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Recent Opinions

Connecticut Law Journal - October 15, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3713

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 16, for October 15, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 333: Connecticut Reports (Pages 378 - 501)
  • Volume 333: Orders (Pages 914 - 922)
  • Volume 333: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 193: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 507 - 607)
  • Volume 193: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3712

SC20204- Bowens v. Commissioner of Correction (Second petition for habeas; 1998 murder conviction; “On appeal, the petitioner claims, among other things, that the habeas court incorrectly concluded that (1) he did not establish by clear and convincing evidence that he is actually innocent of the murder, (2) the identification procedures employed in his criminal case did not violate his due process rights, (3) his first habeas counsel did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, and (4) his cruel and unusual punishment claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. We affirm the judgment of the habeas”).


Tort Law Appellate Court Decision

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3711

AC40839 - Jezouit v. Malloy ("The plaintiff, Lawrence S. Jezouit, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his complaint on the basis of sovereign immunity. The plaintiff argues that the court improperly dismissed his complaint because (1) he brought his claim pursuant to General Statutes § 52-570d, which he contends waives sovereign immunity by force of necessary implication, and (2) he seeks declaratory and injunctive relief in accordance with a recognized exception to sovereign immunity. We disagree and, thus, 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=3708

AC40415 - Weston Street Hartford, LLC v. Zebra Realty, LLC (Easements; temporary and permanent injunction; "The present case arises from a dispute between the plaintiff, Weston Street Hartford, LLC, and the defendant, Zebra Realty, LLC, concerning a right-of-way easement held by the plaintiff that runs over property owned by the defendant. The defendant has appealed and the plaintiff has cross appealed from the judgment rendered, after a court trial, on the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court, in rendering judgment in favor of the plaintiff on counts one and two of the counterclaim, incorrectly determined that Alligood v. LaSaracina, 122 Conn. App. 473, 999 A.2d 836 (2010), applies to the present case and prohibits any landowner from relocating an easement without the consent of the easement holder. In the alternative, the defendant contends that the Restatement (Third), Property, Servitudes § 4.8 (3) (c), is a more logical extension of Connecticut easement law than the rule adopted by this court in Alligood. On cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that, upon finding that the defendant's use of the servient estate interfered with the plaintiff's intended use of the easement, the court should have rendered judgment in its favor on its complaint and granted its request for an injunction prohibiting interference by the defendant. We disagree with both parties' claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3709

AC41366, AC41365 - Kelly v. Kurtz ("In this case arising from the buyout of an oral surgery practice, the plaintiff, Dorrance T. Kelly, DDS, and the defendants, Marshall D. Kurtz, DMD, Marshall D. Kurtz, DMD, PC, and Danbury Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, LLC (DOMSA), appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered, following a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, in the amount of $2,150,000.To establish the terms of the buyout, the parties executed three documents: a purchase and sale agreement, an operating agreement, and a supplementary agreement. On appeal, the defendants claim, in AC 41366, that the trial court erred in denying their motion to set aside the jury's verdict on the plaintiff's claims of breach of the supplementary agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the supplementary agreement on the grounds that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain the jury's finding of breach of the supplementary agreement, and (2) the jury's awards of damages on the plaintiff's claims of breach of the supplementary agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the supplementary agreement were inconsistent. The plaintiff claims, in AC 41365, that the trial court erred in (1) granting the defendants' motion to set aside the jury's verdict on his claims of invasion of privacy by misappropriation of his name, tortious interference with his business expectancies, violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statues § 42-110a et seq., and unjust enrichment; and (2) dismissing his claim of breach of the operating agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the operating agreement on the ground that he lacked standing to bring those claims. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42602 - Meribear Productions, Inc. v. Frank ("The plaintiff, Meribear Productions, Inc., filed a motion to dismiss the appeal of the defendants, Joan Frank and George Frank. The plaintiff argued that the defendants' joint appeal was untimely and, thus, subject to dismissal. See Practice Book §§ 63-1 and 66-8. In response, the defendants filed a motion for permission to file a late appeal. The defendants argued that permission to file a late appeal was warranted because they would suffer a loss of their appellate rights if the appeal was not allowed. We agreed with the defendants and, therefore, granted nunc pro tunc the defendants' motion to file a late appeal, and denied the plaintiff's motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely, indicating in our order that an opinion would follow. We write to explain our reasons for permitting this late appeal.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3707

AC40882 - State v. Crewe (Possession of narcotic substance; "The defendant, Jeffrey Orlando Crewe, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of possession of a narcotic substance in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a). The defendant's sole claim on appeal is that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - October 8, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3704

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 15, for October 8, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 333: Connecticut Reports (Pages 297 - 377)
  • Volume 333: Orders (Pages 912 - 914)
  • Volume 333: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 193: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 381 - 507)
  • Volume 193: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 193: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3701

AC41964 - Klein v. Quinnipiac University ("In this premises liability action, the plaintiff, Daniel Klein, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant, Quinnipiac University. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by (1) permitting a witness to testify about the estimated speed of the plaintiff's bicycle at the time of his collision, and (2) refusing to give a jury instruction on the definition of, and the duty owed to, a licensee. For the reasons discussed herein, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3702

SC20000, SC20001, SC20003 - R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. ("These certified appeals, which present us with several significant questions of insurance law, arise from coverage disputes between the plaintiff, R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. (Vanderbilt), and the defendants, who are numerous insurance companies (insurer defendants) that issued primary and secondary comprehensive general liability insurance policies to Vanderbilt between 1948 and 2008, stemming from thousands of underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from exposure to industrial talc containing asbestos that Vanderbilt mined and sold. Vanderbilt and the insurer defendants appeal, upon our granting of their petitions for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming in part and reversing in part numerous interlocutory decisions made by the trial court in connection with the first and second phases of a complex trial between the parties. R.T. Vanderbilt Co. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 171 Conn. App. 61, 75–76, 156 A.3d 539 (2017). On appeal, the insurer defendants claim that the Appellate Court improperly (1) upheld the trial court's adoption of a 'continuous trigger' theory of coverage for asbestos related disease claims as a matter of law and the trial court's related preclusion of expert testimony on current medical science regarding the actual timing of bodily injury from such disease, (2) upheld the trial court's adoption of an 'unavailability of insurance' exception to the 'time on the risk' rule of contract law, which provides for pro rata allocation of defense costs and indemnity for asbestos related disease claims, and (3) interpreted pollution exclusion clauses in certain insurance policies as applicable only to claims arising from 'traditional' environmental pollution, rather than to those arising from asbestos exposure in indoor working environments. In its appeal, Vanderbilt claims that the Appellate Court improperly construed occupational disease exclusions present in certain policies as not limited to claims brought by Vanderbilt's own employees. Because we conclude that the Appellate Court's comprehensive opinion properly resolved these significant issues, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3703

AC39388 - Alpha Beta Capital Partners, L.P. v. Pursuit Investment Management, LLC ("This appeal arises out of a dispute between the plaintiff, Alpha Beta Capital Partners, L.P., and the defendants Pursuit Opportunity Fund I, L.P. (POF), Pursuit Opportunity Fund I Master Ltd. (POF Master), Pursuit Capital Management Fund I, L.P. (PCM), Pursuit Capital Master (Cayman) Ltd. (PCM Master), Pursuit Partners, LLC (Pursuit Partners), Pursuit Investment Management, LLC (PIM), Northeast Capital Management, LLC (Northeast), Anthony Schepis, and Frank Canelas, Jr. The central issue of this appeal is the defendants' claim that the court improperly interpreted the agreements between the parties to hold that certain defendants were liable for their failure to distribute to the plaintiff its share of a substantial contingent asset in which it had an interest.

The defendants appeal, and the plaintiff cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, partially in favor of the plaintiff as to certain defendants on its complaint and in favor of the plaintiff on the defendants' counterclaim. The defendants also appeal from the orders of the trial court granting the plaintiff's postjudgment motion to increase the amount of a previously secured prejudgment remedy, and granting the plaintiff's motion for discovery to secure the additional prejudgment remedy attachment.

Addressing the parties' various contentions, we conclude that (1) the court properly interpreted the agreements between the parties in concluding that the plaintiff prevailed on its breach of contract claim, (2) the court properly rejected the defendants' breach of contract counterclaim, (3) the court properly concluded that the plaintiff prevailed on its breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim, (4) the court properly concluded that the plaintiff could not prevail on its conversion claim, (5) the court properly struck the plaintiff's Connecticut statutory causes of action, (6) the court improperly concluded that all of the defendants who had signed the settlement agreement were liable for breach of contract and for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (7) the court properly determined the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff, (8) the court properly granted the plaintiff's motion to increase the amount of the prejudgment remedy, and (9) the defendants' claim that the court improperly granted the plaintiff's motion for postjudgment discovery was not properly preserved, and, thus, we decline to review it. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3700

AC41509 - State v. Palumbo (Sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; ". The defendant, Jeffrey Todd Palumbo, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A), and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims, pursuant to Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 619, 96 S. Ct. 2240, 49 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1976), that the state (1) violated his constitutional right to remain silent by introducing evidence of his post-Miranda silence and (2) engaged in prosecutorial impropriety by attempting to elicit evidence of his post-Miranda silence. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - October 1, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3697

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 14, for October 1, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 333: Connecticut Reports (Pages 283 - 296)
  • Volume 333: Orders (Pages 906 - 912)
  • Volume 333: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 193: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 137 - 380)
  • Volume 193: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Juvenile Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3695

SC20151 - In re Taijha H.-B. (Termination of Parental Rights; Practice Book § 79a-3; appointed attorney declined to pursue an appeal; “The principal issue presented by this certified appeal is whether an appellate review attorney appointed to represent an indigent parent in an appeal from the termination of his or her parental rights must follow the procedure set forth in Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S. Ct. 1396, 18 L. Ed. 2d 493 (1967), before being permitted to withdraw from representation on the ground that he or she is unable to identify any nonfrivolous basis for appeal. We hold that when, as in the present case, the circumstances are such that the indigent parent has a constitutional right to appellate counsel, counsel may not be permitted to withdraw without, first, demonstrating, whether in the form of an Anders brief or in the context of a hearing, that the record has been thoroughly reviewed for potential meritorious issues, and, second, taking steps sufficient to facilitate review of the case, by the indigent parent and the presiding court, for the purpose of a determination as to whether the attorney accurately concluded that any appeal would be meritless”.)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3694

AC41528 - Francini v. Riggione ("This appeal arises from a breach of contract and private nuisance action brought by the plaintiffs, Peter J. Francini, Trustee, and Donald W. Anderson, Trustee, on behalf of the Peter J. Francini 1992 Revocable Family Trust, against the defendant, Nicholas A. Riggione. After a five day trial to the court, the court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs on their breach of contract claims, but denied their request for injunctive and equitable relief on their private nuisance claim.The defendant appeals from the court's subsequent award, after determining that the plaintiffs were the prevailing party, of approximately $90,000 in attorney's fees. On appeal, the defendant essentially claims that the court abused its discretion in calculating the award of attorney's fees (1) because in awarding fees to the plaintiffs on their claims related to a breach of contract between the parties, a proper analysis of the factors listed in rule 1.5 (a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct would compel a significant downward departure from the plaintiffs' initial lodestar calculation; and (2) when it awarded fees for a private nuisance claim on which the plaintiffs did not prevail. We agree with the defendant that the court abused its discretion in awarding attorney's fees for a claim on which the plaintiffs did not prevail. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court in part and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3692

AC40858 - Colon-Collazo v. Cox (Property execution; exemption; "In this appeal from postjudgment proceedings to obtain satisfaction of a civil dissolution judgment, the defendant judgment creditor . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court ordering that certain property of the plaintiff judgment debtor . . . is exempt from a property execution. On appeal, the judgment creditor claims that the court improperly concluded that certain property she sought to levy was exempt because (1) the judgment debtor never filed a claim for an exemption as required by our statutes and case law and (2) its conclusion was not supported by any evidence. We reverse, in part, the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3693

AC40864 - R & P Realty Co. v. Peerless Indemnity Ins. Co. ("The plaintiffs, R & P Realty Company and Unger's Floor Covering, Inc., appeal from the judgment of the trial court, following a court trial, rendered in favor of the defendant, Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company, on count one of their operative complaint sounding in breach of contract. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred in concluding that the defendant did not breach the parties' casualty insurance policy by declining to pay for the increased costs of demolition resulting from the presence of asbestos and lead within the insured property, which the plaintiffs discovered after the defendant had remitted an initial insurance payout to which the parties agreed. We conclude that the record is inadequate for our review, and, accordingly, we decline to review the plaintiffs' claim and, thus, 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=3691

AC41548 - Ayres v. Ayres ("In this marital dissolution action, the defendant, George Ayres, appeals from the trial court's postdissolution order resolving the motion for contempt filed by the plaintiff, Barbara Ayres. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in interpreting the provision of the parties' separation agreement governing alimony to conclude that (1) the payment of long-term incentives, including restricted stock units and performance stock units, received from his employer were included within the alimony calculation and (2) a severance payment was included within the alimony calculation. We agree with the defendant's claims as to the restricted stock units and severance pay and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39755 - Barber v. Barber ("This postdissolution appeal arises out of motions filed by the plaintiff, Virginia Cha Barber, and the defendant, Atiim Kiambu Barber, regarding the child support provisions of their separation agreement (agreement), which was incorporated into their New York divorce decree. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court, Colin, J., erred by (1) 'rewriting' the agreement with respect to the manner in which the defendant's child support obligation is to be calculated and (2) failing to award her attorney's fees and costs to oppose the defendant's unsuccessful attempt to invalidate a provision of the agreement and to enforce the agreement's default provision regarding add-on child support. On cross appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court, Tindill, J., erred by concluding that the substantive law of New York applied to his motion to modify child support. We affirm the judgments of the trial court with respect to the plaintiff's appeal and dismiss the defendant's cross appeal.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3690

AC41393 - Daley v. Kashmanian ("This appeal stems from a personal injury action brought by the plaintiff, Devonte Daley, against the defendants, Zachary Kashmanian and the city of Hartford (city), seeking damages for the injuries he sustained when Kashmanian, a detective with the Hartford Police Department who had been surveilling the plaintiff in an unmarked police car, allegedly, negligently and recklessly caused the plaintiff to be ejected from his motorcycle. The plaintiff appeals, following a jury trial, from the judgment of the trial court directing a verdict in favor of Kashmanian on the plaintiff's recklessness claim, and from the judgment of the trial court setting aside the jury's verdict on the plaintiff's negligence claim. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) directed a verdict because there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that Kashmanian engaged in reckless conduct, and (2) set aside the verdict with respect to the negligence claim on the ground that the defendants were entitled to governmental immunity because Kashmanian was engaged in ministerial, not discretionary, conduct. We agree with the plaintiff's first claim only, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court directing a verdict on the recklessness claim and affirm the judgment of the trial court setting aside the verdict on the negligence claim.")

AC41298 - Peek v. Manchester Memorial Hospital ("The plaintiff, Delores Peek, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants, Manchester Memorial Hospital and Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that her action was barred by the statute of limitations in General Statutes § 52-584.[1]Because we conclude that the evidence before the trial court demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact as to when the plaintiff discovered her injury as contemplated by § 52-584, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3687

AC40848 - State v. Bryan (Murder; conspiracy to commit murder; "The defendant, Carlton Bryan, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a (a) and 53a-8, and conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-54a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court erroneously concluded that an unavailable declarant's hearsay statements were admissible as dual inculpatory statements pursuant to § 8-6 (4) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence, and (2) 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 to him certain internal affairs records relating to Reginald Early, a police sergeant whom the state called as a witness at trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40385 - State v. Shin (Interfering with officer; disorderly conduct; "The self-represented defendant, Yoon Chul Shin, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered by the trial court following a jury trial, of three counts of interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a and one count of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182. On appeal, the defendant raises a plethora of claims. Primarily, he claims that (1) he was illegally seized by the police because he was arrested without probable cause or an arrest warrant; (2) the evidence was insufficient to find him guilty of any of the crimes with which he was charged because testimony elicited from police officers at trial was fabricated; (3) the court improperly admitted testimony from police officers about statements the defendant made in a video he posted on the Internet; (4) the court abused its discretion in denying his request to excuse a prospective juror for cause during voir dire; (5) the court violated his constitutional right to compulsory process by declining to issue a subpoena; (6) the court improperly found him incompetent to stand trial but restorable before later determining that he was competent; and (7) the court improperly imposed on him as part of his conditional discharge a special condition that he stay out of the state of Connecticut. We dismiss the last claim as moot and, with respect to the remaining claims, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3689

AC41026 - Doan v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that he was not denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. We agree that the court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. Nonetheless, we conclude that the court properly determined that the petitioner was not denied the effective assistance of trial counsel. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the habeas court").