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.

Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3968

AC41566 - Merritt Medical Center Owners Corp. v. Gianetti (Foreclosure of statutory (§ 47-258 (m)) liens against medical office units for unpaid common charges; "In this joint appeal, the defendant Charles D. Gianetti appeals from two judgments of foreclosure by sale, each rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Merritt Medical Center Owners Corp., Inc., as to the defendant's two medical office units, which are located in a common interest community organized under the Common Interest Ownership Act (act), General Statutes § 47-200 et seq. The defendant claims in relevant part that the trial court improperly granted the plaintiff's motions for summary judgment as to liability after it erroneously concluded that the plaintiff was in compliance with the mandates of General Statutes § 47-258 (m) when it commenced these actions. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

AC41541 - American Tax Funding, LLC v. Gore (Foreclosure of municipal tax liens; "In this municipal tax foreclosure case, the defendant William T. Gore, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to open the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered in favor of the substitute plaintiff, ATFH Real Property, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion to open the judgment because he had equity in the home and, therefore, the judgment of strict foreclosure had been improper when it was rendered. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42010 - World Business Lenders, LLC v. 526-528 North Main Street, LLC (Foreclosure; "The defendant Elissa E. Speer appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the substitute plaintiff, WBL SPE II, LLC (substitute plaintiff). On appeal, Speer claims that the court improperly rendered the judgment of strict foreclosure because (1) the note and mortgage charged more than 120 percent interest and were unconscionable, (2) the amended complaint did not describe the property being foreclosed, and (3) the substitute plaintiff lacked standing as of the date of the amended complaint. For the reasons that follow, we dismiss the appeal.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3966

AC41856 - State v. Hernandez (Assault in first degree; "The defendant, Jose Luis Hernandez, appeals from the judgment of conviction, following a jury trial, of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his constitutional right to be present at all critical stages of his prosecution when it sentenced him in absentia. Specifically, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his constitutional right to be present at all critical stages of his prosecution because it failed (1) to make an express finding that the defendant waived his right to be present, and (2) to notify the defendant, prior to sentencing him, that sentencing would proceed in his absence if he did not appear. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Probate Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3969

AC42587 - Lamberton v. Lamberton ("The plaintiffs, Lance Lamberton and Roark Lamberton-Davies, appeal from the Superior Court's judgment in a de novo appeal from an order of the Probate Court for the district of Stamford awarding the defendant Rearden Lamberton, the nominated executor, legal fees incurred in the defense of a will in Probate Court, pursuant to General Statutes § 45a-294.The plaintiffs claim that the Superior Court (1) erroneously found that a nominated executor in a will not yet admitted to probate has standing to seek reimbursement of fees prior to being appointed as an executor by the Probate Court while a will contest is pending and (2) abused its discretion in awarding the fees prior to the conclusion of a hearing on the merits of an objection to the writing submitted to probate.

…We conclude that the court properly decided that § 45a-294 permits the award of legal fees as a reasonable expense incurred by a nominated executor to defend a will prior to admission of the will to probate. We further conclude that, in light of the reasons for appeal to the Superior Court and the paucity of the stipulation of facts, the court properly decided that the plaintiffs waived or conceded the issue of their reasonableness.")


April 29th and 30th Updates to the Judicial Branch Home Page and COVID-19 Information Page

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3967

Below are two recent updates to the Judicial Branch home page and COVID-19 information page:

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Connecticut Law Journal - April 28, 2020

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3964

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 44, for April 28, 2020 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 335: Orders (Pages 916 - 917)
  • Volume 335: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 197: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 83 - 226)
  • Volume 197: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports


Attorney Discipline Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3963

SC20390 - Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel v. Miller ("In connection with the presentment filed by the plaintiff, the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, alleging misconduct by the defendant attorney, Josephine Smalls Miller, the defendant appeals from the judgment of the trial court suspending her from the practice of law for one year for violating numerous provisions in the Rules of Professional Conduct. Following the trial court’s judgment, the defendant filed a motion for articulation, which the trial court denied.The defendant filed a motion for review with the Appellate Court, which was granted, but that court denied any relief. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court’s refusal to articulate and the Appellate Court’s refusal to order an articulation violate her due process rights, (2) the trial court incorrectly concluded that she engaged in misconduct sufficient to warrant any discipline, including suspension from the practice of law, and (3) the trial court incorrectly concluded that her claims of racial discrimination and retaliation were not properly raised in the presentment hearing.

The judgment is affirmed.")


Family Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3962

SC20384 - Foisie v. Foisie ("In this appeal, we are asked to decide for the first time whether a party to a dissolution of marriage action may substitute the executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased party in the place of the decedent under General Statutes § 52-599, when the pending civil proceeding seeks to open a judgment of dissolution on the basis of financial fraud. The plaintiff, Janet Foisie, claims that the trial court improperly denied her motion to substitute the coexecutors of the estate of the defendant, Robert Foisie, her former husband, in his place. Specifically, she argues that the trial court incorrectly determined that the defendant’s death defeated and rendered useless her underlying motion to open the judgment of dissolution, thereby prohibiting substitution under § 52-599 (c). The trial court ruled that granting the motion to open would reinstate the parties’ marriage, the reinstated marriage automatically would be dissolved under General Statutes § 46b-40 due to the defendant’s death, and, thus, the reopened action for dissolution would abate, preventing the court from granting the plaintiff any relief. We disagree and therefore reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")



April 23rd Update to the Judicial Branch Home Page and COVID-19 Information Page

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3960

Below are two recent updates to the Judicial Branch home page and COVID-19 information page:

  • 04/23/20 -- All foreclosure sales scheduled for June and through July 18, 2020 are hereby cancelled in order to prevent a potential gathering of individuals at the auction site. Click here for more information.

  • 04/23/20 -- Per order of Judge James W. Abrams, Chief Administrative Judge of Civil Matters, there is an IMMEDIATE STAY of the service of all issued executions on evictions and ejectments through June 1, 2020. Click here for the order.

For the most current information, see the COVID-19 information page. Also, there is a Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 and Court Business web page organized by topic.

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Declaratory Judgment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3957

AC42550 - Gawlik v. Semple (Religious discrimination; "The self-represented, incarcerated plaintiff, Jan Gawlik, brought this action for declaratory and injunctive relief against present and former employees of the Department of Correction (department)—namely, former Commissioner of Correction Scott Semple, District Administrator Angel Quiros, Warden Scott Erfe, and Simone Wislocki, a mail handler at the Cheshire Correctional Institution (Cheshire)—in their official capacities. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had wrongly withheld from him religious literature, blank prayer cards and holiday cards in violation of his rights under the first amendment to the United States constitution; article first, § 3, of the constitution of Connecticut; the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq. (2012); and the Connecticut Act Concerning Religious Freedom, General Statutes § 52-571b. The plaintiff also alleged that the applicable department administrative directives justifying the department's actions were not promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, General Statutes § 4-166 et seq. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the defendants, from which the plaintiff now appeals. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3955

AC42301 - Harris v. Neale (Negligence; motion to open judgment; "The plaintiff Victor Harris appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to open the judgment of dismissal rendered in favor of the defendants, Christine Neale and Christopher Neale. On appeal, Harris claims that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion to open. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3956

AC41723 - JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Assn. v. Syed (Foreclosure; motion for summary judgment; judgment of strict foreclosure; "In this foreclosure action, the defendant Sonia Syed appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the second substitute plaintiff, Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, doing business as Christiana Trust, as Trustee for Normandy Mortgage Loan Trust, Series 2017-1 (Wilmington). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erroneously (1) granted the motion filed by the first substitute plaintiff, Christiana Trust, A Division of Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB as Trustee for Normandy Mortgage Loan Trust Series 2013-18 (Christiana Trust), for summary judgment as to liability, despite questions concerning whether the original plaintiff, JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association (JPMorgan), was the holder of the note at the time it commenced this foreclosure action, (2) rejected the defendant's first and third special defenses when granting summary judgment as to liability, and (3) struck the defendant's fourth count of her amended counterclaim when it granted summary judgment as to liability. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3954

AC41812 - Stephenson v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas corpus; larceny in fifth degree; larceny in sixth degree; ineffective assistance of trial counsel; "The petitioner, Joseph Stephenson, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing, as moot, his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The court dismissed the petition, which alleged that the petitioner's trial counsel had rendered ineffective assistance by inaccurately advising him about the consequences of pleading guilty under federal immigration law, because the petitioner's ordered removal from the United States rests, in part, on a conviction that he did not challenge in his habeas petition. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly dismissed his petition as moot, arguing that (1) "deportation—not a deportation order—is the triggering event that renders a case moot, and that a case does not become moot until [the] petitioner is actually physically removed from the United States," and (2) "collateral consequences other than immigration exist and will continue to exist until the petitioner's actual physical removal from the United States." We agree with the petitioner's second argument and, thus, reverse the judgment of the court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3953

AC42104 - State v. Holley (Motion to correct illegal sentence; criminal possession of firearm; statutory interpretation; rule of lenity; "The defendant, Jubar T. Holley, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant's central claim on appeal is that the trial court improperly concluded that his consecutive sentences did not violate the federal and state constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy. Specifically, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to correct an illegal sentence by (1) relying on federal and sister state case law, rather than on Connecticut precedent, (2) applying an incorrect standard of review, and (3) failing to apply the rule of lenity. To resolve the defendant's appeal, we are required to determine whether the legislature, in enacting General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-217 (a) (1), the criminal possession of a firearm statute, intended to punish the possession of each firearm or to punish only once the act of possessing multiple firearms. Our resolution of this question informs our analysis of the defendant's ancillary claim that the trial court improperly failed to apply the rule of lenity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43221 - State v. Holmgren (Home invasion; burglary in first degree; sexual assault in third degree; "The defendant, Fredrik Holmgren, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3), and sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (1) (B). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction on the charges of home invasion and burglary in the first degree, and (2) the trial court improperly allowed the state to introduce irrelevant and prejudicial evidence of statements that he made to a police detective prior to his arrest. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41448 - State v. Fredrik H. (Unlawful restraint in first degree; interfering with emergency call; criminal mischief in third degree; "The defendant, Fredrik H., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial,of unlawful restraint in violation of General Statutes § 53a-95 (a), interfering with an emergency call in violation of General Statutes § 53a-183b (a), and criminal mischief in violation of General Statutes § 53a-117 (a) (1) (A). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to prove that he specifically intended to restrain the victim, and (2) the trial court improperly allowed the state to introduce evidence of certain uncharged misconduct. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3952

SC20344 - Wolfork v. Yale Medical Group ("The defendants, Yale Medical Group, Yale School of Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc., and Yale New Haven Health System, appeal from the order of the trial court granting the motion of the substitute plaintiff, Damian Pisani (Pisani), to open and vacate the trial court's final judgment of dismissal for failure to prosecute the present action with reasonable diligence under Practice Book § 14-3. The defendants contend that the trial court improperly opened the judgment pursuant to General Statutes § 52-212 and Practice Book § 17-43 because (1) Pisani was not a party to the action and, therefore, lacked standing, (2) the motion was not verified by oath, did not demonstrate that a good cause of action existed, and did not establish reasonable cause to excuse the failure to prosecute the action with reasonable diligence, and (3) "there [was] absolutely no claim of fraud on the part of the present defendants." We dismiss the defendants' appeal in part because we conclude that appellate jurisdiction exists only with respect to the defendants' challenge to the subject matter jurisdiction of the trial court to open the judgment on the ground of Pisani's alleged lack of standing. We reject the defendants' standing claim and, therefore, uphold the trial court's determination with respect to the issue of standing.")


April 22nd Update to the Judicial Branch Home Page and Covid-19 Information Page

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3951

Below is a recent update to the Judicial Branch home page and Covid-19 information page:

  • 04/22/20 -- Pursuant to Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7BB, effective immediately no person is permitted to enter a Judicial Branch courthouse or facility without covering his/her mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.

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New Office of Legislative Research Reports on COVID-19 Emergency

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3948

The Office of Legislative Research has recently published the following reports:

COVID-19 Executive Orders Affecting Business, Labor, and Housing - 2020-R-0109 - This report provides brief summaries of the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders concerning business, labor, and housing. The report includes all related executive orders since the governor’s March 10, 2020,declaration of public health and civil preparedness emergencies, through April 15, 2020.

OLR Backgrounder: Unemployment Insurance Provisions in the Federal CARES Act - 2020-R-0107 - This report summarizes the main provisions on unemployment insurance benefits in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136).


April 17th Update to the Judicial Branch Home Page and Covid-19 Information Page

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3950

Below is a recent update to the Judicial Branch home page and Covid-19 information page:

  • 04/17/20 -- Civil Short Calendar will be reinstated effective May 4, 2020 for non-arguable matters, but no short calendar court sessions will be held until the Judicial Branch resumes normal operations. For more information

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