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.

Judicial Branch to Livestream Civil and Housing Virtual Court Proceedings

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4302

Beginning February 1, 2021, virtual on-the-record civil and housing court proceedings will be livestreamed on the Branch’s YouTube channel:

The Judicial Branch is expanding remote public access to virtual civil and housing court proceedings while continuing its efforts to protect the health and safety of the public during the pandemic.

Beginning February 1, 2021, virtual on-the-record civil and housing court proceedings will be livestreamed on the Branch’s YouTube channel.

The public will continue to have access to the courts to view publicly available proceedings in person.

See the Branch's Notice of Livestreaming of on the Record Virtual Civil and Housing Court Proceedings for more information.

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Civil Procedure Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4300

AC43467 - Seaport Capital Partners, LLC v. Speer (Writ of error; "In this writ of error, the plaintiff in error, Edward Bona, an attorney appointed by the court to act as a receiver of rents in the underlying foreclosure action, challenges the judgment of the court granting a motion for a protective order filed by the defendant in error, Seaport Capital Partners, LLC (Seaport), to preclude certain discovery requests Bona made to Seaport and holding Bona personally liable to Seaport for $11,903.47. According to Bona, the court improperly (1) failed to account for certain evidence he offered, (2) ordered him to pay Seaport despite the fact that 'he never had and never collected' the money at issue, (3) denied a motion to disqualify Seaport's counsel, Donna R. Skaats, (4) denied a motion to disqualify Judge Koletsky, who previously had ruled in this matter against him, (5) denied him due process because notice of the hearing was inadequate and the court acted without a proper motion filed by a party, and (6) 'engaged in plain error by ratifying an open and notorious fraud upon the court . . . .' Seaport responds, inter alia, that this court should decline to review Bona's claims because his appellate brief and accompanying appendix are 'virtually incomprehensible,' difficult to respond to, and 'not in accordance with appellate practice.' We agree with Seaport, decline to review Bona's claims, and dismiss the writ of error because his claims are inadequately briefed and Bona has failed to comport his brief and appendix with our rules of appellate practice.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4299

AC43214 - Felder v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner first claims that the habeas court improperly determined that his petition was untimely under § 52- 470 (d) on the ground that it was not filed within the statutorily prescribed time limits, as measured from the date of the final judgment on his prior state court habeas petition, and that a habeas petition he previously had filed in federal court was not a ‘‘prior petition’’ within the meaning of § 52-470 (d) so as to reset the statutorily prescribed time limits to file a subsequent habeas petition challenging the same conviction. Alternatively, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that his purported ignorance of the filing deadline set forth in § 52-470 (d) and his belief that he could litigate his federal habeas petition before returning to state court were insufficient to demonstrate good cause within the meaning of § 52-470 (e) to overcome the statutory presumption of unreasonable delay. We disagree with the petitioner and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4297

AC42770 - Seramonte Associates, LLC v. Hamden (Tax appeal; "The plaintiff, Seramonte Associates, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the town of Hamden, as to count one of the plaintiff's complaint and granting the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's constitutional claims in count two. On appeal, the plaintiff claims, with respect to count one, that the court erred in holding that the word 'submit' as used in General Statutes § 12-63c requires that certain tax forms have to be received by the defendant by June 1, and, with respect to count two, that the court erred in granting the defendant's motion to strike, because the penalty imposed for the plaintiff's late submission of the tax forms amounts to a fine that violates the excessive fines clauses of the federal and the state constitutions. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Foreclosure Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4298

AC41720 - OneWest Bank, N.A. v. Ceslik ("On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred by (1) rejecting his defense of laches when it granted the motion of OneWest Bank, N.A. (OneWest), for summary judgment as to liability, (2) rejecting his postjudgment claim that the plaintiff lacked standing, (3) crediting obviously fraudulent and defective assignments of the mortgage, (4) denying his motion to dismiss the present action on the ground that OneWest initiated a prior identical foreclosure action against the defendant that it subsequently withdrew, and (5) denying him due process in connection with his motion for judgment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4296

AC42308 - State v. Njoku (Sexual assault in fourth degree; tampering with witness; "The defendant, Edwin Njoku, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to modify the conditions of his probation under General Statutes § 53a-30 (c). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to modify his probationary conditions with respect to his job related activity and use of social media. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Treatise Index - 2021 Update

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4295

The Connecticut Treatise Index organizes the Connecticut treatises and practical guides available in our law libraries into thirty-two topics.

Recent additions to the index include the following titles:

  • Connecticut Appellate Practice and Procedure 6th
  • Connecticut Foreclosures 10th
  • Connecticut Insurance Law 3d
  • Connecticut Medical Malpractice 5th


Motion to Dismiss, Request to Revise, and Motion to Strike

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4293

Three new responsive pleadings videos (see Practice Book §10-6) have been added to the Self-Represented Parties Information Series.

Videos:

The new videos are slidecasts on Motion to Dismiss, Request to Revise, and Motion to Strike. Each video includes an overview with a discussion of the grounds and general procedures for filing.

Research Guides:

More information on each of these motions is available on our research guides on Motion to Dismiss, Request to Revise, and Motion to Strike.


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4294

SC20407 - State v. Gomes (Assault in the 2nd Degree; whether "Investigative Inadequacy" jury instruction prejudiced defendant; whether Supreme Court should overrule or limit State v. Williams and State v. Collins and invoke its supervisory authority to prescribe a jury instruction on investigative inadequacy; "The defendant, Wagner Gomes, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming his conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that the trial court's investigative inadequacy jury instruction did not mislead the jury or otherwise deprive him of his right to present an investigative inadequacy defense. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - January 26, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4292

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 30, for January 26, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 905 - 907)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 202: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 315 - 445)
  • Volume 202: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 903 - 905)
  • Volume 202: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases
  • Connecticut Practice Book Amendments


Land Use Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4291

SC20393 - One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the suitability analysis mandated by General Statutes (Rev. to 2003) § 14-55 is still required in order to obtain a certificate of approval of the location for a used car dealership, notwithstanding the fact that subsequent revisions of the General Statutes list that provision as having been repealed. The plaintiff, One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC, filed an administrative appeal challenging the decision of the defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Stamford to grant a certificate of approval of the location for a used car dealership run by the defendants Pasquale Pisano and Pisano Brothers Automotive, Inc. After the trial court rendered judgment denying the administrative appeal, the plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Court, which reversed the trial court's judgment. See One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 192 Conn. App. 275, 277–78, 217 A.3d 1015 (2019). The defendants, following our grant of certification, now appeal to this court. On appeal, the defendants claim that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that § 14-55 continues to carry the force of law. In response, the plaintiff contends that the Appellate Court correctly concluded that § 14-55 was not repealed by a sequence of contradictory public acts relating to that statute that were passed by the legislature in 2003. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that § 14-55 has been repealed and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4288

AC40953 - State v. Williams (Larceny in first degree; "The defendant, Diane Williams, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of larceny in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-122 (a). On appeal, the defendant challenges the propriety of various evidentiary rulings and the denial of her request to secure the attendance at trial of several out-of-state witnesses. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42327 - State v. Edwards (Burglary in first degree; robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit larceny in first degree; assault in second degree; larceny in second degree; "The defendant, Tywan Edwards, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to a jury, of larceny in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-123 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to convict him of larceny in the second degree because the jury could not reasonably have found that (a) he possessed stolen property of a value greater than $10,000 or (b) he knew the property in his possession was stolen, (2) the trial court improperly admitted into evidence the testimony that the victim had identified items in a video exhibit as his, in violation of the rule against hearsay, (3) the trial court improperly prevented the defendant from cross-examining a witness concerning her alleged drug dealing subsequent to the crime with which he was charged, and (4) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury concerning reasonable doubt. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42481 - State v. Ferrazzano-Mazza (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; operating motor vehicle without license; "The defendant, Julie A. Ferrazzano-Mazza, appeals from the judgment of conviction of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a), which was tried to a jury, and operating a motor vehicle without a license in violation of General Statutes § 14-36 (a), which was tried to the court. The defendant also pleaded nolo contendere to being a third time offender in violation of § 14-227a (g) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) excluded evidence that she had offered to take a blood test in lieu of a Breathalyzer test and delivered to the jury a limiting instruction on the use of such evidence, and (2) denied her request to instruct the jury that field sobriety tests are not based on science. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4290

AC41486 - Northeast Builders Supply & Home Centers, LLC v. RMM Consulting, LLC ("On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly (1) granted the plaintiff's motion to strike four counts of their counterclaim on the ground that the counts were improperly joined because they failed the transaction test set forth in Practice Book § 10-10, and (2) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on its complaint and on the sole remaining count of the counterclaim because the court (a) incorrectly determined that the plaintiff was the seller of the goods at issue, (b) wrongly concluded that the individual defendants, Jones and Morrill, were liable as buyers of the goods rather than as guarantors only, (c) failed to properly consider the defendants' defense of revocation of acceptance, (d) rendered judgment for the plaintiff despite having found that some of the goods at issue were defective and that the plaintiff had refused to remedy or replace them, and (e) incorrectly found that the plaintiff proved its damages to a reasonable degree of certainty. We conclude that the court properly granted the motion to strike, but that the form of the judgment rendered on the stricken counts of the counterclaim was incorrect, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment on the stricken counts of the counterclaim and remand with direction to render a judgment of dismissal on those counts. We otherwise affirm the judgment of the court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4289

AC42705 - Rose v. Commissioner of Correction (Dismissal of petition as untimely under General Statutes § 52-470 (e); claim of failure to show good cause for delay; withdrawal of counsel; claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that he had not established good cause for the filing of his otherwise untimely petition and, therefore, erred in rendering judgment of dismissal. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4287

SC20466 - Burton v. Dept. of Environmental Protection (Environmental Protection; Nuclear Power; Whether Administrative Proceeding Concerning Renewal of Millstone's Wastewater Discharge Permit was Conducted in Violation of Connecticut Environmental Protection Act and Clean Water Act; "This case comes to us for the third time following lengthy and highly contested litigation. The plaintiff, Nancy Burton, brought an action under the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act of 1971 (CEPA), General Statutes § 22a-14 et seq., against the defendants, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., and an administrative appeal under General Statutes § 4-183 (a) against the defendants, the Department of Environmental Protection and Dominion. The actions, now consolidated, claim, in part, that the operation of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station (plant), which is owned and operated by Dominion, is causing unreasonable pollution of the waters of the state in violation of CEPA. Specifically, the plaintiff challenged the department's decision to issue a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit to Dominion to authorize the intake and discharge of water by the plant, claiming that the permit renewal proceeding was inadequate to protect the rights recognized by CEPA. The trial court previously dismissed the plaintiff's CEPA action for lack of standing, which this court reversed in Burton v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection, 291 Conn. 789, 970 A.2d 640 (2009) (Burton I). Thereafter, the trial court again dismissed the plaintiff's CEPA action, this time concluding that the action was moot because the permit renewal proceeding had terminated. This court reversed that decision in Burton v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection, 323 Conn. 668, 150 A.3d 666 (2016) (Burton II). On remand from Burton II, the trial court conducted a hearing on the merits of the plaintiff's CEPA claim and administrative appeal and rendered judgments in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff now appeals from those judgments, claiming, among other things, that the trial court incorrectly concluded that she failed to prove that the administrative proceeding was inadequate and the operation of the plant would result in unreasonable pollution.

Although the plaintiff's brief appears to assert six arguments, they are not clearly articulated, and they are more properly distilled into four claims. First, the plaintiff argues that the trial court incorrectly concluded that she failed to establish that the administrative proceeding was inadequate to protect the rights recognized by CEPA. Second, the plaintiff argues that the trial court improperly held that she failed to establish that unreasonable pollution would result from the plant's operation. Third, the plaintiff argues that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the department's BTA determination did not violate the Clean Water Act. Finally, the plaintiff argues that the trial court violated this court's remand order in Burton II by failing to follow the prescribed two step proceeding. The defendants argue that the plaintiff has inadequately briefed all of her claims. They also argue, in the alternative, that the trial court's procedures and substantive holdings were proper. We agree with the defendants that the majority of the plaintiff's claims are inadequately briefed, and we conclude that those claims that are adequately briefed lack merit.

The judgments are affirmed.")



Connecticut Law Journal - January 19, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4285

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 29, for January 19, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 903 - 905)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 202: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 234 - 314)
  • Volume 202: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 901 - 903)
  • Volume 202: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4284

SC20302 - State v. Bischoff (Possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279; Whether Appellate Court Properly Held that Public Act Reducing Punishment for Possession of Narcotics in Violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 Does not Apply Retroactively; Whether Supreme Court Should Apply Amelioration Doctrine; "In 2015, our legislature amended General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 21a-279 (a) to reclassify a first offense for possession of narcotics from a class D felony subject to a maximum sentence of imprisonment of seven years to a class A misdemeanor subject to a maximum sentence of one year of incarceration. Public Acts, Spec. Sess., June, 2015, No. 15-2, § 1 (Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2). This legislative action reflected a change in public policy that emphasized treatment and rehabilitation over incarceration for those convicted of possessing controlled substances. In this certified appeal, we are asked to determine whether the legislature's action applies retroactively to criminal cases pending at the time the amendment became effective.

The defendant, Haji Jhmalah Bischoff, was arrested and charged with, among other crimes, possession of narcotics in violation of § 21a-279 (a) prior to the enactment of Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1. He was not convicted and sentenced, however, until after the amendment's enactment. The defendant claims that both the trial court and the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1, does not apply retroactively, and, thus, he claims that the sentence imposed on him was illegal, as it exceeded the maximum sentence allowed under § 21a-279 (a) as amended. Specifically, he claims that (1) although the plain language of Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1, does not mention retroactivity, a prospective-only application of the amendment would lead to an absurd or unworkable result when viewed in the context of Public Acts 2015, No. 15-244 (P.A. 15-244), the state budget bill that Spec. Sess. P.A. 15-2, § 1, was meant to implement, and (2) alternatively, this court should overrule State v. Kalil, 314 Conn. 529, 107 A.3d 343 (2014), and adopt the amelioration doctrine, which presumes that amendments to statutes that mitigate punishment apply retroactively. We disagree with the defendant on both accounts and affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4283

AC42555 - Meyers v. Middlefield (Administrative appeal; employment termination pursuant to statute (§ 20-260); "The plaintiff, Robert Meyers, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his administrative appeal from the unanimous decision of the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Middlefield (board) to terminate his employment as the statutory building official for the defendant, the town of Middlefield (town). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the decision to terminate his employment was supported by substantial evidence in the record and (2) upheld the decision of the board to terminate the plaintiff's employment because the decision violated public policy. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC42845 - Vogue v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act (Unemployment compensation; whether trial court properly dismissed appeal from decision of Employment Security Board of Review; "The plaintiff, Vogue, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the defendant, the Administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act, dismissing the plaintiff's appeal from the decision of the Board of Review of the Employment Security Appeals Division (board). The board had affirmed the decision of an appeals referee of the Employment Security Appeals Division (appeals division), who had affirmed the decision made by the defendant, following an audit of the plaintiff, that the plaintiff was liable for unpaid unemployment compensation contributions under the Unemployment Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-222 et seq., with respect to one of its employees. The primary issue in this appeal is whether the court improperly interpreted and applied part B of the so-called "ABC test" of the act, which governs whether an employment relationship exists for purposes of the act. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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