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.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4424

SC20379 - State v. Porfil (Possession of narcotics with intent to sell; sale of narcotics within 1500 feet of a school; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of narcotics; interfering with an officer “On appeal, the defendant challenges the Appellate Court’s conclusion that the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to support his conviction of possession of narcotics with intent to sell by a person who is not drug-dependent and possession of narcotics because the state produced sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had constructive possession of the narcotics recovered by the police …we have determined that the appeal should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.”)


Foreclosure Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4417

AC43459 - First Niagara Bank, N.A. v. Pouncey (Adjustable rate note; mortgage on real property; bank merger; loan modification; “On appeal, the defendants claim that, in light of our Supreme Court’s holding in U.S. Bank National Assn. v. Blowers, 332 Conn. 656, 212 A.3d 226 (2019), the court erred in denying the defendants’ motion to reargue and reconsider the court’s order denying the defendants’ motion to open summary judgment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC42792 - Connecticut Housing Finance Authority v. McCarthy (Denial of motion to open and vacate the judgment of strict foreclosure or extend the law day; petition for reinclusion in the foreclosure mediation program; foreclosure of real property; “On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in denying her motions. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4418

AC39968 - Lance W. v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in rejecting his claim that his first habeas appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to challenge on appeal the first habeas court’s rejection of his claims that (1) he is actually innocent of the crimes of which he was convicted, (2) his constitutional right to due process was violated because his conviction was based on scientifically invalid evidence, and (3) his trial counsel was ineffective in challenging the expert testimony adduced by the state pertaining to the cause of the victim’s death and the fire science evidence. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4419

AC43691 - Nandabalan v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Forty-five day suspension of license to operate a motor vehicle; ignition interlock device; General Statutes § 14-227b; refusal to submit to a chemical alcohol test; breathalyzer test; probable cause; “The plaintiff claims that the court erred in concluding that the administrative record contained substantial evidence to support the hearing officer’s finding that he knowingly refused to submit to the chemical alcohol test. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4420

AC42779 - Elder v. 21st Century Media Newspaper, LLC (Fair report privilege; “On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the evidence supporting the defendants’ motions for summary judgment was insufficient, (2) the defendants failed to demonstrate actual reliance on a government document or proceeding, (3) the court erred by finding that the defendants’ publications were fair and accurate accounts of the government document on which they claimed to have relied, (4) the defendants did not rebut his claims of malice, which entitled him to a trial on the merits of those claims, and (5) his right under article first, § 10, of the Connecticut constitution to redress for injuries to his reputation and his right to a trial by jury on that claim, defeat the fair report privilege. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4423

AC43786 - Lemma v. York & Chapel, Corp. ("The defendant, York & Chapel, Corp., appeals from the judgment of the trial court confirming an arbitration award in favor of the plaintiff, Dominic Lemma. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case and (2) erred in confirming the arbitration award. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4422

AC43793 - Eichler v. Healthy Mom, LLC ("The plaintiff, David Eichler, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial in favor of the defendant, Healthy Mom, LLC. On appeal, the plaintiff claims, in essence, that the court erred in (1) finding in favor of the defendant on its special defense of waiver, and (2) determining that the defendant had standing to assert rights under certain extension agreements. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42893 - Asnat Realty, LLC v. United Illuminating Co. ("The plaintiffs, Asnat Realty, LLC (Asnat), and Evergreen Power, LLC (Evergreen), appeal from the judgment of the trial court, Lee, J., rendered after the court granted, in part, the defendants' motion to strike certain portions of their revised complaint (complaint). Specifically, the trial court granted the defendants' motion to strike counts one, three, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten of the complaint, pleading counts of fraud as to the various defendants, and count four, pleading unjust enrichment against the defendant UIL Holdings Corporation (UIL). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred in granting the motion because (1) the complaint sufficiently pleaded claims for both fraudulent nondisclosure and fraudulent misrepresentation, (2) the defendants had a duty to the plaintiffs to disclose truthful information, (3) the complaint pleaded the fraud claims with the requisite specificity, (4) the complaint adequately alleged that the plaintiffs relied on the defendants' misrepresentations and nondisclosure to their detriment, and (5) the complaint adequately stated causes of action against the defendants. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4416

AC43120 - State v. Thorne (Six counts of wilful failure to pay sales tax; violation of General Statutes § 12-428 (1); “On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support her conviction and (2) the trial court’s jury instruction substantially misled the jury. We reverse in part and affirm in part the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC43082 - State v. Boyd ("Specifically, the defendant claims on appeal that the court improperly denied that portion of his motion in which he alleged that the sentencing court had imposed his sentence in an illegal manner by relying on inaccurate information. We conclude that only the form of the judgment was improper with respect to this portion of the defendant’s motion. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment in part and remand the case with direction to render a judgment dismissing this portion of the defendant’s motion to correct an illegal sentence. We affirm the judgment of the court in all other respects.")

AC42263 - State v. Luciano (“Rendered after a jury trial, of one count of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2), and one count of conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-59 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to support (1) his conviction of conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree and (2) his conviction of assault in the second degree. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.”)


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4421

AC42416 - Conroy v. Idlibi ("The self-represented defendant, Ammar A. Idlibi, returns to this court in his continuing effort to reverse the judgment of the trial court dissolving his marriage to the plaintiff, Katie N. Conroy. In the present appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court, Connors, J., abused its discretion (1) by denying his motion to open based on fraud (motion to open) and (2) by failing to conduct an evidentiary hearing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43948 - Zheng v. Xia ("The self-represented plaintiff, Zhe Zheng, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion to modify child support filed by the defendant, Feifei Xia. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly ordered him to pay the defendant 13 percent of his annual bonus as supplemental child support. In issuing its order, the trial court deviated from the child support guidelines on the basis of the "significant disparity in the parties' income." The reason to deviate given by the court is not a permissible rationale under the child support guidelines and Maturo v. Maturo, 296 Conn. 80, 99–103, 995 A.2d 1 (2010). We therefore reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")

AC43297 - Cunningham v. Cunningham ("The plaintiff, Mary Cunningham, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant, Gerard Cunningham, for a domestic relations order relating to distributions from his pension plan. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly modified the property division set forth in the parties' 2011 dissolution judgment by (1) requiring the plaintiff, at the defendant's direction, to assign a portion of her 50 percent joint survivor annuity from the defendant's pension benefit to a third party, (2) requiring the plaintiff to share in the cost of the 50 percent joint survivor annuity election under the pension plan, and (3) adopting a formula that could result in an unjustified reduction to the plaintiff's marital portion of the retirement benefit that she receives under the pension plan.We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4415

SC20330 - Oudheusden v. Oudheusden ("The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the Appellate Court correctly concluded that the trial court had abused its discretion in awarding the plaintiff, Penny Oudheusden, $18,000 per month in permanent, nonmodifiable alimony. On this issue, we agree with the Appellate Court and the defendant, Peter Oudheusden, that the award constituted an abuse of discretion, and we therefore affirm the Appellate Court's order of remand to the trial court for a hearing on new financial orders.")


Connecticut Law Journal - April 27, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4414

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 43, for April 27, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 203 Conn. App. Replacement Pages 141 - 142
  • Volume 203 Conn. App. Replacement Pages 153 - 154
  • Volume 336: Connecticut Reports (Pages 452 - 544)
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 933 - 936)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 204: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 137 - 249)
  • Volume 204: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 901 - 901)
  • Volume 204: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Connecticut Practice Book Amendments
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4413

SC20530 - State v. Pompei (Operating a motor vehicle under the influence and interfering with a police officer; Search and seizure; "A jury found the defendant, Gregory John Pompei, guilty of two counts of interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a (a). The sole issue on appeal is whether the trial court properly denied the defendant's pretrial motion to suppress alleging that the defendant was seized in violation of the fourth amendment to the United States constitution when a marked police cruiser blocked the egress of his motor vehicle, which was parked with its engine running and the defendant asleep in the driver's seat. The state claims that no violation of the fourth amendment occurred because the responding officer was not engaged in an investigatory stop involving criminal activity but, rather, was checking on the defendant's well-being pursuant to the officer's community caretaking function. We agree with the state and affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4410

AC41403 - State v. Chester J. (Sexual assault in second degree; sexual assault in third degree; sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Chester J., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him following a jury trial, of one count each of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1), sexual assault in the second degree in violation of § 53a-71 (a) (4), sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (2), sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A), and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly denied his challenge to the jury panel on the grounds that (A) the panel did not reflect a fair cross section of the community in violation of the sixth amendment to the United States constitution and (B) the process by which the panel was summoned violated his right to equal protection under the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution, (2) pursuant to our supervisory authority, this court should require the collection and/or maintenance of a jury panel's demographic data, and (3) the trial court erred in barring the defense from inquiring about certain Probate Court matters related to the victim's bias or motive in asserting the underlying allegations against the defendant.

While the defendant's appeal was pending, our Supreme Court issued its decision in State v. Moore, 334 Conn. 275, 278, 221 A.3d 40 (2019). On the basis of that decision, this court ordered the parties to file simultaneous supplemental briefs addressing the impact of Moore on this appeal. After the parties submitted their supplemental briefs, this court heard oral argument. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43351 - State v. Siler (Possession of narcotics with intent to sell; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, George Siler, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered following a conditional plea of nolo contendere to two counts of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a), and to violating the state dependency producing drug laws; see General Statutes § 21a-277 (a); for possession of narcotics with intent to sell. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress certain evidence seized from his residence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43622 - State v. Oscar H. (Murder; attempt to commit murder; assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Oscar H., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-54a (a), assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). The defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly determined that the surviving assault victim, B, was unavailable to testify at trial and, on the basis of that determination, admitted B's prior deposition testimony into evidence in violation of our rules of evidence and his constitutional rights to confrontation and due process, and (2) his conviction of both attempted murder and assault in the first degree violated the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy because each crime was predicated on the same act and against the same victim, B. We disagree with both claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4411

AC44441 - Atlantic St. Heritage Associates, LLC v. Bologna (Summary process; motion to open; motion to terminate appellate stay; motion for review; "In this commercial summary process action, the trial court determined that there was no automatic appellate stay that would prevent the execution of the judgment of possession during the pendency of this appeal. Pursuant to Practice Book § 61-14, the defendant, Paul Nicholas Bologna, doing business as Paul N. Bologna & Associates, timely filed a motion for review of that decision. We agree with the defendant that the trial court misapplied our Supreme Court's decision in Young v.Young, 249 Conn. 482, 733 A.2d 835 (1999), in reaching the conclusion that there is no automatic stay in existence. By order dated March 17, 2021, we granted the defendant's motion for review, granted the relief requested, vacated the trial court's decision, and indicated that an opinion would follow. This opinion provides our reasons for that order.

….

The defendant's motion for review is granted, the relief requested is granted, and the trial court's February 4, 2021 order on the plaintiff's motion to terminate the appellate stay is vacated.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4412

AC43260 - Pollard v. Bridgeport (" 'An abutting landowner is ordinarily under no duty to keep the sidewalk in front of his [or her] property in a reasonably safe condition for public travel. Tenney v. Pleasant Realty Corp., 136 Conn. 325, 329, 70 A.2d 138 (1949). An abutting landowner can be held liable, however, in negligence or public nuisance for injuries resulting from the unsafe condition of a public sidewalk caused by the landowner's positive acts. See Gambardella v. Kaoud, 38 Conn. App. 355, 359, 660 A.2d 877 (1995).' Abramczyk v. Abbey, 64 Conn. App. 442, 446, 780 A.2d 957, cert. denied, 258 Conn. 933, 785 A.2d 229 (2001). In the present case, we conclude, as a matter of law, that the abutting landowner is not liable for the injuries sustained by a traveler on a public sidewalk who trips and falls over a defect in the sidewalk caused by the roots of a tree growing on the landowner's property, as the growth of tree roots is not a positive or affirmative act of the landowner.

In this trip and fall personal injury action, the plaintiff, LaJeune Pollard, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant Seaside Village Homes, Inc. (Seaside). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether Seaside is liable for her injuries (1) due to its negligence or (2) for maintaining a nuisance that caused the defect in the sidewalk. On the basis of our review of the record, we conclude that there is no genuine issue of material fact that Seaside undertook no positive or affirmative act that caused the defect in the sidewalk where the plaintiff alleged that she fell. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4409

SC20230 - State v. Michael T. (Sexual assault; Prosecutorial impropriety; Whether prosecutor committed improprieties in questioning of victim by assuming facts not in evidence and during closing and rebuttal arguments by referring to facts not in evidence, vouching for victim's credibility, and appealing to jurors' emotions; Whether trial court properly instructed jury on defendant's decision not to testify per general statutes § 54-84 (b); "A jury found the defendant, Michael T., guilty of three counts of first degree sexual assault in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1) and three counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). The trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the verdict and sentenced the defendant to a total effective sentence of sixty years imprisonment. The defendant appeals directly to this court pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199 (b) (3), claiming that the prosecutor engaged in prosecutorial impropriety, thereby depriving him of his constitutional due process right to a fair trial, by (1) assuming facts not in evidence while questioning the victim, and (2) during closing argument, assuming facts not in evidence, vouching for the victim's credibility and appealing to the jurors' emotions. The defendant further claims that the trial court violated General Statutes § 54-84 (b) and infringed on his constitutional right to remain silent when it denied his request to instruct the jury that he elected not to testify and, instead, referred to his failure to testify. We affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Property Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4408

SC20418 - Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc. (Taxation; statutory interpretation; standard for awarding municipality attorney's fees to recover unpaid taxes under General Statutes § 12-161a; "The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether General Statutes § 12-161a, which allows trial courts to award a municipality attorney's fees incurred 'as a result of and directly related to' proceedings to collect delinquent personal property taxes, includes attorney's fees incurred in a related federal action regarding the municipality's authority to impose such personal property taxes. The plaintiff, the town of Ledyard, appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court and directing summary judgment for the defendant, WMS Gaming, Inc. Ledyard v. WMS Gaming, Inc., 192 Conn. App. 836, 850, 218 A.3d 708 (2019). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly construed § 12-161a in concluding that the defendant's liability for attorney's fees under the statute is limited to the collection proceeding in state court and does not include the related federal court proceeding. See id., 845. We conclude that the ambit of § 12-161a includes a directly related federal action that is determinative of a municipality's authority to pursue the underlying state collection proceeding. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - April 20, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4407

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 42, for April 20, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 930 - 933)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 203: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 818 - 872)
  • Volume 203: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 904 - 905)
  • Volume 203: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Volume 204: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 1 - 136)
  • Volume 204: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4406

SC20353 - State v. Francis (Murder; Whether appellate court correctly concluded that sentencing judge did not substantially rely on materially inaccurate information about defendant. "The defendant, Ernest Francis, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. See State v.Francis, 191 Conn. App.101, 110, 213 A.3d 536 (2019). In the present appeal,the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied that motion because the sentencing court substantially relied on materially inaccurate information.Specifically, the defendant claims that his sentence was based on inaccurate information concerning both (1) his criminal history, and (2) the particular manner in which he committed the underlying criminal offense. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4405

AC42524 - Stone Key Group, LLC v. Taradash ("This case involves a dispute between the plaintiff employer, Stone Key Group, LLC, and the defendant employee, Reid Taradash, concerning the payment of two discretionary bonus agreements to the defendant. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) ruled in favor of the plaintiff on his wage claim pursuant to General Statutes § 31-72, (2) concluded that he fraudulently induced the plaintiff into paying an advance on his 2015 bonus, (3) permitted the plaintiff to rescind that advance, (4) awarded the plaintiff punitive damages, and (5) assessed postjudgment interest. In its cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) rejected its claim that the defendant breached the terms of an agreement regarding his 2014 bonus, (2) denied its motion for prejudgment interest, and (3) failed to award the full amount of its requested attorney's fees and costs. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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