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.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4461

SC20297 - State v. Weathers (Murder; Whether trial court properly rejected insanity defense where the only expert witnesses testified that defendant, as result of mental disease, lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct; "Following his election of and trial to a three judge court empaneled in accordance with General Statutes § 54-82 (a) and (b), the defendant, Gregory L. Weathers, was found guilty of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 53a-217c (a) (1), and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 29-35 (a). In so finding, the trial court rejected the defendant's affirmative defense of mental disease or defect under General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 53a-13 (a) (insanity defense), concluding that, although the defendant demonstrated that he suffered from an unspecified psychotic disorder at the time of the murder, he failed to prove the requisite connection between this condition and his criminal conduct. The trial court rendered judgment accordingly and sentenced the defendant to a total effective term of imprisonment of forty-five years. On appeal, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of conviction; see State v. Weathers, 188 Conn. App. 600, 635, 205 A.3d 614 (2019); and we granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the issue of whether the Appellate Court correctly concluded that the trial court's rejection of the defendant's insanity defense was reasonable. See State v. Weathers, 331 Conn. 927, 207 A.3d 518 (2019). The defendant claims that the state neither presented nor elicited evidence to undermine the consensus of his experts that the defendant, as the result of a mental disease, lacked substantial capacity to control his conduct within the requirements of the law, and, therefore, the trial court improperly rejected the experts' opinions arbitrarily. He contends that the Appellate Court's conclusion to the contrary was not supported by legitimate reasons or evidence. We affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")



Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4459

AC42466, AC42618 - Antonio A. v. Commissioner of Correction ("In the judgment under review in Docket No. AC 42466, the habeas court dismissed the petitioner’s second petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to General Statutes § 52-470 on the ground that the petitioner had failed to show good cause for his delay in bringing the petition more than two years following a final judgment denying his first petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In AC 42466, the petitioner claims that the court erred in (1) failing to afford his counsel a reasonable opportunity to investigate the cause of the delay, and (2) denying his motion for reconsideration of its ruling. In AC 42466, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court. In the judgment under review in Docket No. AC 42618, the habeas court dismissed the petitioner’s third petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Practice Book § 23-29 on multiple grounds. In AC 42618, the petitioner claims that the court erred in (1) denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) denying his motion for permission to file a late amended petition for certification to appeal and for reconsideration of the denial of his petition for certification to appeal, and (3) dismissing the habeas petition. In AC 42618, we dismiss the portion of the appeal in which the petitioner claims that the court erred in denying the motion and reverse the judgment dismissing the habeas petition.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4457

AC44118 - Ortiz v. Torres-Rodriguez ("The self-represented plaintiff, Pablo Ortiz, Jr., appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Leslie Torres-Rodriguez. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on all three counts of his operative complaint. 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=4455

AC43376 - Marco v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. ("The plaintiff, Lindsey Marco, appeals from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Starr Indemnity and Liability Company, on the ground that the defendant had no duty to defend its insured, Copa Entertainment Group, LLC (Copa Entertainment), the owner and operator of Zen Bar (bar), the location where the plaintiff had sustained injuries for which she had been awarded damages by an arbitrator in a separate action (underlying action). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) erred in ordering a court trial on the legal issue of whether the defendant had a duty to defend Copa Entertainment when summary judgment previously had been denied on that issue, (2) improperly deprived her of a jury trial on the issue of whether the defendant had a duty to defend its insured, and (3) should have recused itself from this case to avoid the appearance of impropriety after it was involved in pretrial settlement negotiations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4456

AC43002 - Goshen Mortgage, LLC v. Androulidakis ("The self-represented defendant, Jameela Androulidakis, appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Goshen Mortgage, LLC, as Separate Trustee for GDBT I Trust 2011-1. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) determined that the plaintiff, Goshen Mortgage, LLC, had standing to bring the foreclosure action, and thus erred by granting the plaintiff's motion to substitute and denying the defendant's motion to dismiss, (2) granted the substitute plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, (3) rendered a judgment of strict foreclosure for the substitute plaintiff, and (4) failed to grant the defendant's motion to open the judgment. 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=4458

AC42969 - Fairfield Shores, LLC v. DeSalvo ("The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff landlord, Fairfield Shores, LLC. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the basis of its finding that the plaintiff was exempt, pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-2, from application of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 47a-21, the statute governing security deposits, because it provided housing incidental to the education of the defendant students. Although we conclude that the court improperly considered § 47a-2, we, nevertheless, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4454

SC20388 - Wilton Campus 1691, LLC. v. Wilton (Taxation; late filing penalty pursuant to General Statutes § 12-63c (d); whether Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that General Statutes § 12-55 (b) precluded tax assessor from imposing late filing penalties after taking and subscribing to oath on grand list; "This appeal involves the temporal limits of a municipal assessor's authority to impost penalties on taxpayers. Specifically, we are asked to resolve a dispute over whether the assessor for the defendant . . . must impose late filing penalties on taxpayers pursuant to General Statutes 12-63c(d), if at all, before taking and subscribing to the oath on the grand list for that assessment year pursuant to General Statutes 12-55 (b) , or may impose the penalty later. The town claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the assessor improperly imposed late filing penalties on the plaintiffs . . . after taking and subscribing to the oath on the grand list for that assessment year. We disagree and therefore affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")



Connecticut Law Journal - May 25, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4452

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 47, for May 25, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Connecticut Reports (Pages 633 - 685)
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 943 - 945)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 204: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 729 - 885)
  • Volume 204: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 204: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Volume 205: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 1 - 15)
  • Volume 205: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Office of Legislative Research Report & Executive Orders Update

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4447

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research has published the following Special Report:

COVID-19 Executive Orders Extended Past April 20 - 2021-R-0096 - This report lists the COVID-19 executive orders (EOs) that the governor extended past April 20, 2021.

On May 20, 2021, the governor signed Executive Order No. 12B, which terminates several previously issued executive orders, and extends the duration of others until June 30 or July 20, 2021.

For a complete list of Governor Lamont's executive orders signed under his Declaration of Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergencies, see Governor Lamont's Executive Orders.


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4451

AC42985 - McCrea v. Cumberland Farms, Inc. ("In this negligence action regarding injuries sustained by the plaintiffs, Yolanda McCrea and Derrick Pettway, in a motor vehicle accident, the jury returned a general verdict in favor of the defendants, Cumberland Farms, Inc. (Cumberland Farms), and its employee, Trevor Johnie. The trial court thereafter denied the plaintiffs' motion to set aside that verdict and rendered judgment accordingly. On appeal, the plaintiffs contend that the court improperly (1) permitted the defendants' counsel to pursue certain lines of questioning that allegedly were irrelevant and prejudicial, and (2) prevented the plaintiffs from testifying that the reason they were referred to certain medical providers by their attorney was because of a lack of adequate medical insurance. The defendants respond by arguing that the general verdict rule precludes our consideration of the plaintiffs' evidentiary claims. We agree with the plaintiffs' second claim and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43513 - Elder v. Kauffman ("The plaintiff, Joseph S. Elder, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing, on the grounds of res judicata and collateral estoppel, his complaint alleging defamation and invasion of privacy brought against the defendants, Matthew Kauffman and The Hartford Courant Company, LLC (Courant). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendants' special motion to dismiss because (1) res judicata is not applicable to the anti-SLAPP statute, General Statutes § 52-196a, (2) res judicata is not applicable to this case, and (3) § 52-196a is unconstitutional as applied in this case because its application infringed on his state constitutional rights to redress and to a trial by a jury. We affirm the judgment of the trial court."")

AC42902 - Rousseau v. Weinstein ("The plaintiffs, Robert Rousseau and Preferred Display, Inc. (Preferred Display), appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants Mark H. Dean, Mark H. Dean, P.C., Richard P. Weinstein, and Weinstein & Wisser, P.C. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim the court erred by holding that (1) the marital dissolution action between Rousseau and Madeleine Perricone was not a prior pending action and (2) the defendants had probable cause to continue a civil action based on similar claims against Rousseau in the dissolution action. We conclude that probable cause to continue the action existed and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4450

AC42911 - State v. Coleman ("The defendant, Christopher Coleman, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting his motion to correct an illegal sentence and imposing a new sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) his newly imposed sentence violates the multiple punishment prohibition of the double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment to the United States constitution and the Connecticut constitution because he had completed the lawful portion of his sentence at the time of his resentencing, (2) the court lacked jurisdiction to resentence him after the lawful portion of his sentence had been served, and (3) the newly imposed sentence violated his due process rights under the federal and state constitutions. We disagree with the defendant's claims.")

AC41314 - State v. Colthers ("The defendant, Jamaal Coltherst, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims that the court erred in dismissing his motion to correct because his sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the eighth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, §§ 8 and 9, of the Connecticut constitution in light of the fact that the criminal court imposed an effective sentence of life imprisonment without having conducted an individualized sentencing proceeding in which the court would consider his age and the hallmark characteristics of youth. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Slip Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4448

SC20305 - Markley v. State Elections Enforcement Commission ( Campaign financing; Whether trial court properly dismissed administrative appeal for lack of jurisdiction because appeal was not filed within 45 days of agency's constructive denial of petition for reconsideration. "The plaintiffs, Joe Markley and Rob Sampson, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their administrative appeal, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, from the adverse decision of the defendant, the State Elections Enforcement Commission (commission). In that decision, the commission determined that the plaintiffs, who, as candidates for state elective office, had received funding for their campaigns through the Citizens' Election Program (program), violated certain state election laws and regulations related to the program, and imposed civil fines for those violations. The plaintiffs immediately filed a petition for reconsideration in accordance with General Statutes § 4-181a (a) (1), which provides that an agency's failure to decide whether to reconsider a decision within twenty-five days of the filing of such a petition shall constitute a denial of the petition. Shortly after that twenty-five day period had elapsed without a decision by the commission, however, the matter of the petition appeared on the agenda of an upcoming special meeting of the commission. Following that special meeting, the commission notified the plaintiffs that their petition had been considered at the special meeting and denied. As authorized by General Statutes § 4-183, the plaintiffs appealed from the commission's decision to the Superior Court, which dismissed the appeal on the ground that it was untimely under subdivision (2) of § 4-183 (c) because, contrary to the requirement of that statutory subdivision, the appeal was not filed within forty-five days following the denial of the petition by operation of § 4-181a (a) (1). On appeal to this court, the plaintiffs claim, inter alia, that their administrative appeal was timely filed in the Superior Court because, under § 4-181a (a) (2); see footnote 1 of this opinion; the commission was authorized to reconsider its decision at any time up to forty days from the filing of the petition, the commission did so, and, in accordance with § 4-183 (c) (3); see footnote 2 of this opinion; the plaintiffs filed their appeal with the Superior Court within forty-five days of their receipt of notice from the commission that it had heard and denied the petition. We agree with the plaintiffs that, under the particular facts of this case, the timeliness of their appeal to the Superior Court is governed by the forty-five day limitation period of § 4-183 (c) (3), which commenced on the date they were notified by the commission of its purported action on the petition at the special meeting, rather than the forty-five day period of § 4-183 (c) (2), which, if applicable, would have commenced twenty-five days after the denial of the petition by operation of § 4-181a (a) (1). Because the plaintiffs' appeal was timely under § 4-183 (c) (3), we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case to that court for a resolution of the merits of the plaintiffs' administrative appeal.")

SC20340 - Great Plains Lending, LLC v. Department of Banking (Tribal sovereign immunity; Whether trial court properly remanded matter for evidentiary hearing; Whether trial court applied proper test to determine if plaintiffs were "Arms of the tribe"; whether plaintiff tribal chairman was entitled to immunity from administrative orders and civil penalties. "This appeal presents three significant issues of first impression with respect to whether a business entity shares an Indian tribe's sovereign immunity as an "arm of the tribe," as we consider (1) which party bears the burden of proving the entity's status as an arm of the tribe, (2) the legal standard governing that inquiry, and (3) the extent to which a tribal officer shares in that immunity for his or her actions in connection with the business entity. The plaintiffs, Great Plains Lending, LLC (Great Plains), American Web Loan, Inc., doing business as Clear Creek Lending (Clear Creek) (collectively, entities), and John R. Shotton, chairman of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians (tribe), a federally recognized tribe, appeal from the judgment of the trial court sustaining their administrative appeal and remanding this case to the defendant Commissioner of Banking (commissioner) for further proceedings with respect to the plaintiffs' entitlement to tribal sovereign immunity in administrative proceedings. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court should have rendered judgment in their favor as a matter of law, insofar as it improperly (1) allocated the burden of proving entitlement to tribal sovereign immunity to the plaintiffs, (2) required proof of a functioning relationship between the entities and the tribe, and (3) failed to find Shotton immune in further administrative proceedings. The defendants, the commissioner and the Department of Banking (department), cross appeal and similarly challenge the legal standard adopted by the trial court and its decision to remand the case for further administrative proceedings. We conclude that the entity claiming arm of the tribe status bears the burden of proving its entitlement to that status under the test articulated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Breakthrough Management Group, Inc. v. Chukchansi Gold Casino & Resort, 629 F.3d 1173, 1187 (10th Cir. 2010) (Breakthrough), cert. dismissed, 564 U.S. 1061, 132 S. Ct. 64, 180 L. Ed. 2d 932 (2011). We further conclude, as a matter of law, that Great Plains is an arm of the tribe and that Shotton, with respect to his capacity as an officer of Great Plains and the tribe, is entitled to tribal sovereign immunity from civil penalties but not injunctive relief. We also conclude, however, that there is insufficient evidence to support a conclusion that Clear Creek is an arm of the tribe as a matter of law, which requires a remand to the commissioner for further administrative proceedings. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Slip Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4449

AC44233, AC44237 - In re Jacob M. ("The respondents both claim that the court improperly (1) denied their joint motion for a mistrial, (2) concluded that the Department of Children and Families (department) made reasonable efforts to reunify them with their children or child and (3) concluded that they were unwilling or unable to benefit from reunification efforts. In Docket No. AC 44233, the father additionally claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) the termination of his parental rights was in the best interest of his son, Jacob, and (2) it lacked the authority to grant posttermination contact. In Docket No. AC 44237, the mother additionally claims that the court improperly denied her postjudgment motion to intervene. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - May 18, 2021

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4446

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 46, for May 18, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Conn. Replacement Pages 911 - 912
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 941 - 943)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 204: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 595 - 729)
  • Volume 204: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Juvenile Appellate Court Slip Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4445

AC43916 - In re Skylar B. ("On appeal, the respondent claims that the court deprived him of his right to substantive due process as guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution because transfer of guardianship is a less restrictive means than termination of his parental rights to achieve permanency. We conclude that the record is inadequate to review the respondent’s claim and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


AC44201- In re Angela V. (On appeal, the respondent claims that the court violated her right to the due process of law when it denied the motion for permission to call the two older minor children as witnesses, which was filed by the respondent father and later joined by the respondent. Following the parties’ appellate oral argument, we requested supplemental briefs addressing whether the respondent’s claim was moot in light of her failure to challenge one of the independent grounds of the trial court’s denial of the motion to have the two older children testify. Having considered the supplemental briefs of the parties5 and the record in this case, we conclude that the respondent’s claim is moot. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.”)


Workers' Compensation Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4442

AC44111 - DeJesus v. R.P.M Enterprises, Inc. (“Workers’ Compensation Commission and jurisdiction; compensable injury; entitlement to temporary total disability benefits and payment for medical bills; “Because R.P.M. did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, the defendant Second Injury Fund (fund) was cited in as a party to the action pursuant to General Statutes § 31-355. On appeal, R.P.M. and Marion claim that the board erred in affirming (1) the commissioner’s rulings that the plaintiff’s claim for benefits was not time barred pursuant to General Statutes § 31-294c3 and that the plaintiff was an employee of R.P.M. and/or Marion, (2) the award of compensation by the commissioner against Marion at the request of the fund when no claim was brought against Marion, and (3) the decision of the commissioner that he had jurisdiction to make a finding that R.P.M. and Marion were the same entity for the purposes of piercing the corporate veil. We reverse, in part, the decisions of the board.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4441

AC43455 - Anderson v. Commissioner of Correction (Dismissal of petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted; sentence of five years of incarceration for four separate convictions; additional five year sentence for convictions arising from his criminal conduct while in prison for the previous convictions; not guilty by reason of insanity; “The petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in denying his petition for certification to appeal because his underlying claim for presentence confinement credit presented an issue of first impression that had merit, and the court could have granted relief. We dismiss the appeal.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4444

AC43135 - O & G Industries, Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co. ("The defendant, American Home Assurance Company, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, O & G Industries, Inc., finding that the plaintiff was entitled to payment under certain bonds issued by the defendant as surety, including a payment bond and a bond (substitute bond) that had been substituted for the discharge of a mechanic's lien filed by the plaintiff in connection with materials it had furnished for a construction project. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred by (1) failing to find that the plaintiff breached its obligation of "diligence and utmost good faith" owed to the defendant, (2) finding that the plaintiff satisfied the condition precedent to the payment bond, (3) allowing the plaintiff to recover beyond the penal sum of the mechanic's lien bond, and (4) allowing the plaintiff to put on a rebuttal case after the defendant had rested its case without calling any witnesses or introducing any evidence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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