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Declaratory Judgment Law

Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4044

AC42131 - State Marshal Assn. of Connecticut, Inc. v. Johnson (Declaratory action; motion to dismiss; "The plaintiff, State Marshal Association of Connecticut, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its declaratory action against the defendants, Erin Johnson, the tax collector of the town of Canton (town), and Pullman & Comley, LLC (Pullman). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that it lacked standing to maintain the action and (2) denied the plaintiff's motion seeking reargument and reconsideration. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3990

SC20182 - Saunders v. KDFBS, LLC (Foreclosure; final judgment; declaratory judgment; "The issue in this foreclosure action is whether a determination of the priority of mortgages can be challenged in an appeal from the judgment of foreclosure by sale, before the foreclosure sale has taken place, when the priority of the foreclosing plaintiff's mortgage is in dispute. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, Roger Saunders, Trustee of Roger Saunders Money Purchase Plan, on his two count complaint seeking a judgment of foreclosure on certain real property and a declaratory judgment that his mortgage had priority over a purported mortgage on the property held by the defendants Karen Davis and Daniel Davis. The Appellate Court summarily dismissed the Davis defendants' appeal challenging the priority of the plaintiff's mortgage over their mortgage for want of a final judgment. We distinguish the present case from one in which there is a dispute among junior encumbrancers and reverse the Appellate Court's order summarily dismissing the appeal.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3957

AC42550 - Gawlik v. Semple (Religious discrimination; "The self-represented, incarcerated plaintiff, Jan Gawlik, brought this action for declaratory and injunctive relief against present and former employees of the Department of Correction (department)—namely, former Commissioner of Correction Scott Semple, District Administrator Angel Quiros, Warden Scott Erfe, and Simone Wislocki, a mail handler at the Cheshire Correctional Institution (Cheshire)—in their official capacities. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had wrongly withheld from him religious literature, blank prayer cards and holiday cards in violation of his rights under the first amendment to the United States constitution; article first, § 3, of the constitution of Connecticut; the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq. (2012); and the Connecticut Act Concerning Religious Freedom, General Statutes § 52-571b. The plaintiff also alleged that the applicable department administrative directives justifying the department's actions were not promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, General Statutes § 4-166 et seq. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the defendants, from which the plaintiff now appeals. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3927

AC42251 - Vaicunas v. Gaylord ("The plaintiffs, David Vaicunas and Joseph Kobos, appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Regina R. Gaylord, Kevin McGuire, Deborah Foster, John McGuire, and Scott McGuire, on the count of the complaint alleging undue influence exerted on Helen Rachel in amending The Helen K. Rachel Revocable Trust Indenture. The plaintiffs also appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered after it granted the motion by the defendants to set aside the jury’s verdict in favor of Vaicunas on the count for adverse possession of certain real property owned by Helen Rachel. On appeal, Vaicunas claims that the court improperly set aside the jury verdict with respect to adverse possession, and both plaintiffs claim that the court (1) abused its discretion by declining to admit the plaintiffs’ offer of evidence as to the character of Helen Rachel, which was relevant to their claim for undue influence and (2) improperly charged the jury on the law of undue influence. We conclude that the trial court properly set aside the verdict on the claim for adverse possession and, as to the plaintiffs’ claim of undue influence, we reject their assertions of evidentiary and instructional error on the part of the court. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3912

AC42288 - Kaminski v. Semple ("The self-represented plaintiff, John S. Kaminski, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the defendants' motion to dismiss on the grounds that the defendants, who are state employees, are entitled to sovereign immunity or statutory immunity pursuant to General Statutes § 4-165, and that the plaintiff lacked standing to assert a claim that was based on the defendants' alleged failure to conduct a criminal investigation into the abuse he claimed had been inflicted on him by a correction officer. The plaintiff contends that, because all of the defendants were sued in their individual capacities, the court improperly concluded that the defendants were entitled to sovereign immunity and statutory immunity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in part and dismiss the appeal in part as moot.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3877

AC41966 - Peterson v. Torrington (Declaratory judgment; summary judgment; tax sale; "This appeal arises out of a system to collect and pay property taxes unique to the defendant city of Torrington (city). See 21 Spec. Acts 7, No. 4 (1931). Pursuant to the system, the defendant tax collector, Robert Crovo (tax collector), conducted a tax sale in which he sold the real property of the plaintiff, Alyssa Peterson, to collect unpaid property taxes. In response, Peterson commenced an action against the city, the tax collector, and the purchasers of the property at the sale, the defendants William Gilson and Sharon Gilson (purchasers). Subsequently, Homeowners Finance Company (lender), the first mortgage holder on the plaintiff's property, intervened as a defendant, in an attempt to void the sale of the property. All six parties filed motions for summary judgment. Ultimately, the trial court, after concluding that there was no genuine issue as to any material fact, granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and denied summary judgment as to Peterson and the lender. Peterson and the lender filed separate appeals. We dismiss the lender's appeal." "[1]Peterson's appeal was dismissed after she failed to timely file a brief and appendix. She, therefore, is not a party to this appeal.")

AC42256 - Dickau v. Mingrone (Property; breach of contract; "The plaintiff, Jason Dickau, appeals from the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant, Lawrence Mingrone, on the plaintiff's complaint, which alleged breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, and innocent misrepresentation, relating to the defendant's sale of real property to the plaintiff. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court's findings that (1) the Office of Building Inspection and Enforcement for the City of New Haven (building department) had not made a determination that the number of legal units in the property was less than three, and (2) the plaintiff had failed to establish the existence of damages as to each of his claims were clearly erroneous. We disagree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42000 - Jepsen v. Camassar (Declaratory judgment; "The plaintiffs Anders B. Jepsen and Beth Jepsen appeal from the denial of their postjudgment motions for equitable relief, for attorney's fees and costs, and to open the judgment rendered by the trial court following a remand by this court. See Jepsen v. Camassar, 181 Conn. App. 492, 187 A.3d 486 (Jepsen I), cert. denied, 329 Conn. 909, 186 A.3d 12 (2018). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that (1) the trial court failed to provide them with relief that was encompassed within the mandate of Jepsen I when it denied their claims to equitable relief and attorney's fees and costs, (2) even assuming that the mandate did not encompass the relief sought by the plaintiffs, the trial court improperly declined to open the judgment to provide the plaintiffs with their desired relief, and (3) the trial court violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights by failing to provide them with their desired relief on remand. We agree in part with the plaintiffs' claim to attorney's fees and costs, reverse the judgment of the trial court limited to that issue and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.")

AC41688 - Carabetta Organization, Ltd. v. Meriden ("In this case arising from a dispute that originated more than twenty years ago, the plaintiffs, The Carabetta Organization, Ltd., Summitwood Development, LLC (Summitwood), and Nipmuc Properties, LLC (Nipmuc), appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, the city of Meriden, Dominick Caruso, Tilcon, Inc., and Tilcon Connecticut, Inc. (Tilcon). The plaintiffs claim that the court erred in concluding that their claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Probate Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3878

AC41545 - Presto v. Presto ("The plaintiff Charles Presto, in his capacity as the executor of the estate of William Presto, and in his individual capacity, appeals from the judgment dismissing his declaratory judgment action against the defendants, Teodozja Presto, Andrzej Mazurek, and Stanislaus Mazurek, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the claims raised were not ripe for adjudication. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3805

SC20071 - Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc. v. Platner ("General Statutes § 51-183c precludes a judge who tried a case without a jury from trying the case again after a reviewing court reverses the judgment. The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether that statute applies when this court reverses the trial court's judgment as to damages only and remands the case to the trial court to take new evidence and recalculate damages.

The defendant Beverly Platner appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following our reversal in part and remand in Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc. v. Platner, 325 Conn. 737, 159 A.3d 666 (2017), for further proceedings on the issue of damages. The defendant challenges the judgment as to both the damages awarded to the plaintiff, Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc., and injunctive relief directing the defendant to remedy a violation of a conservation restriction on her property pursuant to a restoration plan ordered by the trial court. The defendant claims that the trial judge improperly denied her motion to disqualify himself from retrying the damages issue, and, as a result, both the damages award and injunction were improper. We agree with the defendant on the issue of disqualification and reverse the trial court's judgment as to damages and remand for new proceedings before a new judge consistent with our original remand order.")



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.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3663

AC40999 - Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Levine ("This declaratory judgment action arises from an automobile crash that occurred in 2010 involving the defendant, Michelle Levine. The defendant appeals from the trial court's rendering of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, the Amica Mutual Insurance Company. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred when it concluded that (1) the provision in the plaintiff's automobile insurance policy requiring the defendant to undergo an independent medical examination (IME) at the plaintiff's request was not void as against public policy, (2) the provision requiring the defendant to undergo an IME was reasonable and the defendant's refusal to attend was unreasonable, (3) the defendant had breached the policy's cooperation clause for failing to attend the IME because that determination was predicated on an improper allocation of the burden of proof, and (4) there was no issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff properly had reserved its rights to bring the present action. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3591

SC20076 - Haughwout v. Tordenti ("In this appeal, we consider the limits of free speech on a public university campus in light of recent history that has led federal and state courts to describe threats of gun violence and mass shootings as the twenty-first century equivalent to the shout of fire in a crowded theater once envisioned by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. See, e.g., Ponce v. Socorro Independent School District, 508 F.3d 765, 772 (5th Cir. 2007); Milo v. New York, 59 F. Supp. 3d 513, 517 (E.D.N.Y. 2014); In re A.S., 243 Wis. 2d 173, 194, 626 N.W.2d 712 (2001). The plaintiff, Austin Haughwout, brought the present action seeking to challenge his expulsion from Central Connecticut State University (university). The plaintiff now appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants, Laura Tordenti, Ramon Hernandez, Christopher Dukes, and Densil Samuda, the university officials involved in that decision. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court incorrectly determined that the various statements and gestures with respect to gun violence and mass shootings that led to his expulsion from the university were true threats that are not protected by the first amendment to the United States constitution, rather than hyperbolic and humorous statements on a matter of public concern. Although a public university campus is a unique forum for the free exchange of controversial, unpopular, and even offensive ideas, we nevertheless conclude that the plaintiff's statements and gestures were true threats. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Declaratory Judgment Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3585

AC40525 - Board of Education v. Bridgeport ("The plaintiffs, the Board of Education of the Town of Stratford, James Feehan, the Board of Education of the Town of Trumbull, and the Board of Education of the Town of Monroe, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motions to dismiss filed by the defendants, the State Board of Education (state board); the Commissioner of Education (commissioner); the Board of Education of the City of Bridgeport (Bridgeport board); the city of Bridgeport (city); Joseph Ganim, the mayor of the city; and Aresta Johnson, the interim superintendent of the city's schools. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred by (1) dismissing counts one, two, three, and four of their complaint against the state defendants for lack of subject matter jurisdiction for failing to exhaust their administrative remedies, and (2) dismissing count six, a civil theft claim against the Bridgeport defendants, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction for failing to exhaust their administrative remedies. For the reasons discussed herein, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3427

AC40941 - Taing v. CAMRAC, LLC ("This appeal arises from a pregnancy discrimination action brought by the plaintiff, Mouy Taing, under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act against the defendant, CAMRAC, LLC, after she was terminated from her employment with the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendant. Specifically, she claims that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant's proffered reason for her termination was pretextual. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40377 - McKiernan v. Civil Service Commission ("The plaintiff, Edward McKiernan, appeals from the trial court's judgment, rendered after a trial to the court, denying his request for a declaratory judgment allowing him to retake the oral assessment portion of the city of Bridgeport's 2015 detective promotional examination and prohibiting the defendants from certifying the results of that examination or promoting candidates on the basis of those results. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by rendering judgment in favor of the defendants on the basis of its finding that the challenged examination was administered in accordance with the requirements of the charter of the city of Bridgeport. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3371

AC40546 - Kaminsky v. Commissioner of Emergency Services & Public Protection ("The plaintiff, Joseph W. Kaminsky, Jr., appeals from the trial court's judgment, rendered after a trial without a jury, denying his request for a declaratory judgment holding that certain firearms were improperly seized and withheld from him by the defendant, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and thus that he is entitled to the return of those firearms. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in denying his request on the basis of its misinterpretation of the applicable statutory provisions. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Election Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3361

SC20165 - Independent Party of CT—State Central v. Merrill ("This appeal is the latest battle in the war for control over the state's Independent Party between its Danbury faction, which is led by the plaintiffs, the Independent Party of CT—State Central and its officers, Michael Duff, Donna L. LaFrance, and Roger Palanzo, and its Waterbury faction, which is led by two of the defendants, Michael Telesca and Rocco Frank, Jr. The plaintiffs appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, for Telesca and Frank on the complaint and the counterclaim in the present action, which both sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the trial court ordered the named defendant, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill, to accept candidate endorsements made pursuant to the Independent Party's 2010 bylaws (2010 bylaws), which, in effect, gave the Waterbury faction control over the Independent Party's statewide nominations. There are two principal issues among the plaintiffs' plethora of claims in the present appeal. First, we consider whether the trial court's order of supplemental briefing and oral argument concerning its subject matter jurisdiction, issued just prior to the 120 day decision deadline pursuant to General Statutes § 51-183b, and after the plaintiffs' objection to the trial court's request for an extension, preserved its personal jurisdiction over the parties by stopping and later restarting the decision period. The second principal issue is whether the trial court properly determined that General Statutes § 9-374, which requires the filing of party rules before the name of a candidate endorsed by a minor political party may be printed on an election ballot, rendered the 2010 bylaws controlling, as opposed to bylaws that the Danbury faction had filed with the Secretary in 2006 (2006 bylaws) prior to the Independent Party's receiving the 1 percent of statewide votes necessary to confer minor party status. Because we conclude that the order of supplemental briefing and argument opened the 120 day decision period and later restarted it, thus rendering the trial court's decision timely under § 51-183b, and also conclude that the trial court properly construed § 9-374, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

SC20160 - Independent Party of CT—State Central v. Merrill ("This writ of error is the companion case to Independent Party of CT—State Central v. Merrill, 330 Conn. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2019), in which this court affirmed the judgment of the trial court resolving a long running dispute between the Danbury and Waterbury factions of the state's Independent Party by, inter alia, granting declaratory and injunctive relief directing the named defendant in the underlying action, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill (Secretary), to accept only those endorsements made pursuant to the party's 2010 bylaws. The plaintiffs in error, thirteen candidates for the state House of Representatives endorsed by the Danbury faction prior to the issuance of the trial court's decision in the underlying action, brought this writ of error to protect their rights with respect to the judgment of the trial court. The endorsed candidates now argue that their writ of error is moot given the unchallenged decision of the Secretary to accept the Danbury faction's endorsements with respect to twelve of them, thus allowing them to be on the Independent Party's ballot line for the 2018 election. Rebekah Harriman-Stites, a candidate endorsed by the Waterbury faction for the 106th assembly district, however, has appeared in the present proceeding as a defendant in error and contends that the writ of error is not moot in light of her request that we order the Secretary to print her name on the ballot in accordance with the trial court's decision. Because the writ of error is moot, and Harriman-Stites' separate request for relief is not properly before us, we dismiss this writ of error.")


Declaratory Judgment Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3343

SC20216, SC20217, SC20218 - Feehan v. Marcone ("These expedited public interest appeals arise from an apparent mix-up at the Bunnell High School polling place in the town of Stratford (town), where it is alleged that approximately seventy-six voters who should have received ballots for the 120th assembly district election were instead given ballots for the 122nd assembly district, rendering those voters unable to vote for their assembly district's state representative. The plaintiff, Jim Feehan, who is the Republican Party's candidate for state representative in the 120th assembly district, brought this action seeking declaratory relief, a new election, and an injunction prohibiting the defendants, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill, Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, and Comptroller Kevin Lembo (state defendants), from declaring the intervening defendant, Phillip L. Young III, the Democratic Party's candidate, as the winner of that election. After the Chief Justice granted the parties' separate applications for permission to appeal pursuant to General Statutes § 52-265a, the plaintiff appealed from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the complaint in part as barred by the elections clause set forth in article third, § 7, of the Connecticut constitution, and the defendants appealed from the grant of the plaintiff's application for a temporary injunction. We conclude that the elections clause gives our state House of Representatives exclusive jurisdiction over this election contest, and we disagree with the plaintiff's claims that (1) General Statutes § 9-328, which governs contested elections for 'municipal office,' confers jurisdiction on the courts over this case, and (2) under the supremacy clause of the United States constitution; see U.S. Const., art. VI, cl. 2; state courts have jurisdiction over his federal constitutional claims, notwithstanding the elections clause in the Connecticut constitution. Accordingly, we also agree with the defendants' claim that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enjoin the state defendants from canvassing the votes and declaring a winner. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court insofar as it dismissed the complaint and reverse the judgment of the trial court with respect to its issuance of a temporary injunction.")


Declaratory Judgment Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3278

AC38734 - Day v. Seblatnigg ("The principal issue in this case is whether a settlor of a revocable trust who is later under a voluntary conservatorship may, while under conservatorship, acting on her own behalf, convert the trust to an irrevocable trust without action by her conservator and without her conservator obtaining Probate Court approval. The defendant, First State Fiduciaries, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court granting the motion of the plaintiff, Margaret E. Day, coconservator of the estate of Susan D. Elia, for summary judgment and declaring that the Susan D. Elia Irrevocable Trust dated September 15, 2011 (Delaware irrevocable trust) was void ab initio and unenforceable, and that all transfers of assets from Elia's conservatorship estate to the Delaware irrevocable trust or its wholly owned limited liability company, Peace at Last, LLC, were unauthorized and improper and ordering that the assets from Elia's conservatorship estate that were transferred to the Delaware irrevocable trust to Peace at Last, LLC, shall be immediately returned to Elia's conservatorship estate.

"On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in the absence of an indispensable party, Bryn Mawr Trust Company of Delaware (Bryn Mawr). We conclude that the court properly determined that Elia could not lawfully replace the Connecticut revocable trust with the Delaware irrevocable trust while under a conservatorship. We also conclude that the court properly determined that the former conservator of Elia's estate, Renee F. Seblatnigg, could not transfer the assets of the conservatorship estate to the Delaware irrevocable trust and that this transfer was void ab initio. Finally, we conclude that Bryn Mawr was not an indispensable party. 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=3279

AC40813 - Fiondella v. Meriden (Fraud; "The plaintiffs, Michael J. Fiondella, Jr., trustee of the Jo-An Carabetta 1983 Irrevocable Trust (trust), and The Meriden Homestead, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the counts of the complaint alleged against the defendants, Adele G. Eberhart, Harry S. Eberhart, and Vincent T. McManus, Jr. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) applied the litigation privilege in favor of the defendants to conclude that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and (2) construed the fraud and civil conspiracy allegations against the defendants. We agree that the court improperly applied the litigation privilege to determine that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40752 - Jolen, Inc. v. Brodie & Stone, PLC (Breach of fiduciary duty; "The plaintiff, Jolen, Inc., appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Brodie & Stone, PLC, and Brodie & Stone International, PLC, on the plaintiff's claim of breach of fiduciary duty. The plaintiff claims on appeal that, in view of the court's unchallenged determination that an agency relationship existed between the parties, its subsequent failure to conclude that such relationship was per se fiduciary in nature was incorrect as a matter of law. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40610 - Perez v. Metropolitan District Commisssion (Wrongful death; "This case arises from the untimely death of Andres Burgos, who drowned while swimming in Lake McDonough, a recreational area that is owned and operated by the defendant, the Metropolitan District Commission. The plaintiff, Vivian Perez, administratrix of the estate of Andres Burgos, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant on the basis of governmental immunity. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in rendering summary judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact with respect to (1) whether Burgos' death was caused by the defendant's breach of one or more of its ministerial duties, and (2) whether Burgos was an identifiable person subject to imminent harm. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Declaratory Judgment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3101

SC19923 - Mendillo v. Tinley, Renehan & Dost, LLP ("In this appeal, we consider whether the Superior Court has subject matter jurisdiction over a declaratory judgment action brought as a collateral attack on a judgment of the Appellate Court concerning the plaintiff, George E. Mendillo. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his declaratory judgment action against the defendants, the law firm of Tinley, Renehan & Dost, LLP (law firm), and the Connecticut Appellate Court. On appeal, the plaintiff, who is an attorney, claims that the trial court improperly concluded that his challenge to the Appellate Court’s interpretation of rule 4.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct in Sowell v. DiCara, 161 Conn. App. 102, 127 A.3d 356, cert. denied, 320 Conn. 909, 128 A.3d 953 (2015), was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. We, however, do not reach the sovereign immunity issues raised by the plaintiff because we agree with the defendants’ alternative jurisdictional argument, and conclude that the plaintiff’s collateral attack on Sowell in this declaratory judgment action is nonjusticiable under Valvo v. Freedom of Information Commission, 294 Conn. 534, 985 A.2d 1052 (2010). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court")


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