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.
Recent Opinions

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.")


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.")


Connecticut Law Journal - October 12, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4678

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXIII, No. 15, for October 12, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 338: Connecticut Reports (Pages 526 - 705)
  • Volume 338: Orders (Pages 911 - 913)
  • Volume 338: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 208: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 205 - 275)
  • Volume 208: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4676

AC43995 - Robinson v. Tindill (Erection of divisional fence; trespass; unpreserved claim of conversion; "This case arises from the erection of a fence by the defendants, William Tindill (Tindill) and Erika Tindill, between their property and the adjacent property owned by the plaintiffs, Ellis Robinson and Nicole Robinson. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs after a hearing in damages and the court's prior order granting the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment as to liability and finding both defendants liable for trespass and Tindill liable for conversion. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred (1) in finding them liable for trespass because the fence at issue was a statutorily compliant divisional fence pursuant to General Statutes § 47-43, (2) in finding Erika Tindill liable for trespass, even though she played no role in erecting the fence, and (3) in finding Tindill liable for conversion because the plaintiffs failed to plead, or present any evidence in support of, a claim for conversion. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4673

AC43848 - Bologna v. Bologna ("In this postdissolution matter, the plaintiff, Stephanie Bologna, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court in response to her postjudgment motion for clarification as well as the court's denial of her motion for reargument and reconsideration of its ruling on her motion. The court concluded, in accordance with the terms of the parties' separation agreement that was incorporated into the judgment of dissolution, that the plaintiff was obligated to divide equally the proceeds of the sale of the marital home with the defendant, Richard Bologna. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly modified the dissolution judgment when it denied her motion for clarification. We 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=4674

AC44194 - Danner v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (Administrative appeal; "This appeal arises out of an action by the plaintiff, Stephanie Danner, in which a human rights referee (referee) from the Office of Public Hearings (office) of the defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission) rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendant Atos IT Solutions and Services, Inc. (Atos). Thereafter, the plaintiff and the commission appealed to the Superior Court, which consolidated the appeals. The court, following oral argument, sustained the appeal and remanded the matter to the office for trial. Atos appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining the appeal and remanding the matter to the office for trial. On appeal, Atos claims that the Superior Court erred in considering the plaintiff's affidavit of illegal discriminatory practice as evidence in opposition to Atos' motion for summary judgment and in relying on the averments contained in the affidavit to determine that genuine issues of material fact existed. Atos also claims that the Superior Court erred in failing to afford deference to the referee's decision. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4675

AC42994 - Johnson v. Commissioner of Correction (Interpretation of rule PB 23-24; retroactive application of 2013 amendment; earned credit for parole eligibility and whether it violated ex post facto clause of US constitution; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and declining to issue a writ of habeas corpus. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, concedes that the court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification and declining to issue the writ for the reason stated by the court, but nonetheless argues that we should affirm the judgment because the court lacked jurisdiction over the petition. We agree with the respondent and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Connecticut Law Journal - October 5, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4672

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXIII, No. 14, for October 5, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 338: Connecticut Reports (Pages 407 - 526)
  • Volume 338: Orders (Pages 906 - 911)
  • Volume 338: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 208: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 75 - 204)
  • Volume 208: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 901 - 903)
  • Volume 208: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4671

SC20450 - State v. Bradley (Standing; whether Appellate Court properly held Caucasian defendant convicted under General Statutes § 21a-277 (b) did not have standing to bring due process challenge based on claim that statute was enacted to discriminate against minority groups; If not, whether § 21a-277 (b) was enacted to discriminate against African Americans and/or Mexican Americans; "Today we are called on to decide whether a defendant has standing to assert a violation of his right to due process based on his conviction under a statute that he claims is unconstitutional. The twist in that otherwise straightforward question is that the defendant, who is Caucasian, claims that Connecticut's statute criminalizing the sale of marijuana violates the equal protection clause of the United States constitution because it was enacted to discriminate against African Americans and Mexican Americans.

The defendant, William Hyde Bradley, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's judgments following his conditional pleas of nolo contendere to charges of sale of a controlled substance and violation of probation. The defendant's principal claim on appeal is that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that he lacked standing to argue that his conviction for sale of a controlled substance in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 21a-277 (b) violated his due process rights because he was convicted under an unconstitutional statute. Specifically, he contends that the Appellate Court erroneously held that a defendant cannot bring a constitutional challenge, in his individual capacity, based on an alleged violation of others' equal protection rights. Because the defendant cannot meet the requirements to establish classical aggrievement, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court. Accordingly, we do not reach the merits of the defendant's equal protection claim in this appeal.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4668

SC20587 - South Windsor v. Lanata ("The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the Appellate Court properly remanded this case to the trial court for a new trial, rather than a proceeding limited to damages, after reversing in part the judgment of the trial court, which assessed a fine and imposed injunctive relief for certain zoning violations pursuant to General Statutes § 8-12. The plaintiffs, the town of South Windsor (town) and its zoning enforcement officer, Pamela Oliva, appeal, upon our grant of their petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing in part the judgment of the trial court in their favor and remanding the case for a new trial on count two of their complaint. South Windsor v. Lanata, 203 Conn. App. 89, 92, 115, 247 A.3d 626 (2021). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that, after concluding that the trial court had improperly assessed a fine on the named defendant, Kristin Lanata, pursuant to § 8-12 for zoning violations for a period of time that she was under lawful orders not to disturb her property because of an ongoing fire investigation, the Appellate Court improperly remanded the case for a new trial on that count, rather than a proceeding limited to damages. Because there is no remaining dispute as to the defendant's liability for the zoning violations, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court in part.

. . .

The judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed in part and the case is remanded to that court with direction to reverse the judgment of the trial court as to count two of the complaint only as to its determination of fines and remedies, and to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings as to damages and remedies.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4669

SC20471 - State v. A.B. ("In State v. Crawford, 202 Conn. 443, 521 A.2d 1034 (1987), this court held that the issuance of an arrest warrant within the limitation period set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 1983) § 54-193 (b) commences a prosecution for purposes of satisfying that statute of limitations, so long as the warrant is executed without unreasonable delay. Id., 450–51. The defendant, A. B., was charged with possession of child pornography in the first degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-196d and was arrested pursuant to a warrant on or about March 16, 2018, nearly five years after the warrant was issued and more than three years after the applicable five year statute of limitations had expired. See General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 54-193 (b). The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the information, arguing that, under Crawford, the delay in the warrant's execution was unreasonable and, therefore, that the prosecution was time barred. The state responded that, because the defendant had moved to California in 2011, § 54-193 (c) tolled the limitation period within which the warrant could be executed. The trial court rejected the state's argument, concluding that the tolling provision of § 54-193 (c) was inapplicable once the warrant was issued within the limitation period set forth in § 54-193 (b) and that the nearly five year delay in the warrant's execution was unreasonable under Crawford. Accordingly, the trial court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss. On appeal, the state claims that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the statute of limitations was not tolled by § 54-193 (c). We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the decision of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4665

AC43704 - Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Sheldon ("In this foreclosure action, the substitute plaintiff, PHH Mortgage Corporation, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, Sandra A. Sheldon and James J. Sheldon. On appeal, the substitute plaintiff claims that, in concluding that the defendants prevailed on their special defense of unclean hands, the court (1) made a clearly erroneous factual finding that a predecessor of the substitute plaintiff failed to 'restore' the defendants' credit following its own error, and (2) improperly determined that the balancing of the equities prevented foreclosure. We disagree 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=4666

AC42617 - State v. Shawn G. ("The defendant, Shawn G., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of possession of narcotics with intent to sell by a person who is not drug-dependent in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 21a-278 (b), one count of criminal possession of a revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c (a) (1), and one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction of each of the three counts, and (2) the trial court violated his sixth amendment right to compulsory process by declining to issue a capias that he requested. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43841 - State v. Goode ("The defendant, Gerry L. Goode, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of criminal damage to a landlord's property in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-117e. On appeal, the defendant claims that the state presented insufficient evidence to establish the element of specific intent. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4664

AC43560 - Herron v. Daniels ("In this landlord-tenant dispute over a security deposit, the defendant landlord, Linda Daniels, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff tenant, Marc Herron. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred when it (1) awarded the plaintiff double damages pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-21 (d), due to her failure to return to the plaintiff a portion of his security deposit, (2) concluded that the her handling of the plaintiff's security deposit and her failure to return a portion of his security deposit violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., and (3) awarded punitive damages to the plaintiff under CUTPA.

The plaintiff cross appeals claiming that the court erred in (1) holding that he was not entitled to a return of certain rental payments because, pursuant to General Statutes § 47a-11a, he did not abandon the premises prior to June 30, 2017, and (2) denying his common-law claim for money had and received. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4667

AC43006 - Watson Real Estate, LLC v Woodland Ridge, LLC (In this appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly denied its claim for attorney's fees, pursuant to a prevailing party clause in the parties' escrow agreement, and (2) it was entitled to appellate attorney's fees. We conclude that the court failed to exercise its discretion with respect to the defendant's request for attorney's fees. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.)


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4662

SC20492 - Scholz v. Epstein (Litigation privilege; absolute immunity from statutory theft claim; "In this certified appeal, we are asked to determine the scope of the litigation privilege, which provides absolute immunity from liability, in relation to a lawyer's conduct in a foreclosure proceeding. The plaintiff, Stephen W. Scholz, appeals from the Appellate Court's judgment affirming the trial court's dismissal of the statutory theft claim he brought against the defendant, Juda J. Epstein, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground of absolute immunity. Epstein, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut, represented Benchmark Municipal Tax Services, Ltd. (Benchmark), in the underlying foreclosure proceeding. The plaintiff claims that, under the circumstances of this case, the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the defendant enjoyed absolute immunity from the plaintiff's claim of statutory theft, specifically, by determining that (1) public policy considerations were served by affording the defendant this immunity, and (2) all of the defendant's alleged conduct occurred within the scope of the underlying foreclosure proceeding. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4661

SC20429 - State v. Bemer (Prostitution; Trafficking in persons; Whether evidence sufficient to show that defendant knew that prostitutes were victims of trafficking; Whether trial court properly instructed jury on coercion; "The defendant, Bruce John Bemer, appeals from his conviction of four counts of the crime of patronizing a prostitute in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 53a-83 (c), and of one count of the crime of trafficking in persons as an accessory in violation of General Statutes (Supp. 2016) § 53a-192a and General Statutes § 53a-8. On appeal, the defendant claims, inter alia, that the state presented insufficient evidence to convict him of any of the charged counts. We agree and reverse the judgment of the trial court")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4660

SC20464 - Not Another Power Plant v. Connecticut Siting Council (Administrative Appeal; The plaintiff is a nonprofit association organized for the purpose of conserving the environment and ensuring the thoughtful development of the town of Killingly. The defendant NTE Connecticut, LLC (NTE), is seeking to build an electric generating facility in Killingly; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether the named defendant, the Connecticut Siting Council (council), properly refused to consider the environmental impact of installing a gas pipeline to a proposed electric generating facility when weighing the public benefit of the facility against its probable environmental impact pursuant to the Public Utility Environmental Standards Act (act), General Statutes § 16-50g et seq. The defendant NTE Connecticut, LLC (NTE), submitted an application to the council seeking a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the construction of an electric generating facility (facility) in the town of Killingly (town) pursuant to the act. Thereafter, the plaintiff, Not Another Power Plant, a nonprofit association formed to promote environmental conservation in the town, intervened in the proceeding pursuant to General Statutes § 22a-19 (a) (1). After conducting hearings, the council issued a decision approving NTE's application. The plaintiff then appealed from the council's decision to the trial court, claiming that, when weighing the public benefit of the facility against the harm that it would cause to the environment, the council improperly had failed to consider the environmental impact of a gas pipeline that would have to be installed in the future to provide fuel to the facility. The trial court concluded that the council was not required to consider the impact of the gas pipeline and rendered judgment dismissing the plaintiff's administrative appeal. On appeal to this court, the plaintiff claims that the council's refusal to consider the environmental impact of the future gas pipeline was arbitrary and capricious. In response, the defendants disagree and also challenge the plaintiff's standing to bring this administrative appeal. Although we conclude that the plaintiff had standing, we also conclude that the trial court properly dismissed the plaintiff's administrative appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")