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.
Family Law

Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5864

AC45745 - Marafi v. El Achchabi ("The defendant Hind El Achchabi appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Sadiq Marafi. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly determined that no genuine issue of material fact existed with respect to the plaintiff's actions for fraudulent misrepresentation, statutory theft, and unjust enrichment, and (2) committed plain error in granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment because those actions were predicated on adultery in contravention of General Statutes § 52-572f.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Family Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Greenlee, Rebecca

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5833

SC20832 - Hepburn v. Brill ("This appeal requires us to consider the jurisdictional effects of the 2012 amendments to the third-party visitation statute, General Statutes § 46b-59 (b); see Public Acts 2012, No. 12-137, § 1; on the judicial gloss articulated in Roth v. Weston, 259 Conn. 202, 234–35, 789 A.2d 431 (2002), which imposed ‘‘high jurisdictional hurdles’’ that individuals petitioning for third-party visitation with a minor child must overcome. The plaintiff, Laurie Hepburn, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her amended verified petition for third-party visitation (amended petition) with her niece, L, who is the biological child of the defendant, Chandler Brill. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly treated the defendant’s motion to dismiss as presenting a question of subject matter jurisdiction rather than the court’s statutory authority to act pursuant to § 46b-59. The plaintiff also contends that the trial court incorrectly determined that the amended petition failed to include the specific and good faith allegations necessary to demonstrate that (1) she had a parent-like relationship with L, and (2) L would suffer real and significant harm if visitation were to be denied. We agree with the plaintiff and conclude that, given the Superior Court’s plenary jurisdiction over family relations matters under General Statutes § 46b-1; see, e.g., Sousa v. Sousa, 322 Conn. 757, 776–77, 143 A.3d 578 (2016); and the 2012 amendments to § 46b-59 (b), the trial court incorrectly determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction under Roth. We also conclude that the amended petition alleges facts sufficient to warrant an evidentiary hearing under § 46b-59. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s amended petition.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Greenlee, Rebecca

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5830

AC45857 - Y. H. v. J. B. ("The self-represented defendant, J. B, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving his marriage to the plaintiff, Y. H., and entering certain financial orders. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion (1) in declining to award him alimony and child support, (2) in its orders regarding the division of marital property, specifically, the marital home and the parties’ business, and (3) in granting the plaintiff’s motions for contempt and ordering him to pay $40,000 in attorney’s fees to the plaintiff. Because we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in declining to award child support on the ground that it was not requested, and without considering and applying the child support guidelines, we reverse the judgment of the trial court with respect to all the financial orders and remand this case for a new trial on all financial issues. We further conclude that the court’s award of attorney’s fees, to the extent it was imposed as a sanction for the defendant’s contempt, constituted an abuse of its discretion, which entitles the defendant to a new hearing as to the appropriate sanction for his wilful violation of the court’s orders. Finally, to the extent that the award of attorney’s fees was made pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-62 (a), this case must also be remanded for reconsideration in light of the new financial orders that will be issued on remand.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Greenlee, Rebecca

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5780

AC46050 - De Almeida-Kennedy v. Kennedy ("In this postjudgment dissolution matter, the self-represented defendant, James Kennedy, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion for modification of his unallocated alimony and child support obligation. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion in (1) determining that the change in residence of the parties’ older child did not constitute a substantial change in circumstances, (2) denying the defendant’s motion without determining the child support component of the unallocated order, (3) interpreting the unallocated support obligation as set forth in the parties’ separation agreement to be nonmodifiable, and (4) disallowing the testimony of the parties’ older child as to the alleged cohabitation of the plaintiff, Fatima K. De Almeida-Kennedy. We reverse in part the judgment of the court.")

AC45727 - Marshall v. Marshall ("In this marital dissolution action, the defendant, John Marshall II, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving his marriage to the plaintiff, Margaret Marshall, challenging the factual and legal bases for the court’s alimony and child support orders. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) relied on the plaintiff’s allegedly manipulated 2020 income in fashioning the alimony and child support orders, rather than relying on the plaintiff’s 2021 partnership distributions, and, alternatively, (2) based those support orders on the plaintiff’s reported income rather than on her earning capacity. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Greenlee, Rebecca

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5775

AC45698 - F. S. v. J. S. ("In this marital dissolution action, the defendant, J. S., appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding the plaintiff, F. S., sole legal and physical custody of the parties’ minor child, O. The self-represented defendant claims on appeal that he is entitled to a new custody hearing because the court improperly (1) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (2018), by refusing to continue to provide him with a medical accommodation previously granted to him by the court; (2) terminated the defendant’s presentation of evidence and denied certain motions in retaliation for his exercising his rights under the ADA; (3) relied on the defendant’s mental disability as a basis for awarding custody to the plaintiff and restricting his right to visitation; (4) relied on a stale custody evaluation in determining the best interest of O; (5) required the parties to request leave of the court before filing motions and denied multiple such requests made by the defendant; (6) awarded sole custody of O to the plaintiff despite the fact that the parties previously shared custody and the plaintiff failed to demonstrate any substantial change in circumstances; (7) found that the defendant suffered from narcissistic personality disorder; and (8) committed evidentiary errors by (a) admitting the testimony of a social worker from the Department of Children and Families and (b) admitting and relying on an affidavit of O’s former therapist, Damion Grasso. Having carefully reviewed the voluminous record presented, we conclude that the defendant has failed to demonstrate any reversible error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Greenlee, Rebecca

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5767

AC 45824 - Wethington v. Wethington ("The defendant, Joshua Wethington, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving his marriage to the plaintiff, Esther Wethington. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) granted several motions for contempt pendente lite filed by the plaintiff, (2) distributed the parties’ assets, and (3) denied several of his postjudgment motions to reargue. We reverse the judgment of the trial court only with respect to the court’s (1) denial of one of the defendant’s motions to reargue and (2) grants of two of the plaintiff’s contempt motions, in whole or in part, insofar as the court adjudicated the defendant in contempt of the automatic orders pursuant to Practice Book § 25-5 (b) for actions that he committed before the automatic orders had become effective against him. We affirm the judgment in all other respects.")