Kiara Liz V. (Kiara), pursuant to General Statutes § 17a-112. On appeal, the respondent claims that the court (1) improperly denied his request for a continuance and (2) erred in determining that the termination of his parental rights was in the best interests of Kiara. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - March 30, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4384

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 39, for March 30, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Connecticut Reports (Pages 386 - 431)
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 924 - 925)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 203: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 419 - 613)
  • Volume 203: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Declaratory Judgment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4383

SC20494 - Casey v. Lamont ("...we turn to the matter before us, which requires this court to consider the extent of the governor's authority to issue executive orders during the civil preparedness emergency he declared pursuant to General Statutes § 28-9 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we consider whether the defendant, Governor Ned Lamont, lawfully issued certain executive orders that limited various commercial activities at bars and restaurants throughout the state. To that end, we must determine whether the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a "serious disaster" pursuant to § 28-9 and whether that statute empowers the governor to issue the challenged executive orders. Because we conclude that § 28-9 provides authority for the governor to issue the challenged executive orders, we also consider whether § 28-9 is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to the governor in violation of the separation of powers provision of the Connecticut constitution. See Conn. Const., art. II. We conclude that the statute passes constitutional muster.")



Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4381

SC20335 - State v. Davis (Murder; right to counsel; whether the trial court properly denied the defendant's motions to dismiss his attorney; whether the defendant's right to counsel was violated when the trial court failed to inquire about an alleged conflict of interest between the defendant and his attorney; whether the trial court properly allowed three lay witnesses to testify that the defendant was the person on a surveillance videotape; "Following a jury trial, the defendant, Brock Davis, was convicted of one count of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. The trial court, Gold, J., rendered judgment in accordance with the jury's verdict and sentenced the defendant to fifty years of imprisonment. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his right to the effective assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the sixth amendment to the United States constitution by (1) denying his motions to dismiss defense counsel, Kirstin B. Coffin, without first adequately inquiring into certain bases for his motions, namely, that defense counsel did not diligently provide him with copies of the state's discovery materials or investigate information he had provided to her; that, during a meeting with her investigator and the defendant, she allowed her investigator to recommend that he plead guilty; and that she violated unspecified professional and ethical legal standards; and (2) failing to conduct any inquiry into defense counsel's alleged conflict of interest. We disagree that the trial court inadequately inquired into the bases for the defendant's motions to dismiss defense counsel. We agree, however, that the trial court improperly failed to inquire into defense counsel's alleged conflict of interest, and, accordingly, we remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4380

AC43415 - Brown v. Cartwright ("The plaintiff, Ryan K. Brown, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a trial to a jury, rendered in favor of the defendants, David Cartwright, Ironhorse Auto, LLC, operating as Central Hyundai of Plainfield, and Hyundai Motor America, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff challenges the propriety of the verdict on three grounds: (1) the court's failure to timely deliver the plaintiff's exhibits to the jury deprived him of a fair verdict; (2) the jury did not follow the court's instructions to consider all the evidence; and (3) opposing counsel's statements during cross-examination unfairly prejudiced the jury. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4379

AC42736 - Starke v. Goodwind Estate Assn., Inc. (Common Interest Ownership Act (§ 47-200 et seq.); "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court of his complaint against the defendant, The Goodwin Estate Association, Inc., brought pursuant to the Common Interest Ownership Act (act), General Statutes § 47-200 et seq. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly dismissed his complaint as moot, after he lost title to his condominium unit in a foreclosure proceeding, because the damages he claimed included damages for personal property, namely, window treatments, which, he alleges are not contingent on his ownership of the condominium unit. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Freedom of Information Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4378

AC42496 - Lindquist v. Freedom of Information Commission (Administrative appeal; Freedom of Information Act (§ 1-200 et seq.); whether trial court properly concluded that Freedom of Information Commission did not abuse its discretion in finding that redacted records were exempt from disclosure under statute (§ 1-210 (b) (1)); "The self-represented plaintiff, Richard Lindquist, at all relevant times, a tenured professor at the defendant University of Connecticut Health Center (health center), appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his appeal from the final decision of the defendant Freedom of Information Commission (commission), in which the trial court concluded that the commission correctly dismissed the plaintiff's request for certain documents of the health center relating to his annual performance review. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the trial court failed to consider whether the commission failed to apply various provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (act), General Statutes § 1-200 et seq., including General Statutes §§ 1-200 (6), 1-210 (b) (2), 1-213 and 1-225, and General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 1-214, and chapters 563 and 563a of the General Statutes, (2) the trial court improperly concluded that the commission properly applied § 1-210 (b) (1) and (e) (1) of the act to the records at issue, (3) the trial court improperly rejected the due process claim raised by the plaintiff, and (4) the commission failed to comply with General Statutes §§ 1-210 (b) (2) and 10a-154a. We agree, in part, with the plaintiff's second claim, as it relates to § 1-210 (e) (1), that he is entitled to judgment in his favor requiring the disclosure of the final individual comments and ratings by the committee members that were delivered to the dean of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine (dean), and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case to that court with direction to render judgment for the plaintiff. In light of our resolution on the basis of the plaintiff's second claim, we need not reach the plaintiff's other claims.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4375

AC42807 - State v. Lyons (Possession of controlled substance; sale of controlled substance; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of controlled substance within 1500 feet of school; possession of drug paraphernalia within 1500 feet of school; operation of drug factory; theft of firearm; negligent storage of firearm; motion to suppress; "The state of Connecticut appeals from the judgments of the trial court dismissing informations brought against the defendants, Gavin Lyons, David Gordon, Prince Gordon and Zipporah Greene-Walters, following its granting of motions to suppress filed by the defendants. On appeal, the state claims that the court improperly (1) determined that Lyons met his burden of proving an expectation of privacy in the areas searched by law enforcement agents and, thus, allowed Lyons to proceed with his motion to suppress, and (2) granted the defendants' motions to suppress items seized during a search of a residence located at 351 Noble Avenue in Bridgeport. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4377

AC39693, AC42730 - Carroll v. Yankwitt (Action for return of security deposit; "In this landlord-tenant dispute, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial before an attorney trial referee, in favor of the plaintiff . . . . On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) he violated General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 47a-21, commonly known as the security deposit statute, (2) he violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and (3) he was not entitled to certain damages under the lease agreements between the parties. The plaintiff cross appeals, claiming that the court abused its discretion by (1) declining to award him the full amount of attorney's fees he requested and (2) failing to rule on his request for punitive damages pursuant to CUTPA. With respect to the defendant's claims, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court. With respect to the plaintiff's cross appeal, we vacate the order of the trial court regarding its award of attorney's fees and decline to address the plaintiff's claim regarding punitive damages.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4374

AC42609 - Jacques v. Commissioner of Energy & Environmental Protection (Administrative appeal; injunction; motion to dismiss; whether trial court erred in determining that plaintiff failed to allege facts sufficient to establish standing under applicable statute (§ 22a-16); "The plaintiff, Kathleen Jacques, brought the action underlying this appeal against the defendants, Robert Klee, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection (commissioner), and Benjamin Barnes, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management (secretary). The plaintiff sought, inter alia, a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from taking further action with respect to a plan to redevelop Seaside State Park in Waterford and an order precluding the defendants from "further denying . . . her statutory rights" to intervene in public hearings related to the redevelopment project. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the defendants' motion to dismiss on the ground of sovereign immunity and concluding that she failed to demonstrate that an exception to sovereign immunity applied. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court (1) erred in determining that she failed to allege facts sufficient to establish her statutory standing under General Statutes § 22a-16, (2) utilized an improper standard in construing the complaint's allegations under the sovereign immunity exceptions for state actions in violation of the plaintiff's constitutional rights and for state actions in excess of its authority, (3) erred when it concluded that the allegations of the complaint did not come within the exception to sovereign immunity for state actions alleged in violation of constitutional rights, (4) erred when it held that the allegations of the complaint did not come within the exception to sovereign immunity for a substantial allegation of wrongful conduct to promote an illegal purpose in excess of a state officer's statutory authority, and (5) erred when it ruled that the scoping process/review of the environmental impact evaluation was not a "proceeding" for purposes of intervention under General Statutes § 22a-19. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4376

AC43293 - Mecca v. Mecca ("The defendant, William F. Mecca, Jr., appeals from the decision of the trial court denying his motion to open the judgment of dissolution. On appeal, he argues that the court abused its discretion by (1) applying an incorrect legal standard with respect to his motion to open and (2) failing to consider a pattern of fraudulent conduct on the part of the plaintiff, Elizabeth Mecca. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41858 - Carten v. Carten ("The defendant, Judy Junying Carten, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving her marriage to the plaintiff, Donald George Carten, Jr. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court should have awarded her alimony. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4372

SC20248 - State v. Armadore (Murder; search and seizure; whether appellate court erred in denying defendant’s motion for supplemental briefing re admissibility of cell site location information under Carpenter v. United States; whether defendant sufficiently preserved evidentiary claim for appellate review. "In this certified appeal, we are again required to examine the effect of the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in Carpenter v. United States, ___ U.S.___, 138 S. Ct. 2206, 201 L. Ed. 2d 507 (2018), on a pending case. In Carpenter, the court held that, under the fourth amendment to the United States constitution, the government generally must obtain a warrant supported by probable cause before acquiring historical cell site location information (CSLI), which provides a comprehensive chronicle of a cell phone user's past physical movements.

The defendant, Darius Armadore, appeals from the Appellate Court's judgment affirming his conviction of murder, as either a principal or as an accessory, in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8 and 53a-54a (a). Specifically, he claims that the Appellate Court abused its discretion by denying him permission to file a supplemental brief to raise a new claim pursuant to Carpenter, which was released while his appeal was pending before that court. He argues that the rule in Carpenter applies retroactively to pending cases, and, thus, his failure to raise this claim before the trial court or in his initial brief to the Appellate Court did not bar review. Additionally, he claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that his hearsay claim regarding the testimony of a key state's witness, Eduardo Guilbert, was unpreserved.

We agree with the defendant that our courts should liberally grant motions seeking to file supplemental briefs to raise claims premised on new constitutional rules announced during the pendency of a case and that the Appellate Court should have granted his motion in the present case. Nevertheless, we conclude that any error was harmless because the defendant's Carpenter claim fails under the fourth prong of State v. Golding, 213 Conn. 233, 239–40, 567 A.2d 823 (1989), as modified by In re Yasiel R., 317 Conn. 773, 781, 120 A.3d 1188 (2015). Additionally, although we agree with the defendant that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that he did not preserve his hearsay claim regarding Guilbert's testimony, we agree with the state that the trial court properly admitted the testimony as nonhearsay because it was offered to show its effect on the hearer and that, alternatively, any error was harmless. Accordingly, we affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Connecticut Law Journal - March 23, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4371

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 38, for March 23, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Connecticut Reports (Pages 332 - 385)
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 922 - 924)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 203: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 359 - 418)
  • Volume 203: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 203: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Connecticut Penal Code - Updated and Revised

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4370

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

Connecticut Penal Code - Updated and Revised- 2021-R-0080 - This report lists all crimes in the Connecticut Penal Code (Title 53a of the General Statutes) and their penalties. It updates OLR Report 2020-R-0091.

This report lists all of the crimes contained in the Penal Code. It includes all changes from the 2020 regular and special legislative sessions.Statutes with criminal penalties that are codified outside the Penal Code are not included.

Criminal offenses in Connecticut are classified as felonies, which are punishable by imprisonment for over one year, and misdemeanors, which are punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year. In turn, felonies are classified according to severity as class A, B, C, D, or E. Misdemeanors are classified as class A, B, C, or D. There are unclassified felonies and misdemeanors which are punishable by imprisonment but not designated under one of the classes listed above.(Some unclassified crimes may be deemed classified if they have the same maximum prison term as one of the classes specified above.)

See our CT Law About - Criminal Penalties webpage for more information.


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4369

SC20184 - State v. Jose R. (Sexual assault first degree; Whether defendant's due process right to a fair trial and fifth amendment right to remain silent violated by prosecutor's remarks; Whether state should have burden of proving harmlessness for all claims of prosecutorial impropriety; "Following a jury trial, the defendant, Jose R., was convicted of four counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-70 (a) (2) and three counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) for the sexual abuse of his daughter, V. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly sentenced him to a period of probation on each count of sexual assault in violation of General Statutes § 53a-29 (a), and (2) the prosecutor made improper remarks during closing argument and rebuttal, which deprived him of his due process right to a fair trial under the fourteenth amendment and his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. We agree with the defendant's first claim but disagree with his second claim. We therefore reverse the defendant's judgment of conviction only as to the sentence imposed and remand the case to the trial court for resentencing.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4368

AC43244 - Batista v. Cortes ("The self-represented defendant, Angel L. Cortes (father), appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to modify his child's primary residence to his residence from that of the plaintiff, Daisy G. Batista (mother). On appeal, the father (1) claims, in essence, that the court abused its discretion by concluding that it was in the child's best interests that she continue to reside primarily with her mother and (2) challenges the results of several payment audits showing that he owes an arrearage in child support. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41790 - M. S. v P. S. ("The defendant, P. S., appeals from the judgment of dissolution and the pendente lite order of the court awarding the plaintiff, M. S., attorney's fees. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion in (1) entering an excessive support order that consumes approximately 90 percent of the defendant's income and leaves him with insufficient income to pay for his basic needs, (2) entering an order permitting the plaintiff to relocate thirty-five miles from her current residence rather than the mutually agreed upon thirty-five miles from the other party's residence, and (3) awarding the plaintiff attorney's fees when the amounts billed were excessive and unreasonable. We affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC42984 - Johnson v. Johnson ("In this matter stemming from the dissolution of his marriage to the plaintiff, Lisa R. Johnson, the defendant, Peter A. Johnson, appeals from the trial court's postjudgment modification of child support and alimony, and entry of an educational support order. The defendant also appeals from the court's judgment finding him in contempt for failing to comply with those orders. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) committed plain error 'when it imposed its own findings and interpretation' of the parties' separation agreement, and 'failed to act in a manner that projected impartiality,' and (2) abused its discretion when it 'issued numerous contradictory findings without changing its modified orders,' entered orders 'beyond the statutory time frame' and 'found [him] in contempt without making [the] requisite findings.' We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4367

AC43565 - State v. Geanuracos (Burglary in third degree; larceny in third degree; sufficiency of evidence; "The defendant, Derek Geanuracos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of burglary in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-103 (a). On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. We agree, and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


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