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.


Law Library Hours Update - January 17th - January 25th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3324

Thursday, January 17th

  • Waterbury Law Library is closed.

Friday, January 18th

  • Rockville Law Library will open at 2:00 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library will be closed.

Monday, January 21st

  • All Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Day

Wednesday, January 23rd

  • Danbury Law Library will be closed from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 24th

  • Danbury Law Library will be open until 3:30 p.m.


Friday, January 25th

  • Danbury Law Library will be closed.
  • Rockville Law Library will open at 2:00 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library will open at 1:00 p.m.



Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3330

AC40652 - Hodges v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) improperly rejected his claim that his trial counsel, Donald J. Cretella, Jr., rendered ineffective assistance and (2) abused its discretion by precluding the petitioner’s expert from testifying at the habeas trial. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court… The petitioner argues that the court improperly concluded that Cretella did not perform deficiently by declining to consult with and retain an expert to provide testimony on video forensics. Specifically, the petitioner argues that the quality of the surveillance video was poor and that an expert could explain how anomalies within the video footage could make it falsely appear as if an item, such as a firearm, were present. We are not persuaded.")

AC40520 - Buie v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly determined that he had received effective assistance from his prior habeas counsel. We conclude that the court properly determined that the petitioner failed to establish prejudice as a result of the allegedly deficient performance of his prior habeas counsel. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3327

SC19898 - Ventura v. East Haven (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Thomas Ventura, commenced this action against the named defendant, the town of East Haven, seeking damages for injuries he sustained when he was struck by an unregistered vehicle driven by a third party, Vladimir Trnka. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant is liable for those damages because he would not have incurred them if Jeffrey R. Strand, an East Haven police officer who had been dispatched to respond to an incident involving Trnka shortly before he was struck, had directed that Trnka's vehicle be towed in accordance with certain police department tow rules. According to the plaintiff, those rules require the towing of unregistered vehicles like Trnka’s. Following a trial, the jury rejected the defendant's claim of governmental immunity, finding that Strand had a ministerial duty under those tow rules to have had Trnka’s vehicle towed, and awarded the plaintiff $12,200,000 in damages. The trial court thereafter granted in part the defendant's motion for remittitur and reduced the verdict to $6,200,000. The defendant appealed to the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the trial court on the ground that the defendant was immune from suit because its tow rules did not impose on Strand a clear ministerial duty to tow Trnka’s vehicle. See Ventura v. East Haven, 170 Conn. App. 388, 414–15, 154 A.3d 1020 (2017). We granted the plaintiff’s petition for certification to appeal, limited to the issue of whether the Appellate Court correctly determined that governmental immunity barred the plaintiff’s action. Ventura v. East Haven, 325 Conn. 905, 156 A.3d 537 (2017). We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court because we agree that the plaintiff's action is foreclosed by governmental immunity.")

AC40799 - Anderson v. Dike (Personal injury; "The plaintiff, Francis Anderson, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, Charles Dike, Thomas Ward-McKinley, Steve Lazrove and Heather Madison. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, (2) denied his motion for a jury trial and (3) denied his motions for the appointment of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3329

AC40789 - Kirwan v. Kirwan ("On appeal, the defendant raises various repetitive and overlapping claims of error, which this court has distilled into the three inclusive issues addressed in this opinion. The core of the defendant's claims are that the court erred in (1) ordering him to pay 75 percent of his children's private middle school tuition for the 2015–2016, 2016–2017, and 2017–2018 academic years, because their enrollment in the school was not decided pursuant to the parties' parenting plan, (2) ordering him to pay for a portion of the 2015–2016 school year tuition that was incurred before October 23, 2015, the date of the dissolution, and (3) finding him in contempt. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3328

AC40450 - Watson Real Estate, LLC v. Woodland Ridge, LLC ("This action arises out of an escrow agreement entered into by the parties in conjunction with the purchase of a lot in a residential subdivision owned by the defendant Woodland Ridge, LLC. The plaintiff, Watson Real Estate, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a bench trial, in favor of the defendant on the plaintiff's breach of contract claim, as well as from the court's subsequent order denying the plaintiff's request for leave to amend its revised complaint. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court (1) improperly failed to find that there was a meeting of the minds between the parties as to the specifications of the common driveway that the defendant was required, under the escrow agreement, to install within the subdivision, (2) improperly failed to find that the defendant breached the escrow agreement by not reimbursing the plaintiff for costs it incurred in relation to certain work that the defendant was required under the agreement to complete, and (3) abused its discretion in denying the plaintiff's request for leave to amend its revised complaint to conform to the evidence adduced at trial. 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=3325

AC39597 - State v. Williams (Attempt to commit home invasion; manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, DaQuan D. Williams, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of attempt to commit home invasion in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-100aa (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence to support this conviction because the state failed to prove that he attempted to enter the apartment in which Jouleigh Clemente was located, and the state failed to present evidence that he had the specific intent to seriously injure Clemente. We reverse the judgment of conviction on this count.")

AC41228 - State v. Santiago (Murder; "The defendant, Victor Santiago, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial on the charge of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence (1) his wife's statement to the police as a prior consistent statement and (2) her testimony of uncharged misconduct relating to domestic violence perpetrated by the defendant. Additionally, the defendant claims that the prosecutor's alleged violations of the court's order limiting the scope of uncharged misconduct evidence constituted prosecutorial impropriety that deprived him of his due process right to a fair trial. Alternatively, the defendant claims that the alleged prosecutorial impropriety warrants the exercise of this court's supervisory authority to award him a new trial, based on similar conduct by the prosecutor in at least one other trial. We affirm the judgment of conviction.")



Employment Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3326

AC40597 - Boucher v. Saint Francis GI Endoscopy, LLC ("In this employment discrimination action, the plaintiff, Darlene Boucher, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of her employer, the defendant, Saint Francis GI Endoscopy, LLC, on the plaintiff's complaint, which alleged that her employer retaliated against her when she complained about being sexually harassed by a coworker. See General Statutes § 46a-60 (b) (4). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact as to her retaliation claim. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40130 - Fitzgerald v. Bridgeport ("The defendant Manuel Cotto appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his counterclaim and in favor of the plaintiffs. The court struck Cotto's name from the eligibility list for promotion to police captain after concluding that Cotto had not met the eligibility requirements and should not have been allowed to take the captain examination. On appeal, Cotto claims that the court improperly (1) dismissed his counterclaim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the basis that he had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, and (2) determined that a twenty-second lieutenant position was not established as required pursuant to § 206 (d) of the charter of the city of Bridgeport. He claims in the alternative that even if the trial court properly determined that the twenty-second lieutenant position was not established as required, the court's conclusion that he was ineligible to take the captain examination constituted an improper sanction of an illegal appointment. We affirm the judgment of the court.")



Connecticut Law Journal - January 15, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3323

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 29, for January 15, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 575 - 613)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 958 - 959)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 187: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 106 - 282)
  • Volume 187: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases



Legal Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3318

AC40432 - Dubinsky v. Reich ("The plaintiff, David Dubinsky, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants, Veronica Reich and Bai, Pollack, Blueweiss & Mulcahey, P.C. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that the defendants were entitled to absolute immunity. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Advance Release Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3319

AC40094 - Norris v. Trumbull (Negligence; "The sole issue raised in this appeal is whether a regional educational service center established, pursuant to General Statutes § 10-66a et seq., by four or more municipal boards of education is entitled to invoke sovereign immunity in a negligence action brought by a special needs student injured while attending a school operated and managed by the regional educational service center. The defendant Cooperative Educational Services appeals from the trial court's denial of its motion to dismiss on sovereign immunity grounds that portion of the operative complaint filed against it by the plaintiffs, Ashley Norris, a minor child acting through her mother and next friend, Bonita Wiggins, and Bonita Wiggins individually. The defendant claims that the court improperly determined that the defendant's role in supervising students committed to its care and custody is a municipal function that is not shielded by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. We disagree and conclude that the court properly denied the defendant's motion to dismiss. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40263 - Villages, LLC v. Longhi (Fraud; "The plaintiff, Villages, LLC, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Lori Longhi, who at all relevant times was a member of the Enfield Planning and Zoning Commission (commission). The plaintiff claims on appeal that the court improperly concluded that (1) the defendant was not collaterally estopped from disputing liability, and (2) the defendant was entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims for fraudulent misrepresentation and intentional interference with a business expectancy. 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=3316

AC40847 - State v. Joseph B. (Sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in third degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Joseph B., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), one count of sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (2), two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion when it (1) denied his motion for a bill of particulars, (2) admitted evidence that the victim was diagnosed with trichomonas vaginalis, and (3) admitted evidence of text messages that were disclosed on the first day of trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40831 - State v. Hanisko (Possession of child pornography in second degree; "The defendant, Stephen Hanisko, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a court trial, of possession of child pornography in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-196e. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a search and seizure warrant (search warrant) because the information contained in the search warrant affidavit was stale at the time that the search warrant was issued, and (2) the trial court's "evidentiary rulings" were incorrect because the court failed to recognize the oppressive delay between the execution of the search warrant and the issuance of the warrant for his arrest, resulting in a violation of his right to due process. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40429 - State v. Bethea (Falsely reporting incident in second degree; "The self-represented defendant, Jemal E. Bethea, appeals from the judgment of conviction that was rendered against him, upon the verdict of a jury, on the charge of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-180c (a) (1). The defendant was tried under an amended information dated March 2, 2017, in which the state alleged, inter alia, that on or about April 8, 2014, in Wallingford, while knowing the information he reported was false or baseless, he reported to law enforcement an incident that did not in fact occur involving the alleged theft of his motor vehicle, and then, with the intent to injure, defraud or deceive Omni Insurance Group, Inc. (Omni), presented a statement of material fact in support of an insurance claim knowing that the statement contained false or misleading information. Although the defendant's appellate brief is not a model of clarity, we construe his claims on appeal to be (1) that the evidence at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of falsely reporting an incident, (2) that the verdicts in his case, finding him guilty of falsely reporting an incident but not guilty of insurance fraud, were legally inconsistent, (3) that neither the warrant to search and seize the cell phone records of the defendant's girlfriend, who was allegedly driving the defendant's vehicle at the time it was reportedly stolen, nor the warrant for the defendant's arrest in this case was supported by probable cause, (4) that the trial court erred in admitting a first time in-court identification of his girlfriend by an eyewitness, Jacqueline Pecora, (5) that the trial court erred in admitting impermissible hearsay testimony by Pecora that was more prejudicial than probative, (6) that the trial court erred in admitting the defendant's out-of-court statements to the police that were impermissible hearsay, and (7) that the prosecutor committed a Brady violation by withholding the exculpatory testimony of an eyewitness, Allen Murchie. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3317

AC39999 - Truskauskas v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The plaintiff, Don Truskauskas, appeals from the judgments of the trial court finding him in contempt for violating the terms of a stipulated judgment involving himself, the defendant, the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Harwinton (board), and the intervenors, Ronald Genovese and Jessica Genovese, who own property abutting that of the plaintiff. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly interpreted the March 30, 2016 stipulated judgment and found that he wilfully had violated the stipulated judgment. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3320

AC39910 - Hoffkins v. Hart-D'Amato ("In this action for the collection of unpaid legal fees, the named defendant, Dianne Hart-D'Amato, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Kevin L. Hoffkins. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion when it (1) denied her motion for disqualification of the trial judge, and (2) precluded relevant evidence offered by the defendant. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3321

SC19889- Marquez v. Commissioner of Correction ("In this certified appeal, we are asked to consider whether the state violated the due process rights of the petitioner… On appeal to this court, the petitioner asks us to conclude, contrary to the determination of the habeas court and the Appellate Court; Marquez v. Commissioner of Correction, 170 Conn. App. 231, 240, 154 A.3d 73 (2017); that the state had an agreement with Soler that it had not disclosed to the petitioner in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963); see also Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 153, 92 S. Ct. 763, 31 L. Ed. 2d 104 (1972); Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 269, 79 S. Ct. 1173, 3 L. Ed. 2d 1217 (1959); and in contravention of the fourteenth amendment to the federal constitution. U.S. Const., amend. XIV, § 1. The petitioner also asks us to conclude that the nondisclosure of this agreement was ‘material,’ warranting the relief he sought from the habeas court… Because we conclude that, in the present case, the testimony in question was immaterial under the third prong of Brady and, therefore, that there was no violation of the petitioner’s due process rights, we need not comment further on the state’s disclosure of any pretrial discussions with Soler. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court on the alternative basis of immateriality.")

AC37998 - Ham v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal with respect to his claims that (1) the prosecutor at his criminal trial violated his right to due process by failing to disclose material exculpatory evidence and (2) counsel in a prior habeas action deprived him of his right to the effective assistance of counsel by failing to pursue a claim of ineffective assistance on the part of his criminal trial counsel. Because we conclude that the court properly exercised its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, we dismiss the appeal.")



Connecticut Law Journal - January 8, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3314

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 28, for January 8, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 520 - 575)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 186: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 814 - 873)
  • Volume 186: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Volume 187: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 1 - 105)
  • Volume 187: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies