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.

Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=868

SC19825, SC19826, SC19827 - Kirby of Norwich v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act ("The issue that we must resolve in these appeals is whether certain individuals who have engaged in door-to-door sales of vacuums provided by the plaintiff, Kirby of Norwich, also known as GP Industries of Norwich, Inc., should be classified as independent contractors or, instead, as employees of the plaintiff for purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-222 et seq. The named defendant, the Unemployment Compensation Act Administrator (administrator), found that there was an employer-employee relationship between the plaintiff and those individuals, thereby obligating the plaintiff to contribute to the state's unemployment compensation fund (fund), because the plaintiff failed to meet its burden of satisfying the requirements of all three prongs of the ABC test, codified at General Statutes § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii) (I), (II) and (III), with parts A, B and C of the test corresponding to clauses (I), (II) and (III), respectively, of that statutory provision. After the administrator's decisions were sustained by the Employment Security Appeals Division (appeals division) and the defendant Employment Security Board of Review (board), the plaintiff appealed to the trial court, which agreed with the administrator in three separate cases that such individuals are the plaintiff's employees on the ground that the plaintiff failed to establish that the individuals are "customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed" for the plaintiff, within the meaning of part C of the ABC test. See General Statutes § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii) (III). The plaintiff now appeals from the judgments of the trial court, claiming that the court in each case interpreted § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii) (III) too narrowly and, as a result, incorrectly concluded that the individuals engaged in door-to-door sales of the plaintiff's product were employees of the plaintiff rather than independent contractors. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=867

SC19772 - State v. Panek ("The defendant, John Panek, was accused of engaging in sexual activity with a woman in his home and, while doing so, making a video recording of the encounter without the woman's knowledge or consent. He was accused of doing the same thing on at least two other occasions with two other women. In three separate informations, the state charged the defendant with violating General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-189a (a) (1). This section generally prohibits a person from, knowingly and with malice, video recording another person "(A) without the knowledge and consent of such other person, (B) while such other person is not in plain view, and (C) under circumstances where such other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy . . . ." General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-189a (a) (1). The present appeal concerns the meaning of the element requiring that the victim be "not in plain view" when she is recorded. General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 53a-189a (a) (1) (B). More specifically, we are asked to determine to whose plain view the statute refers.

The defendant moved to dismiss the informations on the ground that the "not in plain view" element refers to the plain view of the defendant. He asserted he could not be charged or convicted under this statute for his conduct because each of the women he was with was within his plain view at the time he recorded them. The state responded that the "not in plain view" element of § 53a-189a (a) (1) referred instead to the perspective of the general public and that, because the defendant and the victim were inside his home at the time, they were "not in plain view" of the public when the alleged offenses occurred. The trial court concluded that the statute plainly and unambiguously referred to the plain view of the defendant and dismissed the informations. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgments of dismissal. State v. Panek, 166 Conn. App. 613, 635, 145 A.3d 924 (2016).

Contrary to the trial court and Appellate Court, we conclude that the text of § 53a-189a (a) (1) plausibly could refer to either the plain view of the defendant or the general public, rendering the statute ambiguous. Consulting extratextual sources, we are persuaded that the "not in plain view" element refers to the general public. We also reject the defendant's alternative ground for affirming the judgment of the Appellate Court, namely, that the "not in plain view" element is unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. We therefore reverse the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=866

SC19728 - Ridgaway v. Mount Vernon Fire Ins. Co. ("Trial court judges have the difficult task of maintaining order over the judicial proceedings before them and ensuring the integrity of those proceedings. To do so, judges have broad discretion to impose the sanctions necessary to ensure parties’ compliance with court orders and the rules of the court. In this certified appeal, the defendant, Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company, contends that the Appellate Court improperly determined that the trial court abused its discretion when it rendered a judgment of nonsuit against the plaintiffs, William P. Ridgaway, Sr., individually and as administrator of the estate of William P. Ridgaway, Jr., and Rita Grant, for their counsel’s conduct in relation to counsel’s failure to comply with an order of the court. The plaintiffs contend, as an alternative ground for affirmance, that the trial court based its sanction of nonsuit on facts that were not supported by the record. Although we agree with the plaintiffs that certain factual findings were not supported by the record, we cannot determine as a matter of law whether the trial court would have imposed the same sanction in the absence of those facts. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court insofar as that court reversed the judgment of nonsuit, but we direct that court to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings to consider a sanction proportionate to the facts supported by the record.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=865

SC19460 - St. Juste v. Commissioner of Correction (Amended petition for writ of habeas; immigration act; claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; "This certified appeal presents a question of first impression to this court, namely, whether we should apply the federal courts’ modified categorical analysis to determine whether a Connecticut criminal statute, which lists potential offense elements in the alternative, carries the adverse immigration consequences attendant to a crime of moral turpitude as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101 (a) (13) (C) (v) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (immigration act), 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq.… Specifically, the Appellate Court concluded that a prior unchallenged conviction of threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2005) § 53a-62 (a),3 which the Appellate Court concluded constituted a crime of moral turpitude under the immigration act, would remain as an impediment to the petitioner’s reentry. Id. Following case law from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, we conclude that § 53a-62 (a) is a divisible statute because it lists potential offense elements in the alternative, not all of which constitute crimes of moral turpitude as a matter of federal law. Applying a modified categorical approach to this divisible statute, because the record does not establish the subdivision of § 53a- 62 (a) under which the petitioner was convicted, we further conclude that the Appellate Court improperly determined that the petitioner’s threatening conviction constituted a crime of moral turpitude that rendered moot his habeas appeal challenging his assault conviction. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - January 30, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=864

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 31, for January 30, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 327: Connecticut Reports (Pages 764 - 808)
  • Volume 327: Orders (Pages 1001 - 1003)
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 1 - 38)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 179: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 378 - 499)
  • Volume 179: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 904 - 906)
  • Volume 179: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies
  • Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports 327




Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=861

AC38762 State v. Esquilin (Violation of probation; reviewability of unpreserved claim that trial court violated defendant's right to due process by admitting drug test reports into evidence without requiring state to introduce results through testimony of analysts who performed testing; "The defendant, Kason U. Esquilin, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32 and imposing a four year prison sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court deprived him of his right to due process by admitting into evidence reports of the results of drug tests performed on urine samples collected from the defendant, without requiring the state to introduce such results through the testimony of the analysts who performed the actual testing. We conclude, in accordance with State v. Polanco, 165 Conn. App. 563, 571, 140 A.3d 230, cert. denied, 322 Conn. 906, 139 A.3d 708 (2016), that this claim was not preserved and that the record is inadequate to review it pursuant to State v. Golding, 213 Conn. 233, 239–40, 567 A.2d 823 (1989). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

SC19900 - State v. Josephs (Cruelty to animals; "This case requires us to examine the meaning of language used in General Statutes § 53-247 (a), a provision that criminalizes a broad range of acts of cruelty to animals. The defendant, Delano Josephs, appeals from the judgment of conviction of a single violation of § 53-247 (a), stemming from his shooting of his neighbor's cat with a BB gun.The defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly concluded that the clause of § 53-247 (a) applicable to his conviction, which bars a person from "unjustifiably injur[ing]" an animal, requires only a general intent to engage in the behavior causing the injury, (2) the phrase "unjustifiably injures" in § 53-247 (a) is unconstitutionally vague both facially and as applied to the facts of this case and (3) the evidence was insufficient to support the defendant's conviction pursuant to § 53-247 (a). We disagree with each of these claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")

SC18072 - State v. Campbell ("The defendant, Jessie Campbell III, appeals, following a trial to a jury, from the judgment of conviction of capital felony in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-54b (8), two counts of murder in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-54a (a), attempt to commit murder in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-54a (a), assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-59 (a) (1), and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 53a-217c (a) (1). He was subsequently sentenced to a total effective sentence of death plus forty-five years incarceration. On appeal to this court, the defendant has raised a total of thirty-five claims, including twenty-one claims pertaining to the penalty phase. Prior to oral argument, this court directed the parties to address an additional issue: whether the defendant's penalty phase challenges had been rendered moot by this court's decision in State v. Santiago, 318 Conn. 1, 122 A.3d 1 (2015), which abolished the death penalty. We conclude that the defendant's claims challenging the penalty phase are not yet ripe. We address his remaining claims and affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=862

AC38290 - Lane v. Cashman (Zoning; "The defendants, Jeffrey S. Cashman and Patricia Cashman, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff . . . the zoning enforcement officer for the town of Clinton. The plaintiff brought the underlying action against the defendants to enforce orders to discontinue alleged zoning violations occurring at the defendants' property in Clinton. The defendants claim that the court erred in (1) striking their special defenses related to nonconforming uses and (2) granting the plaintiff's motions in limine. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=857

SC19850 - Martinez v. New Haven ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly determined that the named plaintiff, Anthony Martinez, proved the imminent harm to identifiable persons exception to the defense of governmental immunity with respect to facial injuries that he sustained when other students engaged in horseplay by running with a pair of safety scissors in the auditorium of his school. The plaintiff commenced this action against the defendants, the city of New Haven (city), the Board of Education of the City of New Haven (board), and Garth Harries, the Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools, seeking damages for, inter alia, their negligent supervision of students pursuant to General Statutes § 52-557n (a). On appeal, the defendants claim, inter alia, that the trial court improperly held that the plaintiff satisfied the imminent harm to identifiable persons exception to governmental immunity, which this court recently clarified in Haynes v. Middletown, 314 Conn. 303, 101 A.3d 249 (2014). The plaintiff disagrees, and also claims, as an alternative ground for affirming the judgment of the trial court, that the defendants failed to plead governmental immunity as a special defense in the operative answer. We conclude that the plaintiff has failed to prove that the defendants’ conduct had subjected an identifiable person to imminent harm. We also conclude that the trial court implicitly granted the defendants’ request to amend their answer to plead governmental immunity as a special defense. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Medical Malpractice Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=860

AC39325 - Doyle v. Aspen Dental of Southern CT, PC (Dental malpractice; motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction; "This appeal arises out of a dental malpractice action brought by the plaintiffs, Kate L. Doyle and Brendan Doyle, against the defendants, Aspen Dental of Southern CT, PC, and Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (Aspen Dental), and Brandon Kang, DDS, in connection with a dental implant procedure performed by Kang. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment rendered by the trial court dismissing her action against the defendant on the basis of her failure to comply with General Statutes § 52-190a (a), which required the plaintiff to attach to her complaint an opinion letter authored by a "similar health care provider," as defined in General Statutes § 52-184c (c). On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the court erred in concluding that the opinion letter written by a general dentist was not authored by a "similar health care provider" and that an opinion letter from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon was required instead. In support of this claim, the plaintiff alleges that she had no method of discovering or verifying that the defendant was an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in addition to being a licensed general dentist because there was no authentic public record from which the plaintiff could have determined that the defendant had training and experience as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. We conclude that the court properly determined that because the defendant did, in fact, have training and experience in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery, the opinion letter submitted by the plaintiff was not authored by a "similar health care provider." Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=858

AC38914 - U.S. Bank National Assn. v. Christophersen ("The defendant Bonnie L. Christophersen appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure, rendered in favor of the plaintiff, US Bank National Association, as Trustee of Maiden Lane Asset-Backed Securities I Trust 2008-1. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the foreclosure action, (2) the court improperly failed to consider the defendant’s concerns regarding the amount of debt, (3) the court abused its discretion in denying her motion for a continuance, and (4) the court abused its discretion in ordering a judgment of strict foreclosure rather than a foreclosure by sale. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39542 - Valley National Bank v. Private Transerve, LLC ("In this action seeking, inter alia, to enforce a personal guarantee of a mortgage note, the defendants John Tartaglia and Linda Tartaglia, against whom summary judgment as to liability only was rendered, appeal following a hearing in damages from the court’s award of $967,467.59 in favor of the plaintiff, Valley National Bank. On appeal, the defendants argue that the court improperly (1) denied their motion to dismiss the action, in which they alleged that the plaintiff was not the owner of the debt at the time the action was commenced and, thus, lacked standing to prosecute the action; (2) granted summary judgment as to liability only despite the defendants’ insistence that genuine issues of material facts existed regarding the plaintiff’s ownership of the debt; (3) permitted the plaintiff to amend the complaint after summary judgment despite the defendants’ contention that the amendment added a new cause of action; and (4) made several evidentiary rulings against the defendants at the hearing in damages. We are not persuaded by the defendants’ claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=859

AC38836 - Fagan v. Stamford ("The self-represented plaintiff, Paul Fagan, a former police officer for the defendant city of Stamford (city), appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the defendant Policemen’s Pension Trust Fund Board of the city (board) awarding him a disability pension in the amount of 50 percent of his annual compensation. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the board improperly denied his request for an enhanced disability pension pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement (agreement) between the city and the Stamford Police Association (association). We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Connecticut Practice Book - 2018 edition

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=855


Updated Probate Court Regulations Affecting Compensation for Court-Appointed Professionals

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=852

This notice has been posted to the Connecticut Probate Courts website: "On January 1, 2018, regulations were updated that affect compensation for court-appointed attorneys, guardians ad litem, physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists."

The full-text of probate regulations can be found on the Probate Court Regulations page.


Law Libraries Offer New Chat Service

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=854

The Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries now offer a Live Chat service on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and on Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Look for our chat button on either our landing page http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib or our contact page http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/contactus.htm.


Connecticut Law Journal - January 23, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=853

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 30, for January 23, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 327: Connecticut Reports (Pages 576 - 763)
  • Volume 327: Orders (Pages 996 - 1000)
  • Volume 327: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 179: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 270 - 378)
  • Volume 179: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 902 - 904)
  • Volume 179: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Connecticut Code of Evidence





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