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

Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3459

AC40933 - Bree v. Commissioner of Correction (" On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in ruling that his trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance by failing (1) to consult with and to present testimony from an expert in audio-video forensics to challenge the reliability of closed-circuit television surveillance video evidence used by the state to identify him as the perpetrator in one of the robberies; (2) to timely object to and move to strike the nonresponsive testimony of the petitioner’s alleged accomplice, Gabriel Santiago, identifying the petitioner’s photograph in a photographic array as that of a perpetrator of another of the underlying robberies; and (3) to present the testimony of the petitioner’s stepfather, Ronald Riebling, to bolster exculpatory testimony from his wife, Sue Riebling, the petitioner’s mother. We disagree with the petitioner’s claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3454

AC40102 - American Institute for Neuro-Integrative Development, Inc. v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission ("The plaintiff, American Institute for Neuro-Integrative Development, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Town Plan & Zoning Commission of the Town of Fairfield (commission), in which the commission denied the plaintiff's request for a special exception pursuant to § 27.0 of the Fairfield Zoning Regulations (regulations). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it concluded that the commission properly denied the plaintiff's special exception application on the basis of (1) concerns about increased off-site traffic, and (2) the plaintiff's inability to identify specific tenants that would occupy the proposed office spaces. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41209 - Watson v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The plaintiff, Cindy Watson, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing her appeal from the decision of the defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Glastonbury (board), in which the board affirmed the decision of the defendant zoning enforcement officer, Peter R. Carey, declining to approve the plaintiff's application for permission to conduct a customary home occupation from a home office within her residence. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Superior Court erred in upholding the decision of the board and dismissing her appeal because the court improperly concluded that (1) the plaintiff needed to prove that her home occupation was 'customary,' in that other people in Glastonbury also were managing off-site companies from a home office, in addition to establishing that it complied with the specific standards set forth in § 7.1 (b) (2) (a) of the Glastonbury Building Zone Regulations (regulations), and (2) the determining factor of whether a specific customary home occupation is allowed under the regulations is by a consideration of the nature of the business to which the home occupation relates and whether any part of that business is conducted off-site. We reverse the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3458

AC41304 - Barbabosa v. Board of Education ("In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Dianna Barbabosa, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, the Board of Education of the Town of Manchester, on the plaintiff's complaint, which alleged that the defendant had discriminated against her on the basis of her disability and had failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly rendered summary judgment because a genuine issue of material fact existed as to a common essential element of both of her claims, namely, whether the plaintiff could perform the essential functions of her job with or without a reasonable accommodation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3460

AC40081 - Benistar Employer Services Trust Co. v. Benincasa ("The plaintiffs, Benistar Employer Services Trust Company (BESTCO) and Benistar Admin Services, Inc. (BASI), appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their application to vacate and granting a motion to confirm an arbitration award in favor of the defendants, James J. Benincasa and Jody L. Benincasa. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly denied the application to vacate the arbitration award because the award was (1) not timely issued, (2) predicated on a manifest disregard of the law, (3) not mutual, final and definite, and (4) in violation of public policy. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40166 - Nova Benefit Plans, LLC v. Mortgages Unlimited, Inc. ("The plaintiffs, Nova Benefit Plans, LLC, for the Grist Mill Trust, Benistar 419 Plan Services, Inc., for Benistar 419 Plan and Trust, Benistar Admin Services, Inc., and Daniel Carpenter appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their application to vacate and confirming an arbitration award in favor of the defendants, James J. Benincasa, Jody L. Benincasa, and Mortgages Unlimited, Inc. The plaintiffs claim on appeal that the trial court improperly confirmed the award that was predicated on a prior related arbitration award, which, the plaintiffs argue, constituted a manifest disregard of the law. This court determined in Benistar Employer Services Trust Co. v. Benincasa, 189 Conn. App. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2019), also released today, that the prior arbitration award did not constitute a manifest disregard of the law. We, therefore, 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=3455

AC40459 - Bozelko v. Statewide Construction, Inc. (Quiet title; "The plaintiff, Ronald F. Bozelko, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants, Statewide Construction, Inc., and Robert Pesapane, in an action to quiet title under General Statutes § 47-31. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court's conclusions with respect to his quiet title claim are improper. 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=3456

AC39650 - LaBorne v. LaBorne ("The plaintiff, Riitta LaBorne, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered following a postdissolution hearing. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in (1) failing to value the parties' assets as of the date of the dissolution, (2) basing its alimony orders on the parties' gross income, rather than net income, and (3) concluding that the defendant, John C. LaBorne, was permitted to withdraw funds from his retirement account for the purpose of paying alimony. We agree and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42118 - Margarita O. v. Fernando I. ("The self-represented defendant, Fernando I., appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the application of the plaintiff, Margarita O., for relief from abuse and issuing a restraining order pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-15.The defendant claims that the court erroneously (1) determined that he had subjected the plaintiff to a recent pattern of threatening, and (2) ordered the defendant to stay 100 yards away from the plaintiff except 'when both children are present.' We conclude that there was no evidence to support the court's order requiring the defendant to 'stay 100 yards away from the [plaintiff]' with an exception 'for the 100 yard stay away when both children are present.' Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court as to the 'stay 100 yards away' order and remand the case for a new hearing with respect to any order of protection, if proven necessary by the plaintiff, in situations where the defendant seeks interaction with his children and the plaintiff is present. We otherwise 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=3453

AC41187 - Natasha B. v. Dept. of Children & Families (Administrative appeal; appeal from decision of hearing officer of defendant Department of Children and Families, who upheld department's decision to substantiate allegations of physical abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect by plaintiff against minor child and to place plaintiff's name on its child abuse and neglect central registry; "The plaintiff, Natasha B., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her appeal from the decision of a hearing officer of the defendant, the Department of Children and Families (department), who upheld the department's decision to substantiate allegations of physical abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect by the plaintiff against a minor child and to place the plaintiff's name on its child abuse and neglect central registry (central registry). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) a finding of chronicity was not required to place the plaintiff's name on the central registry, and (2) the hearing officer did not improperly shift the burden of proof to the plaintiff to demonstrate changed conditions that would justify removal of her name from the central registry. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - April 16, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3451

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 42, for April 16, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 331: Connecticut Reports (Pages 385 - 436)
  • Volume 331: Orders (Pages 913 - 916)
  • Volume 331: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 189: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 235 - 304)
  • Volume 189: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3450

SC20130 - Essex Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC (Negligence; "This case, which comes to us on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; see General Statutes § 51-199b (d); requires us to consider the applicability of our continuing course of conduct tolling doctrine to a relationship between an insurance company and its independent claims adjuster in the period after an insured's claim has been fully paid. The plaintiff insurer, Essex Insurance Company, brought a negligence action against the defendant claims adjuster, William Kramer & Associates, LLC, in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleging that the defendant had breached its duty to advise the plaintiff of a mortgage on the insured property before the plaintiff issued the final claim payment check to the insured for hurricane related damage, thereby causing the plaintiff to incur liability to the mortgagee. The plaintiff contended that the limitation period for commencing an action was tolled until the defendant discovered and produced a document in one of its files that reflected the mortgagee's interest during the course of litigation between the mortgagee and the plaintiff. The District Court set aside the jury's verdict in favor of the plaintiff on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that a continuing course of conduct tolled the otherwise untimely filed action. See Essex Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC, United States District Court, Docket No. 3:13-cv-1537 (MPS) (D. Conn. June 8, 2016). The Second Circuit concluded that Connecticut law regarding the contours of this tolling doctrine is unclear and sought our advice as to whether the evidence is legally sufficient to support the jury's finding. See Evanston Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC, 890 F.3d 40 (2018). We conclude that the evidence is not legally sufficient to toll the statute of limitations on this factual record. ")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3447

SC19993 - Mangiafico v. Farmington ("The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether a claim brought in state court alleging a deprivation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 may be dismissed for failure to exhaust state administrative remedies. The plaintiff . . . is a homeowner who was the subject of a series of enforcement actions under a municipal blight ordinance in the town of Farmington. In 2013, the plaintiff commenced this state court action alleging, in relevant part, that the defendants' designation of his property as blighted, their assessment of daily punitive fines, and their imposition of municipal blight liens constituted an unconstitutional taking of his property in violation of the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution and § 1983. The defendants successfully moved in the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff's § 1983 claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies because he had not filed an appeal pursuant to General Statutes § 7-152c (g). The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment. See Mangiafico v. Farmington, 173 Conn. App. 158, 177, 163 A.3d 689 (2017). . .

The judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed with respect to the plaintiff's § 1983 claims and the case is remanded to that court with direction to remand the case to the trial court with direction to deny the defendants' motion to dismiss as to the plaintiff's § 1983 claims and for further proceedings according to law.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3445

AC40293 - Silano v. Cooney (Defamation per se; libel per se; slander per se; "The plaintiff, Virginia Silano, appeals from the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant George Cooney on her claims of slander and libel per se. Specifically, the plaintiff argues that the court erred (1) in finding that the defendant's statements to the Trumbull Police Department were not defamatory and (2) in concluding that the defendant did not abuse his qualified privilege in making such statements to the police. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40626 - Levine v. Hite (Personal injury; "The plaintiff, Michelle Levine, appeals from the trial court's judgment of nonsuit rendered in favor of the defendants, Randall Hite and Tanya Hite, as a result of the plaintiff's failure to comply with three previous orders of the court regarding discovery. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the court, Noble, J., improperly raised and considered a prior ruling of the court, Shapiro, J., without affording her a fair opportunity to respond, (2) the plaintiff's failure to comply with discovery orders did not warrant the rendering of a judgment of nonsuit by the court, Hon. A. Susan Peck, judge trial referee, and (3) Judge Peck improperly declined to consider the plaintiff's motion for sanctions against the defendants' counsel prior to rendering the judgment of nonsuit. 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=3444

AC39609 - PMC Property Group, Inc. v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (Administrative appeal; appeal from trial court's judgment affirming in part decision of defendant Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which found that plaintiffs had engaged in unauthorized submetering of electricity and imposed sanctions "The plaintiffs, PMC Property Group, Inc. (PMC), and Energy Management Systems, Inc. (EMS), appeal from the trial court's judgment affirming in part the decision of the defendant Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (authority), which found that the plaintiffs had engaged in the unauthorized submetering of electricity and, pursuant to that finding, imposed sanctions. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred in (1) deferring to the authority's definition of electric submetering where that definition was not time-tested with respect to the heating and air conditioning system at issue in this appeal and (2) affirming the authority's determination that the plaintiffs' use of the heating and air conditioning system constituted submetering of electricity. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3446

AC40644- Dicker v. Dicker (Dissolution of marriage; motion for contempt; "On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) found that the plaintiff owed sums to the defendant, Michael Dicker, for unreimbursed medical expenses for the parties’ minor children, (2) found that the defendant was not in contempt of existing court orders, (3) concluded that the defendant could deduct unreimbursed medical costs from future quarterly activity fee payments that he owed to the plaintiff, and (4) denied the plaintiff’s motion to reargue. The plaintiff also claims that the court violated her due process right to be heard on her motion for contempt. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we disagree with the plaintiff and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Probate Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3442

SC20009 - Hynes v. Jones ("The dispositive issue in this certified appeal is whether the Probate Court has jurisdiction to approve or monitor use of a September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (fund) award that had been paid to a surviving spouse as a 'representative payee' for the benefit of her minor child. The plaintiff, Carolyne Y. Hynes, appeals, upon our grant of her petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court dismissing her appeal from the decree of the Probate Court. Hynes v. Jones, 175 Conn. App. 80, 82–85, 167 A.3d 375 (2017). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Probate Court lacks jurisdiction over a fund award paid to the plaintiff as a "representative payee" because that award is neither (1) the property of the estate of her late husband, the decedent Thomas Hynes, within the meaning of General Statutes § 45a-98 (a), nor (2) the property of their daughter, Olivia T. Hynes, within the meaning of General Statutes § 45a-629 (a), which governs property to which a minor child is 'entitled,' or General Statutes § 45a-631 (a), which governs property 'belonging to' a minor. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - April 9, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3440

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 41, for April 9, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 331: Connecticut Reports (Pages 318 - 384)
  • Volume 331: Orders (Pages 911 - 913)
  • Volume 331: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 189: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 124 - 234)
  • Volume 189: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3439

AC41041 - Mountain v. Mountain (Modification of alimony and child support; "The plaintiff, John A. Mountain, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his postjudgment motion to modify his unallocated alimony and child support obligation to the defendant, Heidi L. Mountain, pursuant to the judgment dissolving their marriage. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in finding that he failed to prove that there was a substantial change in circumstances warranting such a modification. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41445 - Cyganovich v. Cyganovich (Modification of child support; "In this postdissolution matter, the defendant, Thomas J. Cyganovich, appeals from the judgment of the trial court resolving several of the parties' postjudgment motions. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly calculated his modified child support obligation. 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=3437

AC41550 - State v. Mukhtaar (Murder; motion to correct illegal sentence; "The self-represented defendant, Abdul Mukhtaar, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence filed pursuant to Practice Book § 43-22. On appeal, he argues that the court improperly dismissed this motion. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40032 - State v. Euclides L. (Risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Euclides L., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his constitutional rights by failing to instruct the jury that it should acquit the defendant if it concluded that his use of force in caring for his daughter, V, was an accident. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41167 - State v. Grasso (Manslaughter in first degree with firearm; "The defendant, Angela C. Grasso, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55a. The defendant claims that (1) the state failed to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had acted in self-defense and (2) the trial court violated her rights to due process and to the effective assistance of counsel by denying the jury's request to rehear the closing arguments of the prosecutor and defense counsel at trial. We 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=3438

AC40294 - Williams v. State (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Michelle Williams, appeals, following a bench trial, from the judgment rendered on her complaint in favor of the defendant, the State of Connecticut. In her one count complaint, the plaintiff sought monetary damages for personal injuries she had sustained as a result of the alleged negligence of an employee of the Department of Transportation (department) while operating a state owned vehicle. See General Statutes § 52-556. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) failed to consider all of the specifications of negligence that she alleged in her complaint and (2) failed to consider applicable statutes and highway safety regulations governing the actions of the department. We disagree with the plaintiff's first claim and conclude that the second claim was not preserved for appellate review. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC40381 - Yuille v. Parnoff (Conversion; "The defendant, Laurence V. Parnoff (Parnoff), appeals from the judgment rendered, following a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Darcy Yuille, on the counts of Yuille's complaint alleging conversion and statutory theft. On appeal, Parnoff claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion by ordering him to commence trial on extremely short notice, (2) the verdict in Yuille's favor on counts one and two is irreconcilably inconsistent with the verdict in Parnoff's favor on count three, and (3) the court improperly declined to submit any of the special defenses to the jury. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3435

SC20037, SC20038 - Deutsche Bank AG v. Sebastian Holdings, Inc. (Action to Enforce a Foreign Judgment; "These interlocutory appeals require us to determine the preclusive effect, if any, to give in the present action to the findings and judgment rendered by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales (English court) in a prior action (English action) brought by the plaintiff, Deutsche Bank AG, against the named defendant, Sebastian Holdings, Inc. (Sebastian). The English action, tried to the bench in a judicial proceeding lasting forty-five days, resulted in a $243,023,089 judgment, plus interest, against Sebastian in November, 2013. Unable to collect on its English judgment, the plaintiff commenced the present action in Connecticut to enforce the English judgment against Sebastian and the individual defendant, Alexander Vik, who at all relevant times has been the sole shareholder and sole director of Sebastian. In its Connecticut action, the plaintiff seeks to pierce Sebastian’s corporate veil and hold Vik personally liable, as Sebastian’s alter ego, for his corporation’s judgment debt. Each of the parties claims an entitlement in the present case to a preclusive effect that inures to their respective advantage as a result of the final judgment rendered in the English action. The present appeals arise out of the unsuccessful efforts of each of the parties to persuade the trial court that this action must be decided in its respective favor on the basis of the alleged preclusive effect of the English judgment. The Appellate Court agreed with the trial court that none of the parties is entitled to the claimed preclusive effect. Deutsche Bank AG v. Sebastian Holdings, Inc., 174 Conn. App. 573, 585–86, 166 A.3d 716 (2017). We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3434

SC19974 - Raspberry Junction Holding, LLC v. Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority (Negligence; "The dispositive question in this appeal is whether the special act creating the defendant, Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority, authorized the defendant to promulgate a rule immunizing itself from liability for failures or deficiencies in its supply of water to its customers. The plaintiff, Raspberry Junction Holding, LLC, appeals from the trial court's judgment rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant on the basis of such a rule. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")