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.


Law Library Hours Update: April 13th - April 24th

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2947

Thursday, April 19th

  • Hartford Law Library will close at 4:30 p.m.
  • Middletown Law Library will close at 4:00 p.m.
  • New Britain Law Library will open at 11:00 a.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library will open at 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 24th

  • Hartford Law Library will be closed.
  • New Britain Law Library will be open from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Juvenile Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2963

AC40760 - In re Mariana A. ("The petitioner claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that she had not met her burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the mother had failed to rehabilitate in accordance with General Statutes § 17a-112 (j) (3) (B) (i), and (2) failed to analyze properly whether the father had abandoned Mariana pursuant to § 17a-112 (j) (3) (A). We disagree with the petitioner’s claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - April 17, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2962

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 42, for April 17, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 444 - 609)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 923 - 925)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 181: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 37 - 247)
  • Volume 181: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2961

SC19774 - Barlow v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the commissioner contends that the Appellate Court improperly concluded in Barlow II that (1) General Statutes § 51-183c required that a different habeas judge preside over the proceedings directed by Barlow I to determine whether deficient performance by the petitioner’s attorney during the plea bargaining process was prejudicial under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), and (2) the Barlow I remand order allowed for the introduction of new evidence on the question of whether counsel’s deficient performance had prejudiced the petitioner, rather than requiring the habeas court to make that determination based solely on evidence already in the record. After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.")


Superior Court Records Center Closing on May 1, 2018

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2960

The Judicial Branch has posted a notice informing the public that the Superior Court Records Center will be closing effective May 1, 2018.

From the notice:

Effective May 1, 2018 the Superior Court Records Center facility at 111 Phoenix Avenue in Enfield, CT will close. The function of retrieving disposed files of the Superior Court will be transferred to Court Operations Centralized Services at 225 Spring Street in Wethersfield, CT.

As of May 1, 2018, requests for files must be made to:

SuperiorCourtRecordsCenter@jud.ct.gov or 860.263.2750


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2958

SC19878 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman ("The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21, which governs motions for attorney’s fees, is directory rather than mandatory, thus affording a trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions. The plaintiff, Meadowbrook Center, Inc., a nursing facility, appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court, which denied as untimely a motion filed by the defendant, Robert Buchman, seeking an award of attorney’s fees pursuant to General Statutes § 42-150bb. Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman, 169 Conn. App. 527, 529, 151 A.3d 404 (2016). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21 is mandatory and that, therefore, the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court was required to exercise discretion in deciding whether to entertain the defendant’s untimely motion, and (2) even if the trial court had discretion to entertain an untimely motion for attorney’s fees, the defendant’s motion in the present case was barred as a matter of law. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2959

AC38678 - McMahon v. Middletown ("The plaintiff, Patrick T. McMahon, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant city of Middletown (city). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court contravened General Statutes § 52-178 by denying his counsel’s requests to ask leading questions during the direct examination of the city’s mayor, former mayor, and former acting deputy police chief. We decline to review this unpreserved claim and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2954

AC39157 - Desmond v. Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc. (Statutory theft; "The plaintiff, Sandhya Desmond, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her complaint against the defendants, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc. (hospital), and Yale-New Haven Health Services, Inc., alleging statutory theft, common-law fraud, violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., breach of contract, and statutory negligence. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) determined that it lacked jurisdiction over her claim for statutory theft because the exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., barred her from bringing such a claim in the Superior Court, and (2) denied her request for leave to amend her complaint to add a claim for retaliatory discrimination pursuant to General Statutes § 31-290a. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39574 - Osborn v. Waterbury (Negligence; "This personal injury action concerns the injuries the minor plaintiff, Tatayana Osborn (child), sustained during a lunchtime recess at her elementary school. The defendants, the City of Waterbury (city) and the Waterbury Board of Education (board), appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly (1) rejected their special defense of governmental immunity for discretionary acts, (2) concluded that the plaintiffs' injuries were caused when an inadequate number of adults were assigned to supervise up to 400 students when there was evidence that there were no more than fifty students on the playground, (3) found in the absence of expert testimony that one student intern and three or four staff members was insufficient to control as many as 400 students on the playground, and (4) awarded damages intended to encourage continued therapy and occupational training for the child in the absence of evidence that she would need such services in the future. We agree with the defendants' third claim and conclude, as a matter of law, that without expert testimony, the court could not properly have found that the defendants breached their duty of care to the child because there was an inadequate number of adults on the playground to supervise the students at the time the child was injured. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2957

AC38443 - Chioffi v. Martin (Breach of fiduciary duty; "This action arises out of the dissolution of a registered limited liability partnership. The defendant Christopher G. Martin appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Mark P. Chioffi, on the count of the plaintiff's complaint which alleged breach of contract. The trial court awarded Chioffi $34,120 in compensatory damages, $103,000 in attorney's fees, and $6226.73 in costs. The defendant claims on appeal that the court erred in (1) finding a breach of § 3.02 of the parties' partnership agreement; (2) finding a breach of § 4.03 of the partnership agreement; (3) ordering the defendant to pay damages directly to the plaintiff rather than ordering a reduction in the defendant's capital account in the partnership; and (4) awarding attorney's fees to the plaintiff. The plaintiff cross appealed, claiming that the court (1) erred in not finding a breach of fiduciary duty, as alleged in count one of his complaint; (2) erred in its calculation of damages; and (3) abused its discretion in holding that the plaintiff waived his claim for an accounting. We agree with the defendant's second and fourth claims and the plaintiff's first claim. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case for a hearing on attorney's fees. We otherwise affirm the court's judgment.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2953

AC39978 - Altama, LLC v. Napoli Motors, Inc. (Summary process; "In this commercial summary process action, the defendant Napoli Motors, Inc., appeals from the judgment of possession, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, Altama, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) rendered judgment against it on a theory of liability that was not alleged in the complaint, and (2) concluded that the lease had terminated for lapse of time. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2951

AC39579 - Berka v. Middletown (Administrative appeal; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly dismissed the self-represented plaintiff's administrative appeal on the ground that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiff's failure to name the state of Connecticut Department of Public Health (department) as a party in his administrative citation. On appeal, the self-represented plaintiff, George Berka, claims first that the department acted improperly by not informing him that it needed to be named as a party and, second, that the trial court's dismissal of his appeal deprived him of due process. We disagree with the trial court's conclusion that the plaintiff's failure to name the department deprived it of subject matter jurisdiction. We conclude, however, that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiff's failure to serve his administrative appeal on the department. Accordingly, 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=2956

AC39197 - Randazzo v. Sakon ("In this amended appeal, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the plaintiff . . . acting as trustee for A&F Foods, a general partnership. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in accepting the findings and recommendations of the attorney fact finder . . . and in rendering judgment in accordance with his recommendations. More specifically, the defendant claims that the court improperly: (1) concluded that the plaintiff's cause of action sounds in contract, rather than indemnification, and, therefore, applied the incorrect statute of limitations; (2) concluded that the statute of frauds, General Statutes § 52-550, was inapplicable to this case; and (3) accepted the finding that the town of Glastonbury (town) had imposed real estate taxes on the easement area. We dismiss the defendant's original appeal and, with respect to his amended appeal, we disagree with each of the defendant's claims and, therefore, 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=2950

AC39506 - State v. Liebenguth (Breach of peace in second degree; tampering with witness; "The defendant, David G. Liebenguth, was convicted, following a bench trial, of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (5) and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151. The charges were filed in connection with an angry confrontation between the defendant and a parking authority officer who had issued him a parking ticket, and a subsequent e-mail from the defendant to the officer's supervisor, suggesting why the officer should not appear in court to testify against him. The defendant now appeals, claiming that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of either charge. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40233 - State v. Rivera (Capital felony; conspiracy to commit murder; "The defendant, Angel Rivera, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of capital felony, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) §§ 53a-54b (7) and 53a-8 (a), and conspiracy to commit murder, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) §§ 53a-54a (a) and 53a-48 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by declining to admit certain oral statements under the residual exception to the hearsay rule. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38888 - State v. Andaz (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Dave Andaz, also known as David Polek, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding him in violation of his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that his due process right to fair notice of the charges against him was violated by the state's filing of a substitute information changing the underlying basis for his violation of probation six days prior to his probation revocation hearing. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2952

AC39795 - Cator v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 53a-3 (11); "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his amended petition, (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his appellate counsel in his direct criminal appeal rendered deficient performance, and (3) improperly concluded that his stand-alone due process claim was procedurally defaulted. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.")

AC39760 - Jobe v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 52-466 (a); “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of his claim under Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010). The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, concedes that the habeas court improperly dismissed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Padilla, but contends that the judgment of dismissal may be affirmed on the alternate ground that the petitioner failed to allege that he was in custody at the time he filed his petition. We affirm the judgment of dismissal on the basis of the respondent’s alternate ground.”)


Foreclosure Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2955

AC39836 - GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. Demelis ("The defendant Courtney Demelis appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Ditech Financial, LLC (Ditech). The defendant claims that the court abused its discretion by: (1) denying her motion to dismiss for the original plaintiff’s failure to comply with an order of the court; (2) denying her motion to dismiss based on the original plaintiff’s failure to prosecute the case with reasonable diligence; and (3) denying her postjudgment motion for articulation, reconsideration and/or reargument. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2949

SC19708 - State v. Cushard (Robbery first degree; assault first degree; burglary first degree; "In this certified appeal, we consider whether the defendant is entitled to a new trial following an allegedly inadequate waiver of the right to counsel. The defendant, Robert Cushard, was charged with crimes stemming from the robbery of an antiques dealer in New Hartford. Several months before his trial, the defendant moved to discharge his appointed public defender and to represent himself. The trial court granted the motion after canvassing the defendant about his decision. About four months later, the trial court canvassed the defendant a second time about whether he wanted to represent himself, and the defendant maintained that he did. After a trial, a jury found him guilty of certain crimes in connection with the robbery, and the trial court rendered judgment consistent with the verdict.

The defendant appealed from the judgment of conviction to the Appellate Court, claiming in part that his initial waiver of the right to counsel was not knowing and voluntary because the first canvass was inadequate and that he was thus deprived of his sixth amendment right to counsel. He argued that a new trial was mandated as a remedy for this alleged sixth amendment violation without the need to show any harm. The Appellate Court agreed that the first canvass was deficient but declined to grant a new trial. State v. Cushard, 164 Conn. App. 832, 840, 137 A.3d 926 (2016). Instead, the Appellate Court concluded that the error in the first canvass was subject to harmless error analysis. Id., 855. According to that court, reversing the judgment was unnecessary because the defendant's lack of counsel before trial was harmless inasmuch as he was canvassed a second time, before trial, and maintained his choice to represent himself; therefore, the defendant had failed to identify any harm flowing from his earlier, inadequate waiver of the right to counsel that rendered his trial fundamentally unfair. Id., 855–57.

We do not consider whether the defendant had knowingly and voluntarily waived the right to counsel after the first canvass because we agree with the Appellate Court that any error in the court's acceptance of his waiver of the right to counsel following that canvass was subject to harmless error review and was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt as a result of the second, adequate canvass. We therefore affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - April 10, 2018

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2948

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 41, for April 10, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 320 Conn. Replacement Pages 919 - 920
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 428 - 444)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 914 - 923)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 180: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 717 - 865)
  • Volume 180: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 903 - 904)
  • Volume 180: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Volume 181: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 1 - 37)
  • Volume 181: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2943

AC40232 - State v. Davis (Sexual assault in second degree; delivery of alcohol to minor; "The defendant, Jarah Micah Davis, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (3) and one count of delivery of alcohol to a minor in violation of General Statutes § 30-86 (b) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence admitted at trial was not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged victim was physically helpless within the meaning of General Statutes § 53a-65 (6) as required for a conviction of sexual assault in the second degree, and (2) the trial court improperly denied his pretrial motion to dismiss the second count of the state's substitute information charging him with sexual assault in the second degree. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39072 - State v. Bagnaschi (Breach of peace in second degree; "The defendant, Mary E. Bagnaschi, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support her conviction, (2) the trial court improperly denied her request for a probable cause hearing, (3) the court improperly denied her motion to dismiss, which was based on her assertion that she was unlawfully arrested in her home without a warrant, (4) the court improperly violated her constitutional right to present a defense and (5) the court improperly failed to recuse itself. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")

AC38880 - State v. Frazier (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor; "The defendant, John A. Frazier, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1). Additionally, following a plea of nolo contendere, the defendant was convicted under a part B information of being a second offender in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (g) (2). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to prove his guilt under § 14-227a (a) (1), (2) the trial court improperly admitted certain evidence in the state's case, and (3) the court infringed on his right to testify. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2946

AC38527 - DeLeo v. Equale & Cirone, LLP ("The plaintiff, Derek J. DeLeo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, Equale & Cirone, LLP (partnership), and Anthony W. Cirone, Jr., on the plaintiff’s complaint and the defendants’ special defenses, claim of setoff, and counterclaim. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) committed plain error when it failed to order the dissolution of the partnership; (2) improperly estopped him from challenging the noncompete provision in the partnership agreement; (3) improperly found that the defendants did not waive the enforcement of the noncompete provision; and (4) improperly concluded that the noncompete clause in the partnership agreement was enforceable. We agree with the plaintiff’s final claim, and we, therefore, affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


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