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.

Declaratory Judgment Supreme Court Opinion

by Mazur, Catherine


SC20216, SC20217, SC20218 - Feehan v. Marcone ("These expedited public interest appeals arise from an apparent mix-up at the Bunnell High School polling place in the town of Stratford (town), where it is alleged that approximately seventy-six voters who should have received ballots for the 120th assembly district election were instead given ballots for the 122nd assembly district, rendering those voters unable to vote for their assembly district's state representative. The plaintiff, Jim Feehan, who is the Republican Party's candidate for state representative in the 120th assembly district, brought this action seeking declaratory relief, a new election, and an injunction prohibiting the defendants, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill, Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, and Comptroller Kevin Lembo (state defendants), from declaring the intervening defendant, Phillip L. Young III, the Democratic Party's candidate, as the winner of that election. After the Chief Justice granted the parties' separate applications for permission to appeal pursuant to General Statutes § 52-265a, the plaintiff appealed from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the complaint in part as barred by the elections clause set forth in article third, § 7, of the Connecticut constitution, and the defendants appealed from the grant of the plaintiff's application for a temporary injunction. We conclude that the elections clause gives our state House of Representatives exclusive jurisdiction over this election contest, and we disagree with the plaintiff's claims that (1) General Statutes § 9-328, which governs contested elections for 'municipal office,' confers jurisdiction on the courts over this case, and (2) under the supremacy clause of the United States constitution; see U.S. Const., art. VI, cl. 2; state courts have jurisdiction over his federal constitutional claims, notwithstanding the elections clause in the Connecticut constitution. Accordingly, we also agree with the defendants' claim that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enjoin the state defendants from canvassing the votes and declaring a winner. We, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court insofar as it dismissed the complaint and reverse the judgment of the trial court with respect to its issuance of a temporary injunction.")