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.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=795

SC19690,SC19692 - State v. Adams (Breach of peace second degree; attempted larceny sixth degree; certification from Appellate Court; "The issues that we must resolve in these certified appeals by the defendant, Lorenzo Adams, and the state are whether the Appellate Court correctly concluded that (1) the defendant’s conviction of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 was supported by the evidence, and (2) the defendant’s conviction of attempted larceny in the sixth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-49 and General Statutes (Rev. to 2005) § 53a-125b was not supported by the evidence. The defendant was charged with a variety of offenses after he attempted to steal merchandise from a Marshalls department store in Danbury and engaged in a scuffle with the store’s security personnel. After a trial to the court, the defendant was found guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree and attempted larceny in the sixth degree, and the court rendered judgment accordingly. The defendant appealed from the judgment of conviction to the Appellate Court, which affirmed the conviction of breach of the peace and, in a split decision, reversed the conviction of attempted larceny. See State v. Adams, 163 Conn. App. 810, 825, 137 A.3d 108 (2016). We then granted the defendant’s petition for certification to appeal to this court on the following issue: 'Did the Appellate Court correctly determine that there was sufficient evidence to support the defendant's conviction for breach of the peace?' State v. Adams, 321 Conn. 913, 136 A.3d 1273 (2016). We also granted the state’s petition for certification to appeal on the following issue: 'Did the Appellate Court majority correctly determine that there was insufficient evidence to support a judgment against the defendant of attempted larceny in the sixth degree?' State v. Adams, 321 Conn. 912, 138 A.3d 281 (2016). We dismiss the defendant’s appeal on the ground that certification was improvidently granted, and we reverse in part the Appellate Court’s judgment with respect to its determination that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of attempted larceny in the sixth degree.")


Connecticut Law Journal - December 12, 2017

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=794

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 24, for December 12, 2017 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 327: Connecticut Reports (Pages 212 - 225)
  • Volume 327: Orders (Pages 973 - 975)
  • Volume 327: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 178: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 490 - 670)
  • Volume 178: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Supreme Court Pending Cases
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=793

SC19618 - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak ("This declaratory judgment action concerns whether an insurer is obligated to indemnify a business owner under a personal insurance policy for liability arising from his false imprisonment of his company’s employee at her workplace and the evidentiary basis on which such a determination is to be made. In this certified appeal, the defendant Jeffrey S. Pasiak challenges the Appellate Court’s determination that such liability fell under the business pursuits exclusion to coverage under his personal umbrella policy. The plaintiffs, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, contend that coverage not only is barred under the business pursuits exclusion, but also that (1) coverage is barred under policy exclusions for workers’ compensation obligations and for mental abuse, (2) construing the policy to provide indemnification for common-law punitive damages arising from intentional wrongdoing violates public policy, and (3) the trial court improperly limited the scope of discovery and the declaratory judgment trial, depriving the plaintiffs of a trial de novo on coverage issues that they could not litigate in the underlying tort action.

We hold that the case must be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings, limited to the issue of whether the business pursuits exclusion applies. We conclude that neither the Appellate Court nor the trial court employed the correct standard for determining whether the defendant’s tortious conduct was an occurrence 'arising out of' the business pursuits of the insured and that further factual findings would be necessary to determine whether this exception applies under the correct standard. We further conclude that the plaintiffs cannot prevail on their alternative grounds regarding the other exclusions and public policy as a matter of law. Finally, we conclude that the plaintiffs are not limited to the evidentiary record in the underlying tort action to establish that the business pursuits exclusion barred coverage. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court with direction to remand the case to the trial court for a trial de novo on that issue.")

  • SC19618 Concurrence & Dissent - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak


Probate Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=792

AC39446 - Geci v. Boor ("In this consolidated probate appeal, the defendant David Boor appeals from the judgments rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Alice K. Geci. The defendant claims that (1) the court erred by finding that, upon the death of the decedent, William F. Klee, the plaintiff became the sole owner of joint bank accounts held by the decedent and the plaintiff, and, thus, they were not part of his estate, and (2) the court abused its discretion by reinstating the plaintiff as the executrix of the decedent’s estate. We disagree with the defendant and, therefore, affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=791

AC39132 - Horvath v. Hartford ("The plaintiff, John K. Horvath, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, the city of Hartford. On appeal, the plaintiff asserts that the trial court’s judgment was in error because disputed issues of material fact exist concerning whether he was retaliated against, and later constructively discharged, by the defendant in violation of General Statutes § 31-51m as a result of his whistleblowing activities while in the defendant’s employ. In response, the defendant claims that summary judgment was appropriate because, in opposition to its motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff offered no evidence that the defendant constructively discharged him by intentionally creating an intolerable work environment compelling him to resign. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=788

AC39851 - State v. Garcia (Writ of error; bail; "In this writ of error, the plaintiff in error, Afford-A-Bail, Inc. (Afford), claims that the trial court improperly denied its motion to discharge its obligation on a surety bail bond. Afford claims that the court, in denying its motion, improperly concluded that: (1) the standard for demonstrating "good cause" for discharge of an obligation upon a surety bail bond pursuant to Practice Book § 38-23 is the standard first set forth in Taylor v. Taintor, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 366, 369–70, 21 L. Ed. 287 (1872), rather than a more holistic, equitable assessment; and (2) the failure of the defendant in error, the state of Connecticut, to extradite the criminal defendant, Jay Garcia, after representing that it would do so, was not relevant to the court's good cause determination. The state argues that the requirement of good cause for discharge of the obligation upon the surety bond pursuant to General Statutes § 54-65c and aspects of the common-law rule in Taylor as explicated in State v. Sheriff, 301 Conn. 617, 21 A.3d 808 (2011), were not satisfied. We conclude that the trial court properly denied Afford's motion to discharge its obligation on the surety bond and, therefore, we dismiss the writ of error.")

AC38166 - State v. Fuller (Conspiracy to steal firearm; conspiracy to commit larceny in fourth degree; conspiracy to commit burglary in third degree; illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent; illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent within 1500 feet of public elementary school; conspiracy to commit illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant claims on appeal that the trial court, in denying his requests to personally possess a copy of the discovery items disclosed by the state pursuant to Practice Book §§ 40-10 and 40-13A: (1) violated his federal and state constitutional rights to counsel, a fair trial and due process; (2) abused its discretion; and (3) committed structural error. For the reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC37859 - State v. Johnson (Robbery in second degree; conspiracy to commit robbery in second degree; sufficiency of evidence; plain error doctrine; "The defendant, Anthony Johnson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-135 (a) (1) (B), and conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-135. On appeal, the defendant claims that the jury found him guilty on the basis of uncorroborated accomplice testimony, which, as a matter of law, is insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction. In making this argument, the defendant acknowledges that Supreme Court precedent must be overturned for him to be able to prevail on this claim. The defendant also claims that the trial court improperly failed to caution the jury regarding the dangers of uncorroborated accomplice testimony and improperly admitted a witness' prior inconsistent statement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=787

AC39496 - Lawrence v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiff, Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his administrative appeal from the decision of the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection (commissioner) granting the application of 16 Highgate Road, LLC (Highgate), to construct a residential dock and pier.The plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) he was not classically aggrieved by the commissioner's decision, (2) he was statutorily aggrieved under General Statutes § 22a-19 only with respect to his claim of visual degradation, (3) the commissioner's decision was supported by substantial evidence in the record and (4) the commissioner's decision complied with all applicable laws and regulations. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")

  • Appendix - Lawrence v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=786

AC39097 - Cuozzo v. Orange (Personal injury; "In this personal injury action, the plaintiff, Armand Cuozzo, appeals from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendants, the town of Orange (town) and the city of West Haven (city). The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment because (1) there is a genuine issue of material fact as to the location of the pothole at issue and (2) the acts performed by the defendants were not discretionary in nature. Because we conclude that there is no genuine issue of material fact as to the location of the pothole, we need not reach the plaintiff's second claim. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39279 - Cusano v. Lajoie (Negligence; "The defendants, Edward Lajoie and Kathleen Weaver, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the plaintiff, Christopher Cusano, for additur in the amount of $2000. On appeal, the defendants argue that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the motion for additur. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39284 - Tara S. v. Charles J. (Sexual assault; "The defendant, Charles J., appeals from the trial court's judgment (1) denying his motion to dismiss the application for a prejudgment remedy filed by the plaintiff, Tara S., and the underlying action, and (2) granting a prejudgment attachment of $150,000 in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied his motion to dismiss because, as applied to him, General Statutes § 52-577d is unconstitutional in that the plaintiff did not repress memories of the sexual assault and, therefore, knew of her potential claim against him for more than thirty years. The defendant also argues that § 52-577d violates his right to a speedy trial, his protection against double jeopardy, and his right to confrontation provided by both the United States and Connecticut constitutions. Finally, the defendant argues that § 52-577d is unconstitutionally overbroad and improperly deprives him of a property interest. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=790

AC39328 - Gomez v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court erred when it concluded that (1) his state and federal constitutional due process rights were not violated by the state’s suppression of material exculpatory evidence concerning agreements or understandings that it allegedly had with two of its witnesses, (2) the state did not violate his state and federal constitutional rights to due process by knowingly presenting, and failing to correct, the false testimony from those witnesses, and (3) he was not denied his state and federal constitutional rights to the effective assistance of counsel when his trial counsel failed to properly cross-examine those witnesses regarding their alleged agreements or understandings with the state. Because we conclude that the petitioner failed to prove that the agreements or understandings were not disclosed, we are unpersuaded by the petitioner’s first and second claims. We are also unpersuaded by the petitioner’s third claim because, even if it is assumed that his trial counsel provided constitutionally deficient representation, the petitioner failed to prove that he was prejudiced. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC39566- Weaving v. Commissioner of Correction ("The petitioner contends that the habeas court abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal and by rejecting his claims that counsel at both his criminal trial and his first habeas proceeding rendered ineffective assistance. Having thoroughly reviewed the record, we conclude that the habeas court properly denied the petition for certification to appeal and, thus, dismiss the appeal.")



Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=783

SC19711 - State v. James E. (Risk of injury to child; certification from Appellate Court; "The primary issue that we must resolve in this certified appeal is whether the state presented sufficient evidence from which the jury reasonably could have concluded that the defendant, James E., was guilty of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), when he retrieved and discharged a firearm during a chaotic altercation with another man in the vicinity of his three year old child. The defendant appealed from the judgment rendered in accordance with the jury's guilty verdict to the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgment of the trial court because, inter alia, there was sufficient evidence to support his conviction of risk of injury to a child based on an uncharged mental health theory of liability. See State v. James E., 154 Conn. App. 795, 798, 112 A.3d 791 (2015). We granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal, and, on appeal, the state presented an alternative ground for affirmance: "There was sufficient evidence to prove [that] the defendant [was] guilty of risk of injury to a [child] because the defendant wilfully or unlawfully caused or permitted a three year old child to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of that child was endangered." The defendant opposes this alternative ground, claiming that the state also lacked sufficient evidence to support his conviction under that theory. We agree with the state on the alternative ground presented and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - December 5, 2017

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=784

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 23, for December 5, 2017 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 327: Connecticut Reports (Pages 173 - 212)
  • Volume 327: Orders (Pages 963 - 972)
  • Volume 327: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 178: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 373 - 489)
  • Volume 178: Memorandum Decisions (Pages 903 - 903)
  • Volume 178: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices
  • Notices of Connecticut State Agencies


New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=782

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

Allco Finance Limited v. Klee - 2017-R-0279
This report summarizes the opinion of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Allco Finance Limited v. Klee. The case concerns Connecticut's energy solicitations and renewable portfolio standard.

Religious Ritual Animal Slaughter - 2017-R-0270
This report answers the question: Is religious ritual animal slaughter considered animal cruelty under Connecticut law?

Business Entity Tax - 2017-R-028
This report explains Connecticut's business entity tax.

State Employee Pension Benefits in Northeastern States - 2017-R-0285
This report compares pension benefits provided to state employees in northeastern states.


Law Library Hours Update: December 4th - December 8th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=781

Monday December 4th

  • Harford Law Library will close at 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday December 6th

  • Middletown Law Library will open at 9:45 a.m.
  • New London Law Library will close at 3:15 p.m.
  • Rockville Law Library will close at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday December 7th

  • Hartford Law Library will open at 9:30 a.m.

Friday December 8th

  • Middletown Law Library will close at 3:00 p.m.
  • Rockville Law Library will close at 12:30 p.m.


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=775

SC19872 - State v. Damato - Kushel (Writ of error; "This case is before us on a writ of error. The plaintiff in error claims that the trial court improperly precluded him, either personally or through his attorney, from attending plea negotiations and other discussions involving the court, the state's attorney and defense counsel during in-chambers, pretrial disposition conferences in the criminal prosecution of Kyle Damato-Kushel, which is now pending in the judicial district of Fairfield. In that criminal case, Damato-Kushel is charged with various offenses arising out of her alleged sexual misconduct involving the plaintiff in error commencing when Damato-Kushel was a teacher's aide in the school system of the town of Stratford and when the plaintiff in error was a fourteen year old student attending a school in that town. The plaintiff in error claims that the trial court's ruling barring his attendance at the pretrial disposition conferences violated his right as a victim "to attend the trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend" under article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution, as amended by articles seventeen and twenty-nine of the amendments (Conn. Const., amend. XXIX [b] [5]). The defendants in error, Damato-Kushel and the Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, maintain that the trial court correctly determined that such conferences, when they are conducted in chambers and off the record, do not constitute "court proceedings the accused has the right to attend" within the meaning of amendment XXIX (b) (5) and, therefore, that the court properly precluded the plaintiff in error from attending them. We agree with the defendants in error and, accordingly, dismiss the writ of error.")

AC40390 - State V. Ramos (Murder; sufficiency of evidence; credibility of witnesses; "The defendant, Jose E. Ramos, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction, (2) the court erred in failing to suppress evidence of his post-Miranda silence, (3) the court committed plain error by admitting prior misconduct evidence, and (4) he was deprived of his due process rights as a result of prosecutorial impropriety. We are not persuaded by the defendant's claims on appeal and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38993 - State v. Petitt (Sale of narcotics; "The defendant, Daryl Petitt, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of three counts of illegal sale of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-277 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence crack cocaine from the second and third sales the defendant made to an undercover police officer, who could not authenticate the drugs because he made no distinguishing mark on the contraband. The defendant also claims that the trial court committed plain error by not striking from evidence the crack cocaine from the first sale the defendant made to the officer because the evidence was not first properly authenticated. He seeks reversal of all three counts and a new trial on each of them. We conclude that because the chain of custody was properly established for all three pieces of evidence, the trial court neither abused its discretion nor committed plain error in admitting them into evidence for the jury's consideration. We accordingly affirm the judgment.")

AC38719 - State v. Wade (Sale of narcotics by person who is not drug-dependent; possession of narcotics with intent to sell by person who is not drug-dependent; manslaughter in first degree; "The defendant, Sidney Wade, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that his resentencing did not give rise to a double jeopardy violation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Employment Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=779

AC39102, AC39107 - O'Brien v. New Haven ("These consolidated appeals concern the indemnification provisions of General Statutes § 7-101a. The defendant, the city of New Haven, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, William O’Brien, its former tax assessor, awarding him the attorney’s fees and costs that he incurred in defending himself in a prior action brought by a third party. In its appeal, the defendant claims that the plaintiff’s action for indemnification was barred because he failed to comply with the notice requirement and time limitations of § 7-101a (d). In his appeal, the plaintiff challenges the trial court’s denial of his request for the attorney’s fees and costs that he incurred in bringing the present action, claiming that § 7-101a authorizes such an award. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=778

AC39304 - Law Offices of Frank N. Peluso, P.C. v. Cotrone ("The defendant, Jerry P. Cotrone, appeals from the judgment rendered after a bench trial in favor of the plaintiff, Law Offices of Frank N. Peluso, P.C., awarding damages in the amount of $32,119.06 on the plaintiff’s claim for unpaid legal fees. The defendant claims on appeal that the court erred in restoring the plaintiff’s case to the docket, in the absence of a timely filed motion to restore, after the plaintiff filed a withdrawal of its action. We agree with the defendant and, thus, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=777

AC38347 - Kent v. DiPaola ("The plaintiff, Richard Kent, appeals from the judgment of the trial court setting forth financial orders incident to the dissolution of his marriage to the defendant, Florence DiPaola. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred with respect to its orders regarding the defendant’s pensions, the marital home and the percentage of the marital estate that was awarded to him. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=780

AC38512 - Rockwell v. Rockwell (Vexatious litigation; "In this vexatious litigation action, the self-represented plaintiff, James W. Rockwell, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant Attorney Ian A. Cole. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court (1) improperly bifurcated trial of the issue of probable cause from the issues of malice and damages, (2) violated his right to a jury trial and (3) improperly determined that the defendant had probable cause to prosecute the underlying action. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")