The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.
Recent Opinions

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2972

SC19818 - State v. Porter (Assault of public safety personnel; interfering with officer; possession of narcotic substance; "The sole question presented in this appeal is whether a court may look to the evidence presented at trial when determining if a defendant's conviction violated the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. The defendant, Kenneth Porter, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming his judgment of conviction, following a jury trial, of assault of public safety personnel in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a) (1) and interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a. State v. Porter, 167 Conn. App. 281, 283–84, 142 A.3d 1216 (2016). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court could review only the charging documents when determining whether his conviction of both charges violated the prohibition on double jeopardy and that it improperly looked to the evidence presented at trial to make that determination. The state counters that State v. Schovanec, 326 Conn. 310, 163 A.3d 581 (2017), permits the review of evidence in double jeopardy analysis for the limited purpose of deciding whether the offenses stem from the same act or transaction, and that it was proper for the Appellate Court to consider evidence in that analysis. We agree with the state that the Appellate Court properly considered the evidence presented at trial and, accordingly, affirm its judgment.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2970

AC40240 - Anderson v. Ocean State Job Lot (False arrest; "The self-represented plaintiff, Michael Anderson, brought this action alleging that the defendants, Ocean State Job Lot, William Lapore, Tiffany Canon and Robin Givens, furnished false information, causing his false arrest and malicious prosecution. Before trial, the defendants moved to dismiss the action on the ground that the plaintiff failed to appear for a court-ordered deposition on November 18, 2016, which the court granted on December 12, 2016. The plaintiff then moved to open the judgment on the basis that he was incarcerated at the time of the deposition and was prevented from attending through no fault of his own, which the court denied on January 9, 2017. This appeal followed.

On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the defendants' attorney (1) 'influenced the court . . . to grant the dismissal using lies, misrepresentations and deceptions to prevail on his motions and ignored the plaintiff's handwritten change of address notice that the plaintiff mailed to him on November 3, 2016,' and (2) 'thereafter sought to produce false documents and take certain action to deceive the court and deprive the plaintiff of his right of action and remedy by fraud.' We affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC39398 - Windsor v. Loureiro Engineering Associates (Professional negligence; "The plaintiff, the town of Windsor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants Newman Architects, LLC, Herbert S. Newman, and Michael Raso. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly discharged the jury and rendered judgment as a matter of law on the defendants' special defense asserting that the plaintiff's action was barred by the seven year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 52-584a. We conclude that the court properly rendered judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendants and, accordingly, affirm the judgment.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2969

AC38934 - Aurora Loan Services, LLC v. Condron ("The defendants . . . appeal from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff Nationstar Mortgage, LLC. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly rendered judgment of strict foreclosure because (1) the plaintiff failed to satisfy a contractual condition precedent to foreclosure, namely, compliance with the requirement of notification by mail specified in the mortgage deed; (2) the plaintiff failed to satisfy a statutory condition precedent, as required by the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (mortgage program) pursuant to the provisions of General Statutes § 8-265ee (a); and (3) the plaintiff lacked the authority to foreclose. The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded with direction to dismiss the action.")


Family Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2966

AC39772 - Hirschfeld v. Machinist (Dissolution of marriage; "The plaintiff, Caroline Hirschfeld, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered on three postjudgment motions filed by the plaintiff in this dissolution action. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by: (1) failing to find the defendant, Robert B. Machinist, in contempt for not complying with the property division terms of the separation agreement; (2) failing to find the defendant in contempt for underpaying alimony in the same year that their marriage had been dissolved; (3) determining that the parties' separation agreement was ambiguous and improperly considering extrinsic evidence in violation of the parol evidence rule; and (4) failing to award the plaintiff attorney’s fees on her motions. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40445 - Packard v. Packard (Marital dissolution; "The defendant, Rebecca M. Packard, appeals from the judgment dissolving her marriage with the plaintiff, Jay B. Packard. This appeal has been amended three times, challenging orders entered after judgment. Specifically, the defendant (1) claims that as to the April 7, 2017 judgment, the findings, conclusions and orders are erroneous; (2) challenges the July 28, 2017 order regarding renovations to the marital home; (3) challenges the August 18, 2017 order requiring her to sign a release of medical information to the guardian ad litem; and (4) challenges the October 6, 2017 orders regarding facilitating the sale of the marital home. Additionally, she asserts state and federal constitutional violations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39175 - Schimenti v. Schimenti (Dissolution of marriage; postjudgment orders; plain error doctrine; "In this postjudgment marital dissolution matter, the defendant, Matthew Schimenti, appeals from the trial court's orders requiring him to pay for one half of the initiation fee for a full membership into a country club for the plaintiff, Heather Schimenti, and certain of her counsel fees. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court's orders were improperly based on the trial judge's admitted bias and prejudice arising from her personal experience as a female golfer. He additionally claims that the court's order requiring him to pay the plaintiff's counsel fees constituted an abuse of discretion where the court made no finding of contempt on the basis of his challenged conduct and the plaintiff had ample financial means to pay her own counsel fees. We reverse 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=2965

AC39039 - State v. Kukucka (Strangulation in first degree; sexual assault in third degree; assault in third degree; "The defendant, Dale Kukucka, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of strangulation in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64aa (a) (1) (B), sexual assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a (a) (1), and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) failed to inquire into a potential conflict of interest between him and his defense counsel due to the existence of a grievance filed against defense counsel by the defendant and (2) denied his motion to suppress the in-court and out-of-court identifications of him made by a witness to the assault. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40020 - State v. Artiaco (Sexual assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; "The defendant, William A. Artiaco, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in precluding the testimony of his expert witness and (2) he was deprived of a fair trial due to prosecutorial impropriety during closing argument. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of conviction.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2968

AC38174 - Bridgeport v. Grace Building, LLC (Summary process; "The defendant, Grace Building, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its motion to open the default judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the city of Bridgeport. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion in so doing. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2967

SC19726 - Marchesi v. Board of Selectmen (Statutory (§ 13a-39) petition by defendant adjoining landowners requesting definition of highway boundaries by defendant board of selectmen; administrative appeal from determination of board pursuant to statute (§ 13a-40); "This case returns to us after the remand ordered in Marchesi v. Board of Selectmen, 309 Conn. 608, 72 A.3d 394 (2013), for a trial de novo to determine the length and width of a particular highway known as Brockway Ferry Road. The plaintiff, Rhonda M. Marchesi, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her appeal, brought pursuant to General Statutes § 13a-40, from the decision of the defendants, the town of Lyme (town) and its Board of Selectmen (board), determining the lost or uncertain boundaries of the westerly end of Brockway Ferry Road pursuant to General Statutes § 13a-39. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that (1) the board and the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under §§ 13a-39 and 13a-40, respectively, because it had not been judicially established as a condition precedent that Brockway Ferry Road was in fact a public highway, and (2) there were numerous other defects in the prosecution of the underlying petition before the board. Turning to the merits, the plaintiff also claims that the trial court's finding with respect to the width of Brockway Ferry Road was clearly erroneous. We disagree with the plaintiff's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Juvenile Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2963

AC40760 - In re Mariana A. ("The petitioner claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that she had not met her burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the mother had failed to rehabilitate in accordance with General Statutes § 17a-112 (j) (3) (B) (i), and (2) failed to analyze properly whether the father had abandoned Mariana pursuant to § 17a-112 (j) (3) (A). We disagree with the petitioner’s claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Connecticut Law Journal - April 17, 2018

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2962

The Connecticut Law Journal, Volume LXXIX, No. 42, for April 17, 2018 is now available.

Contained in this issue is the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • Volume 328: Connecticut Reports (Pages 444 - 609)
  • Volume 328: Orders (Pages 923 - 925)
  • Volume 328: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Reports
  • Volume 181: Connecticut Appellate Reports (Pages 37 - 247)
  • Volume 181: Cumulative Table of Cases Connecticut Appellate Reports
  • Miscellaneous Notices


Habeas Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2961

SC19774 - Barlow v. Commissioner of Correction ("On appeal, the commissioner contends that the Appellate Court improperly concluded in Barlow II that (1) General Statutes § 51-183c required that a different habeas judge preside over the proceedings directed by Barlow I to determine whether deficient performance by the petitioner’s attorney during the plea bargaining process was prejudicial under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984), and (2) the Barlow I remand order allowed for the introduction of new evidence on the question of whether counsel’s deficient performance had prejudiced the petitioner, rather than requiring the habeas court to make that determination based solely on evidence already in the record. After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.")


Contract Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2958

SC19878 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman ("The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21, which governs motions for attorney’s fees, is directory rather than mandatory, thus affording a trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions. The plaintiff, Meadowbrook Center, Inc., a nursing facility, appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court, which denied as untimely a motion filed by the defendant, Robert Buchman, seeking an award of attorney’s fees pursuant to General Statutes § 42-150bb. Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman, 169 Conn. App. 527, 529, 151 A.3d 404 (2016). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the thirty day deadline provided by Practice Book § 11-21 is mandatory and that, therefore, the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court was required to exercise discretion in deciding whether to entertain the defendant’s untimely motion, and (2) even if the trial court had discretion to entertain an untimely motion for attorney’s fees, the defendant’s motion in the present case was barred as a matter of law. We disagree and, accordingly, 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=2959

AC38678 - McMahon v. Middletown ("The plaintiff, Patrick T. McMahon, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant city of Middletown (city). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court contravened General Statutes § 52-178 by denying his counsel’s requests to ask leading questions during the direct examination of the city’s mayor, former mayor, and former acting deputy police chief. We decline to review this unpreserved claim and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2954

AC39157 - Desmond v. Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc. (Statutory theft; "The plaintiff, Sandhya Desmond, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her complaint against the defendants, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc. (hospital), and Yale-New Haven Health Services, Inc., alleging statutory theft, common-law fraud, violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), General Statutes § 42-110a et seq., breach of contract, and statutory negligence. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) determined that it lacked jurisdiction over her claim for statutory theft because the exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., barred her from bringing such a claim in the Superior Court, and (2) denied her request for leave to amend her complaint to add a claim for retaliatory discrimination pursuant to General Statutes § 31-290a. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39574 - Osborn v. Waterbury (Negligence; "This personal injury action concerns the injuries the minor plaintiff, Tatayana Osborn (child), sustained during a lunchtime recess at her elementary school. The defendants, the City of Waterbury (city) and the Waterbury Board of Education (board), appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly (1) rejected their special defense of governmental immunity for discretionary acts, (2) concluded that the plaintiffs' injuries were caused when an inadequate number of adults were assigned to supervise up to 400 students when there was evidence that there were no more than fifty students on the playground, (3) found in the absence of expert testimony that one student intern and three or four staff members was insufficient to control as many as 400 students on the playground, and (4) awarded damages intended to encourage continued therapy and occupational training for the child in the absence of evidence that she would need such services in the future. We agree with the defendants' third claim and conclude, as a matter of law, that without expert testimony, the court could not properly have found that the defendants breached their duty of care to the child because there was an inadequate number of adults on the playground to supervise the students at the time the child was injured. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Business Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2957

AC38443 - Chioffi v. Martin (Breach of fiduciary duty; "This action arises out of the dissolution of a registered limited liability partnership. The defendant Christopher G. Martin appeals, following a trial to the court, from the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Mark P. Chioffi, on the count of the plaintiff's complaint which alleged breach of contract. The trial court awarded Chioffi $34,120 in compensatory damages, $103,000 in attorney's fees, and $6226.73 in costs. The defendant claims on appeal that the court erred in (1) finding a breach of § 3.02 of the parties' partnership agreement; (2) finding a breach of § 4.03 of the partnership agreement; (3) ordering the defendant to pay damages directly to the plaintiff rather than ordering a reduction in the defendant's capital account in the partnership; and (4) awarding attorney's fees to the plaintiff. The plaintiff cross appealed, claiming that the court (1) erred in not finding a breach of fiduciary duty, as alleged in count one of his complaint; (2) erred in its calculation of damages; and (3) abused its discretion in holding that the plaintiff waived his claim for an accounting. We agree with the defendant's second and fourth claims and the plaintiff's first claim. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court and remand the case for a hearing on attorney's fees. We otherwise affirm the court's judgment.")


Landlord/Tenant Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2953

AC39978 - Altama, LLC v. Napoli Motors, Inc. (Summary process; "In this commercial summary process action, the defendant Napoli Motors, Inc., appeals from the judgment of possession, rendered after a trial to the court, in favor of the plaintiff, Altama, LLC. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) rendered judgment against it on a theory of liability that was not alleged in the complaint, and (2) concluded that the lease had terminated for lapse of time. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, 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=2951

AC39579 - Berka v. Middletown (Administrative appeal; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly dismissed the self-represented plaintiff's administrative appeal on the ground that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiff's failure to name the state of Connecticut Department of Public Health (department) as a party in his administrative citation. On appeal, the self-represented plaintiff, George Berka, claims first that the department acted improperly by not informing him that it needed to be named as a party and, second, that the trial court's dismissal of his appeal deprived him of due process. We disagree with the trial court's conclusion that the plaintiff's failure to name the department deprived it of subject matter jurisdiction. We conclude, however, that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiff's failure to serve his administrative appeal on the department. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 http://www.jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2956

AC39197 - Randazzo v. Sakon ("In this amended appeal, the defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered in favor of the plaintiff . . . acting as trustee for A&F Foods, a general partnership. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in accepting the findings and recommendations of the attorney fact finder . . . and in rendering judgment in accordance with his recommendations. More specifically, the defendant claims that the court improperly: (1) concluded that the plaintiff's cause of action sounds in contract, rather than indemnification, and, therefore, applied the incorrect statute of limitations; (2) concluded that the statute of frauds, General Statutes § 52-550, was inapplicable to this case; and (3) accepted the finding that the town of Glastonbury (town) had imposed real estate taxes on the easement area. We dismiss the defendant's original appeal and, with respect to his amended appeal, we disagree with each of the defendant's claims and, therefore, 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=2950

AC39506 - State v. Liebenguth (Breach of peace in second degree; tampering with witness; "The defendant, David G. Liebenguth, was convicted, following a bench trial, of breach of the peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (5) and tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151. The charges were filed in connection with an angry confrontation between the defendant and a parking authority officer who had issued him a parking ticket, and a subsequent e-mail from the defendant to the officer's supervisor, suggesting why the officer should not appear in court to testify against him. The defendant now appeals, claiming that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support his conviction of either charge. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40233 - State v. Rivera (Capital felony; conspiracy to commit murder; "The defendant, Angel Rivera, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of capital felony, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) §§ 53a-54b (7) and 53a-8 (a), and conspiracy to commit murder, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) §§ 53a-54a (a) and 53a-48 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by declining to admit certain oral statements under the residual exception to the hearsay rule. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC38888 - State v. Andaz (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Dave Andaz, also known as David Polek, appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding him in violation of his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that his due process right to fair notice of the charges against him was violated by the state's filing of a substitute information changing the underlying basis for his violation of probation six days prior to his probation revocation hearing. We disagree and, accordingly, 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=2952

AC39795 - Cator v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 53a-3 (11); "On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal from the denial of his amended petition, (2) improperly concluded that he failed to establish that his appellate counsel in his direct criminal appeal rendered deficient performance, and (3) improperly concluded that his stand-alone due process claim was procedurally defaulted. We conclude that the habeas court did not abuse its discretion in denying the petition for certification to appeal and, accordingly, dismiss the petitioner’s appeal.")

AC39760 - Jobe v. Commissioner of Correction (General Statutes § 52-466 (a); “On appeal, the petitioner claims that the habeas court improperly determined that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the merits of his claim under Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 176 L. Ed. 2d 284 (2010). The respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, concedes that the habeas court improperly dismissed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to Padilla, but contends that the judgment of dismissal may be affirmed on the alternate ground that the petitioner failed to allege that he was in custody at the time he filed his petition. We affirm the judgment of dismissal on the basis of the respondent’s alternate ground.”)