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.

Workers' Compensation Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4442

AC44111 - DeJesus v. R.P.M Enterprises, Inc. (“Workers’ Compensation Commission and jurisdiction; compensable injury; entitlement to temporary total disability benefits and payment for medical bills; “Because R.P.M. did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, the defendant Second Injury Fund (fund) was cited in as a party to the action pursuant to General Statutes § 31-355. On appeal, R.P.M. and Marion claim that the board erred in affirming (1) the commissioner’s rulings that the plaintiff’s claim for benefits was not time barred pursuant to General Statutes § 31-294c3 and that the plaintiff was an employee of R.P.M. and/or Marion, (2) the award of compensation by the commissioner against Marion at the request of the fund when no claim was brought against Marion, and (3) the decision of the commissioner that he had jurisdiction to make a finding that R.P.M. and Marion were the same entity for the purposes of piercing the corporate veil. We reverse, in part, the decisions of the board.”)


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4441

AC43455 - Anderson v. Commissioner of Correction (Dismissal of petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted; sentence of five years of incarceration for four separate convictions; additional five year sentence for convictions arising from his criminal conduct while in prison for the previous convictions; not guilty by reason of insanity; “The petitioner claims that the habeas court erred in denying his petition for certification to appeal because his underlying claim for presentence confinement credit presented an issue of first impression that had merit, and the court could have granted relief. We dismiss the appeal.”)


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4444

AC43135 - O & G Industries, Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co. ("The defendant, American Home Assurance Company, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff, O & G Industries, Inc., finding that the plaintiff was entitled to payment under certain bonds issued by the defendant as surety, including a payment bond and a bond (substitute bond) that had been substituted for the discharge of a mechanic's lien filed by the plaintiff in connection with materials it had furnished for a construction project. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred by (1) failing to find that the plaintiff breached its obligation of "diligence and utmost good faith" owed to the defendant, (2) finding that the plaintiff satisfied the condition precedent to the payment bond, (3) allowing the plaintiff to recover beyond the penal sum of the mechanic's lien bond, and (4) allowing the plaintiff to put on a rebuttal case after the defendant had rested its case without calling any witnesses or introducing any evidence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4443

AC41912 - Robb v. Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine ("The plaintiff, John M. Robb, a veterinarian, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his administrative appeal from the decision of the defendant Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine (board) disciplining him upon a finding of professional negligence pursuant to General Statutes § 20-202 (2). On appeal, we distill the plaintiff's claims to be that the court incorrectly concluded that (1) the board properly construed General Statutes § 22-359b, as well as § 22-359-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, in finding him to have been professionally negligent under § 20-202 (2), (2) there was substantial evidence supporting the board's finding that he had failed to obtain informed consent from one of his clients with respect to his rabies vaccination protocol, and (3) the board did not exceed its authority or abuse its discretion in imposing its disciplinary order. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")

AC42931 - Solon v. Slater ("This appeal arises out of an action by the plaintiff, Linda Yoffe Solon, in which she alleges that the defendants, Joseph M. Slater and Joshua Solon, tortiously interfered with (1) contractual relations regarding an antenuptial agreement executed by the plaintiff and her deceased husband, Michael Solon (decedent), and (2) the plaintiff's right of inheritance from the decedent's estate. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the basis that her claims were barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel by virtue of a prior decree of the Probate Court.We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Habeas Appellate Court Slip Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4439

SC20222 - Banks v. Commissioner of Correction (Long-standing interpretation of state’s kidnapping statutes; charge of kidnapping in conjunction with underlying crime; instructions to jury. Salamon error; Brecht v. Abrahamson, (new trial is mandated if instructional error ‘‘had [a] substantial and injurious effect or influence in determining the jury’s verdict’’ (internal quotation marks omitted)); Neder v. United States, (new trial is required unless it is ‘‘clear beyond a reasonable doubt that a rational jury would have found the defendant guilty absent the [instructional] error’’; “Second, did the habeas court in the present case, in denying the habeas petition of the petitioner, Mark Banks, and ruling in favor of the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, correctly conclude, as a matter of law, that a Salamon error is harmless when a perpetrator forcibly removes his victims from the scene of a robbery after having taken their property and then restrains them in order to facilitate his escape? …We further conclude that the habeas court correctly determined that the trial court’s failure to instruct the petitioner’s jury in accordance with Salamon was harmless. According, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)

SC20223 - Bell v. Commissioner of Correction (Long-standing interpretation of state’s kidnapping statutes; charge of kidnapping in conjunction with underlying crime; instructions to jury. Salamon error; Brecht v. Abrahamson, (new trial is mandated if instructional error ‘‘had [a] substantial and injurious effect or influence in determining the jury’s verdict’’ (internal quotation marks omitted)); Neder v. United States, (new trial is required unless it is ‘‘clear beyond a reasonable doubt that a rational jury would have found the defendant guilty absent the [instructional] error’’; “Second, when, as in Banks, it is clear that a perpetrator moved and restrained his victims, after having robbed them, for the purpose of escaping unobstructed and undetected from the crime scene, a habeas court may conclude as a matter of law that the lack of a Salamon instruction was harmless error. See Banks v. Commissioner of Correction, supra,. As we explain more fully hereinafter, in the present case, unlike in Banks; see id.,; it is not clear that the petitioner, Leon Bell, forcibly moved and restrained his victims after having taken property in their possession. For that reason, we can have no fair assurance that the Salamon error did not have a substantial and injurious effect or influence in determining the jury’s verdict. Put differently, following a thorough, de novo review of the record, we cannot be confident that a properly instructed jury would have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. See id.,. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the habeas court denying Bell’s habeas petition and ordered a new trial on the kidnapping charges. Bell v. Commissioner of Correction, 184 Conn. App. 150, 173, 194 A.3d 809 (2018).”)



Connecticut Law Journal - May 11, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4437

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 45, for May 11, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Connecticut Reports (Pages 592 - 632)
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 938 - 941)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 204: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 513 - 595)
  • Volume 204: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Connecticut Practice Book Amendments
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Doses of Connecticut Legal History: Witches and Witchcraft

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4436

One of our Doses of Connecticut Legal History, has been revised and updated. Witches and Witchcraft- The First Person Executed in the Colonies covers witchcraft trials in Connecticut, including the first person to be executed for witchcraft in America. The dose contains an update on steps taking in Connecticut to exonerate victims of witchcraft accusations.


Contract Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4435

SC20481 - Hernandez v. Apple Auto Wholesalers of Waterbury, LLC ("General Statutes § 52-572g (a) provides in relevant part that '[a]ny holder in due course of a promissory note, contract or other instrument . . . executed by a buyer in connection with a credit transaction covering consumer goods . . . shall be subject to all of the claims and defenses which the buyer has against the seller arising out of the transaction . . . limited to the amount of indebtedness then outstanding in connection with the credit transaction, provided the buyer shall have made a prior written demand on the seller with respect to the transaction.' In the present case, which comes to us on certification from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut; see General Statutes § 51-199b (d); we must decide when 'the amount of indebtedness then outstanding in connection with the credit transaction' is determined for purposes of limiting an assignee's liability under § 52-572g. We also must decide whether an assignee can avoid liability under the statute by reassigning the promissory note, contract or other instrument back to the seller and, if so, by when must the assignee reassign it to avoid liability. Finally, we must determine whether, if a retail installment contract includes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 'holder rule' language mandated by 16 C.F.R. § 433.2, an assignee's liability under that rule is cumulative to its liability under § 52-572g. We conclude that 'the amount of indebtedness then outstanding' is the amount of indebtedness outstanding at the time of the buyer's written demand on the seller and that an assignee can avoid liability under § 52-572g only if the promissory note, contract or other instrument is reassigned back to the seller prior to the buyer making such demand. We further conclude that an assignee's liability under the FTC holder rule is cumulative to its liability under § 52-572g.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4430

AC41994 - State v. Marsala (Violation of conditional discharge; "The defendant, Michael J. Marsala, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding him in violation of his conditional discharge under General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that the particular condition of his conditional discharge that prohibited him from soliciting on private property impermissibly infringed upon his rights to free speech, due process, and liberty, as guaranteed by the first, fifth, and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution, respectively. We dismiss the defendant's appeal as moot because he has not challenged a separate, independent condition of the conditional discharge that he also was found to have violated.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4434

AC43682 - Property Tax Management, LLC v. Worldwide Properties, LLC ("In this breach of contract action, the defendants appeal from the judgment, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, Property Tax Management, LLC, requiring that the defendants pay the plaintiff for services performed pursuant to a contract between the parties. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred in determining that a valid and enforceable contract existed between the parties that did not call for the illegal practice of law. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43962 - Smernoff v. Star Tire & Wheel ("This appeal arises out of a breach of contract action by the plaintiff David Smernoff against the defendant, Star Tire and Wheel d/b/a Star Tires Plus Wheels, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in awarding damages to the plaintiff in the amount of $8918.98. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4432

AC43396 - Kobza v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner . . . appeals following the habeas court's denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the court with respect to his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) erred by dismissing his habeas petition, sua sponte, pursuant to Practice Book § 23-29. For the reasons set forth herein, we conclude that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal. We further conclude that the habeas court erred in its sua sponte dismissal of the habeas petition. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the case for further proceedings according to law.")

AC42970 - Rice v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner . . . appeals from the denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus as untimely under General Statutes § 52-470 (d) and (e). On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that, pursuant to § 52-470 (e), the petitioner had not established good cause to overcome the presumption of unreasonable delay for the filing of his untimely habeas petition. We disagree and accordingly dismiss the appeal.")

AC43041 - Robinson v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner . . . appeals, following the granting of his petition for certification to appeal, from the judgment of the habeas court denying both counts of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly (1) determined that the state did not violate his rights to due process and a fair trial by failing to disclose material, exculpatory evidence at his criminal trial and (2) denied his claim of ineffective assistance by the habeas counsel who represented him with respect to a prior habeas petition. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4433

AC44115 - Disturco v. Gates in New Canaan, LLC ("The defendant, Gates in New Canaan, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to open the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Jean M. Disturco, after the defendant was defaulted for failure to appear. The defendant claims that the court improperly (1) determined that it had failed to satisfy General Statutes § 52-212 and (2) ruled on its motion to open without a hearing after the court had granted the defendant's motion to reargue. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42877 - Dobie v. New Haven ("The defendant city of New Haven appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered following a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, William Dobie.On appeal, the defendant contends that the court improperly denied its posttrial motion to dismiss, which was predicated on the plaintiff's alleged failure to comply with the requirements of General Statutes § 13a-149, commonly known as the defective highway statute. See Ferreira v. Pringle, 255 Conn. 330, 331, 766 A.2d 400 (2001).We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4431

AC43759 - Hlinka v. Michaels (Summary process; claim that trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over action; whether record reflected that joint owners of premises were unanimous in desire that defendant be evicted from premises; whether trial court improperly struck, sua sponte, defendant's special defense of laches; "In this summary process action, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of possession rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff . . . . The defendant claims that the court (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the action and (2) erred in striking, sua sponte, the defendant's special defense of laches. We conclude that the court had subject matter jurisdiction over the action, but we agree with the defendant's claim that the court improperly struck, sua sponte, her special defense of laches. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4429

SC20548 - Kelly Services, Inc. v. Senior Network, Inc. ("The sole issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly awarded postjudgment, offer of compromise interest to the plaintiff, Kelly Services, Inc., under General Statutes § 52-192a and Practice Book § 17-18. We conclude that the trial court's award of postjudgment, offer of compromise interest was improper under our holding in Gionfriddo v. Avis Rent A Car System, Inc., 192 Conn. 301, 307–308, 472 A.2d 316 (1984), and therefore reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - May 4, 2021

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4428

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXXII, No. 44, for May 4, 2021 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 336: Connecticut Reports (Pages 545 - 591)
  • Volume 336: Orders (Pages 936 - 938)
  • Volume 336: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 204: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 249 - 513)
  • 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