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.

Habeas Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=259

AC38016- Marquez v. Commissioner of Correction (Habeas; " On appeal, he claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal, and (2) improperly concluded that the alleged conduct of the prosecutor in the underlying criminal proceeding did not violate the petitioner’s right to due process and a fair trial. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal, and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=258

AC37200- State v. J.M.F. (“On appeal, the defendant raises the following seven claims: (1) the trial court abused its discretion by imposing a sanction against him that precluded him from raising an affirmative defense of mental disease or defect, ultimately violating his constitutional rights to present a defense and to due process of law; (2) the trial court erroneously concluded that he unequivocally invoked his right to self-representation and that he knowingly, intelligently, and voluntary waived his right to counsel; (3) the trial court deprived him of his right to due process of law by failing to order, sua sponte, that he undergo a competency evaluation; (4) the state unconstitutionally interfered with his right to counsel; (5) the trial court improperly continued to trial despite the existence of an appellate stay, which rendered the results of the trial void ab initio; (6) the trial court abused its discretion by not appointing a special public defender, ultimately violating his constitutional rights to counsel and to due process of law; and (7) the trial court violated his rights to due process of law and to present a defense when it refused his request to instruct the jury on renunciation and diminished capacity. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC37552- State v. Juan C. ("On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court, Bentivegna, J., improperly (1) refused to grant his request for a continuance of his trial, and (2) denied his motion for a judgment of acquittal as to the first count, sexual assault in the first degree. We affirm the trial court’s judgment in part and reverse the judgment in part.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=257

AC38198 - Szynkowicz v. Bonauito-O’Hara ("The plaintiff, Peter Szynkowicz, appeals from the judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Linda Bonauito-O'Hara, doing business as Linda's Team, William Raveis. The underlying dispute arose when the plaintiff and the seller, Edward Development Company, LLC, entered into a dual agency agreement naming Brenda Hanley, a realtor who worked for the same real estate company as the defendant, to act as their dual agent in connection with locating, purchasing and developing the property known as Lot 7 Meadow Brook Drive in East Haddam. After entering into the dual agency agreement, the plaintiff entered into a real estate contract with the seller to develop a single-family home on the property, which was subsequently cancelled when the seller was unable to complete construction. The plaintiff commenced this action against the defendant, whom the plaintiff alleges was also a party to the dual agency agreement, for the return of his deposited moneys advanced to the seller upon the advice of the defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in granting (1) the motion to strike count five of his complaint because he adequately had alleged an action for breach of an oral contract against the defendant, and (2) the motion for summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact exist as to the defendant's liability under counts one, two, three and four of his complaint. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Foreclosure Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=256

AC37548 - Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Cornelius ("The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of foreclosure by sale rendered after the entry of a second default for failure to plead. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate the present foreclosure action, (2) the trial court erroneously denied his motion to strike the complaint, and (3) the trial court erroneously denied his motion to set aside the second default for failure to plead. We disagree and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



2016 Public Acts to General Statutes Conversion Tables

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=255

The Legislative Commissioners' Office of the Connecticut General Assembly has posted the 2016 Public Acts to General Statutes Conversion Tables. If you're not already familiar with this excellent resource, these tables can be used to find where new sections of Public Acts have been codified in the statutes.

For more information, take a look at the Conversion Tables User's Guide.


Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=254

SC19583 - Cadle Co. v. Fletcher ("This case, which comes to us on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199b, requires us to determine whether, and under what circumstances, residual postgarnishment wages (residual wages) are subject to postjudgment execution by a judgment creditor. The plaintiff, The Cadle Company, is the defendant Terry B. Fletcher's judgment creditor pursuant to two state court judgments, under which Fletcher (Terry) owed the plaintiff more than $3 million. To satisfy these judgments, the plaintiff garnished Terry's wages. Since at least 2005, Terry has transferred to the bank account of his wife, the named defendant, Marguerite Fletcher (Marguerite), more than $300,000 of his residual wages. The plaintiff brought an action against the defendants in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, claiming, among other things, that Terry's transfer of his residual wages to his wife violated the Connecticut Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), General Statutes § 52-552 et seq.The plaintiff claimed that, as a result of the fraudulent transfer of Terry's residual wages to Marguerite, she was personally liable to the plaintiff for the full amount of the funds that were transferred within the four years preceding the commencement of the action. The defendants filed a motion for partial summary judgment, claiming that, under Connecticut law, after a judgment debtor's wages have been garnished, the remaining wages are exempt from execution, and, therefore, the transfer of those wages to a third party cannot constitute a fraudulent transfer. The plaintiff also filed a motion for partial summary judgment, contending that there was no genuine issue of material fact with respect to Terry's transfer of his residual wages to Marguerite. The District Court denied the defendants' motion for partial summary judgment, granted the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment and, after conducting various proceedings related to the plaintiff's other claims, ultimately rendered judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $401,426.16 on its CUFTA claim. The defendants appealed from the District Court's judgment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Thereafter, the Second Circuit certified the following question to this court pursuant to § 51-199b: "Do [General Statutes] §§ 52-361a and 52-367b, read together, exempt [postgarnishment] residual wages held in a third party's bank account from further execution, so that they become freely transferable under [CUFTA] . . . ?" (Citation omitted.) Cadle Co. v. Fletcher, 804 F.3d 198, 202 (2d Cir. 2015). This court accepted the certified question. We conclude that Terry's residual wages would not have been exempt from execution if he had retained possession of them and, therefore, that they were subject to execution after Terry transferred them to Marguerite's account. Accordingly, we answer the certified question in the negative.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=253

SC19497 - State v. A.M. ("In this certified appeal, we consider whether the state deprived the defendant, A. M., of his fifth amendment right to remain silent when the prosecutor twice noted during closing arguments that the defendant had not testified in his own defense. After a trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of multiple offenses, including sexual assault in the first degree, attempt to commit sexual assault in the first degree, and risk of injury to a child. The trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the jury’s verdict, and the defendant appealed to the Appellate Court. In his appeal, the defendant claimed, among other things, that the prosecutor’s comments during closing argument were improper because they infringed on his fifth amendment right to remain silent, depriving him of a fair trial. The Appellate Court agreed and reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial. State v. A. M., 156 Conn. App. 138, 156, 111 A.3d 974 (2015). We agree that the prosecutor’s comments were improper and we find that the state has failed in its burden of proof to show that the comments were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=252

AC37878 - Phadnis v. Great Expression Dental Centers of Connecticut, P.C. ("This is an appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Great Expression Dental Centers of Connecticut, P.C., in an action commenced by the plaintiff, Ukti Phadnis, a dentist employed by the defendant. The plaintiff asserted that she was wrongfully terminated from her employment as a result of pregnancy discrimination, unlawful retaliation, breach of contract, breach of implied contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The trial court found that there were no genuine issues of material fact and that the defendant was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to all of the plaintiff’s claims. We agree with and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

  • AC37878 Appendix - Phadnis v. Great Expression Dental Centers of Connecticut, P.C.


New Laws effective January 1, 2017

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=251

The Connecticut General Assembly has posted a list of new legislation that is effective on January 1, 2017. Each entry includes links to the full text of the Public Act, the plain english summary from the Office of Legislative Research, and the bill status page.

In addition, you can view current legislation effective from passage. The CGA also provides an archive of legislation by effective date going back to October 2007.


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=249

AC37878 - State v. Barber (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Alexander Barber, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding him in violation of the terms and conditions of his probation, and sentencing him to seven years incarceration after revoking that probation. The defendant asks that we find plain error, vacate his sentence, and order the trial court to resentence him. Specifically, the defendant claims that the court found that he had violated the terms of his probation, in part, merely by being arrested, and then sentenced him on that basis. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=250

AC37906 - Rivera v. CR Summer Hill, Ltd. Partnership (Negligence; "The plaintiff, Rose Rivera, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendants, CR Summer Hill, Limited Partnership, and Carabetta Property Management, Inc. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment because a genuine issue of material fact existed regarding whether the defendants had constructive notice of the inadequate lighting and the lack of a handrail that caused the plaintiff's alleged injuries. We agree and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Business Registration Data Search Portal

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=248

A new database to look up business corporations, nonstock corporations, benefit corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships and statutory trusts has been launched. There is added search functionality compared to the state's CONCORD application. A description from the site is below:

Developed through a partnership between the Connecticut Secretary of the State and the Connecticut Data Collaborative, this portal allows for full-text searching, exploration and downloading of business registration records.

Use the advanced search to limit your results by date, business type, business status and more.

Data is updated monthly. For the latest, official information about a given business, please consult the CT Secretary of the State's CONCORD application.

Source: http://searchctbusiness.ctdata.org/

CT Business Registration Data


Managing Your Divorce: A Guide for Battered Women

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=247

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has a publication on their website entitled Managing Your Divorce: A Guide for Battered Women. The following description is on their website:

"This guide is intended to be used by battered women who are representing themselves, without an attorney, in court cases involving child custody. It includes chapters on finding an attorney, financial considerations, custody and divorce mediation, gathering evidence for trial, unsupervised visitation and safety planning, tips for dealing with custody evaluators, guidelines for selecting an expert witness, relocation, and many more. However, it is not a recommendation to go into court unrepresented. In fact, we recommend strongly that you seek legal advice from a lawyer trained on issues of domestic violence if there is any dispute or conflict about custody and visitation. The guide is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean."


New OLR Research Reports

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=246

The Office of Legislative Research has issued the following research reports for the first half of December:

Warrant Amnesty Programs - 2016-R-0315 - "Describe warrant amnesty programs in other states."

Truth-In-Lending Law Disclosures and Connecticut Car Dealerships - 2016-R-0322 - "Explain the disclosure requirements applicable to Connecticut car dealerships under federal and state Truth-In-Lending laws."

Student Data Service Contracts for Public Schools - 2016-R-0319 - "Summarize Public Act 16-189, focusing on provisions the act requires in contracts between student data service contractors and local and regional boards of education. Address whether the act requires choice of law and forum selection clauses to appear in these contracts."

Complaints Filed With Freedom of Information Commission - 2016-R-0321 - "Provide the following data concerning complaints filed with the Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC) from 2013-2015: (1) number of complaints filed, (2) number of complaints resolved before a hearing, (3) disposition of complaints that proceeded to a hearing, and (4) number of complaints found to be frivolous. For each of these items, include data specific to municipal respondents."

Medicare Part D Clawback Payments - 2016-R-0317 - "This report discusses Medicaid payments that states must make to the federal government related to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage."

States Requiring Seat Belts on School Buses - 2016-R-0318 - "You asked for information about federal and state school bus seat belt laws. This report updates the information provided in OLR Report 2010-R-0055."

Comparing Massachusetts' and Connecticut's Pay Equity Laws - 2016-R-0326 - "This report compares the main provisions of Massachusetts’ 2016 Act to Establish Pay Equity with Connecticut’s labor laws prohibiting gender wage discrimination."



New Product from the Office of Legislative Research: the Issue Brief

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=245

According to the OLR's Twitter feed:

"OLR is launching a new product - the Issue Brief! We'll be tweeting briefs all week to get you up-to-speed before session. Issue briefs are two-page reports that provide a brief overview of a topic to help users get up-to-speed on timely issues."

Some of the recently released Issue Briefs include:

State Budget Snapshot - 2016-R-0301 - This brief explains, among other things, what is driving spending growth, revenue trends and what is driving them, the outlook for the next biennium, and the spending cap.

Funding the State Employees Retirement System - 2016-R-0303 - This brief explains, among other things, how the pension fund is doing, how SERS is funded, why SERS is underfunded, and the legislature's role. (For more detailed information, see OLR Backgrounder: The State Employees Retirement System - 2016-R-0287.)

Recreational Marijuana - 2016-R-0305 - This brief explains current marijuana law in Connecticut, recent marijuana-related legislation, and elements of other states' marijuana legalization laws.

Daily Fantasy Sports - 2016-R-0312 - This brief explains what daily fantasy sports contests are, gives the Connecticut Attorney General's opinion on DFS legislation, and explains DFS laws in other states.

Taxing the Digital Economy - 2016-R-0290 - This brief explains, among other things, digital downloads and streaming services, cloud computing, the sharing economy, and e-commerce as well as how they are taxed.

CCJEF v. Rell Court Decision - 2016-R-0306 - This brief explains CCJEF v. Rell, the case in which the Superior Court found that the state has fallen short of meeting its constitutional obligation to provide an adequate education to public school students.



Probate Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=244

AC38212 - Harborside Connecticut Ltd. Partnership v. Witte ("The plaintiff, Harborside Connecticut Limited Partnership, appeals from the judgment of dismissal rendered in favor of the defendant, Arlene Witte. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court (1) misconstrued the allegations of the complaint as claims against the estate of William Witte (decedent),2 thus depriving the court of subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) abused its discretion by failing to hold an evidentiary hearing to establish jurisdictional facts. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=243

SC19558 - Dattco, Inc. v. Commissioner of Transportation
SC19558 - Collins Bus Service, Inc. v. Commissioner of Transportation
SC19558 - Nason Partners, LLC v. Commissioner of Transportation
SC19558 - New Britain Transportation Co. v. Commissioner of Transportation ("General Statutes § 13b-36 (a) permits the defendant, the Commissioner of Transportation (commissioner), to take by eminent domain ‘any land, buildings, equipment or facilities’ if the commissioner finds that their taking is ‘necessary for the operation or improvement of transportation services.’ In this appeal, we must determine whether the commissioner’s power to take ‘facilities’ includes the power to take a government issued certificate permitting a bus company the right to operate over a given route. We conclude that it does not.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=239

SC19663 - State v. Delgado (Murder; "Under recent changes to juvenile sentencing law, a court may not sentence a juvenile who has been convicted of murder to life imprisonment without parole unless the court considers mitigating factors associated with the juvenile's young age at the time of the crime. In the present appeal, we must determine how these changes in juvenile sentencing law impact individuals who were sentenced before the changes occurred. The defendant, Melvin Delgado, was sentenced to sixty-five years imprisonment without parole in 1996 for crimes that he committed when he was sixteen years old. Although he is now eligible for parole following the passage of No. 15-84 of the 2015 Public Acts (P.A. 15-84), he filed a motion to correct his allegedly illegal sentence, claiming that he is entitled to be resentenced because the judge who sentenced him failed to consider youth related mitigating factors. The trial court rejected the defendant's claim and dismissed his motion to correct, and the defendant has appealed to this court. We affirm the trial court's dismissal of the motion to correct.")

SC19673 - State v. Boyd (Murder; "The defendant, Ray Boyd, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his motion to correct an illegal sentence for lack of jurisdiction. The defendant, who was sentenced to fifty years imprisonment without parole in 1992 for a crime that he committed when he was seventeen years old, contends that he is entitled to resentencing on the basis of recent changes to juvenile sentencing law. We discussed this precise issue in State v. Delgado, 323 Conn. ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2016), and our resolution of the defendant's appeal is controlled by our decision in that case. We affirm the trial court's dismissal of the defendant's motion to correct.")

AC38088 - State v. Fernandez (Risk of injury to child; sexual assault in second degree; sexual assault in fourth degree; prosecutorial impropriety; "The defendant, Ruffino Fernandez, appeals following his conviction of one count each of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1), and sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (B). The defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion by not permitting him to make a missing witness argument during closing remarks; (2) the state committed prosecutorial impropriety by basing part of its closing argument on facts not in evidence; and (3) he was deprived of his rights to an impartial tribunal and a fair trial when the trial court made comments in front of the jury that bolstered the credibility of the victim. We disagree with the defendant and affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC37464 - State v. Fernando V. (Sexual assault in second degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Fernando V., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (1), one count of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (4), and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court improperly precluded him from presenting testimony from the complainant's boyfriend of four years. In particular, the defendant argues that the boyfriend's testimony was relevant to counter the state's evidence that she had become more withdrawn or exhibited other characteristics generally associated with sexually abused young adults, as testified to by the state's expert witness, as well as to impeach testimony that the defendant had tried to prevent the complainant from associating with boys of her own age. We agree that the boyfriend's testimony improperly was excluded by the court and that its exclusion was not harmless error under the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of conviction and order a new trial.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=241

SC19578 - State v. Samuel M. (Juvenile summons; automatic transfer of case from juvenile docket to regular criminal docket of Superior Court pursuant to statute ([Rev. to 2009] § 46b-127 [a]) because defendant was fourteen years old at time of alleged offenses; sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "In this certified appeal, we are asked to determine whether the state has satisfied its burden to prove that a defendant whose case was automatically transferred from the juvenile docket to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court was at least fourteen years of age at the time he allegedly engaged in the criminal conduct underlying the charged offenses. The defendant, Samuel M., was charged by juvenile information with the crimes of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21, based on seven incidents involving his minor cousin (victim), which the state alleged to have occurred "on or about June, 2009." Based on the seriousness of the offenses and the allegation that the defendant's criminal conduct occurred in June, 2009, when the defendant was fourteen years old, the case was automatically transferred from the juvenile docket to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 46b-127 (a). After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of two counts of sexual assault in the first degree and one count of risk of injury to a child based on two separate incidents. The Appellate Court vacated the defendant's convictions, holding that the trial court had improperly denied the defendant's posttrial motion to dismiss the amended information because the state had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the two incidents had occurred after the defendant's fourteenth birthday. State v. Samuel M., 159 Conn. App. 242, 284–85, 123 A.3d 44 (2015). Because we agree with the Appellate Court that the state did not establish under any burden of proof that the defendant was fourteen years of age at the time he committed the offenses of which he was convicted, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Property Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=242

SC19551 - Nutmeg Housing Development Corp. v. Colchester (Taxation; "In this appeal, we consider whether the trial court correctly determined that the plaintiff . . . failed to establish aggrievement in that it failed to prove that the defendant . . . had overvalued its property for tax purposes. After a bench trial, the court found that the plaintiff had failed to establish that it was aggrieved by the town's valuation because the court found that the plaintiff's expert did not present sufficient, credible evidence to establish that the town had overvalued the property. The trial court rendered judgment for the town, and the plaintiff appealed. We conclude that the trial court's determination of credibility is supported by the record, and, thus, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC37876 - Benjamin v. Norwalk (Adverse possession; "The plaintiffs . . . appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their claim of adverse possession of 708 square feet of land adjacent to their home in Norwalk (contested area).On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court erred by (1) finding that The Shorefront Park Company dedicated all of the roads shown on a subdivision map for the use of the defendant city of Norwalk (city), (2) determining that it was their burden to rebut municipal acceptance of dedicated roadways by clear and convincing evidence, and (3) finding that dominion over the contested area was shared.We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



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