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

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3007

AC40296 - Reyher v. Finkeldey ("The defendant, John A. Finkeldey, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Mark R. Reyher, a licensed real estate broker doing business as Reyher Real Estate, requiring payment of his commission. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that the plaintiff procured a buyer who was ready, willing and able to purchase the defendant’s property under the terms of the listing agreement. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3006

AC39783- White v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claims that (1) his right to due process was violated because his guilty plea was not made knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily and (2) his right to effective assistance of counsel was violated because his attorney failed to adequately research and investigate the issue of the petitioner’s mental state at the time of his guilty plea and to bring information about the petitioner’s compromised mental state to the attention of the criminal trial court. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3005

AC40272 - Adams v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Administrative appeal; appeal from decision by defendant Commissioner of Motor Vehicles suspending plaintiff's motor vehicle operator's license; "The plaintiff, Nicholas Adams, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner), dismissing his appeal from the decision of the commissioner to suspend his motor vehicle operator's license, pursuant to General Statutes § 14-227b, for forty-five days and requiring an ignition interlock device in his motor vehicle for one year. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in finding that (1) he was operating a motor vehicle; (2) he refused to submit to chemical testing; and (3) the police had probable cause to arrest him for operating under the influence in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a. 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=3004

AC40553 - State v. Brown (Murder; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Montrell Brown, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-217 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court erred by providing inadequate jury instructions regarding eyewitness testimony and identification reliability, although his counsel did not make any request for such an instruction. Because the issue was not raised or preserved at trial, the defendant requests that this court reverse his convictions either pursuant to the plain error doctrine or by the exercise of our inherent supervisory powers over the administration of justice. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40677 - State v. Holmes (Felony murder; home invasion; conspiracy to commit home invasion; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The self-represented defendant, Evan J. Holmes, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims, in essence, that the court erroneously denied his motion to correct by finding that his sentence for felony murder had been based on the predicate offense of burglary, which the court had vacated pursuant to State v. Polanco, 308 Conn. 242, 245, 61 A.3d 1084 (2013). We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39745 - State v. Dijmarescu (Breach of peace in second degree; "The defendant, Gheorghe Dijmarescu, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his sixth amendment right to counsel by improperly granting his attorney's motion to withdraw, (2) improperly admitted evidence of his uncharged misconduct, and (3) violated his right against self-incrimination by not canvassing him before he elected to testify. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - May 15, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3003

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 46, for May 15, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 709 - 757)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 933 - 935)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 181: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 822 - 865)
  • Volume 181: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 903 - 905)
  • Volume 181: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Volume 182: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 1 - 112)
  • Volume 182: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3002

AC39738 - General Ins. Co. of America v. Okeke ("In this declaratory action, the defendants Agatha Okeke and her son, Michael Okeke, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, General Insurance Company of America. The defendants claim that the court improperly concluded (1) that the plaintiff did not owe a duty to defend and indemnify them in certain judicial proceedings, and (2) that the plaintiff’s claim against Michael was not moot. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39708 - Puente v. Progressive Northwestern Ins. Co. ("In this action to recover underinsured motorist benefits pursuant to an insurance policy issued by the defendant, Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company, to Wilson Roofing, LLC (Wilson Roofing), the plaintiff, Wilson Puente, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly granted the motion because a genuine issue of material fact existed regarding whether (1) he was a named ‘insured’ within the meaning of the policy issued to Wilson Roofing or (2) even if he was not the named insured, he is still entitled to recover pursuant to the policy because he was ‘occupying’ a vehicle covered by the policy when he sustained his injuries. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2999

AC39452, AC39814 - Thomasi v. Thomasi ("These appeals arise from the dissolution of marriage between the plaintiff, Tracy M. Thomasi, and the defendant, Edward J. Thomasi, Sr. In AC 39452, the plaintiff appeals from the postdissolution order of the trial court regarding the division of the defendant’s defined benefit pension plan. In her appeal, the plaintiff argues that the court erred in determining that the term ‘marital portion,’ as used in the parties’ marital dissolution agreement regarding a division of the defendant’s defined benefit pension plan, clearly and unambiguously provided for the coverture method to be utilized in calculating the marital portion. We conclude that the term, under the limited circumstances of this case, contains a latent ambiguity, and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39208 - Asia M. v. Geoffrey M. ("The state of Connecticut appeals from the judgments of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Geoffrey M., Jr., affirming in part the decision of the family support magistrate (magistrate) that opened an acknowledgment of paternity. On appeal, the state claims that the court erred in concluding that (1) Ragin v. Lee, 78 Conn. App. 848, 829 A.2d 93 (2003), provided a nonstatutory ground for opening an acknowledgment of paternity, apart from the statutory grounds set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 46b-172 (a) (2); and (2) the magistrate had the inherent authority to grant the plaintiff’s motion to open the judgment on the basis of the best interests of the child. We agree with the department and, accordingly, reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

AC39643 - Battistotti v. Suzanne A. ("In this protracted and bitterly contested family matter, the plaintiff father, Marco Battistotti, appeals from the judgment rendered by the court following a ten day trial on his custody action filed against the defendant mother, Suzanne A. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court: (1) improperly found that his earning capacity was $174,000 per year, (2) erred in failing to consider how its orders impacted his expenses, particularly the rental of an apartment in Greenwich used solely for parenting time, and (3) abused its discretion in requiring that the plaintiff’s parenting time take place only within the town of Greenwich. We agree with the plaintiff’s second claim and conclude that the trial court abused its discretion. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment with respect to the child support orders and remand the matter for further proceedings on the issue of calculation of child support. We affirm the judgment in all other respects.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2998

AC39731 - Plainville v. Almost Home Animal Rescue & Shelter, Inc. (Negligence per se; "The plaintiffs, the town of Plainville (town) and Donna Weinhofer, the town's animal control officer, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, Almost Home Animal Rescue and Shelter, Inc., following the court's granting of the defendant's motion to strike both counts of the plaintiffs' two count complaint. Count one of the complaint sounded in negligence per se and alleged that the defendant, which operates an animal rescue facility, had failed to care for animals in its custody in violation of General Statutes § 53-247 (a), and that this violation caused the plaintiffs to suffer damages, namely, costs that the town incurred for medical care, shelter, food, and water for the affected animals. Count two sounded in unjust enrichment and was premised on the defendant's failure to reimburse the town for its expenditures in caring for the seized animals.

"On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly (1) applied an incorrect legal standard in deciding the motion to strike; (2) struck count one of the complaint on the bases that § 53-247 did not establish a duty or standard of care for purposes of maintaining a negligence per se action and that the plaintiffs are not among the class of persons protected by § 53-247; and (3) struck count two of the complaint on the basis that General Statutes § 22-329a (h) provides the exclusive remedy for the damages alleged by the plaintiffs, thus precluding an action for unjust enrichment, and did so without considering and addressing the plaintiffs' argument that the defendant had stipulated in a prior action that the plaintiffs were entitled to seek damages without regard to § 22-329a. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3001

SC19817 - MacDermid, Inc. v. Leonetti ("The defendant, Stephen J. Leonetti, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, MacDermid, Inc., on its claim of unjust enrichment. On appeal, the defendant contends the following: (1) the plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim is barred by collateral estoppel on the basis of the proceedings underlying our decision in Leonetti v. MacDermid, Inc., 310 Conn. 195, 76 A.3d 168 (2013); (2) the plaintiff’s recovery is precluded by General Statutes §§ 31-290 and 31-296 (a), the terms of a termination agreement (agreement) between the parties, and public policy; (3) the trial court’s jury instructions were improper; and (4) the trial court improperly excluded certain evidence. The plaintiff disagrees and claims that many of the defendant’s arguments are unpreserved, inadequately briefed, or both. We agree with the plaintiff. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2997

AC39343 - Ugalde v. Saint Mary's Hospital, Inc. (Medical malpractice; "In this medical malpractice action, the plaintiff, Maria Ugalde, administratrix of the estate of Richard Ugalde (decedent), appeals from the judgments of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, Saint Mary's Hospital, Inc. (hospital), and Shady Macaron, M.D. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred (1) in dismissing her claim against the hospital for failure to file a legally sufficient opinion letter authored by a similar health care provider, as required by General Statutes § 52-190a (a); and (2) in denying her motion to reargue the denial of her motion to set aside the judgment of nonsuit that had been rendered against her in favor of Macaron for her failure to comply with discovery requests. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2996

AC40395 - State v. Bennett (Motion to correct illegal sentence; motion to dismiss; "The defendant, Erick Bennett was found guilty by a jury on the charge of murder on June 29, 2011, and was later sentenced on that charge, on August 26, 2011, to a term of fifty years imprisonment. He now appeals from the subsequent judgment of the trial court dismissing three postjudgment motions to dismiss the information on which he was convicted of murder, and dismissing in part and denying in part his contemporaneous motion to correct an illegal sentence in relation to the sentence imposed on him for that offense, which he filed and prosecuted during the pendency of his ultimately unsuccessful direct appeal. State v. Bennett, 324 Conn. 744, 155 A.3d 188 (2017). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39355 - State v. Hall (Manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Jeffrey W. Hall, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly declined to provide the jury with an instruction on the duty to retreat. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3000

SC19721 - Meribear Productions, Inc. v. Frank ("A threshold jurisdictional issue in this case requires us to clarify the circumstances under which there can be an appealable final judgment when the trial court’s decision does not dispose of counts advancing alternative theories of relief. The plaintiff, Meribear Productions, Inc., brought an action against the defendants, Joan E. Frank and George A. Frank, for common-law enforcement of a foreign default judgment, breach of contract and quantum meruit. Judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff against each of the defendants under different counts of the complaint. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment on the merits, and this court thereafter granted the defendants’ petition for certification to appeal from that judgment. Upon further review, it is apparent that the judgment was not final as to George Frank, and, therefore, the Appellate Court lacked jurisdiction over the defendants’ joint appeal.")


Connecticut Law Journal - May 8, 2018

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2994

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 45, for May 8, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 930 - 932)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 181: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 648 - 821)
  • Volume 181: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Connecticut Practice Book Amendments
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies



Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2993

SC19251 - Skakel v. Commissioner of Correction ("The sole issue now before us in this appeal by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, is whether the habeas court properly concluded that the petitioner, Michael Skakel, is entitled to a new trial because counsel in his murder case, Michael Sherman, rendered ineffective assistance by failing to obtain certain readily available evidence that Sherman should have known was potentially critical to the petitioner's alibi defense, that is, the testimony of a disinterested alibi witness whom the habeas court found to be highly credible. Because we agree with the habeas court both that Sherman's failure to secure that evidence was constitutionally inexcusable and that that deficiency undermines confidence in the reliability of the petitioner's conviction—a conviction founded on a case, aptly characterized by the habeas court as far from overwhelming, that was devoid of any forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony linking the petitioner to the crime—we affirm the judgment of the habeas court ordering a new trial.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2992

AC39025 - Murphy v. Murphy ("The plaintiff, Robert R. Murphy, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his postjudgment motion, as amended, to modify the judgment rendered in the parties' dissolution action. In that motion he sought, pursuant to paragraph 12 (d) of the parties' separation agreement, which was incorporated into the judgment, to terminate his alimony obligation to the defendant, Jamie R. Murphy, because of her alleged cohabitation with her boyfriend. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court applied an improper legal standard as a prerequisite for the termination of alimony under General Statutes § 46b-86 (b).We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court and remand the case for further proceedings.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2988

AC40157 - State v. Lamantia (Interfering with officer; tampering with witness; sufficiency of evidence; "The defendant, Jasmine Lamantia, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151. On appeal, the defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction for these offenses. We agree with the defendant with respect to the interfering with an officer count, but disagree as to the tampering with a witness count. Accordingly, we reverse in part and affirm in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38863 - State v. Abraham (Sexual assault in second degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Joseph Abraham, was convicted, after a jury trial, of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1), risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly admitted a DVD recording of the victim's forensic interview. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")

AC41018 - State v. Raynor (Murder; "The defendant, Donald Raynor, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly denied the defendant's motion in limine to exclude or limit the scope of the testimony of the state's expert witness on firearm and toolmark identification, and (2) abused its discretion by granting the state's motion for uncharged misconduct related to a shooting that occurred approximately eight months after the events of this case. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2989

AC38683 - Micalizzi v. Stewart (Negligence; "In this personal injury action arising from an automobile collision, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, Robin Micalizzi, and awarded her all of her claimed economic damages but zero noneconomic damages. She filed a motion to set aside the verdict and, in the alternative, for an additur on the ground that she also was entitled to noneconomic damages.The trial court denied that motion, and the plaintiff appealed from that denial. She claims that the court abused its discretion by (1) refusing to set aside the verdict or to order an additur because the jury's verdict was inconsistent and inadequate, and (2) refusing to set aside the verdict because of procedural irregularities. We do not agree. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2990

AC39131 - Turner v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, and (2) improperly concluded that there were no violations of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), at his underlying criminal trial. For the reasons set forth herein, we agree with the petitioner and conclude that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and in denying the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the matter for a new trial.")

AC39493 - Henderson v. Commissioner of Correction (Cohabitation; motion to modify; “On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court applied an improper legal standard as a prerequisite for the termination of alimony under General Statutes § 46b-86 (b). We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court and remand the case for further proceedings.”)


Juvenile Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2991

AC40809 - In re Athena C. (Petition by the Commissioner of Children and Families to terminate parental rights; “The respondent claims that the trial court improperly (1) determined that the termination of his parental rights was in the child’s best interest; and (2) denied his motion to transfer guardianship of the child to the child’s maternal grandmother (grandmother). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - May 1, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2986

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 44, for May 1, 2018 is now available.

  • Contained in this issue is the following:
  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 648 - 709)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 927 - 930)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 181: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 440 - 648)
  • Volume 181: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 181: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Connecticut Practice Book Amendments