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.

Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4696

AC44025 - Benjamin F. et al. v. Dept. of Developmental Services (Administrative appeal; claim that defendant Commissioner of Developmental Services violated applicable statute (§ 1-1g) by considering multiple IQ test scores of applicant when determining applicant's eligibility for services from defendant Department of Developmental Services; "The plaintiffs, Benjamin F. and his mother and guardian Denise F., appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing their administrative appeal from the decision of the defendant Commissioner (commissioner) of Developmental Services, concluding that Benjamin is not eligible for services from the defendant Department of Developmental Services (department). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that (1) the final decision of the commissioner violates the plain language of General Statutes § 1-1g, on the basis that the amended version of the statute no longer permits the commissioner to consider more than one intelligence test where the applicant has presented a full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ) score below seventy, (2) alternatively, that if the statute permits consideration of more than one test, the commissioner is required to consider all full-scale IQ scores, (3) the Superior Court erred in refusing to take judicial notice of certain Probate Court records, (4) the Superior Court erred in declining to apply the doctrine of judicial estoppel, and (5) the final decision was not supported by substantial evidence in the record. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4697

AC41554 - State v. Espinal (Manslaughter in second degree; "The defendant, Tony Espinal, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of manslaughter in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-56 (a) (1). The defendant claims that (1) the trial court deprived him of his due process rights to present a defense and to a fair trial by precluding him from introducing evidence that was vital to his defense, (2) the court committed error with respect to its jury instructions concerning the defense of self-defense, and (3) this court, in the exercise of its supervisory authority over the administration of justice, should require trial courts, in cases in which self-defense is asserted as a defense, to instruct juries to consider the defense prior to considering whether the defendant is guilty of the charged offense and any lesser included offenses. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40970 - State v. Kennibrew (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Robert Kennibrew, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that his convictions and sentences for murder and felony murder, arising from the killing of a single victim, violate the double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment to the United States constitution and the Connecticut constitution. The state, in its appellate brief, concedes that the defendant "remains burdened by multiple punishments for the same offense" and agrees with the defendant that this court should remand the case to the trial court with direction to vacate the defendant's felony murder conviction and to resentence the defendant. We agree with the parties.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4698

AC44090 - Savin Gasoline Properties, LLC v. Commission on the City Plan (Zoning; administrative appeal; motion for vacatur; "Having considered the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we conclude that the appeal is moot and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal. Furthermore, because we conclude that this appeal became moot through no fault of Savin; see State v. Boyle, 287 Conn. 478, 489, 949 A.2d 460 (2008); In re Jessica M., 250 Conn. 747, 749, 738 A.2d 1087 (1999); we grant Savin's motion for vacatur and vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand with direction to the trial court to order the commission to vacate the special permit, corresponding site plan and § 14-321 approvals.")


Habeas Corpus Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4701

AC43240 - Lopez v. Commssioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Ramon Lopez, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected (1) his claim that the state, in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), failed to disclose certain information during the criminal case, (2) his claim that his first habeas counsel rendered ineffective assistance, and (3) his actual innocence claim. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC43687 - Santana v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Luis A. Santana, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his habeas petition and (2) improperly concluded that he had not received ineffective assistance from his criminal trial counsel.We disagree that the court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")

AC43864 - Coltherst v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner, Jamaal Coltherst, appeals following the granting of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. He claims that (1) he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel in both of the underlying criminal matters that formed the basis for his habeas petition and (2) because the jury in one of his underlying criminal matters was not instructed to determine whether the victim in that case was restrained to an extent exceeding that which was necessary to complete other crimes, as required by State v. Salamon, 287 Conn. 509, 949 A.2d 1092 (2008), his conviction of kidnapping in the first degree with a firearm in that case violated his constitutional right to due process. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4699

AC44101, AC44184 - L. W. v. M. W. ("These two appeals arise out of three separate postjudgment motions for contempt filed by the plaintiff, L. W.In Docket No. AC 44101, the plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her motion for contempt dated November 25, 2019, and filed on November 27, 2019 (November, 2019 motion), alleging that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to find the defendant, M. W., in contempt.In Docket No. AC 44184, the defendant appeals from the judgments of the trial court granting the plaintiff's two motions for contempt dated October 24, 2019, and filed on October 25, 2019 (October, 2019 motions), alleging that the trial court abused its discretion by finding him in contempt. We agree with the plaintiff in AC 44101 and decline to review the defendant's claims in AC 44184 because the defendant has failed to provide us with an adequate record. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court denying the plaintiff's November, 2019 motion for contempt and remand the case for further proceedings on that motion, and we affirm the judgments of the trial court granting the plaintiff's October, 2019 motions for contempt.")

AC43946 - McCormick v. Terrell ("In this marital dissolution case, the defendant, David Terrell, appeals from the trial court's postjudgment award of attorney's fees in the amount of $7500 to the plaintiff, Shaye McCormick, for her defense of a motion to modify the dissolution judgment filed by the defendant.The defendant claims that, in ordering him to pay the plaintiff's attorney's fees, the trial court applied the incorrect legal standard in that it failed to determine that the plaintiff lacked ample liquid funds to pay her own attorney's fees. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Law Library Hours October 21st - October 29th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4691

Please note: Starting August 4th Bridgeport Law Library is closed until further notice.

Wednesday, October 27th

  • Danbury Law Library opens at noon.
  • New London Law Library is closed.
  • Putnam Law Library is closed.

Thursday, October 28th

  • New Britain Law Library opens at 11:00 a.m.
  • New Haven Law Library closes at 4:00 p.m.

Friday, October 29th

  • Torrington Law Library closes at 1:00 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library is closed.

See our regularly scheduled hours.


Connecticut Law Journal - October 26, 2021

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4695

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXIII, No. 17, for October 26, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Replacement Pages
  • Volume 339: Connecticut Reports (Pages 1 - 112)
  • Volume 339: Orders (Pages 901 - 909)
  • Volume 339: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 208: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 361 - 369)
  • Volume 208: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies



Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4693

SC20336 - State v. Streit ("In this appeal, we consider whether evidence that the victim had conducted Internet searches for dangerous weapons in the days preceding the altercation at issue is admissible in support of a criminal defendant’s claim of self-defense. … On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in determining that evidence that the victim had searched an Internet shopping site for weapons in the days leading up to the altercation in which the defendant fatally stabbed the victim was both irrelevant and not admissible as uncharged misconduct evidence under § 4-5 (c) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence. We disagree and, accordingly, 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=4692

SC20427 - State v. Ward (Manslaughter; Assault; Whether trial court lacked jurisdiction over motion to correct illegal sentence because defendant failed to set forth colorable claim that he was incompetent at time of sentencing; "The defendant, Jeffrey K. Ward, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's dismissal of his motion to correct a sentence imposed in an illegal manner. Specifically, he claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to correct his sentence because he failed to allege a colorable claim within the scope of Practice Book § 43-22. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4690

SC20549 - Tillman v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The principal question raised in this appeal is whether the zoning authority granted to municipalities by General Statutes § 8-2 permits the use of a zoning device known as a planned development district. The plaintiffs, John Tillman and Judith Tillman, appeal from the decision of the trial court dismissing their appeal from the decision of the named defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Shelton (commission), approving an application for such a district submitted by the defendant Shelter Ridge Associates, LLC (Shelter Ridge). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that (1) this court's decision in Campion v. Board of Aldermen, 278 Conn. 500, 899 A.2d 542 (2006), which concluded that the special act authorizing zoning in the city of New Haven allows for the creation of a planned development district, is inapplicable to municipalities that derive their authority to zone from § 8-2, (2) the planned development district proposed by Shelter Ridge violates the uniformity requirement contained in § 8-2, and (3) the commission's decision resulted in an unlawful subdivision. For the reasons that follow, we reject each of these claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4689

AC43489 - Waters Edge 938, LLC v. Mazzarella (Summary process; claim that trial court improperly concluded that statutory (§ 47a-23c) prohibition against landlords dispossessing disabled tenants who reside in complex consisting of five or more units without good cause did not apply to action; "In this summary process action, the defendant Christine Mazzarella appeals from the judgment rendered, following a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, Waters Edge 983, LLC. She claims that the court improperly concluded that General Statutes § 47a-23c, which prohibits landlords from dispossessing disabled tenants residing in a complex consisting of five or more units without good cause, did not apply to this action. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4688

The amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure were adopted to take effect January 1, 2022, except the amendments to Sections 63-4, 63-8, 66-6, 77-1 and Chapters 67 and 68, which were adopted to take effect October 1, 2021. The new briefing requirements (effective October 1, 2021) are contained in chapter 67. All amendments to the court rules can be found on the Court Rules web page.


Connecticut Law Journal - October 19, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4687

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXIII, No. 16, for October 19, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 338: Connecticut Reports (Pages 705 - 831)
  • Volume 338: Orders (Pages 914 - 916)
  • Volume 338: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 208: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 275 - 360)
  • Volume 208: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 903 - 904)
  • Volume 208: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4686

AC43941 - Orzech v. Giacco Oil Co (Survivorship benefits under General Statutes § 31-3061; “In awarding survivorship benefits to the plaintiff, the commissioner found that the decedent had died by suicide as a result of depression that he had developed stemming from compensable work injuries. On appeal, the defendants claim that the board improperly affirmed the commissioner’s award of survivorship benefits to the plaintiff because the commissioner erred in finding a causal link between the decedent’s compensable injuries and his death when (1) subordinate facts found by the commissioner were speculative or inconsistent with the evidence and (2) the record established that the decedent engaged in conduct prior to his death that constituted a superseding cause breaking the chain of causation between his compensable injuries and his death. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the decision of the board.”)


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4683

AC42342 - Menard v. State ("In these underinsured motorist matters, the plaintiffs, Scott Menard and Darren Connolly, jointly appeal, and the defendant, the state of Connecticut, cross appeals, from the judgments of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs following a bench trial.In addition, the state cross appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of a third plaintiff, Robert Zdrojeski, after the bench trial. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) declined to award them damages in relation to the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that they purportedly developed, and (2) reduced their damages by the sums of workers' compensation benefits that they had received.On cross appeal, the state claims that the court improperly declined to reduce the plaintiffs' damages by the sums that they had recovered pursuant to the Connecticut Dram Shop Act (dram shop act), General Statutes § 30-102.We dismiss, sua sponte, the plaintiffs' original joint appeal for lack of a final judgment.See part I of this opinion.As for the amended joint appeal and the cross appeal, we (1) reverse the judgments rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and (2) affirm the judgment rendered in favor of Zdrojeski.")


Civil Protection Order Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4684

AC43256 - S.B-R v J.D ("The defendant, J. D., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the application for an order of civil protection for the plaintiff, S. B-R. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in finding that there were reasonable grounds to believe that he committed acts of stalking and would continue to stalk the plaintiff. We agree with the defendant that the court abused its discretion when it issued the order of civil protection because (1) it did not apply an objective standard in its determination of 'reasonable fear' on the first element of stalking, and (2) there was insufficient evidence on the second element to conclude that the defendant would continue to stalk or to commit acts designed to intimidate or retaliate against the plaintiff. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this case with direction to vacate the order of civil protection.")


Law Library Hours: October 14th - October 22nd

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4681

Please note: Starting August 4th Bridgeport Law Library is closed until further notice.

Monday, October 18th

  • Stamford Law Library opens at 9:30 a.m.

Thursday, October 21st

  • Torrington Law Library is closed.
  • Waterbury Law Library is closed.

Friday, October 22nd

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

See our regularly scheduled hours.


New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4682

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

Q&A on Unsolicited Calls and Texts - 2021-R-0164 - This report provides, in a Q&A format, information on Connecticut and federal regulation of unsolicited telemarketing calls and texts.

Consumer Disposal of Pharmaceuticals - 2021-R-0157 - This report (1) summarizes current law’s requirements for consumers disposing of unused pharmaceuticals and (2) provides examples of other states’ policies addressing pharmaceutical disposal challenges.

Unclaimed Bottle Deposits - 2021-R-0155 - This report answers the question "What happens to unclaimed bottle deposits under Connecticut’s beverage container redemption law (“bottle bill”)?"

State Agencies Serving People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing - 2021-R-0153 - This report provides information on state agencies in other states that primarily serve deaf or hard of hearing people. It highlights those agencies that (1) act as a “gateway” to other state services or (2) have interpreters on staff who provide services in the community.

Availability of Deposited Funds - 2021-R-0148 - This report explains when deposited funds are available for withdrawal from a bank or credit union.

Connecticut Hate Crime Laws - 2021-R-0104 - This report summarizes Connecticut’s hate crime laws, including recent legislative changes.


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4680

SC20401 - State v. Coltherst (Capital felony; Murder; Juvenile sentencing; Whether the Appellate Court correctly concluded that the trial court had followed the statutory requirements set forth in General Statutes § 54-91g in resentencing the defendant to eighty years of incarceration. "In this certified appeal, the defendant, Jamaal Coltherst, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court, which resentenced him for crimes he committed in 1999, when he was seventeen years old. In his original brief to this court, the defendant claimed that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court followed the statutory requirements of General Statutes § 54-91g in resentencing him to eighty years of incarceration. He argued that the statute created a presumption against the imposition of an effective life sentence, which can be overcome only upon the court's finding that the defendant is incorrigible. Because we conclude, as we explain in this opinion, that § 54-91g does not apply to the defendant, we do not reach the issue of whether the Appellate Court correctly concluded that the trial court followed the statutory requirements of § 54-91g in resentencing the defendant to a term of eighty years of incarceration.

Following oral argument, this court ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing two issues: First, "[d]oes [§] 54-91g apply in cases where, as here, the defendant was not charged as a child and transferred from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court pursuant to [General Statutes §] 46b-127 but, rather, [was] charged as an adult under the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court?" Second, "[i]s the defendant eligible for parole when he received two distinct total effective sentences of 85 years and 80 years, respectively, to run consecutively, and, if so, when is he eligible for parole on each case?" As to the second issue, we conclude, consistent with an affidavit submitted by Richard Sparaco, the executive director of the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles (board), that the defendant will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of the 165 year aggregate term of the two distinct total effective sentences that he is currently serving. As to the first issue, we conclude that § 54-91g does not apply to the defendant. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


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