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.
Recent Opinions

Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3216

AC40603 - Walenski v. Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission (Administrative appeal; subject matter jurisdiction; spousal retirement benefits pursuant to State Employees Retirement Act (§ 5-152 et seq.); "The sole issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly dismissed the administrative appeal filed by the plaintiff, Carol Walenski, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to her failure to obtain a final decision from, or to otherwise exhaust her administrative remedies with, the named defendant, the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission (commission). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court, Huddleston, J., improperly dismissed her appeal because (1) the commission and a prior judge of the Superior Court concluded that the court had subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) she appealed from a final decision by an administrative agency pursuant to General Statutes § 4-166 (5) (A) and (C). 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=3215

SC20012 - State v. Newton (Illegal practices in campaign financing; "This appeal requires us to determine the appropriate mens rea for the crime of illegal practices in campaign financing. The defendant, Ernest Newton II, appeals from the judgment of conviction, following a jury trial, of three counts of illegal practices in campaign financing in violation of General Statutes §§ 9-622 (7) and 53a-8. The defendant claims that the trial court improperly failed to instruct the jury that, in order to find him guilty of an illegal campaign financing practice in violation of § 9-622 (7), it must find that he acted with specific intent to violate that statute. The state responds that the defendant waived his instructional challenge and, in the alternative, that the trial court properly instructed the jury that the state was required to prove only that the defendant acted with general intent. We conclude that the trial court improperly instructed the jury as to the applicable mens rea for the crime of illegal campaign financing practices. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is reversed.")

AC41116 - State v. Mendez (Felony murder; robbery in first degree; reviewability of claim that trial court improperly granted appellate counsel's motion for leave to withdraw appearance filed pursuant to applicable rule of practice (§ 62-9 [d]); "In this direct criminal appeal, the self-represented defendant, Kezlyn Mendez, claims that the trial court violated his right to due process by improperly granting his court-appointed appellate counsel's motion for leave to withdraw her appearance in accordance with Practice Book § 62-9 (d). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3221

AC40188 - Martinez v. Premier Maintenance, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Luis Martinez, appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Premier Maintenance, Inc., on all three counts of the plaintiff's second revised complaint alleging religious discrimination in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (act), General Statutes § 46a-51 et seq. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) utilized the pretext/McDonnell Douglas-Burdine model; Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 252–56, 101 S. Ct. 1089, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207 (1981); McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802, 93 S. Ct. 1817, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668 (1973); rather than the mixed-motive/Price Waterhouse model of analysis; Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 246, 109 S. Ct. 1775, 104 L. Ed. 2d 268 (1989); when adjudicating the motion for summary judgment, (2) concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether he had demonstrated a prima facie case of employment discrimination, and (3) concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact that he was not engaged in a protected activity under the act. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3218

AC40582 - Muckle v. Pressley (Negligence; "The plaintiff, David Muckle, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his claim for prejudgment interest against the defendants, Ronald Pressley and the city of New Haven. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that General Statutes § 37-3b permits only postjudgment interest in negligence actions. We disagree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3220

AC39040 - Seaside National Bank & Trust v. Lussier ("The defendant, Gerald Lussier, also known as Gerald J. Lussier, appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Seaside National Bank & Trust. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to liability, (2) violated his constitutional right to procedural due process by denying him the opportunity to depose the plaintiff's affiant upon whose testimony the court relied in rendering judgment, and (3) abused its discretion in denying his request for a continuance pursuant to Practice Book § 17-47 and in granting the plaintiff's motion for a protective order. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3217

AC39407 - Britton v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the second habeas court, Fuger, J., (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal, and (2) improperly concluded that he was not denied the constitutional right to due process because the jury was not instructed pursuant to State v. Salamon, 287 Conn. 509, 949 A.2d 1092 (2008), to the effective assistance of trial counsel and to the effective assistance of first habeas counsel. Although we agree that the second habeas court abused its discretion by denying the petitioner certification to appeal, we disagree that the court improperly denied his second petition for a writ of habeas corpus and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the second habeas court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - October 9, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3212

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 15, for October 9, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 316 - 342)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 916 - 919)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 185: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 283 - 387)
  • Volume 185: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 903 - 905)
  • Volume 185: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3211

SC19970 - Suntech of Connecticut, Inc. v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc. ("The plaintiff, Suntech of Connecticut, Inc., a Connecticut corporation that fabricates and installs glass and curtain walls, brought an action against the named defendant Lawrence Brunoli, Inc., a general contractor, and the defendant Safeco Insurance Company of America, a bonding company, alleging, inter alia, breach of its subcontract to provide labor and materials in connection with the construction of a technology center at Naugatuck Valley Community College, which is owned by the state. See Suntech of Connecticut, Inc. v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc., 173 Conn. App. 321, 324–25, 164 A.3d 36 (2017). The plaintiff now appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the defendants. Id., 324. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court had not committed harmful error when it (1) precluded the plaintiff's fact witness, Rick Cianfaglione, an independent consultant who had been hired by the state to evaluate the scheduling and duration of the construction project, from testifying as to his observations and perceptions about the project site, and (2) refused to permit the plaintiff's counsel to make an offer of proof, including by disregarding relevant portions of Cianfaglione's deposition transcript.

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3206

AC40472 - State v. Meadows (Criminal violation of standing criminal protective order; threatening in second degree; claim that conviction of two counts of criminal violation of standing criminal protective order violated defendant's right to be free from double jeopardy; "The defendant, Cody Meadows, was convicted after a jury trial of two counts of criminal violation of a standing criminal protective order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223a, one count of threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2015) § 53a-62 (a) (2) and one count of threatening in the second degree in violation of § 53a-62 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the two convictions for violation of the standing criminal protective order violated his protection against double jeopardy, (2) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury as to the second count of violation of a standing criminal protective order, and (3) his conviction under § 53a-62 (a) (3) violated his right to freedom of speech under the first amendment to the United States constitution. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39899 - State v. Correa (Conspiracy to possess controlled substance with intent to sell; conspiracy to possess controlled substance with intent to sell by person who is not drug-dependent; conspiracy to operate drug factory; "Following a conditional plea of nolo contendere, entered pursuant to General Statutes § 54-94a, the defendant, Ricardo Correa, appeals from the judgment of conviction of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to sell in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-277 (b), conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to sell by a person who is not drug-dependent in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-278 (a), and conspiracy to operate a drug factory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 21a-277 (c). The defendant entered his conditional plea following the court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence seized from a motel room he was renting. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because: (1) a warrantless dog sniff outside the door of his motel room violated his state constitutional rights, and (2) a warrantless visual search of his motel room violated his state and federal constitutional rights. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3209

AC39747 - Robles v. West Avenue Dental, P.C. ("The defendants West Avenue Dental, P.C., and Hrishikesh Gogate appeal from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, awarding damages to the plaintiff Andrea Robles, their former employee, for injuries she suffered due to the defendants' negligent supervision of one of her male coworkers, who sexually harassed her at work over an extended period of time. The defendants challenge the judgment on the ground that the verdict on which it was rendered was returned after the court erroneously determined that it could not accept the jury’s original plaintiff’s verdict awarding Robles $0 in damages because that verdict was inherently inconsistent, and, thus, improperly required the jury to conduct further deliberations to resolve the alleged inconsistency instead of accepting the original verdict and rendering judgment on it. The defendants claim on appeal that the court erred in concluding that the jury’s original verdict was inherently inconsistent, and, thus, in refusing to accept and render judgment on that verdict. They argue that an award of $0 in damages was reasonable in this case because the damages claimed by Robles were largely speculative and unproved, and any damages she did prove could have been reduced by the jury under the court's instructions on their special defense of failure to mitigate damages. Finally, the defendants, claiming that the court erred in instructing the jury that it must award Robles at least some damages if it found the defendants liable for negligent supervision, ask this court to restore the original plaintiff's verdict awarding Robles $0 in damages. Robles, in opposition to the defendants' claim, argues principally that the defendants are not entitled to prevail on that claim because they failed to assert it at trial, and, thus, they failed to preserve it for appellate review. In light of the following facts and procedural history, we agree with Robles that the defendants' present claim was not preserved at trial and, thus, that it cannot be reviewed on appeal.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3208

AC40004 - Guddo v. Guddo ("The self-represented plaintiff, Anthony V. Guddo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying the postdissolution motion for contempt that he brought against the defendant, Kimberli M. Guddo. The plaintiff claims that because of a conflict of interest related to the defendant's counsel, the hearing on the motion for contempt was unfair. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3207

AC40281 - Bloomfield Health Care Center of Connecticut, LLC v. Doyon (Negligence; "In Jewish Home for the Elderly of Fairfield County, Inc., v. Cantore, 257 Conn. 531, 532, 543–44, 778 A.2d 93 (2001) (Jewish Home), our Supreme Court recognized that a nursing home that has been harmed by the negligence of a conservator is entitled to recover, through an action on a probate bond, the losses it suffered as a result of the conservator's failure to timely file an application for Medicaid benefits on behalf of his or her ward. This appeal asks us to determine whether to recognize a similar right of recovery in a case where no probate bond was obtained.

"This appeal arises out of an action by the plaintiff, Bloomfield Health Care Center of Connecticut, LLC, in which it alleged that the defendant, Jason Doyon, breached a duty to use reasonable care in managing the estate of his ward, Samuel Johnson. Specifically, the plaintiff argues that the defendant was negligent by failing to apply for and to obtain on a timely basis Medicaid benefits that were necessary to pay the plaintiff for the cost of Johnson's care at the plaintiff's nursing home. The plaintiff now appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that the defendant did not owe it a duty of care and, thus, was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - October 2, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3204

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 14, for October 2, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 280 - 316)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 908 - 916)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 185: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 119 - 283)
  • Volume 185: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 902)
  • Volume 185: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3201

SC20045 - Sun Val, LLC v. Commissioner of Transportation (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Sun Val, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in its favor against the defendant, the Commissioner of Transportation. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly (1) applied the wrong environmental regulations to determine whether materials left on the plaintiff's property were contaminated and, as a result, failed to award appropriate damages for removal of those contaminated materials, (2) determined that the plaintiff failed to mitigate its damages, and (3) rejected the plaintiff's claim for lost profits. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3200

AC40037 - Adkins v. Commissioner of Correction ("Following the granting of his petition for certification to appeal, the petitioner, Dennis Adkins, appeals from the judgment of the habeas court denying his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner claims that the court improperly rejected his claim that his prior habeas counsel rendered ineffective assistance on the basis that he failed (1) to claim that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to advise the petitioner with respect to his right to appeal from the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea, (2) to present evidence in support of the petitioner's claim that his guilty plea was the result of trial counsel's ineffective assistance, and (3) to claim that trial counsel's conflict of interest resulted in the petitioner's guilty plea. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3199

AC40143 - Errichetti v. Botoff (Malicious erection of fence; injunction; "This case is about a so-called 'spite fence' erected along the border between two residential properties in Greenwich. The defendants, Daniel Botoff and Laura Botoff, appeal from the trial court's judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Michael Errichetti, entering an injunction pursuant to General Statutes § 52-480, which required the defendants to remove the fence that they had constructed on their property and to restore the surrounding area. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred by (1) finding the second and third elements of § 52-480 satisfied, namely, a malicious erection of the structure and the intention to injure the enjoyment of the adjacent landowner's property, and (2) ordering the defendants to restore the area in which the fence was erected to its previous condition. We disagree, and, accordingly, 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=3198

AC40205 - Bongiorno v. Capone ("The defendant, Joseph Capone, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in accordance with the second revised finding of facts and report of an attorney trial referee (referee) to whom this case was referred for trial, awarding the plaintiff, Frank Bongiorno: compensatory damages of $17,000 on the plaintiff's claim of breach of contract, plus statutory prejudgment interest on that sum, under General Statutes § 37-3a, at the rate of 10 percent per annum; and treble damages of $51,000 on the plaintiff's claim of statutory theft under General Statutes § 52-564, less $17,000 to avoid duplication of the damages awarded for breach of contract. The defendant claims that the court improperly: (1) concluded that the plaintiff had standing in his individual capacity to pursue claims of breach of contract and statutory theft against the defendant based upon his withdrawal of $17,000 from the checking account of AAA Advantage Carting & Demolition Service, LLC (company), a limited liability company in which the defendant had a 50 percent membership interest that he had agreed to sell to the plaintiff for $200,000 on the basis of a binding term sheet that did not authorize the challenged withdrawal; (2) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the merits of his breach of contract claim without making legal conclusions as to the applicability of the waiver-of-suit provisions in the contractual documents to that claim; and (3) rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff on the merits of his statutory theft claim.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3197

AC38957 - Brochard v. Brochard ("The defendant, Britt Brochard, appeals from the postdissolution judgment of the trial court rendered after a hearing on financial issues raised by the parties in multiple motions for contempt and modification. The self-represented defendant's brief is not a model of clarity, but after a thorough review of the record and the parties' briefs, we have divined that the defendant claims that the court erred in (1) denying her motion for contempt alleging that the plaintiff, Thomas Brochard, had failed to pay his share of the minor children's medical and extracurricular activity expenses; (2) denying her motion for contempt alleging that the plaintiff had violated orders related to the mortgage on the former marital home; (3) denying her motion for contempt alleging that the plaintiff had failed to pay her one half of the amounts of 2010 tax refunds he received; (4) denying her motion for modification of the court's order allocating the parties' obligation pertaining to payment of the guardian ad litem's fees; (5) granting the plaintiff's motion for modification of child support, thereby decreasing his obligation, and failing to consider her cross motion for modification, which sought an increase in the amount of child support; and (6) granting her motion for contempt regarding certain alimony payments, but failing to order the plaintiff to pay her the full amount she was owed. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39719 - Fredo v. Fredo ("The defendant, Kristin Fredo, appeals from the judgment of the trial court on several postdissolution motions rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Thomas Fredo. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) granted the plaintiff's motion to dismiss the defendant's motion for modification of child support for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, while also denying the motion for modification, (2) disposed of the defendant's motion for an accounting, (3) granted the plaintiff's motion to quash a subpoena duces tecum, and (4) awarded attorney's fees to the plaintiff. We reverse the judgment of the court granting the plaintiff's motion to dismiss the defendant's motion for modification and awarding attorney's fees to the plaintiff, and we dismiss, as moot, the remainder of the appeal.")

AC40599 - Peixoto v. Peixoto ("The defendant, Mark M. Peixoto, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the postjudgment motion for modification of alimony filed by the plaintiff, Katherine B. Peixoto. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in granting the modification of alimony after it 'improperly construed the legal standards set forth by the Connecticut Supreme Court in Dan v. Dan, [315 Conn. 1, 105 A.3d 118 (2014)].' We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3196

SC19800, SC19801, SC19802 - Dish Network, LLC v. Commissioner of Revenue Services (Tax appeal; claim that plaintiff satellite video company's failure to request administrative review of audit pursuant to statute (§ 12-268i) barred subsequent request for refund pertaining to same tax period; "The principal issue in this case is the extent to which General Statutes § 12-256 (b) (2) imposes a tax on gross earnings from a satellite television operator's business operations in this state, which include the transmission of video programming, the sale and lease of equipment required to view that programming, the installation and maintenance of such equipment, digital video recording (DVR) service, and payment related fees. The defendant, the Commissioner of Revenue Services (commissioner), appeals, and the plaintiff, Dish Network, LLC, cross appeals, from the judgment of the trial court sustaining in part the plaintiff's tax appeals and ordering a refund of taxes previously paid on earnings from the sale of certain goods and services. Addressing the parties' various contentions, we reach the following conclusions: (1) the trial court properly determined that General Statutes § 12-268i does not provide the exclusive procedure for challenging a tax assessment for a tax period that has been the subject of an audit, and, therefore, the plaintiff was not barred from seeking a refund for certain audited tax periods pursuant to General Statutes § 12-268c (a) (1); (2) § 12-256 (b) (2) imposes a tax on gross earnings from the transmission of video programming by satellite and certain payment related fees, but not the sale, lease, installation, or maintenance of equipment or DVR service; and (3) the trial court properly determined that the plaintiff was not entitled to interest on the refund pursuant to § 12-268c (b) (1). Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgments of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - September 25, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3192

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXX, No. 13, for September 25, 2018 is now available.

Contained in the issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 330: Connecticut Reports (Pages 251 - 280)
  • Volume 330: Orders (Pages 901 - 908)
  • Volume 330: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 185: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 1 - 118)
  • Volume 185: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 901 - 902)
  • Volume 185: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies