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.

Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4562

SC20508, SC20509, SC20510 - Doe v. Madison ("These appeals present several issues of governmental immunity under General Statutes § 52-557n arising from the sexual abuse of the plaintiffs, John Doe I, John Doe II and John Doe III, by Allison Marchese (Allison), who was an English teacher at their high school, the Daniel Hand High School (high school) in Madison. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgments of the trial court granting the motions for summary judgment filed by the defendants, the town of Madison (town), the Board of Education of the Town of Madison (board), and Anthony Salutari, Jr., the principal of the high school, on the ground of governmental immunity. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court incorrectly concluded that (1) there was no genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether the teachers and football coaching staff at the high school had reasonable cause to believe that Allison was sexually abusing the plaintiffs, which would have triggered their ministerial duty to report suspected child abuse under No. 5120.4.2.5 of the board's policies and bylaws (board reporting policy) and the mandatory reporting statutes, General Statutes §§ 17a-101 and 17a-101a, (2) the testimony of Craig Semple, the high school's athletic director, did not establish a ministerial duty of professionalism, (3) they were not identifiable persons subject to imminent harm for purposes of that exception to discretionary act immunity under § 52-557n (a) (2) (B), and (4) John Doe III did not plead or establish a ministerial duty on the part of the town's police officers, one of whom was assigned as the high school's school resource officer, to monitor the high school's security camera footage. We disagree with the plaintiffs' claims and affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Attorney Discipline Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4561

AC43733 - Chief Disciplinary Counsel v. Elder ("The defendant attorney, Joseph Elder, appeals from the judgment of the trial court reprimanding him for violations of the rules of practice and the Rules of Professional Conduct. Specifically, the defendant claims that the court erred in not dismissing the presentment complaint against him because the reviewing committee (1) did not abide by the time frames set forth in General Statutes § 51-90g (c) and Practice Book § 2-35 (i), and (2) improperly considered allegations of misconduct that were filed by the plaintiff, the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, after the reviewing committee had made a probable cause determination. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4552

AC42234 - State v. Santiago (Attempt to commit assault in first degree; attempt to commit assault of peace officer; engaging officer in pursuit; "The defendant, Israel Santiago, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of attempt to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-59 (a) (1) and two counts of attempt to commit assault of a peace officer in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-167c (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of attempt to commit assault in the first degree and (2) the crime of attempt to commit assault of a peace officer is not legally cognizable and, alternatively, the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of both counts of attempt to commit assault of a peace officer. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43030 - State v. Collins (Possession of narcotics with intent to sell; motion for mistrial; motion to suppress; "The defendant, Jiquane Chris Collins, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered by the trial court in accordance with the jury's verdict, of two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 21a-278 (b). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly denied his motions for a mistrial following testimony on the ultimate issue of his intent and following testimony concerning alleged prior misconduct, and (2) erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized during the execution of a search warrant that had been issued without probable cause. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42612 - State v. Williams (Sexual assault in second degree; whether trial court deprived defendant of constitutional right to assistance of counsel by allowing him to represent himself; "The defendant, Dayvon Williams, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to the court, of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) deprived him of his constitutional right to the assistance of counsel by allowing him to represent himself, and (2) abused its discretion by failing, sua sponte, to order a competency hearing or to appoint counsel for him after it granted his request to represent himself. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4560

AC43087 - Buehler v. Newtown ("This is a premises liability action brought by the plaintiff, Albert Buehler, against the defendants, the town of Newtown (town), the Newtown Board of Education (board), and Gregg Simon, the former athletic director of Newtown High School, arising out of injuries he sustained after he fell from a referee stand while officiating a volleyball match at Newtown High School. The plaintiff appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants on the ground that they are entitled to governmental immunity. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendants because there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff was an identifiable victim under the identifiable person-imminent harm exception to governmental immunity. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC43919 - Graham v. Commissioner of Transportation ("The substitute plaintiff, Ethan Raymond Graham, the administrator of the estate of the plaintiff, Barry Graham, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to set aside a jury verdict in favor of the defendant, the Commissioner of Transportation, after the jury found the defendant not liable for the plaintiff's motor vehicle accident and resulting injuries under the defective highway statute, General Statutes § 13a-144. On appeal, the substitute plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion by refusing to accept the jury's initial verdict, and by returning the jury to continue its deliberations to rectify an inconsistency in its verdict, and (2) erred with respect to the instruction that it gave to the jury prior to returning the jury to continue its deliberations. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4553

AC43594 - Dunn v. Northeast Helicopters Flight Services, L.L.C. (Wrongful termination of employment; "In this civil action, the plaintiff, Tim Dunn, alleges wrongful termination of employment in violation of public policy. See Sheets v. Teddy's Frosted Foods, Inc., 179 Conn. 471, 474–77, 427 A.2d 385 (1980). The issue before us is whether the trial court improperly concluded that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of a genuine issue of material fact pertaining to whether, by terminating his at-will employment in the manner alleged, the defendant, his former employer, Northeast Helicopters Flight Services, L.L.C., violated General Statutes § 31-73 (b) and the public policy underlying that statute, which prohibits employers from coercing an employee to refund wages or related sums of money to the employer, or from withholding wages due and owing to an employee, as a condition either to secure or to continue employment. The plaintiff appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant. Because we agree that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4554

AC43549 - Regional School District 8 v. M & S Paving & Sealing, Inc. (Breach of contract; damages; whether trial court erred in concluding that defendant's unworkmanlike performance proximately caused plaintiff's damages; "The defendant, M & S Paving and Sealing, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Regional School District 8, following a trial to the court on the plaintiff's breach of contract claim for defective work. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) erred when it found, in the absence of expert testimony, that the defendant's work proximately caused the alleged defects, and (2) improperly calculated the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4555

AC43849 - Gibson v. Jefferson Woods Community, Inc. (Motion to dismiss; standing; subject matter jurisdiction; "The plaintiff, Lilly M. Gibson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant Jefferson Woods Community, Inc. (Jefferson Woods), to dismiss the action.On appeal, Gibson claims that, in granting Jefferson Woods' motion to dismiss, the court improperly determined that she lacked standing (1) to seek foreclosure and (2) to pursue her claim of unjust enrichment. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC44143 - U.S. Bank, National Assn. v. Fitzpatrick (Judgment of foreclosure by sale; whether trial court erred in granting motion to approve sale without newspaper advertisements; motion to terminate stay; mootness; right of redemption; "In this foreclosure action, the defendant Christopher M. Fitzpatrick appeals from the judgment of the trial court approving the sale of the mortgaged property, on the motion of the committee of sale (committee), following the court's rendering of a judgment of foreclosure by sale in favor of the plaintiff mortgagee, U.S. Bank, National Association, as Trustee for MASTR 2007-2. On appeal, the defendant argues that his objection to the motion for approval of committee sale, which was based on a lack of newspaper advertisements, should have been sustained. The plaintiff argues that this appeal is moot because the defendant failed to seek review of the court's termination of the appellate stay and, thus, title to the subject property has vested in the plaintiff. We agree with the plaintiff that this court can provide no practical relief on appeal, and, therefore, we dismiss the appeal as moot.")


Workers' Compensation Appellate Law Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4559

AC43627 - Frantzen v. Davenport Electric (Attorney fees with 50 percent of the attorney’s fees to Wofsey Rosen and the other 50 percent to Attorney Enrico Vaccaro; “On appeal, Wofsey Rosen claims that the board improperly vacated the commissioner’s ruling and remanded the matter for a new evidentiary hearing on the ground that there was insufficient evidence in the record to support the fifty-fifty distribution of the attorney’s fees. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the board’s decision and remand the case to the board with direction to affirm the decision of the commissioner.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4557

AC43639 - Marshall v. Commissioner of Correction (Whether term of incarceration and period of special parole constituted double jeopardy; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly dismissed his habeas petition. We disagree, and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.”)

AC43267 - Fenner v. Commissioner of Correction (Dismissal of petition as untimely; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification because he had good cause for the untimely filing of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")

AC43643 - Charles v. Commissioner of Correction (Ineffective assistance of trial counsel; "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that he failed to prove ineffective assistance of counsel.The petitioner argues that his trial counsel was ineffective by failing to investigate and to assert a claim of self-defense and that the habeas court made clearly erroneous factual findings in its memorandum of decision. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Probate Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4556

AC43831 - Holloway v. Carvalho (Probate appeal; "The plaintiff, Stacy Holloway, appeals from the judgment of the trial court . . . affirming the admission to probate of the will of her late grandfather, the decedent Paul Pizzo. The will was submitted to the Probate Court by the plaintiff's aunt, the defendant Linda Carvalho, who was the decedent's only surviving daughter, the executrix of his estate, and the principal beneficiary under the will. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in affirming the admission of the decedent's will to probate after improperly rejecting her claims (1) that the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to execute the will, and (2) that the defendant exerted undue influence on the decedent in connection with the will. 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=4558

AC43922 - Your Mansion Real Estate, LLC v. RCN Capital Funding, LLC ("Following a trial to the court, the defendant, RCN Capital Funding, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Your Mansion Real Estate, LLC, in an action brought pursuant to General Statutes § 49-8 (c). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in (1) not dismissing the plaintiff's complaint on the ground that the plaintiff did not have standing because it admitted that it had incurred no actual damages and, therefore, was not aggrieved, (2) not permitting the defendant to introduce testimony concerning whether it was common practice for borrowers to contact the defendant if they had not received a § 49-8 (c) release, (3) rejecting the defendant's first special defense in which it alleged that the plaintiff had failed to mitigate its damages, and (4) rejecting the defendant's second and third special defenses in which it claimed that § 49-8 (c) was unconstitutional because it allows for punitive damages and excessive fines in violation of the eighth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Employment Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4551

SC20533 - Gallagher v. Fairfield ("This case requires that we construe a collective bargaining agreement between the named defendant, the town of Fairfield, and its police union. The agreement took effect in 1985, at a time when federal law did not permit municipal employees to participate in the Medicare system. The agreement provides that union members who retired early due to disability, such as the plaintiff, James G. Gallagher, as well as their eligible dependents, would be entitled to town paid private health insurance. The question presented is whether, following an intervening change in federal law that permits the plaintiff and other similarly situated retirees to enroll in Medicare upon reaching the age of sixty-five, the town may terminate their private health insurance, provide them with comparable town paid Medicare supplemental insurance, and require that they bear the costs of their Medicare premiums. The defendants have appealed, and the plaintiff has cross appealed, from the judgment of the trial court, which concluded that the town may require the plaintiff and his wife to enroll in Medicare but, in addition to paying for their Medicare supplemental insurance and any uncovered medical expenses, must also reimburse the costs of their Medicare Part B premiums. We agree with the former conclusion but hold that the town is not required to reimburse the Gallaghers for their Medicare premium costs. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part 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=4550

SC20152 - State v. Roy D. L. (Sexual assault in the first degree; Sexual assault in the fourth degree; RIsk of injury to a minor; Whether forensic interview of victim properly admitted under medical treatment exception to hearsay rule; Whether prosecutor engaged in impropriety during closing argument; Whether evidence sufficient to support convictions; Whether first degree sexual assault and risk of injury statutes are unconstitutionally vague as applied; "Following a trial to the court, Gold, J., the defendant, Roy D. L., was convicted of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A), and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) for the sexual abuse of his daughter, R. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence a video recording of R's forensic interview under the medical treatment exception to the hearsay rule, (2) the prosecutor improperly introduced facts not in evidence and commented on the credibility of a witness during closing argument, thereby depriving him of a fair trial, (3) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions, and (4) the statutes criminalizing sexual assault in the first degree and risk of injury to a child are unconstitutionally vague as applied to his conduct. We disagree with each of the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4549

The Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has published the following new reports:

State Programs for Older Adults - 2021-R-0110 - This report describes select state programs and services to assist older adults. It updates OLR Report 2019-R-0236.

Table on Penalties - 2021-R-0123 - This report contains a table on crime classifications and penalties along with a discussion of violations and infractions.

Connecticut Law on Background Checks for Child Care Employees - 2021-R-0105 - This report summarizes Connecticut’s law on background checks for child care employees.


Connecticut Law Journal - July 27, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4547

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXIII, No. 4, for July 27, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 337: Connecticut Reports (Pages 291 - 361)
  • Volume 337: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 206: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 138 - 302)
  • Volume 206: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Law Library Hours: July 21st - July 30th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4534

Tuesday, July 27th

  • Bridgeport Law Library closes at 4:30 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library closes at 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 28th

  • Hartford Law Library is closed.

Thursday, July 29th

  • Torrington Law Library closes at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, July 30th

  • Hartford Law Library is closed.
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See our regularly scheduled hours.



Election Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4546

SC20542 - O'Shea v. Scherban ("In this appeal, we must construe a Stamford Charter (charter) provision that controls the filling of vacancies on the Board of Education of the City of Stamford (board) and consider claims that, as applied to the circumstances of this case, both the provision generally and the actions of election officials specifically violate the federal and state constitutions. The plaintiff, Stephanie O’Shea, wanted to run in the November, 2020 election to fill a vacancy on the board and claims that she in fact ran in that election, won it and should be serving on the board presently. She brought suit when the city’s election officials refused to credit the election results on the ground that the charter provides that the election to fill the vacancy could not be held until the ‘next biennial election’ in 2021. Stamford Charter § C1-80-2 (b). She appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, who are various city election officials and the secretary of the state.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4545

SC20547 - State v. Haughwout (Search & seizure; whether conviction for interfering with, and disobeying, officer violates fourth amendment where defendant argues that he was unlawfully detained; whether new crime exception to exclusionary rule applies; "The defendant, Austin Grant Haughwout, appeals from judgments of conviction on charges arising from, respectively, two separate incidents between him and various officers of the Clinton Police Department in July, 2015. The defendant claims that evidence of certain events during the first incident, which occurred in the parking lot of a local library on the night of July 19, 2015, should have been suppressed because those events were the result of an unconstitutional investigatory detention. The state responds to this claim by arguing that, in light of the totality of the circumstances presented, the police had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the defendant had been engaged in criminal activity and that an investigatory detention was, therefore, constitutional under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21–22, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968). We disagree with the state and, accordingly, reverse the trial court's judgment of conviction as to the offenses relating to the incident that occurred on July 19, 2015. The defendant also claims that his conviction of two counts of assault of public safety personnel, specifically a peace officer, related to the second incident, which occurred inside of the Clinton Police Department on July 22, 2015, is infirm because (1) the state's evidence was insufficient to support his conviction, and (2) the trial court erred when instructing the jury. The state concedes that a new trial is required with respect to one of the assault charges due to instructional error but contends that the defendant's remaining claims lack merit. We agree with the state and, therefore, affirm in part and reverse in part the trial court's judgment of conviction related to the incident that occurred on July 22, 2015.")


Legal Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4544

AC43641 - Cooke v. Williams ("In this appeal, we address the applicability of Taylor v. Wallace, 184 Conn. App. 43, 194 A.3d 343 (2018), to an action alleging fraudulent and improper fee practices brought by a criminally convicted plaintiff against his former habeas attorney. The self-represented plaintiff, Ian T. Cooke, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants, John R. Williams and John R. Williams and Associates, LLC, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the court erred by dismissing as unripe (1) his legal malpractice claim by misapplying the justiciability bar articulated in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 114 S. Ct. 2364, 129 L. Ed. 2d 383 (1994), and (2) his fraud claim pursuant to Heck for the same reasons. We agree with the plaintiff in part and accordingly reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


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