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.

Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

by Booth, George

 

AC42419 - Scholz v. Epstein (Motion to dismiss; statutory theft; subject matter jurisdiction; absolute immunity; litigation privilege; "This appeal concerns an issue of first impression in Connecticut: whether an attorney is protected by absolute immunity under the litigation privilege from a claim of statutory theft arising from the attorney's conduct during prior judicial proceedings. The plaintiff, Stephen W. Scholz, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant, Attorney Juda J. Epstein, to dismiss the plaintiff's action for statutory theft for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the defendant was protected by absolute immunity pursuant to the litigation privilege. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in (1) granting the defendant's motion to dismiss and determining that the litigation privilege affords the defendant absolute immunity from the plaintiff's action for statutory theft, which was brought pursuant to General Statutes § 52-564, (2) ruling that the public policy considerations underlying the litigation privilege are served by affording the defendant absolute immunity from civil liability for his alleged criminal conduct that was the basis for the statutory theft claim, (3) its application of the balancing of interests test set forth in Simms v. Seaman, 308 Conn. 523, 543–44, 69 A.3d 880 (2013), and (4) granting the motion to dismiss and determining that the defendant was absolutely immune from liability for statutory theft where some of the defendant's alleged criminal conduct was perpetrated outside the scope of judicial proceedings. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")