STATE v. WILLIAM CONNELLY, SC 17870
Judicial District of New Britain
Criminal; Appellate Procedure; Whether Appeal by Pro Se Defendant was Properly Dismissed for Failure to Prosecute Appeal with Diligence Because he Failed to File the Documents Required by Practice Book § 63-4. The defendant was convicted of two counts of second degree kidnapping and two counts of second degree assault and sentenced to forty years incarceration. The defendant subsequently filed a motion to correct illegal sentence. The trial court dismissed the motion. On July 5, 2006, the defendant, pro se, filed an appeal from the trial court's decision. The defendant failed to file, along with his appeal, the documents required by Practice Book § 63-4, namely, a preliminary statement of issues, a docketing statement, a designation of pleadings for the duplicated record and a copy of the court reporter's transcript order acknowledgement form. The Appellate Court notified the defendant in its assignment calendar for the November/December 2006 term that on December 13, 2006, he was "ordered to appear and show cause why the case should not be dismissed pursuant to Practice Book § 85-1" for his failure to file the documents. Practice Book § 85-1 provides, among other things, that "[i]f a party shall fail to prosecute an appeal with proper diligence, the court may dismiss the appeal with costs." When, on December 13, 2006, the defendant failed to appear and show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute his appeal with proper diligence by not filing the documents required by § 63-4, the Appellate Court dismissed the appeal. The defendant filed a petition for certification to appeal from the decision. The Supreme Court granted the petition, limited to the issue of whether the Appellate Court properly dismissed the defendant's appeal.