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Connecticut Law Journal - March 19, 2019

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3408

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 38, for March 19, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 331: Connecticut Reports (Pages 53 - 200)
  • Volume 331: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 188: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 481 - 670)
  • Volume 188: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


New OLR Report on Drug-Impaired Driving Laws

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3409

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research has recently published a report on Drug-Impaired Driving Laws. The report discusses Connecticut's current DUI (driving under the influence) laws, how states with legal recreational marijuana have enacted DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) laws, and options for tests or techniques to identify drug-impaired drivers.

For more information on this topic, please see our Law about Driving Under the Influence, Medical Marijuana, and Drug Crimes pages.


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3404

AC41011 - State v. Hutton (Murder; "The defendant, Nirone Hutton, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court violated his rights under the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to the United States constitution as articulated in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 124 S. Ct. 1354, 158 L. Ed. 2d 177 (2004). Specifically, the defendant argues that the court violated his confrontation rights by improperly admitting into evidence a witness' prior videotaped statement to the police in accordance with State v. Whelan, 200 Conn. 743, 753, 513 A.2d 86, cert. denied, 479 U.S. 994, 107 S. Ct. 597, 93 L. Ed. 2d 598 (1986), because the witness was functionally unavailable for cross-examination due to his refusal to provide verbal responses to any questions asked by the prosecutor or defense counsel when called to testify before the jury. The defendant further argues that the improper admission of the witness' prior statement did not constitute harmless error because its content significantly undermined his justification defense. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of conviction and remand the matter for a new trial.")

AC40337 - State v. Dawson (Criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The defendant, Andre Dawson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence that he was in possession of a pistol or revolver (gun), and (2) he was deprived of a fair trial by the prosecutor's final argument in which the prosecutor allegedly (a) misstated the law of constructive possession and (b) mischaracterized the DNA evidence presented at trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41291 - State v. Weathers (Murder; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Gregory L. Weathers, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial by a three judge court, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c (a) (1), and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court's rejection of his affirmative defense of mental disease or defect was not reasonably supported by the evidence and (2) the court erred as a matter of law in deciding an issue without the aid of expert testimony. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40924 - State v. Dunbar (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Timolyn Dunbar, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding her in violation of her probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court improperly found a violation of probation on the basis of insufficient evidence, (2) her right to due process was violated by the identification procedures used in this case and (3) her right to due process was violated when the court denied her the right to confront an adverse witness. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3407

AC40751 - Smalls v. Commissioner of Correction ("Following the granting of his petition for certification to appeal, the petitioner, Bernard Smalls, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in rejecting his claim that his prior habeas attorney rendered ineffective assistance by failing effectively to raise his claim that his attorney in his underlying criminal trial rendered ineffective assistance by failing to explain to him the implications of a plea offer that he rejected. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3405

AC40613 - Nappo v. Nappo ("The self-represented defendant, William Nappo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting postdissolution motions filed by the plaintiff, Lucille Nappo, for modification of alimony and for contempt. The defendant claims that the court erred in (1) granting the plaintiff's motion for modification, thereby increasing his monthly alimony payments, and (2) imposing certain sanctions and fashioning additional orders directed to the defendant upon finding him in contempt and/or not in compliance with several court orders. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3406

AC41322 - Andrade v. Lego Systems, Inc. ("In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Drey Andrade, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Lego Systems, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that there was insufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the circumstances surrounding the defendant's termination of the plaintiff's employment could give rise to an inference of discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3403

SC19832, SC19833 - Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC (Wrongful death action pursuant to statute (§ 52-555); "On December 14, 2012, twenty year old Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and, during the course of 264 seconds, fatally shot twenty first grade children and six staff members, and wounded two other staff members. Lanza carried out this massacre using a Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle that was allegedly manufactured, distributed, and ultimately sold to Lanza's mother by the various defendants in this case. There is no doubt that Lanza was directly and primarily responsible for this appalling series of crimes. In this action, however, the plaintiffs—administrators of the estates of nine of the decedents—contend that the defendants also bear some of the blame. The plaintiffs assert a number of different legal theories as to why the defendants should be held partly responsible for the tragedy. The defendants counter that all of the plaintiffs' legal theories are not only barred under Connecticut law, but also precluded by a federal statute, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), Pub. L. No. 109-92, 119 Stat. 2095 (2005), codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901 through 7903 (2012), which, with limited exceptions, immunizes firearms manufacturers, distributors, and dealers from civil liability for crimes committed by third parties using their weapons. See 15 U.S.C. §§ 7902 (a) and 7903 (5) (2012).

"For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we agree with the defendants that most of the plaintiffs' claims and legal theories are precluded by established Connecticut law and/or PLCAA. For example, we expressly reject the plaintiffs' theory that, merely by selling semiautomatic rifles—which were legal at the time —to the civilian population, the defendants became responsible for any crimes committed with those weapons.")



Connecticut Law Journal - March 12, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3401

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 37, for March 12, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 331: Orders (Pages 902 - 906)
  • Volume 331: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 188: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 275 - 480)
  • Volume 188: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Research Guides Updated in February

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3400

The Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries have updated the following research guides in February:


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3395

AC40988 - Lopes v. Ferrari ("The plaintiff, Yisiah Lopes, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the parties joint custody of their minor child and giving the defendant, Maryanna Ferrari, final decision-making authority when the parties fail to agree on a disputed matter concerning the child. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) due to the court's denial of his motion requesting the court to order the defendant to undergo a psychological evaluation, the evidence was insufficient for the court to make an accurate assessment of the child's best interests, and (2) the court's custody determination, as set forth in its memorandum of decision, fails to comply with General Statutes §§ 46b-56 and 46b-56a (b). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Legal Malpractice Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3393

AC40021 - Deroy v. Reck ("In this legal malpractice action, the self-represented plaintiff, Aleta Deroy, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant attorneys, Stephen M. Reck, Raymond Trebisacci, and Lewis A. Button III. On appeal, the plaintiff claims, inter alia, that the court improperly concluded that expert testimony was necessary to establish the standard of proper professional skill or care, and that the failure of the plaintiff to disclose such an expert required the court to render summary judgment in favor of the defendants. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40447 - Manzo-Ill v. Schoonmaker ("The plaintiff, Ellen M. Manzo-Ill, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Schoonmaker, George & Blomberg, P.C., after a trial before the court. The court concluded that the plaintiff's claims of legal malpractice and fraudulent misrepresentation were barred by the three year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 52-577. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court (1) misapplied our Supreme Court's holding in DeLeo v. Nusbaum, 263 Conn. 588, 821 A.2d 744 (2003), regarding the continuous representation doctrine and the tolling of the statute of limitations and (2) abused its discretion in denying her motion to reargue. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3394

AC41079 - Garcia v. Cohen ("The plaintiff, Ussbasy Garcia, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendants, Robert Cohen and Diane N. Cohen. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by rejecting her request to charge and failing to instruct the jury that the possessor of real property has a nondelegable duty to maintain the premises. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Patients' Bill of Rights Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3397

AC40190 - Doe v. Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services ("The plaintiffs, Mary Doe and her conservator Jane Doe, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Connecticut Valley Hospital, and Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital (Whiting). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) concluded that the commitment of Mary Doe, as the only woman in an otherwise all male maximum security unit at a forensic psychiatric hospital, was not a per se violation of the statutory bill of rights for psychiatric patients (patients' bill of rights); see General Statutes §§ 17a-540 through 17a-550; and (2) applied the standard outlined by Mahoney v. Lensink, 213 Conn. 548, 565–68, 569 A.2d 518 (1990), to determine that the defendants' treatment of Mary Doe while she was committed to the maximum security unit had not violated her right to 'humane and dignified treatment' under § 17a-542. 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=3391

AC41512 - State v. Gonzalez (Home invasion; sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Jose Diego Gonzalez, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), three counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), and one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence that he intended to commit sexual assault by force at the time he entered the victim's home. He also claims that the prosecutor's closing argument was improper and (1) deprived him of his right to be heard by counsel during final argument, (2) deprived him of the right to a fair trial, and (3) entitled him to a new trial on the charge of home invasion. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40668 - State v. Ruiz (Violation of probation; motion to suppress; claim that trial court improperly denied motion to suppress one-on-one showup identification; "The defendant, Jose Ruiz, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and imposing a sentence of seven and one-half years incarceration, execution suspended after four years, and three years of probation. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly denied his motion to suppress the one-on-one showup identification on the ground that the identification procedure was not unnecessarily suggestive, (2) improperly found that he violated his probation, and (3) abused its discretion in revoking his probation. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41385 - State v. Gray-Brown (Felony murder; robbery in first degree; carrying pistol without permit; "The defendant, Dovante Gray-Brown, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (1) and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). The defendant claims on appeal that (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress several items of evidence taken from his bedroom because his mother lacked authority to consent to a search of his bedroom, (2) the court abused its discretion by admitting those same items into evidence because they were not relevant and were more prejudicial than probative, (3) there was insufficient evidence to prove, as required for the crime of carrying a pistol without a permit, that the defendant possessed a firearm that had a gun barrel less than twelve inches in length, (4) the court improperly denied the defendant's request for a third-party culpability instruction, and (5) the court improperly refused to question a juror regarding an issue of juror partiality that was raised after conviction. We agree with the defendant that there was insufficient evidence to prove, as required by § 29-35 (a), that the length of the barrel of the firearm used to commit the crime was less than twelve inches. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of conviction as to that count with direction to render a judgment of acquittal on the charge of carrying a pistol without a permit. We are not persuaded, however, by the remainder of the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction in all other respects.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3392

AC40039 - Bank of New York Mellon v. Ruttkamp ("The defendant, Shlomit Ruttkamp, appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff and counterclaim defendant, The Bank of New York Mellon formerly known as The Bank of New York, as Trustee on Behalf of CIT Mortgage Loan Trust 2007-1. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction because of the plaintiff's alleged lack of standing and (2) improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the defendant's counterclaim, which alleged that the plaintiff wrongfully failed to release the notice of lis pendens it had recorded on the land records of the subject property. We affirm the judgment of strict foreclosure.")


Juvenile Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3399

AC41875- In re Malachi E. (“On appeal, the respondent claims that the court erred in determining that the termination of her parental rights was in the best interest of the child because (1) the court relied entirely on its adjudicatory determination that the respondent had failed to achieve sufficient personal rehabilitation, and (2) there was no evidence to support its determination that the termination of her parental rights was in the best interest of the child. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3398

AC40587 - Betts v. Commissioner of Correction (Amended petition… “in which he claimed that trial counsel in his underlying criminal prosecution rendered ineffective assistance by giving him constitutionally inadequate advice concerning the state’s pretrial plea offer to recommend a lesser sentence in exchange for his guilty plea to certain charges, which he rejected before the start of trial. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in ruling that (1) trial counsel did not give him inadequate advice concerning the state’s pretrial plea offer, and (2) he was not prejudiced by such allegedly inadequate advice in connection with that offer. We disagree with both of the petitioner’s claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3396

AC40333 - Miller v. Board of Education ("The plaintiff, Josephine Miller, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court following its granting of the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants, the Board of Education of the City of Bridgeport (board), Mark Anastasi, and the City of Bridgeport (city). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in dismissing the action as untimely because it was saved by the accidental failure of suit statute, General Statutes § 52-592 (a), and, therefore, should have been allowed to proceed. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")