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 - October 21st - October 25th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3719

Monday, October 21st

  • Danbury Law Library closes at 1:00 p.m.
  • Middletown Law Library opens at 2:15 p.m.
  • New Haven Law Library opens at 10:30 a.m.
  • Putnam Law Library opens at 3:00 p.m.
  • Stamford Law Library is closed.

Wednesday, October 23rd

  • Hartford Law Library opens at 1:00 p.m.
  • New Haven Law Library closes at 4:30 p.m.
  • Rockville Law Library closes at 4:30 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library opens at noon.

Thursday, October 24th

  • Rockville Law Library closes at noon.


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3718

AC41398, AC41543 - Commerce Park Associates, LLC v. Robbins; Robbins Eye Center, P.C. v. Commerce Park Associates, LLC ("The present appeals and cross appeal arise from two actions involving a commercial lease that share a nucleus of operative facts and were consolidated for trial. They raise, among other issues, whether the landlord's failure to take actions to remedy recurrent sewage backups into the leased premises occupied by an eye surgery center resulted in a constructive eviction that excused the tenant from the obligation to pay rent in accordance with the terms of the lease, and whether, as a result of the alleged inaction of the landlord and its property management company, the eye surgery center was entitled to recover compensatory damages for the loss of its use of improvements it previously had made to the premises.

In the action underlying AC 41398 (rent action), Commerce Park Associates, LLC (Commerce Park), sought to recover rent it alleges it was owed by a former tenant, Kim Robbins—an ophthalmologist and the owner of Robbins Eye Center, P.C. (REC). REC had occupied the lower level of a commercial property owned by Commerce Park in Bridgeport pursuant to a commercial lease but vacated the premises prior to the lease's expiration following a series of sewage backups that flooded the premises. Robbins now appeals, and Commerce Park cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court rendered in part in favor of Commerce Park. Robbins claims that the court improperly (1) awarded Commerce Park rent for a period of time from November, 2014, through the third full week of April, 2015, and (2) miscalculated the amount of the rent that she owed for that period. Commerce Park claims by way of cross appeal that the court improperly determined that Robbins was constructively evicted from the premises after the third full week of April, 2015, by the sewage backups, and, consequently, Commerce Park was not entitled to recover any rent from Robbins after that date. We affirm the judgment of the court with the exception of its calculation of the amount of the rent awarded to Commerce Park and, accordingly, remand for a new hearing in damages in the rent action.

In the action underlying AC 41543 (tort action), REC sued Commerce Park and its property manager, RDR Management, LLC (RDR), seeking monetary damages for economic injuries that REC suffered as a result of their failure to make necessary repairs to the premises. Commerce Park now appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in part in favor of REC and awarding REC damages of $958,041.92 against Commerce Park. Commerce Park claims that the trial court improperly (1) awarded damages on the basis of gross negligence because (a) Connecticut common law does not recognize distinctions or degrees of negligence and (b) REC never pleaded or otherwise asserted allegations of gross negligence prior to trial; and (2) miscalculated the amount of damages awarded because the court (a) utilized an incorrect measure of damages in determining REC's losses and (b) misconstrued the length of Robbins' expected tenancy under the lease, which was an integral component of the court's calculation of damages. We agree that the court improperly included two unexercised lease extension options in determining the length of Robbins' tenancy and, accordingly, reverse the amount of damages awarded; we otherwise affirm the judgment of the court in the tort action.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3717

AC40635 - Thunelius v. Posacki ("In this protracted, high conflict custody and support matter, the defendant mother, Julia Posacki, appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court following a sixteen day trial on the custody action filed by the plaintiff father, Gerald Thunelius. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) delegated its decision-making authority to the guardian ad litem appointed for the parties' minor child, (2) ordered that the prevailing party in any postjudgment dispute adjudicated by the court after unsuccessful mediation with the guardian ad litem be reimbursed by the other party for his or her share of the guardian ad litem's fees, (3) appointed the guardian ad litem without having complied with the requirements of General Statutes §§ 46b-54 and 46b-12, (4) issued a protective order sua sponte, (5) ordered the parties to enroll the child in private school through high school and to share the payments for that schooling, (6) relied on unsupported net income figures on the child support guidelines worksheet prepared by the Judicial Branch, and (7) retroactively modified a pendente lite child support order by effectively forgiving the plaintiff's support arrearage. We agree with the defendant's second and fifth claims and further conclude that the defendant's third claim is moot. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the court's judgment, and we dismiss in part the defendant's appeal.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3716

AC41420 - State v. Lynch (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor; failure to appear in second degree; criminal trespass in first degree; motion to withdraw guilty pleas; "The self-represented defendant, Kevin Lynch, appeals from the judgments of conviction rendered by the trial court following the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing on his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas, (2) denied his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas, and (3) failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing prior to terminating his participation in the pretrial alcohol education program (program). We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3715

AC40329 - Wager v. Moore ("The plaintiff, Rachel Wager, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant Alexandria Moore in an action to recover damages for injuries that she sustained when she was struck by a vehicle operated by the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it (1) denied the plaintiff's motion to set aside the verdict on the basis of insufficient evidence to support the jury's finding of contributory negligence, (2) instructed the jury on contributory negligence when such a charge was not supported by the evidence, (3) failed to instruct the jury on law essential to the plaintiff's claim regarding the defendant's negligence, and (4) denied the plaintiff's motion for a mistrial and later motion to set aside the verdict, which were based on the improper introduction of hearsay evidence against her at trial. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Reminder: Online User Survey - Law Library Services Unit

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3710

Connecticut Judicial Branch, Law Library Services Unit, is currently conducting an online user survey seeking information to assist us in planning for the future. The Judicial Branch Law Librarians would like to hear from you. If possible, please participate by completing the survey. The survey will be available through October 31, 2019.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. Your input is important.


Law Library Hours Update - October 15th - October 21st

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3705

Wednesday, October 16th

  • Danbury Law Library is closed from 9:00 a.m. - noon.
  • New Haven Law Library closes at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 17th

  • New Britain Law Library closes at 3:30 p.m.
  • Putnam Law Library is closed from 9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Friday, October 18th

  • New London Law Library closes at 4:00 p.m.

Monday, October 21st

  • Danbury Law Library closes at 1:00 p.m.
  • Middletown Law Library opens at 2:00 p.m.
  • New Haven Law Library opens at 10:30 a.m.
  • Putnam Law Library opens at 3:00 p.m.
  • Stamford Law Library is closed.


Connecticut Law Journal - October 15, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3713

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 16, for October 15, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 333: Connecticut Reports (Pages 378 - 501)
  • Volume 333: Orders (Pages 914 - 922)
  • Volume 333: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 193: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 507 - 607)
  • Volume 193: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3712

SC20204- Bowens v. Commissioner of Correction (Second petition for habeas; 1998 murder conviction; “On appeal, the petitioner claims, among other things, that the habeas court incorrectly concluded that (1) he did not establish by clear and convincing evidence that he is actually innocent of the murder, (2) the identification procedures employed in his criminal case did not violate his due process rights, (3) his first habeas counsel did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, and (4) his cruel and unusual punishment claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. We affirm the judgment of the habeas”).


Tort Law Appellate Court Decision

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3711

AC40839 - Jezouit v. Malloy ("The plaintiff, Lawrence S. Jezouit, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his complaint on the basis of sovereign immunity. The plaintiff argues that the court improperly dismissed his complaint because (1) he brought his claim pursuant to General Statutes § 52-570d, which he contends waives sovereign immunity by force of necessary implication, and (2) he seeks declaratory and injunctive relief in accordance with a recognized exception to sovereign immunity. We disagree and, thus, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3708

AC40415 - Weston Street Hartford, LLC v. Zebra Realty, LLC (Easements; temporary and permanent injunction; "The present case arises from a dispute between the plaintiff, Weston Street Hartford, LLC, and the defendant, Zebra Realty, LLC, concerning a right-of-way easement held by the plaintiff that runs over property owned by the defendant. The defendant has appealed and the plaintiff has cross appealed from the judgment rendered, after a court trial, on the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court, in rendering judgment in favor of the plaintiff on counts one and two of the counterclaim, incorrectly determined that Alligood v. LaSaracina, 122 Conn. App. 473, 999 A.2d 836 (2010), applies to the present case and prohibits any landowner from relocating an easement without the consent of the easement holder. In the alternative, the defendant contends that the Restatement (Third), Property, Servitudes § 4.8 (3) (c), is a more logical extension of Connecticut easement law than the rule adopted by this court in Alligood. On cross appeal, the plaintiff claims that, upon finding that the defendant's use of the servient estate interfered with the plaintiff's intended use of the easement, the court should have rendered judgment in its favor on its complaint and granted its request for an injunction prohibiting interference by the defendant. We disagree with both parties' claims and, accordingly, 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=3709

AC41366, AC41365 - Kelly v. Kurtz ("In this case arising from the buyout of an oral surgery practice, the plaintiff, Dorrance T. Kelly, DDS, and the defendants, Marshall D. Kurtz, DMD, Marshall D. Kurtz, DMD, PC, and Danbury Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, LLC (DOMSA), appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered, following a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, in the amount of $2,150,000.To establish the terms of the buyout, the parties executed three documents: a purchase and sale agreement, an operating agreement, and a supplementary agreement. On appeal, the defendants claim, in AC 41366, that the trial court erred in denying their motion to set aside the jury's verdict on the plaintiff's claims of breach of the supplementary agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the supplementary agreement on the grounds that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain the jury's finding of breach of the supplementary agreement, and (2) the jury's awards of damages on the plaintiff's claims of breach of the supplementary agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the supplementary agreement were inconsistent. The plaintiff claims, in AC 41365, that the trial court erred in (1) granting the defendants' motion to set aside the jury's verdict on his claims of invasion of privacy by misappropriation of his name, tortious interference with his business expectancies, violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statues § 42-110a et seq., and unjust enrichment; and (2) dismissing his claim of breach of the operating agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the operating agreement on the ground that he lacked standing to bring those claims. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42602 - Meribear Productions, Inc. v. Frank ("The plaintiff, Meribear Productions, Inc., filed a motion to dismiss the appeal of the defendants, Joan Frank and George Frank. The plaintiff argued that the defendants' joint appeal was untimely and, thus, subject to dismissal. See Practice Book §§ 63-1 and 66-8. In response, the defendants filed a motion for permission to file a late appeal. The defendants argued that permission to file a late appeal was warranted because they would suffer a loss of their appellate rights if the appeal was not allowed. We agreed with the defendants and, therefore, granted nunc pro tunc the defendants' motion to file a late appeal, and denied the plaintiff's motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely, indicating in our order that an opinion would follow. We write to explain our reasons for permitting this late appeal.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3707

AC40882 - State v. Crewe (Possession of narcotic substance; "The defendant, Jeffrey Orlando Crewe, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of possession of a narcotic substance in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a). The defendant's sole claim on appeal is that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3706

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

OLR Backgrounder: Veterans' Property Tax Exemptions - 2019-R-0178 - Provides an overview of Connecticut’s veterans’ property tax exemptions.

State Laws on Retail CBD Sales - 2019-R-0186 - In Connecticut, are retail CBD sales legal (as opposed to sales through the medical marijuana program)? In states that have not legalized recreational marijuana, is the retail sale of CBD legal?

Shock Therapy Law and Court Rules - 2019-R-0203 - Provides a summary of Connecticut law and probate court rules on informed consent for shock therapy.

Connecticut's Equal Pay and Pay Equity Laws - 2019-R-0214 - This report describes Connecticut’s equal pay and pay equity laws.

State Regulation of Stop Loss Insurance - 2019-R-0193 - Explains (1) how states regulate stop-loss insurance and (2) possible preemption issues under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Breastfeeding in the Workplace Laws - 2019-R-0206 - This report describes laws on breastfeeding in the workplace in Connecticut and certain other states.



Law Library Hours Update - October 3rd - October 11th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3699

Monday, October 7th

  • Danbury Law Library is open until 1:00 p.m.
  • Waterbury Law Library is closed from 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8th

  • New London Law Library closes at 4:00 p.m.
  • Putnam Law Library is closed from 9:45 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 10th

  • Putnam Law Library opens at 9:15 a.m.

Friday, October 11th

  • Danbury Law Library is closed.



Connecticut Law Journal - October 8, 2019

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3704

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXI, No. 15, for October 8, 2019 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 333: Connecticut Reports (Pages 297 - 377)
  • Volume 333: Orders (Pages 912 - 914)
  • Volume 333: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 193: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 381 - 507)
  • Volume 193: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 193: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Penn, Michele

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3701

AC41964 - Klein v. Quinnipiac University ("In this premises liability action, the plaintiff, Daniel Klein, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the defendant, Quinnipiac University. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred by (1) permitting a witness to testify about the estimated speed of the plaintiff's bicycle at the time of his collision, and (2) refusing to give a jury instruction on the definition of, and the duty owed to, a licensee. For the reasons discussed herein, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3702

SC20000, SC20001, SC20003 - R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. ("These certified appeals, which present us with several significant questions of insurance law, arise from coverage disputes between the plaintiff, R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. (Vanderbilt), and the defendants, who are numerous insurance companies (insurer defendants) that issued primary and secondary comprehensive general liability insurance policies to Vanderbilt between 1948 and 2008, stemming from thousands of underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from exposure to industrial talc containing asbestos that Vanderbilt mined and sold. Vanderbilt and the insurer defendants appeal, upon our granting of their petitions for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming in part and reversing in part numerous interlocutory decisions made by the trial court in connection with the first and second phases of a complex trial between the parties. R.T. Vanderbilt Co. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 171 Conn. App. 61, 75–76, 156 A.3d 539 (2017). On appeal, the insurer defendants claim that the Appellate Court improperly (1) upheld the trial court's adoption of a 'continuous trigger' theory of coverage for asbestos related disease claims as a matter of law and the trial court's related preclusion of expert testimony on current medical science regarding the actual timing of bodily injury from such disease, (2) upheld the trial court's adoption of an 'unavailability of insurance' exception to the 'time on the risk' rule of contract law, which provides for pro rata allocation of defense costs and indemnity for asbestos related disease claims, and (3) interpreted pollution exclusion clauses in certain insurance policies as applicable only to claims arising from 'traditional' environmental pollution, rather than to those arising from asbestos exposure in indoor working environments. In its appeal, Vanderbilt claims that the Appellate Court improperly construed occupational disease exclusions present in certain policies as not limited to claims brought by Vanderbilt's own employees. Because we conclude that the Appellate Court's comprehensive opinion properly resolved these significant issues, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3703

AC39388 - Alpha Beta Capital Partners, L.P. v. Pursuit Investment Management, LLC ("This appeal arises out of a dispute between the plaintiff, Alpha Beta Capital Partners, L.P., and the defendants Pursuit Opportunity Fund I, L.P. (POF), Pursuit Opportunity Fund I Master Ltd. (POF Master), Pursuit Capital Management Fund I, L.P. (PCM), Pursuit Capital Master (Cayman) Ltd. (PCM Master), Pursuit Partners, LLC (Pursuit Partners), Pursuit Investment Management, LLC (PIM), Northeast Capital Management, LLC (Northeast), Anthony Schepis, and Frank Canelas, Jr. The central issue of this appeal is the defendants' claim that the court improperly interpreted the agreements between the parties to hold that certain defendants were liable for their failure to distribute to the plaintiff its share of a substantial contingent asset in which it had an interest.

The defendants appeal, and the plaintiff cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, partially in favor of the plaintiff as to certain defendants on its complaint and in favor of the plaintiff on the defendants' counterclaim. The defendants also appeal from the orders of the trial court granting the plaintiff's postjudgment motion to increase the amount of a previously secured prejudgment remedy, and granting the plaintiff's motion for discovery to secure the additional prejudgment remedy attachment.

Addressing the parties' various contentions, we conclude that (1) the court properly interpreted the agreements between the parties in concluding that the plaintiff prevailed on its breach of contract claim, (2) the court properly rejected the defendants' breach of contract counterclaim, (3) the court properly concluded that the plaintiff prevailed on its breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim, (4) the court properly concluded that the plaintiff could not prevail on its conversion claim, (5) the court properly struck the plaintiff's Connecticut statutory causes of action, (6) the court improperly concluded that all of the defendants who had signed the settlement agreement were liable for breach of contract and for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (7) the court properly determined the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff, (8) the court properly granted the plaintiff's motion to increase the amount of the prejudgment remedy, and (9) the defendants' claim that the court improperly granted the plaintiff's motion for postjudgment discovery was not properly preserved, and, thus, we decline to review it. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


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