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 Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=717

AC39418Fernschild v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles ("The plaintiff, Matthew Fernschild, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner), ordering a six month suspension of his license to operate a motor vehicle, pursuant to General Statutes § 14-227b, for his refusal to submit to a chemical alcohol test. The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that there was substantial evidence in the record to support the finding of the hearing officer that the plaintiff refused to submit to a chemical analysis of his breath. We agree and reverse 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=714

AC38608McLeod v. A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc. (Fraud; "In this action for damages arising out of the purchase of a used automobile, the defendant, A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc., appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Brenda McLeod, on counts one through four of her six count complaint. Counts one through four alleged, respectively, that the defendant breached the implied warranty of merchantability, violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act (Magnuson-Moss Act), 15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq., breached an express statutory warranty, and committed common-law fraud. In total, the court awarded the plaintiff $5435 in actual damages, $15,000 in punitive damages, and $7045.35 in attorney's fees. The defendant claims on appeal that the court improperly (1) determined that the defendant had breached the implied warranty of merchantability as alleged in count one because that count previously had been dismissed along with counts five and six at the close of the plaintiff's case-in-chief pursuant to Practice Book § 15-8; (2) determined that the defendant had violated 15 U.S.C. § 2310 (d) of the Magnuson-Moss Act, despite the plaintiff's having pleaded that the alleged violation arose from the defendant's breach of the implied warranty of merchantability as alleged in count one, which the court had dismissed because the plaintiff had failed to establish a prima facie case; (3) awarded the plaintiff attorney's fees; (4) determined that the defendant committed common-law fraud without clear and convincing evidence of either a false statement or intent to defraud; and (5) awarded the plaintiff punitive damages on the fraud count. We agree with the defendant as to all but the fourth claim and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case with direction to render judgment in accordance with this opinion and for a new hearing in damages. We otherwise affirm the court's judgment.")



Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=715

AC38410Darryl W. v. Commissioner of Correction (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly denied his amended petition because the record established that his criminal trial counsel had rendered ineffective assistance by (1) failing to file a request to charge the jury and/or to object to the trial court’s jury instruction and (2) failing to direct the trial court in its response to the jury’s inquiry on operability. We conclude that the habeas court properly determined that the petitioner failed to establish his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in that he failed to establish that he was prejudiced by counsel’s failure to file a request to charge the jury and/or to object to the jury instruction and that counsel performed deficiently by failing to direct the trial court in its response to the jury’s inquiry. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.”)

AC38415Toccaline v. Commissioner of Correction (Third petition for writ of habeas corpus; “He appeals following the habeas court’s denial of his petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction. He claims that the habeas court abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal and improperly dismissed four counts of his third amended petition. We dismiss the appeal.”)


Juvenile Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=713

SC19902 Order on Motion- In Re Elianah T.-T. ("Following the release of our decision in In re Elianah T.-T., 326 Conn. 614, 165 A.3d 1236 (2017), in which this court concluded that General Statutes § 17a-10 (c) did not authorize the petitioner, the Commissioner of Children and Families (commissioner), to vaccinate a child placed in her temporary custody over the objection of that child's parents, the commissioner moved for reconsideration pursuant to Practice Book § 71-5. In this motion for reconsideration, the commissioner states that, in briefing this case, she should have claimed that General Statutes § 17a-10 (c) should be interpreted in the context of General Statutes §§ 17a-93 and 17a-98. Specifically, the commissioner contends that the operation of General Statutes § 17a-10 (c) is limited to custody over juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent, and that General Statutes §§ 17a-93 and 17a-98 confer broader guardianship authority that permits her to vaccinate minor children in her custody. The commissioner candidly acknowledges that she did not advance her arguments concerning the effect of General Statutes §§ 17a-93 and 17a-98 until the filing of this motion for reconsideration. As this argument was not previously advanced to this court, we grant the motion for reconsideration, but deny the relief requested.")


Connecticut Law Journal - October 17, 2017

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=712


New Office of Legislative Research Reports

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=711

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

Recanvass of the Vote After a Municipal Primary or Election - 2017-R-0231
This report summarizes the circumstances under which a recanvass occurs after a municipal primary or election, the related requirements and procedures, and the involved candidates' rights.

Gubernatorial Line Item Veto Power in Connecticut - 2017-R-0230
This report explains the governor's line item veto power in Connecticut, including how the governor exercises it and its application to tax provisions and appropriation reductions.

Legislative Changes to Sex Offender Registration Laws, 2008-2017 - 2017-R-0197
This report summarizes legislative changes to Connecticut's sex offender registration laws and related issues over the last 10 years.

Community Health Workers - 2017-R-0175
This report provides a brief description of community health workers and how they are regulated in Connecticut and other states.



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=705

AC39619State v. Hall-Davis (Murder; conspiracy to commit murder; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Matthew Allen Hall-Davis, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-54a (a), and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1). On appeal, he argues that the trial court (1) erred by refusing to give the jury an instruction on defense of others, (2) improperly restricted his closing argument, and (3) gave the jury a faulty and misleading instruction on conspiracy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40218State v. Rivera (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Jose Rivera, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence. We are asked to determine whether our state constitution affords greater protection to juvenile homicide offenders than that provided under the federal constitution. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court erred in dismissing the motion to correct an illegal sentence on the ground that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction, (2) the court erred in dismissing the motion to correct an illegal sentence because the mandatory minimum sentence of twenty-five years of incarceration without the possibility of parole imposed on a juvenile homicide offender is unconstitutional under article first, §§ 8 and 9, of the Connecticut constitution, as it prevented the court from sentencing juveniles to less than twenty-five years of incarceration upon due consideration of the Miller factors and (3) the court committed constitutional error when it accepted the defendant's waiver, through counsel, without a canvass, of his right to a presentence investigation report. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court dismissing the motion to correct an illegal sentence.")

AC40213State v. Hathaway (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Robert Hathaway, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court erred in dismissing the motion to correct an illegal sentence on the ground that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction, (2) the court erred in dismissing the motion to correct an illegal sentence because the mandatory minimum sentence of twenty-five years of incarceration without the possibility of parole for murder is unconstitutional under article first, §§ 8 and 9, of the state constitution, as applied to juvenile offenders in that it bars courts from sentencing juveniles to less than twenty-five years upon due considerations of the Miller factors, and (3) the court committed constitutional error when it accepted the defendant's waiver, through counsel, of his right to a presentence investigation report. We addressed these precise issues in State v. Rivera, 177 Conn. App. ___, A.3d ___ (2017), also released today, and our resolution of the defendant's appeal is controlled by our decision in that case. We affirm the judgment of the trial court dismissing the motion to correct an illegal sentence.")

AC38193State v. Thomas (Sexual assault in first degree; unlawful restraint in first degree; false statement in second degree; "The defendant, William B. Thomas, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1), one count of unlawful restraint in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-95 (a), and one count of false statement in the second degree in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 53a-157b (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court violated his constitutional rights to confrontation and to present a defense by excluding evidence of the victim's prior sexual conduct under General Statutes § 54-86f, commonly known as the rape shield statute; (2) the trial court violated his right to due process by denying his pretrial motion for costs to pay for investigative services necessary to his defense; and (3) the state's closing argument was improper and deprived him of a fair trial. We disagree. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=706

AC38912N759ZD v. Stratford ("In this joint tax appeal, the plaintiffs, David H. Faile, Jr., Paul A. Lange, and N759ZD, LLC (LLC), appeal from the judgments of nonsuit, rendered by the trial court, in favor of the defendant, the town of Stratford (town). They also appeal from the court’s denial of their motions to open the nonsuits. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court’s findings that they violated its orders were clearly erroneous, and that, even if we assume, arguendo, that they did violate the orders, the court abused its discretion in rending judgments of nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs. Therefore, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

AC38853Zhang v. 56 Locust Road, LLC (Quiet title; "Having examined the appellate record and having considered the briefs and the arguments of the parties, we conclude that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed. The trial court fully and accurately addressed the issues relevant to the parties' appeals and, in its memorandum of decision, set forth a proper statement of both the facts and the applicable law. Any further discussion by this court would serve no useful purpose.
The judgment is affirmed.")

AC38912Faile v. Stratford (Tax appeals; "In this joint tax appeal, the plaintiffs, David H. Faile, Jr., Paul A. Lange, and N759ZD, LLC (LLC), appeal from the judgments of nonsuit, rendered by the trial court, in favor of the defendant, the town of Stratford (town). They also appeal from the court's denial of their motions to open the nonsuits. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court's findings that they violated its orders were clearly erroneous, and that, even if we assume, arguendo, that they did violate the orders, the court abused its discretion in rending judgments of nonsuit. We agree with the plaintiffs. Therefore, we reverse the judgments of the trial court.")

  • AC38912 – Lange v. Stratford (see Faile v. Stratford above)


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=708

AC38704Smith v. Redding (Public nuisance; "In this absolute public nuisance action, the plaintiff, Brandon V. Smith, appeals following a jury trial from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant town of Redding. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly failed: (1) to admit evidence of involuntary subsequent remedial measures; and (2) to instruct the jury on the Redding Zoning Regulations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=707

AC38970Bank of New York Mellon, Trustee v. Mauro ("In this mortgage foreclosure action, the defendants, Jeffrey J. Mauro and Renee A. Mauro, appeal from the judgment rendered by the trial court, Aurigemma, J., in favor of the plaintiff, The Bank of New York Mellon, on: the plaintiff's claim for strict foreclosure as to the defendants' mortgaged property in Killingworth, Connecticut; and the defendants' counterclaims against the plaintiff, seeking damages and equitable relief based upon alleged misrepresentations to them and other alleged misdealings with them concerning the note and mortgage here at issue, both by the plaintiff and by the original lender, America's Wholesale Lender (AWL), which was the plaintiff's predecessor in interest to the note and mortgage. As to the plaintiff's claim for strict foreclosure, the defendants argue that the court erred in basing its judgment for the plaintiff upon its prior, erroneous decision rendering summary judgment for the plaintiff as to the defendants' liability for foreclosure in this action, assertedly without sufficient evidence to establish the absence of any genuine issues of material fact on that issue. As to their counterclaims against the plaintiff, the defendants argue that, to the extent that such counterclaims are based upon the plaintiff's own alleged misdealings with them rather than those of AWL, the court erred in rendering summary judgment for the plaintiff by: (1) ruling that such counterclaims, so narrowed, were not properly pleaded in this action because they have no reasonable nexus to the making, validity, or enforcement of the subject note and mortgage; (2) ruling that one such counterclaim was barred by the applicable statute of limitations; and (3) failing to follow the prior ruling of a different judicial authority, in partially denying a motion to strike, that certain such counterclaims were legally sufficient to state claims upon which relief could be granted. We disagree with the defendants on each of their claims, and thus affirm the judgment of the trial court in its entirety.")


Habeas Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=709

AC39049Williams v. Commissioner of Correction (Denial of petition of writ of habeas corpus; "He claims that the court improperly concluded that he failed to prove that his trial attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing (1) to challenge the state’s medical evidence by consulting and calling as a witness a medical expert with experience evaluating medical evidence in child sexual abuse cases, and (2) to present the testimony of John Strugar, a neurosurgeon, who performed back surgery on the petitioner in August, 1999. We affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")

AC38597Little v. Commissioner of Correction (Denial of petition for certification to appeal from the judgment of the habeas court; second habeas petition; "He claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion by denying his petition for certification to appeal; (2) improperly concluded that his guilty plea to kidnapping in the first degree was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary in light of our Supreme Court’s subsequent reinterpretation of our kidnapping statutes in State v. Salamon, 287 Conn. 509, 949 A.2d 1092 (2008); and (3) improperly concluded that he was not actually innocent of kidnapping in the first degree. We conclude that the habeas court abused its discretion by denying the petition for certification to appeal, but that the habeas court properly denied the petitioner’s second habeas petition. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court.")



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=703

AC39853State v. Stonick (Larceny in sixth degree; illegal use of credit card; "The defendant, Katherine Lee Stonick, appeals from the judgment of the trial court noting a nolle prosequi to charges then pending against her of larceny in in the sixth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-125b and illegal use of a credit card in violation of General Statutes § 53a-128d without ruling on her request that the charges be dismissed the pursuant to General Statutes § 54-56b. The nolled charges against the defendant stemmed from an incident that allegedly occurred on August 17, 2016, in which the defendant, while allegedly out on a date with the complainant, was accused of using the complainant’s debit card, without his knowledge or permission, to purchase a $300 gift card to the restaurant at which they were dining.

The defendant argues, and the state concedes, that the court erred in noting the nolle over the objection of the defendant without ruling on her request for a dismissal of the nolled charges or requiring the state to make certain representations concerning those charges pursuant to § 54-56b. That statute provides that once a defendant objects to the entry of a nolle and demands a dismissal, the state may enter the nolle only ‘‘upon a representation to the court by the prosecuting official that a material witness has died, disappeared or become disabled or that material evidence has disappeared or has been destroyed and that a further investigation is therefore necessary.’’ When the court noted the nolle in the absence of any such representation by the state, it did so in violation of § 54-56b.

The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion on the defendant’s objection to the state’s nolle and her demand that the nolled charges be dismissed.")


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=702

SC19787 - James v. Commissioner of Correction ("The sole issue in this appeal is whether the calculation of presentence confinement credit should be adjusted for concurrent sentences imposed under one docket number but on different dates. The petitioner, Latone James, appeals from the denial of his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which alleged, inter alia, that the calculation of his presentence confinement credit was incorrect. The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, claims that it calculated the petitioner’s presentence confinement credit pursuant to General Statutes § 18-98d (a) (1) and the framework provided by this court in Harris v. Commissioner of Correction, 271 Conn. 808, 860 A.2d 715 (2004). We agree with the petitioner and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the habeas court in part.")


Connecticut eRegulations System - Official Version of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=701

The Connecticut eRegulations System now includes this Official Version Statement: "Effective July 1, 2017, the Connecticut eRegulations System shall serve as the official version of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and the electronic repository for the regulation-making record. Final approved regulations will no longer be printed in the Connecticut Law Journal.

Notice of certification of the system was published in the Connecticut Law Journal by the Secretary of the State on June 27th, 2017. A copy can be accessed here." The notice states that "[p]ersons interested in receiving automatic notices of regulation-making proceedings may sign up at eregulations.ct.gov by selecting the 'eReg Alerts' button."


Connecticut Law Journal - October 10, 2017

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=700


Law Library Hours Update: October 10th - October 13th

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=699

Wednesday, October 11th

  • Rockville Law Library will close at 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 12th

  • Middletown Law Library will close at 4:00 p.m.
  • Rockville Law Library will close at 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 18th

  • Hartford Law Library will close at 12:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 19th

  • Danbury Law Library will open at 10:30 a.m.


Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Orders Research Guide - 2017 edition

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=698

The 2017 edition of our research guide on Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Orders has been posted to our website. A new section on Civil Protection Orders has been added, in addition to a table on the recent changes to firearms law in relation to domestic violence incidents.