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.

Election Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3050

SC20088 - Arciniega v. Feliciano (Writ of mandamus; counterclaim; whether party lacked standing to advance counterclaim; statutory aggrievement, discussed; "The question presented to us in this election case, brought under General Statutes § 9-329a, concerns the validity of petitions submitted to qualify a slate of candidates to run for election to the Democratic Town Committee for the sixth district of the city of Hartford. Specifically, it concerns whether election officials are required to reject such petitions if the circulator of the petitions knows or should know that the petitions contain an incorrect address for one of the candidates listed, irrespective of whether the candidate would be qualified to run for the position listed on the petitions under the correct address. We conclude that the threshold and, ultimately, dispositive issue is whether the acceptance of such a petition constitutes a "ruling of an election official," which is an essential predicate to a party's standing to proceed under § 9-329a. We conclude that it does not. Accordingly, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of this claim.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3045

AC39559 - Peters v. United Community & Family Services, Inc. (Medical malpractice; motion to dismiss; personal jurisdiction; sufficiency of opinion letter authored by similar health care provider; "With the intent to deter the filing of frivolous medical malpractice actions, our legislature in 1986 adopted General Statutes § 52-190a, which makes malpractice actions subject to dismissal unless the plaintiff obtains and attaches to the complaint an opinion letter written and signed by a similar health care provider indicating that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence. The meaning and application of this requirement itself has spawned extensive litigation since its enactment. This appeal is the latest iteration of this judicial journey.

The plaintiff, Steven V. Peters, Jr., commenced the underlying action for monetary damages arising out of the alleged negligent performance of maxillofacial surgery. He appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing, pursuant to § 52-190a (c), count three of his action directed against the defendant, Edward Reynolds, Jr., DDS, because the opinion letter that the plaintiff attached to the complaint failed to provide that its author is board certified by the appropriate American board in the same specialty as the defendant. The plaintiff claims on appeal that the trial court improperly relied on this court's decision in Gonzales v. Langdon, 161 Conn. App. 497, 128 A.3d 562 (2015), as the basis for its decision to reject the affidavit that he attached to his response to the motion to dismiss, in which he sought to clarify the credentials of the opinion letter's author. We conclude that, because the plaintiff's attempt to cure the defect in the opinion letter came after the relevant statute of limitations had run, the trial court properly granted the motion to dismiss on the basis of an inadequate opinion letter. Accordingly, we 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=3044

SC19778 - State v. Tierinni (Sexual assault second degree; risk of injury to child; "We granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following questions: (1) "Did the Appellate Court properly conclude that the defendant waived his right to be present at critical stages of the criminal proceedings during arguments on evidentiary objections?" And (2) "If the answer to the first question is `no,' did the trial court's approach to handling evidentiary objections constitute structural error as a violation of the defendant's right to be present during critical stages of the criminal proceedings?" State v. Tierinni, 323 Conn. 904, 150 A.3d 681 (2016).

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties before this court, we have determined that the judgment of the Appellate Court should be affirmed. We conclude that the Appellate Court's decision fully addresses the first certified question, as reformulated in this opinion—namely, its conclusion that the defendant had waived any claim regarding his presence at the sidebar conferences by agreeing to the trial court's procedure for handling arguments on evidentiary objections. It would, therefore, serve no purpose for us to repeat the discussion contained in the Appellate Court's decision. Because we answer the first certified question in the affirmative, we do not reach the second question.")

AC39105 - State v. White (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "This case turns on the issue of the appropriate role of assigned counsel in the context of a motion to correct an illegal sentence following State v. Casiano, 282 Conn. 614, 922 A.2d 1065 (2007). The defendant, Antuan White, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims that the trial court erred by (1) declining to appoint counsel to represent him on the merits; (2) denying his motion on the merits; and (3) deciding the merits of the motion to correct, despite having previously considered the merits of the issues during the hearing regarding the appointment of counsel. We disagree and affirm the judgments of the trial court.")

AC39169 - State v. Wynne (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; "The defendant, Paul Wynne, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; and (2) the court abused its discretion in admitting the testimony of the state's expert on drug recognition. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39474 - State v. Papineau (Assault in first degree; conspiracy to commit assault in first degree; "The defendant, Michael J. Papineau, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of assault in the first degree with a dangerous instrument in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), and conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-59 (a) (1) and 53a-48. The defendant claims (1) that the trial court erroneously precluded his half brother from testifying about a phone conversation that transpired between the defendant and the defendant's former wife; (2) that the court erroneously precluded him from presenting testimony from the defendant's mother that, prior to the events at issue, he planned to travel to Massachusetts; (3) the court erroneously admitted a printout of text messages that the state failed to authenticate; and (4) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3048

AC39940 - Lyons v. Citron (Summary process; notice to quit; "This is a case involving multiple notices to quit. The defendants in this summary process action, Robert Citron and Gail Citron, appeal from the trial court's judgment of possession in favor of the plaintiff, Cyndi Lyons. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erroneously rendered judgment for the plaintiff on the ground of nonpayment of rent when the plaintiff prematurely served the defendants with the underlying notice to quit on the day she withdrew her first summary process action, instead of waiting nine days after rent became due to serve the notice, as required by General Statutes § 47a-15a. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3049

AC39366 - Nichols v. Oxford ("The plaintiffs petitioned the trial court, pursuant to General Statutes § 13a-103, for an order directing one of the defendants, the town of Oxford (town), to repair and maintain unimproved sections of a highway, Old Good Hill Road (road), located in the town. The trial court denied the relief sought. The plaintiffs appealed, claiming that the court erred in finding that (1) sections two, three and four of the road did not comprise part of a highway, and (2) even if those sections of the road had once comprised part of a highway, they since have been abandoned. We conclude that the court properly found that sections two, three and four of the road have been abandoned, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3047

AC40896 - Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc. v. Pineda ("The plaintiff, Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion for postmaturity postjudgment interest. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly denied the motion in light of General Statutes § 37-1 and our Supreme Court’s decision in Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc. v. Butts, 315 Conn. 433, 108 A.3d 228 (2015). We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3046

AC38834 - Hall v. Hall ("In this amended appeal, the plaintiff, Hugh F. Hall, appeals from the trial court’s judgment of civil contempt rendered against him because he, in violation of an order of the court, unilaterally withdrew funds from a joint bank account and deposited them into his personal savings account, and because the parties placed the funds in an account that did not meet the requirements of the court order. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court (1) improperly held him in contempt although he allegedly relied on the advice of counsel when he withdrew the funds, and (2) improperly denied the parties’ joint motion to open and vacate the judgment of contempt. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Law Library Hours Update June 15th - June 22nd

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3033

Friday, June 15th

  • New London Law Library closes at 4:15 p.m.

Monday, June 18th

  • Middletown Law Library opens at 10:45 a.m.
  • New London Law Library will be closed.
  • Putnam Law Library closes at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 19th

  • Middletown Law Library will be closed.

Wednesday, June 20th

  • Hartford Law Library closes at 1:00 p.m.
  • Torrington Law Library closes at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 21st

  • MIddletown Law Library closes at 12:30 p.m.
  • Putnam Law Library will be closed.
  • Rockville Law Library will be closed.

Friday, June 22nd

  • New London Law Library will be closed.


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3042

SC19810 - State v. Jordan (Assault second degree; self-defense; motion to preclude evidence; certification from Appellate Court; "The primary question we must answer in this certified appeal is whether a criminal defendant claiming self-defense is barred as a matter of law from introducing the victim's convictions for crimes of violence as evidence that the victim initiated the confrontation with the defendant when the conduct giving rise to the victim's convictions occurred subsequent to the charged incident. The defendant, Brian W. Jordan, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed his judgment of conviction of assault in the second degree. State v. Jordan, 166 Conn. App. 35, 48, 140 A.3d 421 (2016). We agree with the Appellate Court that, although the trial court improperly determined that such evidence is inadmissible as a matter of law, the defendant has failed to prove that such error ultimately was harmful.")


Connecticut Law Journal - June 12, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3043

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 50, for June 12, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 329: Connecticut Reports (Pages 249 - 272)
  • Volume 329: Orders (Pages 901 - 903)
  • Volume 329: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 182: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 488 - 656)
  • Volume 182: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 903)
  • Volume 182: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices


Law Library Hours Update June 11th - June 15th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3032

Tuesday, June 12th

  • Bridgeport Law Library will be closing at 4:00 p.m.
  • Middletown Law Library will be closing at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 13th

  • New London Law Library will be closed.
  • Putnam Law Library will be closed.

Friday, June 15th

  • New London Law Library will be closing at 4:15 p.m.
  • Rockville Law Library will be closing at 2:00 p.m.


New Acts Affecting special reports from the Office of Legislative Research

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3041

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research has published a number of Acts Affecting special reports for the 2018 regular session. The publications contain summaries of recent acts, organized by subject. They include the Public (or Special) Act number, and include links to their respective bill status pages.


Property Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3039

AC39515 - Kaplan v. Scheer (Reformation of deed; "This case concerns a settlement agreement pursuant to which (1) the defendants . . . granted the plaintiff . . . an easement for pedestrian and vehicular access to a portion of the plaintiff's driveway that lay on the defendants' property (driveway easement), and (2) the parties exchanged quitclaim deeds. The plaintiff now contends that these deeds were recorded in the wrong order and, as a result, her deed inadvertently conveyed to the defendants a different easement, one that previously had allowed her to cross the defendants' property to access Long Island Sound (water easement). The plaintiff contends that this conveyance was not something the parties bargained for when they reached their agreement. She brought the underlying action seeking to restore the water easement through various equitable remedies; she now appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following a trial to that court, in favor of the defendants. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) misinterpreted the settlement agreement by finding that the alphanumeric prefixes in it were included only for convenience and did not bear upon the parties' intent and (2) improperly rejected her claim of mutual mistake. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39687 - Gartrell v. Hartford (Directed verdict; action for damages for violations of state building code; "The plaintiffs, Joseph Gartrell, 481 Albany Avenue, and Wonder Package, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion for a directed verdict in favor of the defendant city of Hartford (city). The plaintiffs claim that the trial court erred in directing a verdict for the city on the basis of the jury's answer to a single interrogatory. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Legal Malpractice Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3035

AC38128 - Kuehl v. Koskoff ("Except in obvious situations, expert testimony generally is required to establish the element of causation in a legal malpractice case. See Bozelko v. Papastavros, 323 Conn. 275, 284–85, 147 A.3d 1023 (2016). 'Because a determination of what result should have occurred if the attorney had not been negligent usually is beyond the field of ordinary knowledge and experience possessed by a juror, expert testimony generally will be necessary to provide the essential nexus between the attorney's [alleged] error and the plaintiff's damages.' Id., 285.

"In this legal malpractice action, the defendants, Rosalind J. Koskoff and the law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P.C., appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered, after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, Sylvia N. Kuehl. To summarize, this protracted litigation concerns the plaintiff's contention that the defendants breached the duty of care they owed her during their representation of her in an underlying personal injury action involving her late husband, Guenther Kuehl (decedent), when the defendants failed to file a claim for survivor's benefits under our Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., within a year of his death. At trial, the defendants claimed that the plaintiff failed to prove the proximate cause element of a negligence cause of action because she failed to present expert testimony that, more likely than not, she would have been awarded survivor's benefits under the act if the defendants had submitted her claim. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly denied their motion for a directed verdict, motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and motion to set aside the verdict. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3037

AC37131 - Bennett v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) abused its discretion in declining to admit into evidence a transcript from the criminal trial of another defendant, and (3) erred in finding that his right to the effective assistance of counsel at his criminal trial had not been violated. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")

AC39445 - Francis v. Commissioner of Correction ("The habeas court granted his petition for certification to appeal to this court; he claims on appeal that he was prejudiced as a result of the ineffective assistance of his erstwhile habeas counsel, Michael Day. Specifically, the petitioner argues that, at his habeas trial, Day failed (1) to question a witness properly and (2) to present evidence of that witness’ availability to testify at the original criminal trial. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3034

AC39336 - State v. Bischoff (Possession of narcotics; possession of less than four ounces of cannabis-type substance; "The defendant, Haji Jhmalah Bischoff, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial in the judicial district of Fairfield, on charges of possession of narcotics in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 21a-279 (a) and possession of less than four ounces of a cannabis-type substance (marijuana) in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 21a-279 (c). The defendant claims that (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of possession of narcotics; (2) the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury, as he requested, on third-party culpability as a defense to possession of narcotics; and (3) if his conviction of possession of narcotics is upheld, this case must be remanded for resentencing because his seven year sentence on that offense exceeds the one year statutory maximum for that offense, as it was retroactively reclassified after his arrest but before his conviction and sentencing in this case. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39391 - State v. Ortiz (Possession of sawed-off shotgun; possession of weapon in motor vehicle; "The defendant, Monday J. Ortiz, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court following a plea of nolo contendere to the charges of possession of a sawed-off shotgun in violation of General Statutes § 53a-211 and possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 29-38 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence seized during a warrantless search of his vehicle. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40606 - State v. Ramos (Manslaughter in first degree with firearm; "The defendant, Abimael Ramos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of intentional manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-55 (a) (1) and 53a-55a. On appeal, he claims that (1) he was deprived of his rights to present a defense and to cross-examine witnesses, pursuant to the sixth amendment to the federal constitution, when the trial court prevented him from questioning police officers about alleged inadequacies in their investigation of the victim's death, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence, under the state of mind exception to the hearsay rule, testimony regarding the victim's relationship with the defendant prior to her death. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40239 - State v. Corver (Attempt to commit murder; assault in first degree; kidnapping in first degree; "The defendant, John Corver, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a court trial, of three counts of attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-54a, two counts of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), and one count of kidnapping in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-92 (a) (2) (A). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in denying a request to discharge his legal counsel and (2) his conviction must be reversed because he did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his right to a jury trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3038

AC40442 - Murallo v. United Builders Supply Co. ("The plaintiff, Randy Murallo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered after a trial to the court in favor of the defendant, United Builders Supply Co., Inc.The plaintiff claims that the court erred in finding that (1) the parties had not formed a contract and (2) the decking materials sold by the defendant were not defective. We conclude that the court's finding that no contract existed between the parties was clearly erroneous. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3036

SC19964 - Samelko v. Kingstone Ins. Co. ("In this case, we must decide whether a Connecticut court may properly exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state insurer whose only significant contacts with this state are the inclusion of Connecticut within the coverage territory of an automobile insurance policy and the occurrence of an automobile collision in Connecticut involving its insured. The defendant, Kingstone Insurance Company, a company domiciled in New York, contractually agreed to defend and indemnify its insured nationwide. After a vehicle driven by the insured collided in Connecticut with a vehicle driven by the plaintiffs, Jerzy and Sylvia Samelko, however, the defendant failed to defend its insured and failed to provide indemnity after a judgment was rendered against the insured for damages resulting from the collision. The plaintiffs were subrogated to the rights of the insured under the policy issued by the defendant pursuant to General Statutes § 38a-321 and brought this action directly against the defendant to recover damages.

"The trial court dismissed the action on the ground that it lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant. We conclude, however, that exercising personal jurisdiction over the defendant insurer is permitted by our corporate long arm statute, General Statutes § 33-929 (f) (1), and comports with the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment to the United Statutes Constitution. See U.S. Const., amend. XIV, § 1. Accordingly, we disagree with the trial court's contrary conclusion and, therefore, reverse and remand the case with direction to deny the defendant’s motion to dismiss and for further proceedings."



Connecticut Law Journal - June 5, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3030

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 49, for June 5, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 325 Conn. Replacement Pages 425 - 426
  • Volume 325 Conn. Replacement Pages 429 - 430
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 758 - 779)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 939 - 941)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 329: Connecticut Reports (Pages 1 - 249)
  • Volume 329: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 182: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 312 - 488)
  • Volume 182: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 902)
  • Volume 182: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies