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.

Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=688

AC30037 - Citimortgage, Inc. v. Tanasi ("The defendants, Richard Tanasi and Athanasula S. Casberg Tanasi, appeal from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the court in favor of the plaintiff, CitiMortgage, Inc. The defendants claim that the court erred in denying their motion to dismiss the foreclosure action because the plaintiff (1) lacked standing to commence foreclosure proceedings, (2) improperly relied on a document as a basis for standing, and (3) committed fraud warranting dismissal of the action with prejudice. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=686

SC19760 - State v. Pelella (Threatening second degree; appeal by state on granting of permission; first amendment to United States constitution; "The defendant, Michael Pelella, was arrested following an altercation with his brother and charged with two counts of threatening in the second degree, one for threatening to commit a crime of violence with intent to terrorize under General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-62 (a) (2), and the other for threatening to commit a crime of violence in reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror under General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-62 (a) (3). The defendant subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the charges "for lack of sufficient evidence or cause," and the trial court granted the motion and rendered judgment dismissing the charges, concluding that the state would be unable to demonstrate that the statement by the defendant on which the charges were based constituted a "`true threat,'" a form of speech that is not protected by the first amendment to the United States constitution. Thereafter, the trial court granted the state's motion for permission to appeal, and the state now claims that the trial court improperly granted the defendant's motion to dismiss after (1) incorrectly determining that an expression of an intent to cause harm to another cannot constitute a true threat unless the contemplated harm is imminent or immediate, and (2) improperly viewing the evidence before it in the light most favorable to the defendant. We agree with both of these contentions, and, therefore, we also agree that the trial court improperly granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the charges. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case to that court with direction to deny the motion to dismiss.")

AC39337 - State v. Liam M. (Assault in second degree with dangerous instrument; disorderly conduct; "The defendant, Liam M., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault in the second degree with a dangerous instruement in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2) and disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) his conviction for assault in the second degree should be reversed because there was insufficient evidence for the jury to determine that a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe is a dangerous instrument within the meaning of General Statutes § 53a-3 (7), and (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress incriminating statements that he made to police on the ground that such statements should have been excluded as tainted fruit of an unconstitutional arrest. We agree that the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion to suppress, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of conviction as to both charged offenses.")

AC38860 - State v. Dayton (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; failure of defendant to appear at sentencing; "The defendant, Stacey Dayton, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a plea of nolo contendere, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1995) § 14-227a. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) denied his motion to dismiss, and (2) accepted his plea when it was not knowingly, intelligently or voluntarily made. The state disagrees with the defendant on the merits of this appeal and also contends that this appeal is subject to dismissal pursuant to the fugitive felon disentitlement doctrine. We disagree that this appeal should be dismissed and agree with the defendant's first claim. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=687

AC38803 - Santos v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner claims that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal because it improperly concluded that (1) the prosecutor in his criminal trial did not knowingly present false or misleading testimony against him, and (2) his trial defense counsel did not render ineffective assistance of counsel. We dismiss the appeal.")

AC38946 - Walker v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) his defense counsel did not have an actual conflict of interest at the time of his representation of the petitioner and (2) he abandoned his due process claim that he was denied his right to be present at an in-chambers conference. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")



New Course: Practical Skills & Resources for Drafting Effective Motions in Connecticut

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=683

Law Library Services is offering a course on effective motion drafting in the Windham J.D: Practical Skills & Resources for Drafting Effective Motions in Connecticut.

Well drafted motions and pleadings can be powerful and persuasive tools. Whether you are newly admitted or an experienced practitioner, strong legal drafting skills are essential to the effective practice of law.

  • Explore practical and invaluable resources and services available through the courthouse law libraries
  • Enhance your motion practice skills
  • Identify sources of sample forms to assist you in drafting persuasive motions and pleadings
  • Increase your knowledge and understanding of the courthouse law library collections, both print and electronic

The course will be held at the Putnam Superior Court on Monday, November 13, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. To RSVP, email your name and contact information to lawlibraryservices@jud.ct.gov

Please see the flyer for more information, including the MCLE Notice.


Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=682

Cooperative Postadoption Agreements - 2017-R-0163
This report describes the laws on cooperative postadoption agreements and the circumstances in which a birth parent may have contact with his or her child after the child is adopted.

Toll Revenue in Neighboring States- 2017-R-0207
This report provides the amount of toll revenue collected in neighboring states.

Connecticut's Limit on Opioid Drug Prescriptions - 2017-R-0189
This report describes Connecticut's law imposing limits and conditions on the prescription of opioid drugs to adults and minors, including exceptions to the law.

Whiting Forensic Division - 2017-R-0218
This report describes the administrative control and admission standards of Connecticut's Whiting Forensic Division.

Outdoor Wood-burning Furnace Law - 2017-R-0198
This report summarizes the state's outdoor wood-burning furnace law. It updates OLR Report 2006-R-0591.

Regional School District Dissolution - 2017-R-0213
This report explains the effect on a regional school district when a member town dissolves itself, how a regional school district could initiate the process of dissolving the district, and how to reassign students after dissolution.


Connecticut Law Journal - September 26, 2017

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=681



Civil Protection Order Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=679

AC39227 - Sabrina C. v. Fortin ("The defendant, Lucas Fortin, in his appeal and first amended appeal, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to vacate or modify a civil protection order that had been granted to the plaintiff, Sabrina C., and from the court’s award of attorney’s fees to the plaintiff after the court denied his second amended motion for reargument. In the defendant’s second amended appeal, he appeals from the ruling of the court granting the plaintiff’s motion for a one year extension of the civil protection order. The defendant claims that the court improperly (1) denied his motion to vacate or modify the civil protection order on erroneous factual and legal grounds, (2) changed the basis for its denial in a subsequently issued articulation, (3) awarded the plaintiff attorney’s fees under the bad-faith exception to the American rule without setting forth an adequate factual basis, and (4) granted the plaintiff’s motion for a one year extension of the civil protection order without any evidence to support a finding that her need for protection still existed. We agree with the defendant’s third and fourth claims, and, accordingly, we remand the matter to the trial court with direction to vacate the award of attorney’s fees and to vacate the order extending the civil protection order to November 24, 2017.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=678

AC39406 - Mason v. Ford ("The self-represented defendant, Honor A. Ford, appeals from a postjudgment modification of a child support order entered subsequent to the dissolution of her marriage to the self-represented plaintiff, Malcolm E. Mason. In this appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred in finding a child support arrearage against her in the amount of $2215, for a period of sixteen weeks terminating on March 7, 2016. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the matter must be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this decision.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=675

AC38727 - State v. Danovan T. (Risk of injury to child; prosecutorial improprieties; claim that defendant was deprived of due process right to fair trial; "The defendant, Danovan T., appeals from his conviction of two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). In this appeal, he argues that his conviction should be reversed because (1) certain improprieties by the prosecutor deprived him of his general due process right to a fair trial and (2) the trial court improperly restricted his right to present impeachment evidence against the state's witnesses, thereby depriving him of his constitutional right to confront the witnesses against him. For the reasons that follow, we reject these arguments and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38113 - State v. Jeffrey H. (Sexual assault in first degree; "The defendant, Jeffrey H., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of three counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion by preventing him from pursuing certain inquiries on cross-examination, thereby violating his sixth amendment right to present a defense, and (2) abused its discretion by admitting into evidence out-of-context portions of his interview conducted following a polygraph examination, in violation of his right to due process. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38528 - State v. Biggs (Larceny in second degree; conspiracy to commit larceny in second degree; larceny in third degree as accessory; conspiracy to commit larceny in third degree; engaging police in pursuit; "The defendant claims on appeal that the court (1) abused its discretion and violated his right to an impartial jury by failing to conduct an adequate investigation as to a claim of juror misconduct that he brought to its attention on the date originally scheduled for his sentencing and (2) violated his constitutional right against double jeopardy by imposing separate sentences upon him on two counts of conspiracy that were based upon a single conspiratorial agreement. The state disputes the defendant's juror misconduct claim, contending that the court adequately investigated and properly disposed of that claim. It agrees with the defendant, however, that the court violated his right against double jeopardy by imposing separate sentences upon him on two counts of conspiracy that were based upon a single conspiratorial agreement. We agree with the state, and therefore we affirm the trial court's judgment on all charges except for conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree, and remand this case to the court with direction that the defendant's sentence and resulting conviction on that charge be vacated pursuant to State v. Polanco, 308 Conn. 242, 259–60, 61 A.3d 1084 (2013).")


Habeas Appellate Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=677

AC39330 - Miller v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying certification to appeal and (2) improperly concluded that trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance when advising him of the immigration consequences of his guilty plea. We agree that the habeas court abused its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and that trial counsel rendered deficient performance when advising the petitioner of the immigration consequences of his guilty plea. We conclude, however, that the record is inadequate to determine whether the petitioner was prejudiced by counsel’s deficient performance. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the habeas court and remand the matter for further habeas proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")

AC39401 - Pereira v. Commissioner of Correction (Claim that petitioner’s due process rifhts were violated as result of a kidnapping conviction; jury instruction pursuant to State v. Salamon; “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his habeas petition and (2) improperly denied his habeas petition. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying certification to appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.”)

AC39161 - Pentland v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court improperly dismissed his petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of an erroneous conclusion that he was not in the custody of the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, on the challenged conviction when he filed his petition, as required by General Statutes § 52-466. We conclude that the petitioner did not allege sufficient facts in his petition to establish the habeas court’s subject matter jurisdiction to hear his petition. Accordingly, the judgment of the habeas court is affirmed.")



Tort Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=676

SC19683 - Sepega v. DeLaura (Negligence; "The common-law firefighter's rule provides, in general terms, that a firefighter or police officer who enters private property in the exercise of his or her duties generally cannot bring a civil action against the property owner for injuries sustained as the result of a defect in the premises. See Levandoski v. Cone, 267 Conn. 651, 653–54, 841 A.2d 208 (2004). The principal issue in this appeal is whether the firefighter's rule should be extended beyond the scope of premises liability so as to bar a police officer from recovering, under a theory of ordinary negligence, from a homeowner who is also an alleged active tortfeasor. The plaintiff, Robert Sepega, a municipal police officer, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant, Lawrence R. DeLaura, following the granting of a motion to strike. In granting that motion, the trial court concluded that the firefighter's rule barred the plaintiff's sole claim, which sounded in ordinary negligence. We conclude that the firefighter's rule should not be extended beyond claims of premises liability and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendant and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.")

  • SC19683 - Sepega v. DeLaura Concurrence

SC19834 - Lund v. Milford Hospital, Inc. (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Justin Lund, a Connecticut state trooper, brought this action against the defendant, Milford Hospital, Inc., seeking damages for personal injuries sustained while subduing an emotionally disturbed person, Dale Pariseau, who had been committed to the defendant's custody on an emergency basis for psychiatric evaluation. The plaintiff has alleged that the defendant was negligent in numerous ways, including (1) failing to supervise or restrain Pariseau properly, (2) failing to provide for adequate security in the area where foreseeably dangerous patients are held, (3) allowing Pariseau, who was known to be dangerous, to go to the bathroom unrestrained and unaccompanied, and (4) failing to train its staff properly...."

"On appeal, the plaintiff claims primarily that, under this court's subsequent decision in Levandoski v. Cone, 267 Conn. 651, 841 A.2d 208 (2004), the firefighter's rule does not bar police officers from bringing negligence claims in nonpremises liability cases for injuries suffered during the performance of their duties. The plaintiff also claims that the trial court erred in sustaining the objection to the substitute complaint because the allegations set forth therein were materially different from his original complaint. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgement of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings. ")

  • SC19834 - Lund v. Milford Hospital, Inc. Dissent

AC38287 - Pecher v. Distefano (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Stefana Pecher, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a jury trial, rendered in favor of the defendant, Rhea Distefano. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court committed harmful error, requiring a new trial, by admitting a document, titled "Release and Hold Harmless Agreement," and a photograph of a sign (photo), both of which, at least in part, purported to relieve the defendant from all liability for injuries arising out of horse related activities at Showtime Stables. The issue in this appeal is whether we can review the plaintiff's claims notwithstanding the fact that she has failed to provide us with a complete record. We conclude that the absence of a complete record restricts our ability to review fully and accurately the plaintiff's claims of harmful error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")




Connecticut Law Journal - September 19, 2017

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=673



Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=669

AC38459 - Presidential Village, LLC v. Perkins ("The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its summary process action against the defendant . . . for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendant's motion to dismiss because the court determined that the federal pretermination notice was defective, and the defective notice deprived the court of subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case. Because its decision mistakenly rests primarily on its determination that the federal termination notice was defective under the requirements of General Statutes § 47a-23, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=670

AC38816 - St. Joseph’s High School, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The intervening defendants Jeffrey W. Strouse, Barbara M. Strouse, Mukesh H. Shah, Vibhavary M. Shah, Jai R. Singh, Sonali Singh, Dennis J. McEniry, and Joanne McEniry appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining in part the appeal of the plaintiffs, St. Joseph's High School, Inc. (school), and the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. (diocese), from the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Trumbull (commission) denying the school's request for a special permit pursuant to Article II, § 1.2.4.4, of the Trumbull Zoning Regulations (regulations). On appeal, the defendants contend that the court improperly concluded that the commission could not deny that request on the basis of noncompliance with general standards contained in the regulations. They further submit that substantial evidence in the record supports the commission's decision. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=668

AC38660 - Fuller v. Baldino ("The plaintiff, Mark Fuller, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his third party petition for visitation rights pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-59 and Practice Book § 25-4 as to the minor child of the defendant, Ann Baldino. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly dismissed his petition without an evidentiary hearing on the ground that he failed to allege facts establishing the requirements for jurisdiction set forth in Roth v. Weston, 259 Conn. 202, 789 A.2d 431 (2002). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=666

AC38224 - Wilkins v. Connecticut Child Birth & Women’s Center (Medical malpractice; "In this medical negligence action, the plaintiff Kristin Wilkins appeals from judgments in two cases, which were consolidated for trial, in favor of the defendant Women's Health Associates, P.C. On appeal, she argues that the court abused its discretion in submitting a threshold jury interrogatory and in framing its answer to a question from the jury regarding that interrogatory, and, therefore, the jury verdict, returned in the defendant's favor, should be set aside and a new trial should be ordered. We disagree and, accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


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