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.

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinion

by Mazur, Catherine


SC19401- Maio v. New Haven ("Under General Statutes § 53-39a, a police officer acquitted of crimes 'allegedly committed by such officer in the course of his duty' is entitled to indemnification from 'his employing governmental unit for economic loss sustained by him as a result of such prosecution . . . .' The plaintiff, Anthony J. Maio, a police officer with the New Haven Police Department (department), sought such reimbursement from the defendant, the city of New Haven, after he was acquitted of charges of sexual assault in the fourth degree and unlawful restraint for conduct involving two young women that allegedly occurred while he was working an 'extra duty' shift at a local nightclub. When the defendant declined to reimburse the plaintiff in accordance with § 53-39a, the plaintiff brought this action for indemnification. Following a trial, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed, claiming that the trial court improperly (1) instructed the jury on the meaning of the phrase 'in the course of [the officer's] duty' as that language is used in § 53-39a, and (2) precluded the defendant's use of the testimony of two key state's witnesses at the plaintiff's criminal trial, namely, A and J, the complainants and alleged victims of the plaintiff's claimed misconduct (complainants). Although we disagree with the defendant's claim of instructional impropriety, we agree that the trial court improperly prohibited the defendant from using the complainants' prior testimony and, further, that that evidentiary error was not harmless. We conclude, therefore, that the defendant is entitled to a new trial.")