Practitioners Say Appeals Process is Widely Misunderstood

According to appellate court judges and practitioners alike, appellate practice in Connecticut requires a specialized form of advocacy that is not understood by all litigants.

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What's being said

  • Patrick D.

    Very interesting article, and comments from our top Judges. The sad thing is that it appears some of our states Superior Court judges have and continue to use the appellate process to punish litigants - especially those who are self represented, but even some that are represented by counsel. A cursory glance at the appeals filed over the last 24 months yields some very interesting (and disturbing) trends. It appears that certain actions are ‘capable of repetition, yet evade review.‘

    In a surprising number of family cases, litigants are forced into a Hobson‘s choice of sorts. If they dare to appeal, they are forced to endure the wrath of the same trial court judge for the duration of their appeal. Often leading to punitive rulings disguised as ‘judicial discretion‘, leading to increased financial pressure, loss of custody, threat of incarceration, and a host of other all-to-common tactics. Few can navigate the complex rules of appellate procedure, and a review of recent decisions demonstrates just how often appeals are dismissed due to an inadequate brief or record.

    It is time our high courts step in and send a clear message back down to the lower courts that the appellate and supreme court dockets are NOT to be used as a detention center for targeted litigants. This serves NOBODY and does nothing to help our judicial branch meet its objective of serving the public.

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