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.

Criminal Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

by Mazur, Catherine


SC19588 - State v. Parnoff ("The defendant, Laurence V. Parnoff, uttered threatening words to two water company employees who had entered his property pursuant to an easement to service a fire hydrant—telling them, essentially, that if they did not leave his property, he would retrieve a gun and shoot them. As a result of his statement, the defendant was convicted after a jury trial of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182 (a) (1), which criminalizes intentionally or recklessly causing inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm by way of 'violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior . . . .' The defendant appealed to the Appellate Court from the judgment of conviction, arguing that, under principles stemming from the first amendment to the United States constitution, there was insufficient evidence to sustain a guilty verdict as to the disorderly conduct charge. State v. Parnoff, 160 Conn. App. 270, 274, 125 A.3d 573 (2015). Because the behavior giving rise to his conviction was pure speech and not physical violence, the first amendment forbids the imposition of criminal sanctions unless that speech amounts to so-called 'fighting words'—words that would cause a reasonable addressee to respond with imminent violence under the circumstances. (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Baccala, 326 Conn. 232, 234–35, 251, 163 A.3d 1, cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 510, 199 L. Ed. 2d 408 (2017); see also U.S. Const., amend. I. The Appellate Court reversed the judgment after concluding that the defendant's statement was not fighting words because, although inappropriate, the defendant's words were not likely to provoke an immediate and violent reaction from the water company employees. State v. Parnoff, supra, 281. We agree with the Appellate Court and affirm its judgment.")

AC40283 - State v. Baldwin ("The defendant, Lee Baldwin, appeals challenging the denial of his motion to modify the terms and conditions of his probation filed pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-30 (c). Specifically, he claims that (1) the court's denial violated his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination in a future proceeding and (2) the court abused its discretion in denying the motion to modify and not allowing the defendant to delay his sex offender treatment until his pending habeas action had concluded. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39126 - State v. Gerald A. ("The defendant, Gerald A., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and three counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that: (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of one count of sexual assault in the first degree; (2) the trial court improperly admitted evidence of his prior misconduct; (3) the trial court improperly granted the state's motion for joinder of two separate cases against him; and (4) the trial court improperly denied his motion to make an opening statement to the jury. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40453 - State v. Morris ("The plaintiff in error, Dad's Bail Bonds, LLC, brings this writ of error challenging the judgment of the trial court denying its motion for release from surety obligations arising out of a $45,000 bond it had posted on behalf of the defendant in the underlying criminal case, Stanley Morris. After Morris failed to appear in court as required, the court ordered the bond forfeited. The plaintiff in error claims that the trial court violated its right to due process in numerous ways during the adjudication of its motion for release and that, pursuant to General Statutes § 54-65c, it was entitled to release from its surety obligation.")