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 Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1889

AC38887 - Alaimo v. Alaimo ("In this action for damages based on breach of contract, the plaintiff, Benjamin M. Alaimo, appeals, following a bench trial, from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Matthew J. Alaimo. The plaintiff claims that the trial court erred in finding against him on the complaint and in favor of the defendant on his special defenses premised on the statute of limitations and the statute of frauds. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1887

AC38103, AC38104, AC38105 - State v. Smith (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; tampering with witness; "In these consolidated appeals, the defendant, Brian Smith, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1), and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151 (a). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to convict him of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug and (2) the court erroneously admitted certain evidence relating to the witness tampering count. We affirm the judgments of the trial court."


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1888

AC39520 - Stratek Plastics, Ltd. v. Ibar ("In this action for the foreclosure of a judgment lien, the defendant, Jean Pierre Ibar, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion for attorney's fees filed by the plaintiff, Stratek Plastics, Ltd. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in awarding attorney's fees because (1) there had been no hearing as to the form of the judgment or the limitation of time for redemption as required by General Statutes § 52-249 (a); and (2) the plaintiff failed to present a statement of the fees requested and services rendered at the time of the trial. We disagree that the award of attorney's fees was improper. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1886

The Office of Legislative Research has recently published the following reports:

Institutional Aid for Undocumented Students - 2018-R-0033 - This report describes the types of institutional aid that undocumented students would have been able to receive from Connecticut public higher education institutions if Senate Bill 17 (2017) had become law.

Reverse Mortgage Counseling Requirements - 2018-R-0053 - This report summarizes federal reverse mortgage counseling requirements and provides examples of requirements enacted in other states.

States Offering Legal Sports Betting - 2018-R-0059 - This report summarizes the types of games that states with legal sports betting may offer.

Mandatory Reporting of Elder Abuse - 2018-R-0068 - This report provides information on Connecticut's elder abuse reporting requirements and statutory penalties.

Special Parole - 2018-R-0038 - This report provides a summary of Connecticut's Special Parole System.

Motor Fuel Taxes - 2018-R-0054 - This report briefly explains the Connecticut taxes that apply to motor fuels and how the rates have changed since 1990. It also provides the revenue raised and how it compares to similar taxes in other states.

E-Cigarettes and Minors - 2018-R-0039 - This report describes the laws on the sale or use of electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products that apply to minors.

Impact of Limiting the SALT Deduction on Connecticut - 2018-R-0028 - This report explains the new federal tax law's (1) limit on the state and local tax deduction and (2) impact on Connecticut taxpayers and the state budget.

Tenants, Lodgers, and Long-Term Guests - 2018-R-0050 - This report explains how Connecticut law (1) differentiates between tenants and lodgers and (2) determines when a guest may gain the protections of a tenant.


Connecticut Law Journal - February 13, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1885

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 33, for February 13, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 38 - 60)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 903 - 908)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 179: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 605 - 721)
  • Volume 179: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 906 - 907)
  • Volume 179: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices


Probate Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1884

AC40602 - In re Sandy J. M.-M. (Probate appeal; whether trial court improperly dismissed appeal from decision of Probate Court dismissing petition by minor child seeking special immigrant juvenile status findings and denying petition for removal of guardian; "The petitioner, Sandy J. M.-M., asks this court, by way of a motion filed on January 9, 2018, to reverse summarily the trial court’s dismissal of her appeal from a decision of the Probate Court denying her petition seeking special immigrant juvenile status findings. See 8 U.S.C. § 1101 (a) (27) (J) (2012); General Statutes § 45a-608n (b). We conclude that the resolution of this appeal is controlled by our Supreme Court’s recent decision in In re Henrry P. B.-P., 327 Conn. 312, 173 A.3d 928 (2017), and that summary reversal is appropriate in the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, we grant the petitioner's motion and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")



Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1883

AC39301 - ASPIC, LLC v. Poitier ("The defendant, Brack G. Poitier, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the prejudgment remedy application filed by the plaintiff, ASPIC, LLC. The defendant claims that the trial court erred in awarding the plaintiff a $1 million prejudgment remedy because he specifically had pleaded, inter alia, a defense of breach of fiduciary duties, which required the court to shift the burden to the plaintiff to establish fair dealing, and the court failed to do so. He also claims that even if the court appears to have shifted the burden, the record was devoid of evidence to demonstrate fair dealing. Finally, the defendant claims that the trial court failed to make any finding that the plaintiff had met its burden to show that there was probable cause that it would prevail in establishing that the transactions at issue were the product of fair dealing. We agree with the defendant and reverse 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=1881

AC40237 - State v. Salmond (Murder; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; "The defendant, Dennis Salmond, appeals from the judgment of conviction of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-217c (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his constitutional right to due process by denying his motion to suppress an eyewitness' in-court identification of him, and (2) abused its discretion by denying his request for a special credibility instruction with respect to the testimony of that eyewitness. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38915 - State v. Antwon W. (Sexual assault in first degree in violation of statute (§ 53a-70 [a] [1] and [2]); sexual assault in third degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Antwon W., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his second motion to correct an illegal sentence, in which he claimed that the sentencing court improperly relied on inaccurate and unreliable information in sentencing him on three counts of sexual assault in the first degree under General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1) because those sentences were imposed upon him before the vacatur, on grounds of double jeopardy, of his three parallel convictions of and associated concurrent sentences for sexual assault in the first degree under § 53a-70 (a) (2) based upon the same underlying sexual assaults. We reject the defendant's claim that the court relied upon inaccurate information in sentencing him, but conclude that the form of the judgment is improper and, therefore, remand this case with direction to deny the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence.")

AC39368 - State v. Richard P. (Sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; "The state of Connecticut appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered by the trial court after the state entered a nolle prosequi in a criminal case charging the defendant, Richard P., with various offenses arising from his alleged physical and sexual abuse of two of his children. The state claims that the court improperly dismissed the case because it had sufficiently represented to the court that a material witness had "died, disappeared or become disabled" within the meaning of General Statutes § 54-56b and Practice Book § 39-30. We are not persuaded and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1882

AC39202 - Martin v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, he claims that the court erred in: (1) rejecting his claim that his due process right to a fair trial under the state and federal constitutions was violated by the introduction of testimony from an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at his underlying criminal trial, which was later determined to be scientifically invalid; and (2) concluding that his habeas counsel did not render ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC37185 - Omar v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly rejected his contention that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance when she exposed his criminal history to the jury. Because we agree with the habeas court’s conclusion that the petitioner failed to prove prejudice under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC39582 - Victor C. v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly found that his trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance by (1) failing to present testimony from certain fact witnesses, (2) improperly advising him of his right to testify at trial, and (3) failing to consult and present testimony from an expert in the field of child sexual abuse. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")






Connecticut Law Journal - February 6, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1876

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 32, for February 6, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 901 - 903)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 179: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 499 - 604)
  • Volume 179: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 906 - 906)
  • Volume 179: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies



Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1874

SC19754 - Bouchard v. State Employees Retirement Commission ("In Longley v. State Employees Retirement Commission, 284 Conn. 149, 177–78, 931 A.2d 890 (2007), this court held that the defendant, the State Employees Retirement Commission, had improperly interpreted statutes governing retirement benefits by failing to directly add a retiree's final, prorated longevity payment to the salary earned in the retiree's final year of state employment for the purposes of calculating the retiree's base salary. Although the commission contended in Longley that it had calculated retirement benefits in accordance with its interpretation since the 1960s; id., 166; this court afforded relief to the two plaintiffs in that case without expressing a view on whether the decision applied retroactively. Id., 178. The commission subsequently ordered the recalculation and award of increased retirement benefits, in accordance with Longley, of any person who had retired, or whose benefits were not finalized, on or after October 2, 2001, the six year period preceding the date of the Longley decision. The present case raises the question of whether all state employees, irrespective of when they retired, are entitled to have their benefits recalculated in accordance with Longley.

This question comes to us by way of an unusual procedural posture—a two count complaint bringing (1) an administrative appeal from the commission's decision denying a petition for a declaratory ruling filed by the plaintiffs, retirees Roger J. Bouchard, James J. Malone and James E. Fox, and (2) a declaratory judgment action on behalf of a class, represented by the plaintiffs, of all state employees who retired and began collecting pensions before October 2, 2001. The trial court granted relief to the plaintiffs in the administrative appeal, but denied relief to the class on the ground that the declaratory judgment count was time barred. The plaintiffs appealed from the trial court's judgment insofar as it denied relief for the class. The commission cross appealed from the judgment insofar as it granted relief to the plaintiffs, and raised numerous alternative procedural and substantive grounds for affirming the judgment denying relief to the class. We conclude that the plaintiffs' claims for recalculation of benefits were time barred, and for the reasons supporting that conclusion neither they nor the class is entitled to relief. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the trial court's judgment")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1873

SC19725 - Jones v. State ("In October, 1990, the petitioner, Melvin Jones, was arrested and charged with the murder of Wayne Curtis, who had been found shot to death in New Haven just a few days before the petitioner's arrest. The case was tried to a jury, which found the petitioner guilty. Nearly twenty years after the crime occurred, in 2010, certain pieces of evidence from the petitioner's trial were tested for the presence of DNA pursuant to an agreement with the state. He later relied on that testing to petition for a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence. In his petition, he claimed that the new DNA testing demonstrated that he did not commit the murder. The trial court disagreed, concluding that the new DNA results, although valid, failed to establish that the new evidence would likely produce a different result in a new trial. The Appellate Court, reviewing the trial court's decision for an abuse of discretion, upheld that decision. Jones v. State, 165 Conn. App. 576, 604, 140 A.3d 238 (2016).

In his certified appeal to this court, the petitioner contends that the Appellate Court should have engaged in a de novo review of whether the new evidence was likely to produce a different result. He argues that de novo review is appropriate because the credibility of the new evidence is undisputed, requiring only the application of the legal standards to the facts found by the trial court. He further asserts that, had the Appellate Court properly engaged in a de novo review, it would have decided the case in his favor.

We agree with the petitioner that de novo review is appropriate in the specific circumstances of this case, namely, when the petition for a new trial is decided by a judge who did not preside over the original trial and no fact-finding was necessary because both parties agreed that the new evidence was fully credible. Applying a de novo standard of review, we nevertheless disagree that the petitioner is entitled to a new trial. We therefore affirm the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1869

AC36832 - State v. Blaine (Conspiracy to commit robbery in first degree; "This case returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court with direction to consider the claim of plain error raised by the defendant, Jayevon Blaine, in light of State v. McClain, 324 Conn. 802, 155 A.3d 209 (2017). The defendant previously appealed from the judgment of conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2). We held in our prior opinion that the waiver of a claim of instructional error pursuant to State v. Kitchens, 299 Conn. 447, 10 A.3d 942 (2011), precluded review of the claim of plain error. State v. Blaine, 168 Conn. App. 505, 517–19 and n.5, 147 A.3d 1044 (2016), remanded in part, 325 Conn. 918, 163 A.3d 618 (2017). In State v. McClain, supra, 815, our Supreme Court held that a Kitchens waiver did not preclude a claim of plain error. We now consider the defendant's claim that the trial court committed plain error by incorrectly instructing the jury on the requisite intent to find him guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree. We conclude that the record does not support the claim that the pertinent instruction constituted plain error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39200 - State v. Anthony L. (Sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; sexual assault in third degree; "The defendant, Anthony L., was convicted, after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1), one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and one count of sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its direction in admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct and (2) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction on all three charges. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38953 - State v. Juarez (Conspiracy to commit murder; attempt to commit murder; "The defendant, Miguel Juarez, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-54a, and attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of either charge, and (2) the state failed to prove the charges of which he was convicted as they were set forth in its long form information. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1871

AC38482 - Doctor's Associates, Inc. v. Searl ("The defendants, Susan E. Searl and Randy A. Searl, doing business as Subway store number 34648, appeal from the judgment of the trial court, effectively dismissing their motion to vacate an arbitration award for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and granting the application of the plaintiff, Doctor’s Associates, Inc., to confirm that award. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court should have applied federal law, or alternatively New York law, instead of Connecticut law, in determining whether they timely filed their motion to vacate. We conclude that the court should have applied federal law in determining the timeliness of the defendants’ motion to vacate and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.")

AC39135 - General Linen Service Co. v. Cedar Park Inn & Whirlpool Suites ("The defendants, Cedar Park Inn & Whirlpool Suites (Cedar Park Inn) and John G. Syragakis (collectively ‘defendants’), appeal from the denial of their motion to open a judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, General Linen Service Company, Inc. A default had been ordered as a result of the defendants’ failure to comply with a discovery order and the trial court rendered judgment after a hearing in damages. The defendants claim that the trial court abused its discretion by not finding that it had lacked subject matter jurisdiction and by instead denying their motion to open because it did not satisfy the requirements of General Statutes § 52-212 (a) and Practice Book § 17-43. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38233 - United Amusement & Vending Co. v. Sabia ("In this action for breach of contract arising out of a commercial lease, the defendant, Daniel Sabia, appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, United Amusements & Vending Company, on the plaintiff’s single count complaint. The trial court, Hon. Edward F. Stodolink, judge trial referee, awarded $15,000 in damages. The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court (1) failed to find the contract unenforceable based on the defendant’s special defenses of mistake and duress; (2) awarded damages based on unconscionable provisions of the contract; and (3) awarded damages inconsistent with the contract and evidence. We agree with the defendant’s third claim. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case for a hearing in damages. We otherwise affirm the court’s judgment.")


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