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.

Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3291

AC41648 - U.S. Equities Corp. v. Ceraldi ("The defendant, Peggy Ceraldi, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion for clarification filed by the plaintiff, U.S. Equities Corp., regarding the postjudgment interest rate to be applied to the judgment rendered against the defendant in the underlying debt collection action. The defendant claims that the court's clarification actually was an improper substantive modification of the judgment. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment setting the rate of postjudgment interest.")

AC40173, AC40434 - Konover v. Kolakowski ("This action arises from the indemnification provisions in a stock purchase and sales agreement (agreement) between the plaintiff Michael Konover and the defendants Michael Kolakowski, Simon Etzel, and Eric Brown (the buyers) for the buyers’ purchase of Konover's stock in the KBE Building Corporation (KBE). The plaintiffs appeal from the trial court's rendering of partial summary judgment in favor of the defendants. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court erroneously ruled that the parties' agreement does not obligate the defendants to reimburse Konover for legal fees incurred while litigating certain legal actions that had been pending against Konover and KBE at the time the agreement was executed. In the alternative, the plaintiffs claim that, even if the language of the agreement does not require the defendants to reimburse Konover for any legal fees, the trial court should have considered admissions in the defendants' pleadings and other extrinsic evidence, which evinced an understanding between the parties that the defendants were responsible for paying their own legal fees incurred in conjunction with the referenced litigation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3290

AC39231 - Jenkins v. Jenkins ("The plaintiff, Cheryl A. Jenkins, appeals from the trial court's judgment denying her motion to vacate an arbitration award in a dissolution of marriage matter which, in addition to dissolving the marriage, included orders of alimony and a division of the parties' assets and other financial orders. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it refused to vacate the arbitrator's award because the arbitrator (1) precluded the testimony of an expert witness in violation of General Statutes § 52-418 (a) (3), and (2) treated one party more favorably than the other in violation of General Statutes § 52-418 (a) (2). We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC36210 - Reinke v. Singer ("This appeal returns to the Appellate Court on remand from our Supreme Court for resolution of the claims raised by the plaintiff, Gail Reinke. Reinke v. Sing, 328 Conn. 376, 179 A.3d 769 (2018). The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court after it reissued several financial orders that were part of an original judgment that dissolved her marriage to the defendant, Walter Sing. The plaintiff claims that the court erred (1) by failing to find that the defendant committed fraud when he submitted inaccurate financial affidavits to the court at the time of the original dissolution judgment, (2) with respect to its alimony award, (3) with respect to its distribution of property, (4) with respect to its award of attorney's fees, and (5) by failing in its financial orders to promote full and frank disclosure in financial affidavits and by failing to address adequately the defendant's omission of substantial income and assets from the financial affidavits that he filed at the time of the original dissolution judgment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3287

AC40217 - State v. Miller (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Omar Miller, appeals from the trial court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims on appeal that the court improperly denied his motion to correct an illegal sentence without first conducting a hearing on the merits of the motion. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")

AC39187 - State v. Mota-Royaceli (Manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Jayson Mota-Royaceli, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered after a trial to the jury, on the charge of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) limited his voir dire of the venire panel and (2) gave the jury a Chip Smith instruction at an impermissibly coercive time. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3288

AC40556 - Gaughan v. Higgins (Quiet title; trespass; "This quiet title action concerns a triangular strip of land between the parties' properties. The defendant, Peter J. Higgins, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a bench trial, in favor of the plaintiffs, Peter P. Gaughan and Jacqueline McGann. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) credited the testimony of the plaintiffs' expert witness, (2) found facts not supported by the record, (3) found that the defendant trespassed on the plaintiffs' property, and (4) awarded the plaintiffs the fees of their expert witness as an element of the bill of costs. The plaintiffs cross appeal, claiming that the court improperly (1) denied their request for punitive damages and (2) determined that the defendant did not slander the plaintiffs' title. We reverse the judgment of the trial court with respect to the defendant's fourth claim and affirm the judgment in all other respects.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3289

AC40044 - Ravalese v. Lertora (Defamation; "The plaintiff, David Ravalese, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Joanne M. Lertora, on his complaint sounding in defamation. On appeal, the plaintiff sets forth two main claims: (1) the court improperly held that a report authored by the defendant was made for the purpose of litigation and, therefore, that the plaintiff's action for defamation was barred by the doctrine of absolute immunity; and (2) the court improperly held that the statute of limitations barred the action. We affirm the judgment of the court.")



Law Library Hours Update - December 12th - December 21st

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3285

Friday, December 14th

  • Rockville Law Library will be closed.

Monday, December 17th

  • New London Law Library will close at 2:00 p.m.
  • Putnam Law Library will be closed.

Tuesday, December 18th

  • New London Law Library will close at 3:15 p.m.

Friday, December 21st

  • New Britain Law Library will open at 11:30 a.m.
  • Rockville Law Library will close at noon.



Connecticut Law Journal - December 11, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3284

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 24, for December 11, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 502 - 519)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 949 - 952)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 186: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 466 - 610)
  • Volume 186: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 186: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases



Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3282

AC38837 - Rivera v. Commissioner of Correction (Dismissal of writ of habeas corpus for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to Practice Book § 23-29; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that (1) the habeas court’s articulation constitutes an improper modification of its original judgment and must be stricken from the record, and (2) the habeas court improperly dismissed his petition for lack of jurisdiction. We conclude that the habeas court lacked jurisdiction over the petition and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.”)


Declaratory Judgment Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3278

AC38734 - Day v. Seblatnigg ("The principal issue in this case is whether a settlor of a revocable trust who is later under a voluntary conservatorship may, while under conservatorship, acting on her own behalf, convert the trust to an irrevocable trust without action by her conservator and without her conservator obtaining Probate Court approval. The defendant, First State Fiduciaries, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court granting the motion of the plaintiff, Margaret E. Day, coconservator of the estate of Susan D. Elia, for summary judgment and declaring that the Susan D. Elia Irrevocable Trust dated September 15, 2011 (Delaware irrevocable trust) was void ab initio and unenforceable, and that all transfers of assets from Elia's conservatorship estate to the Delaware irrevocable trust or its wholly owned limited liability company, Peace at Last, LLC, were unauthorized and improper and ordering that the assets from Elia's conservatorship estate that were transferred to the Delaware irrevocable trust to Peace at Last, LLC, shall be immediately returned to Elia's conservatorship estate.

"On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in the absence of an indispensable party, Bryn Mawr Trust Company of Delaware (Bryn Mawr). We conclude that the court properly determined that Elia could not lawfully replace the Connecticut revocable trust with the Delaware irrevocable trust while under a conservatorship. We also conclude that the court properly determined that the former conservator of Elia's estate, Renee F. Seblatnigg, could not transfer the assets of the conservatorship estate to the Delaware irrevocable trust and that this transfer was void ab initio. Finally, we conclude that Bryn Mawr was not an indispensable party. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3279

AC40813 - Fiondella v. Meriden (Fraud; "The plaintiffs, Michael J. Fiondella, Jr., trustee of the Jo-An Carabetta 1983 Irrevocable Trust (trust), and The Meriden Homestead, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing the counts of the complaint alleged against the defendants, Adele G. Eberhart, Harry S. Eberhart, and Vincent T. McManus, Jr. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) applied the litigation privilege in favor of the defendants to conclude that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and (2) construed the fraud and civil conspiracy allegations against the defendants. We agree that the court improperly applied the litigation privilege to determine that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40752 - Jolen, Inc. v. Brodie & Stone, PLC (Breach of fiduciary duty; "The plaintiff, Jolen, Inc., appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Brodie & Stone, PLC, and Brodie & Stone International, PLC, on the plaintiff's claim of breach of fiduciary duty. The plaintiff claims on appeal that, in view of the court's unchallenged determination that an agency relationship existed between the parties, its subsequent failure to conclude that such relationship was per se fiduciary in nature was incorrect as a matter of law. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40610 - Perez v. Metropolitan District Commisssion (Wrongful death; "This case arises from the untimely death of Andres Burgos, who drowned while swimming in Lake McDonough, a recreational area that is owned and operated by the defendant, the Metropolitan District Commission. The plaintiff, Vivian Perez, administratrix of the estate of Andres Burgos, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant on the basis of governmental immunity. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in rendering summary judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact with respect to (1) whether Burgos' death was caused by the defendant's breach of one or more of its ministerial duties, and (2) whether Burgos was an identifiable person subject to imminent harm. We are not persuaded and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3277

AC39995 - State v. Greene (Manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Antoine Greene, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1). The defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) denying his motion to dismiss after the court's finding of no probable cause for the state's initial charge of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, and (2) denying his motions for a judgment of acquittal and for a new trial on the basis that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that he intended to cause serious physical injury to the victim. We affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC41288 - State v. Brett B. (Murder; violation of standing criminal protective order; "The defendant, Brett B., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of three counts of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and one count of violating a standing criminal protective order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223a (a). The defendant claims on appeal that (1) he was denied his right to a fair trial because the prosecutor committed improprieties during closing argument by (a) misrepresenting to the jury that certain DNA found at the crime scene belonged to the defendant despite testimony from the state's DNA expert that the defendant was only a possible contributor, and (b) misleading the jury regarding foot impression evidence; and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by admitting into evidence previously undisclosed opinion testimony from the state's forensic expert that a bloodstain found on a tissue at the crime scene appeared to be caused by a finger rather than by blood spatter, which, if credited, tended to implicate the defendant as the perpetrator. We reject the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3280

AC36991 - Forgione v. Forgione (Dissolution of marriage; "This case returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court. The defendant appeals from the judgment of the trial court opening the judgment of dissolution and reissuing financial orders. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in its method of dividing the parties' assets because it failed to take into account an advance payment made by the plaintiff to the defendant. Although the defendant raises this claim for the first time on appeal, we exercise our discretion to consider the claim on the merits, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3281

SC20011 - Cady v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The defendant GM Retirement, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the administrative appeal of the plaintiff, Bruce A. Cady. In the present appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court improperly (1) concluded that the defendant's proposed revision of boundary lines between certain adjacent lots constituted a new subdivision under General Statutes § 8-18, thereby implicating § IV.B.5 of the Burlington Zoning Regulations (regulations), which requires an increased minimum lot area for new subdivisions, and (2) applied § III.F.7 of the regulations, which governs the establishment of nonconforming uses on preexisting lots. We conclude that the trial court improperly determined that the defendant's proposed lot line revisions constituted a subdivision and improperly applied § III.F.7 of the regulations.

More specifically, we conclude that, when the town of Burlington (town) adopted § IV.B.5 of the regulations on October 1, 1983, the defendant's property contained three conforming, buildable lots, and that the proposed lot line revisions at issue in this case maintained three conforming, buildable lots. Thus, the defendant's proposed lot line revisions did not create a subdivision because those revisions did not divide one parcel of land into three or more parts. As a result, we further conclude that the defendant did not propose the establishment of a nonconforming use because the property lines, as revised, met the size requirements applicable to lots in existence as of October 1, 1983. Therefore, the trial court improperly applied § III.F.7 of the regulations to the present case. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - December 4, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3276

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 23, for December 4, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 462 - 501)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 944 - 949)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 186: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 299 - 466)
  • Volume 186: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 901 - 902)
  • Volume 186: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases




Habeas Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3271

SC19928 - Breton v. Commissioner of Correction (“Claim that the “2013 amendment to General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 54-125a; see Public Acts 2013, No.13-3, § 59 (P.A. 13-3), codified at General Statutes (Supp.2014) § 54-125a; which eliminated risk reduction credit awarded pursuant to General Statutes § 18-98e from the calculation of a violent offender’s initial parole eligibility date, thereby requiring the offender to complete 85 percent of his definite sentence before becoming parole eligible, as applied retroactively to him, violates the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution because he was statutorily entitled to such earlier parole consideration when he committed the crimes for which he is now incarcerated.”… On appeal, the petitioner renews his claim of an ex post facto violation. We agree with the petitioner that the ex post facto clause bars the respondent from applying the 2013 amendment to the petitioner, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court.”)

SC19927 - Garner v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim of ineffective assistance; claim that a “2013 amendment to General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 54-125a; see Public Acts 2013, No. 13-3, § 59 (P.A. 13-3), codified at General Statutes (Supp. 2014) § 54-125a; which eliminated risk reduction credit awarded pursuant to General Statutes § 18-98e from the calculation of a violent offender’s initial parole eligibility date, as applied retroactively to him, violates the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution, because, under the version of § 54-125a in effect when he committed his offenses, he was entitled to have any such credit that he had earned applied to advance his initial parole eligibility date…The habeas court, Fuger, J., rejected the petitioner’s ex post facto claim…On appeal, the petitioner challenges both of these determinations by the habeas court. Although we reject the petitioner’s ineffective assistance claim, we agree that the ex post facto clause bars the respondent from applying the 2013 amendment retroactively to the petitioner. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC39715 - Boria v. Commissioner of Correction (Practice Book § 23-29; “The petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly dismissed his claim (1) that amendments to the risk reduction earned credits statute in 2013 and 2015 violated the ex post facto clause of the United States constitution and (2) that his right to due process had been violated because his guilty plea in his underlying criminal case was not knowingly and voluntarily made. As to the first claim, we disagree and, accordingly, affirm that aspect of the judgment of the habeas court. As to the second claim, although we agree with the petitioner that the habeas court should not have dismissed that claim as an improper successive petition under Practice Book § 23-29, we affirm that aspect of the judgment on the alternative ground that it was barred by collateral estoppel.”)

AC40090 - Davis v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal and (2) erred in concluding that his trial counsel had not rendered ineffective assistance by failing to (A) file a motion in limine to preclude certain evidence, (B) consult with and present the testimony of an eyewitness identification expert, (C) object to the testimony of a laboratory supervisor on the ground that the testimony violated his right to confrontation under the federal constitution and (D) prepare the petitioner for the presentence investigation interview. We dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.”)

AC40101 - Nicholson v. Commissioner of Correction (Amended writ; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) erroneously concluded that he failed to establish that his state and federal constitutional rights to the effective assistance of counsel were violated,1 (3) abused its discretion in declining to treat a witness at the habeas trial as an expert witness, and (4) abused its discretion in failing to review certain evidence admitted at the habeas trial prior to denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.”)



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3270

AC40477 - State v. Barjon (Robbery in first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; robbery in second degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in second degree; "The defendant, Jean Barjon, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (2), conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2), robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-135 (a) (1), and conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree in violation of § 53a-48 and General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-135 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his right to conflict free counsel under the sixth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40694 - State v. Davis (Violation of probation; motion to dismiss; motion for continuance; "The defendant, Frederick M. Davis, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and committing him to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction for nine years. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly denied his motion to dismiss predicated on an alleged lack of jurisdiction, (2) violated his constitutional right to be present at a critical stage of the probation revocation proceeding, and (3) improperly denied his request for a continuance. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")