Recent Decisions

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Peluso v. Probate Appeal

Attorney Won 2.5 Percent for Services as Executor Only

A court can find that an attorney-executor is entitled to a fee of 2.5 percent of the estate for his services as an executor and that any incidental legal services in connection with administration of the estate should be deemed to be included in the executor fee.

CV10-5013414S
Povodator, J.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Taxation , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Soto v. Bridgeport Health Care Ctr.

Plaintiff Who Broke Bones Failed To Adequately Allege Res Ipsa

Because res ipsa loquitur does not constitute an independent cause of action, a plaintiff who purports to allege res ipsa loquitur and who does not also allege negligence may not possess a cause of action.

CV13-6038102
Arnold, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Health Law

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

O'Neill v. Robertson

Parental Immunity Doctrine Barred Suit for Cigarette Fire

The parental immunity doctrine does not bar an adult child's claim against a parent, even if the adult child is disabled and is not yet emancipated.

CV15-6048620
Radcliffe, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Wrongful Death

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

McKnight v. Short

$3,000 Additur Awarded for Non-Economic Damages

When the jury awards economic damages for medical expenses and does not award non-economic damages for pain and suffering from a motor-vehicle accident, a court can award an additur for non-economic damages.

CV12-6032977S
Corradino, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Motor Vehicles , Personal Injury , Transportation

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Gaulin v. Arango

Plaintiff Who Delayed Treatment Was Denied Non-Economic Damages

A jury can reasonably decide not to award non-economic damages to an individual who allegedly kept working two jobs and did not immediately obtain treatment, after a motor-vehicle accident.

CV13-6037597S
Nazzaro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Motor Vehicles , Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Fields v. Rivera

Passenger Injured in Bus Accident Awarded $20,000

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to a passenger who allegedly was injured in a bus accident.

CV12-6034148
Frechette, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Motor Vehicles , Personal Injury , Transportation

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Bullock v. Martinez

Minor Won $236,602 for Bite that Left Permanent Scar

At a hearing in damages, a court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages for pain and suffering.

CV14-6044506
Kamp, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Hamden Realty Assoc. v. 2319 Hamden Ctr. I

Plaintiff Won TRO on Claim Defendant Abandoned 1985 Easement

To prevail on a request for a temporary restraining order, to maintain the status quo in a surface parking lot, a plaintiff must prove: (1) plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law; (2) plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm, in the absence of an injunction; (3) plaintiff is likely to prevail on the merits; and (4) the balance of equities tip in favor of plaintiff.

CV15-6054261
Burke, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Cormier v. Friendly's Restaurants

Former Friendly's Customer Alleged Product-Liability Claim

Allegations that a customer became ill and suffered from food poisoning after a meal at defendant's restaurant, if proven, could be sufficient to establish a violation of the Connecticut Product Liability Act.

CV15-6026141S
Roraback, J.

Practice Areas: Products Liability

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

People's United Bank v. Wright

$13,893 in Attorney Fees Awarded To Foreclosure Defendants

A mortgage qualifies as a consumer contract, and a foreclosure defendant who successfully moves to dismiss the complaint can be entitled to attorney fees.

CV10-6004126S
Mottolese, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Colberg LLC v. Planning and Zoning Bd. of City of Milford

Neighbors Failed To Prove Significant Traffic Safety Concerns

Absent expert testimony or substantive or qualitative information that supports neighbors and commissioners' concerns about traffic safety, a court can find the record does not contain enough evidence to reject expert and town employees' recommendations in support of affordable housing.

CV15-6052509
Berger, J.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Danbury J.D., at Danbury

Hiemstra v. Andrews

Tenants Won Twice the Value of Unreturned Security Deposit

A landlord who allegedly fails to return a security deposit within 30 days after the tenants vacate the property and text a forwarding address can be required to pay twice the value of the unreturned security deposit.

CV14-4019305S
Truglia, J.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Sampredro v. Flores

Wife Won Protective Order and Sole Custody of Children

A party who proves that her spouse subjected her to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury can be entitled to a protective order and to sole custody of the minor children.

FA14-4061884
Goodrow, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New London J.D., at Norwich

Berkman v. Berkman

Wife of 26 Years Denied Request for Lifetime Alimony of $200/Week

A court can deny a wife's request for lifetime alimony, as a result of evidence that she is much younger and healthier, and her prospects for earning income and acquiring assets are much greater.

FA14-4124310S
Connors, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Alfonso v. Mejia

Mom Won Motion To Relocate with Minor Child to Florida

A court can find it is in the best interests of a minor child for the child to relocate with his mother to another state.

FA12-4028998
Shah, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Visiting Nurse Serv. Inc. of Southern Connecticut v. Grant

Competitor Allegedly Used Confidential Info To Contact Client

To prevail on intentional interference with contractual relations, a plaintiff must prove: (1) a contract or beneficial relationship; (2) defendant's knowledge of the relationship; (3) defendant's intent to interfere with the relationship; (4) defendant's interference was tortious; and (5) plaintiff suffered a loss as a result of defendant's tortious conduct.

CV13-6039298
Vitale, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach

United States District Court

Arel v. Colvin

Claimant with Bipolar Disorder and TBI Won $7,929 in Attorney Fees

A court can award attorney fees to a plaintiff who is a prevailing party.

3:14cv1008
Margolis, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Social Services Law , Social Security Compensation

United States District Court

Moultrie v. Carver Found.

African-American Failed To Establish Prima Facie Case

To establish a prima facie case, a plaintiff may be required to allege: (1) she belonged to a protected group; (2) she was qualified; and (3) she suffered an adverse employment action in circumstances that led to an inference of discrimination.

3:13cv1443
Underhill, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Discrimination , Race Discrimination

United States District Court

Tyson v. Melendez

Inmate's Request For Prison Surveillance Tape Denied

A prisoner who files an excessive-use-of-force claim and who seeks to obtain a surveillance tape of the incident can serve a discovery request on defense counsel.

3:14cv1795
Bolden, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Civil Rights

United States District Court

Sanchez v. Homestead Funding

Plaintiff Did Not Prove that Service of Process Was Adequate

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4, a corporation can be served by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, or by following state law for serving a summons.

3:13cv1850
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

United States District Court

Gen. Elec. v. United States

Government Objects To Law Firm's Review of Electronic Docs

A law firm may conduct a responsiveness review, as well as a privilege review, of documents that an opponent requests from a nonparty.

3:14cv190
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery

Connecticut Appellate Court

DiMichele v. Perrella

Biological Father Lacked Duty To Reveal Paternity to Mom's Spouse

A relationship between two parties does not constitute a special relationship imposing a duty to disclose unless that relationship is one of "trust and confidence" and no such special relationship was recognized for a biological father to disclose his paternity to the spouse of the children's mother when no relationship existed between the men before the spouse learned he was not the children's father.

AC 36748
Norcott, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Perez v. Carlevaro

Despite Default, Legal Fees Were Improperly Awarded under Contract

The defendant's default did not obligate the trial court to accept the plaintiff's incorrect legal position by awarding her attorney fees under contract terms that unambiguously did not provide for such relief.

AC 36823
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Contracts , Civil Procedure

Connecticut Appellate Court

Varley v. First Student

School District Lacked Required Status as Employer of Bus Driver

There is no indication that the legislature intended the term "employer," as used in Connecticut General Statutes §31-51q, to have a meaning different from its ordinary usage, as embodied in related statutes.

AC 36826
Gruendel, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Benedict

Insufficiently Close Nexus Shown for Principal Challenge of Juror

A principal challenge must be granted when there is an "inextricably close relationship" between a potential juror and a party; but here, an insufficiently close relationship was shown for a principal challenge to a venireperson, a town police officer who worked under a state police sergeant, and the investigating state police, to support the principal challenge.

AC 32484
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Atkins v. Comm'r of Correction

Omitted Alibi Witness Offered No Alibi in Ineffective Counsel Claim

Precedent establishes that an "alibi," as used in Practice Book §40-21, is a claim by the defendant that he was in a different place from the crime scene when the alleged offense occurred.

AC 35191
Harper, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Berkshire Bank v. The Hartford Club

Successor Bank, Nonholder of Note in Possession, Had Holder Rights

The mortgage note, as a negotiable instrument, is governed by provisions of Connecticut's Uniform Commercial Code concerning negotiable instruments and, under Connecticut General Statutes C.G.S. &42a-3-301, a person entitled to enforce an instrument includes the holder of the instrument or a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder.

AC 36711
Alvord, J.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Evidence

Connecticut Supreme Court

In Re: Nevaeh W.

Parental Rights Termination Was Improperly Reversed Given Findings

For a petition to terminate parental rights, a trial court shall consider and make written findings regarding the factors enumerated in Connecticut General Statutes §17a-112(k); however, a trial court's determination on the child's best interests will not be overturned based on one factor if that determination is otherwise factually supported and legally sound.

SC 19447
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Appellate Law - Civil

Connecticut Supreme Court

Tilcon Connecticut v. Comm'r of Environmental Protection

1st Impression Issue on Water Diversion Act Grant of Authority

The Water Diversion Act, Connecticut General Statutes §22a-365, did not authorize the Department of Environmental Protection, in the context of applications for diversion permits for withdrawals of water, to seek information about, and thereby effectively regulate, the applicant's excavation activities as diversions separate and apart from the withdrawals for which it sought permits or as an effect of the proposed diversions.

SC 19203
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Environmental Law , Administrative Law

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of Bloomfield and UPSEU, Local 424

Employee Who Worked on Printer and Switches Was Not Insubordinate

Arbitrators can find that an employer did not prove that an employee was insubordinate.

2015-A-0022
Weiner, Silvers and Margenot

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Working Conditions

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Southington Bd. of Educ. and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1303-123

High School Security Guards Not Entitled To Overtime Pay

Arbitrators can find that high school security guards who work more than eight hours per day are not entitled to overtime pay, unless they work more than 40 hours per week.

2014-A-0039
Pittocco, Esq. and Culhane – Perillo dissented

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Wages and Hours

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Waterbury and CACP

Union Claimed City Violated Minimum Staffing Requirements

Arbitrators can find that an employer is not required to hire additional workers to cover workers who take a lunch break, to meet the minimum staffing requirements in the collective bargaining contract.

2014-A-0468
Daly, Malse and Krzywicki

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Working Conditions

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of New Haven and Connecticut Alliance of City Police

City of New Haven Apparently Withdrew Objection To Arbitrability

If a municipality that objects that a matter is not arbitrable withdraws its objection and does not reclaim it within 10 days before the scheduled first hearing, it may not be able to reinstate the objection.

2012-A-0681
Pittocco, Silvers and Johnson

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Wages and Hours

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Bridgeport and IAFF, Local 834

City Lacked Just Cause To Fire Firefighter Who Acted Bizarrely

Just cause requires a fair and impartial investigation that produces substantial proof of wrongdoing, and arbitrators can reverse a discharge that does not result from a fair and impartial investigation.

2013-A- 0532
Acosta, Malse and Shea

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Working Conditions , Hiring/Firing

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Ansonia and UPSEU, Local 424

Suspension for Passing Stopped School Bus Reduced to 10 Days

Arbitrators can find that a 30-day suspension for passing a stopped school bus is overly harsh, and reduce the suspension to 10 days.

2015-A-0222
Cho, Leverty and Toomey

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Working Conditions

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Mariani v. Richards

Survey Map Indicated Fall Did Not Take Place on Defendant's Land

A court can credit evidence from a survey map that indicated that plaintiff's fall did not take place on defendant's property.

CV13-6008576
Pickard, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Hosein v. Edman

Plaintiff's Negligence Proximately Caused Motor-Vehicle Accident

A court can find that plaintiff driver failed to keep a proper look out and to keep control of her motor vehicle.

CV12-6033801S
Zoarski, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts , Causation , Motor Vehicles

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Decristofaro v. Fitzpatrick

$313,202 Awarded To 62-Year-Old Dog Bite Victim

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and lost wages and non-economic damages for pain and suffering to an individual injured in a dog attack.

CV10-6009164
Frechette, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Personal Injury

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Brennan v. Michalowski

Plaintiff Alleged Defendant Took Shih Tzu Dog Without Permission

A replevin action allows a plaintiff to recover goods or chattel that have been wrongly detained, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-515.

CV15-5030605S
Rush, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Personal Property

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Kuehl v. Koskoff

$935,000 Awarded for Failure To File Timely Workers' Comp Claim

A former client can possess a legal-malpractice claim against an attorney who allegedly failed to file a timely claim for workers' compensation benefits.

CV99-0171076
Povodator, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Malpractice , Social Services Law , Workers’ Compensation , Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Colon-Collazo v. Cox

Defense Motion To Disqualify Plaintiff's Attorney Denied

When ruling on a motion to disqualify, courts may consider: (1) defendant's interest in protecting confidential information; (2) plaintiff's interest in freely selecting counsel of choice; and (3) the public's interest in the scrupulous administration of justice.

CV12-6023701S
Heller, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Chief Disciplinary Counsel v. Rozbicki

Court Suspended Attorney Who Frivolously Accused Judges of Bias

A court can discipline an attorney whose numerous, frivolous and baseless motions for disqualification of counsel and the court constituted conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

CV13-6046975
Robaina, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

McGuire v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of the Town of Fairfield

Owners of Legally Nonconforming Residence Failed To Prove Hardship

Hardships that are personal to the applicant do not provide grounds to grant a variance.

CV14-6045409S
Radcliffe, J.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New London J.D., at Norwich

Norwich Hous. Auth. v. Davis

Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem for Incompetent Defendant

A court can exercise its discretion, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §45a-132, to appoint a guardian ad litem for an individual who is in a nursing home and who is not competent to defend herself from a summary-process action.

KNO15-4126733
Moukawsher, J.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New London J.D., at Norwich

Sandvig v. Sandvig-Castibianco

Wife Allegedly Made Attempts To Disrupt Husband's Work

A court can find that one party's "instability and irrational" conduct, which included attempts to have the breadwinner discharged from his employment, led to the breakdown of the marital relationship.

FA14-4123143S
Connors, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Mahoney v. Smith

Admission of Tape That Demonstrated Circumcision Did Not Prejudice Jury

It may not prejudice the jury to admit a tape that demonstrates a medical procedure and that assists the jurors to comprehend the issues.

CV12-6024993S
Rush, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Medical Malpractice

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Moore v. Comm'r of Motor Vehicles

Driver Claimed He Requested To Take Breath Test Three Times

A court can find it unlikely that a police surveillance tape, if preserved, would have shown that plaintiff driver repeatedly requested to take a breath-alcohol test.

CV14-6027465S
Schuman, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

Tollland J.D., at Somers

Carpenter v. Warden

Attorney Sentenced To Life Failed To Prove Hugh Keefe Was Ineffective

To prevail on a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, a petitioner must prove: (1) the defense attorneys' performance was substandard; and (2) but for the defense attorneys' performance, the results of the state's prosecution would have been different.

CV13-4005058S
Sferrazza, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Community Investment Corp. v. Sirico Prof'l Serv.

Court Found Funds In All Four Accounts Were Exempt

Funds in bank accounts that are derived from wages or Social Security benefits can be found to be exempt.

CV14-6051279
Pittman, J.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Banking and Financial Institutions

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Marchenko v. Zea

Boyfriend Who Did Not Pay Back Girlfriend's Loan Owes $20,553

A court can find that a boyfriend who allegedly failed to pay back the money his girlfriend loaned so that he could pay off credit card debt is legally responsible.

CV13-6020405S
D'Andrea, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Godbout v. Freedom of Information Comm'n

Freedom of Information Commission Not Required To Hear Each Complaint

An agency may not be required to hold a hearing on every complaint that is filed, especially if a complaint is considered frivolous.

CV14-5016057S
Schuman, J.

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

United States District Court

Rotunno v. Town of Stratford

Worker Did Not Prove First Amendment Retaliatory Discharge

An employee's speech about her own job responsibilities may not qualify for protection under the First Amendment.

3:12cv1352
Eginton, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing

United States District Court

Anderson v. E. Connecticut Health Network

Dr. Requested Accommodation that Did Not Require Data Bank Report

An employee with a disability is only entitled to a reasonable accommodation and is not entitled to the reasonable accommodation of the employee's choice.

3:12cv785
Chatigny, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Discrimination , Age Discrimination , Disability Discrimination

United States District Court

Gray v. Town of Easton

Equestrian Business Alleged Unequal Enforcement of Regs

A "class of one" equal-protection claim arises when the government intentionally treats plaintiff differently from others who are similarly situated, and no rational basis exists for the different treatment.

3:12cv166
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Land Use and Planning , Entertainment and Sports Law

United States District Court

Leconte v. Lightner

Inmate Allegedly Grew Breasts after Dr. Prescribed Risperdal

The Eighth Amendment prohibits corrections officials from acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate.

3:14cv1492
Bryant, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law , Criminal Law

United States District Court

Hunter v. Ross

African-American Cop Did Not Prove Selective Prosecution Based on Race

Absent evidence of racial animus, preferential treatment on the basis of race or comparators who were similarly situated, an African-American may not be able to prove selective enforcement.

3:11cv1411
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Race Discrimination

Connecticut Appellate Court

Disciplinary Counsel v. Parnoff

1st Impression Issue on Rules for Knowing Misappropriation of Funds

By its plain language, Practice Book §2-47A provides that disbarment is the only sanction a court may impose in any disciplinary proceeding where a judge finds that the lawyer knowingly misappropriated a client's property; however, the "knowing" requirement relates to whether the attorney knows in fact that the property did not belong to him when misappropriated.

AC 36319
Prescott, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Connecticut Appellate Court

Keller v. Keller

Appeal of Contempt Finding Was Not Moot and Finding Upheld

An order of contempt for violating Practice Book §25-5(a)(2), for not providing contact information, was not subsumed into the final judgment on the divorce action and an appeal from that order was not moot.

AC 36389
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Appellate Law - Civil

Connecticut Appellate Court

Maynard v. Sena

Habit Evidence of Surgeon To Wear Gloves Was Not Unduly Prejudicial

The defendant surgeon's testimony that he wore gloves every time he performed a surgical procedure in his office during his 30-year career was proper habit evidence under Connecticut Code of Evidence §4-6 and supported an inference that he wore gloves during the plaintiff's surgical procedure.

AC 36345
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Admissibility , Medical Malpractice , Torts

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Fuller

No Error in Failing To Give Identification Jury Instruction

Having waived a claim of instructional error, even one of constitutional magnitude, an appellant bears a heavy burden of demonstrating that it is appropriate for a reviewing court to exercise its supervisory authority and review such a claim on appeal.

AC 36178
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

Mukhtaar v. Comm'r of Correction

Ineffective Assistance of Prior Habeas Counsel Was Not Shown

Under the test articulated in the 1984 U.S. Supreme Court case of Strickland v. Washington, the habeas petitioner claiming ineffective assistance of counsel was required to show not only that counsel's performance was deficient, but that the deficient performance prejudiced the defense.

AC 34193
Dupont, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Anderson v. Comm'r of Correction

Dismissal of Habeas Petition with Prejudice Was Too Severe Sanction

As explained in the 2013 Appellate Court decision of Fine v. Commissioner of Correction, "[i]t must never be forgotten that the writ of habeas corpus is the precious safeguard of personal liberty and there is no higher duty than to maintain it unimpaired" and here, the dismissal of a habeas petition with prejudice because the petitioner left the courtroom as trial began was too severe a sanction under the circumstances.

AC 35846
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Morgillo v. Empire Paving

Workmanship Was Implied in Driveway Repair Contract

Workmanship is an implied condition in all construction contracts and the defendant was required to complete promised repairs to the plaintiff's driveway with that degree of care exercised by skilled individuals and businesses in the driveway repair and construction industry.

AC 36639
Gruendel, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts

Connecticut Appellate Court

Chestnut Point Realty v. Town of E. Windsor

1st Impression Issue: Tax Appeal Commences upon Service Not Filing

A tax appeal is a civil action and such actions are commenced when civil process is served.

AC 36819
Lavine, J.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil , Taxation , Administrative Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Williams

No Bright Line Rule for Expert Testimony on Identification Risks

A flexible approach is appropriate in determining the degree of familiarity that an eyewitness must have with a suspect before a trial court is justified in precluding expert testimony on the fallibility of eyewitness identification.

SC 19250
Rogers, C.J.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Thiersaint v. Comm'r of Correction

Padilla Rule Did Not Apply Retroactively to 2007 Plea

The Padilla rule that defense counsel must advise clients who are charged with aggravated felonies and who are not United States citizens that deportation is virtually automatic constituted a "new rule" that did not apply retroactively to already final convictions.

SC 19134
Zarella, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law , Immigration Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Walsh

Treasurer for 2014 Gubernatorial Candidate Lee Whitnum Fined $1,500

A treasurer who does not timely file a financial disclosure statement can be fined up to $2,000 per offense, or twice the amount of any improper payment or contribution.

2014-104NF
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Steele

Deputy Fined $400 Because He Did Not Immediately Report Expense

A treasurer or deputy treasurer who does not timely report expenditures can violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-608(c).

2013-142
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Morrissey

Recount Discovered 74 Votes for Write-In Candidate that Were Missed

The head moderator can order a recount of votes for a write-in candidate, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §9-311.

2013-170A
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Ingram

Kennedy's Committee Did Not Contribute To Other Candidates

Connecticut General Statutes §9-616 bars a candidate committee from making contributions to or for the benefit of another candidate committee.

2014-148
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Bruce

West Hartford Voter Did Not Prove Citizens Were Denied Right To Vote

A citizen who does not have a driver's license can provide poll workers with a Social Security card or a utility bill to furnish proof of residence.

2014-168
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Baldwin

CEO of NonProfit Fined $2,000 for Violating State Contractor Ban

Connecticut General Statutes §9-612, which provides that no principal of a state contractor shall make a contribution to a party committee, applies to principals of nonprofit entities.

2015-009
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law

Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board

Advisory Opinion 2015-3

Smarter Balanced Job Would Not Violate Revolving Door Provision

A former state employee who participated substantially in the negotiation or award of a state contract valued at $50,000 or more may not accept employment with a party to the contract, other than the state, for a period of one year.

2015-3
Chiusano, Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law , Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Balbuena

Drug Trafficker Sought Sentence Reduction for Playing Minor Role

A drug trafficker who allegedly purchases distribution-level quantities of heroin and sells heroin to a customer may not be entitled to a reduction on the basis that he only played a minor role.

14-1645

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States District Court

Yolda v. Bank of Am.

FCRA Pre-Empts Defamation of Credit and CUTPA Allegations

The Fair Credit Reporting Act can pre-empt state-law claims of defamation of credit and unfair trade practices.

3:14cv788
Arterton, J.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Banking and Financial Institutions , Business Entities , Dissolution

United States District Court

Crowley v. Town of Enfield

Volunteer Alleged Excessive Force after Youth Football Banquet

Allegations against individual police officers in their official capacities can be redundant, if a plaintiff sues the municipality.

3:14cv1903
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law , Civil Procedure

Connecticut Appellate Court

Kachnowski v. Adm'r, Unemployment Compensation

Finding Upheld of Ineligibility for Unemployment Compensation

Ample evidence supported the conclusions of the Employment Security Board of Review, adopting the referee's findings, that the plaintiff was discharged for deliberate misconduct for not attending a mandatory personnel meeting which in turn disqualified her from receiving unemployment compensation benefits pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §31-23(a)(2)(B).

AC 36199
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Unemployment Compensation

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Labbee v. Basile

Father Omitted Three Oldest Kids from Estate Plan

A court can find that a testator's references to "children" in his will referred only to the children of his second marriage.

CV12-6043166S
Sheridan, J.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. LaVoie

Pain Expert Properly Was Excluded and an Intoxication Charge Denied

The court properly declined to provide an intoxication jury instruction when, in contrast to the psychological effects of alcohol or marijuana, the jury's common knowledge could not be presumed of the effects of the complex substances that allegedly impaired the defendant when he shot his wife and, absent expert testimony on their effects, the jury had no basis to find the defendant intoxicated.

AC 37184
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Anderson

1st Impression Issue on Conflict in Jury Interrogatory and Verdict

If a jury in an interrogatory answer makes a unanimous factual finding beyond a reasonable doubt and that finding negates an essential element of the underlying offense, such a finding constitutes an acquittal regardless of a general verdict by the jury finding a defendant guilty of that offense.

AC 35432
Prescott, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Pierce v. Comm'r of Correction

Dismissal of 4th Habeas Petition as Successive Was Affirmed

Precedent establishes that a habeas petitioner may bring successive habeas petitions on the same legal grounds if seeking different relief.

AC 36403
Lavine, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Sweeney v. Gustafson

Owner Lacked Bystander Claim for Dog-on-Dog Attack

A plaintiff who observes a dog-on-dog attack may not possess a claim for bystander emotional distress.

CV15-6056539S
Elgo, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Emotional Distress

Connecticut Appellate Court

J. Wm. Foley, Inc. v. The United Illuminating

10-Day Notice Rule Applied and Was Not Waived for Project Delays

Contract provisions must be read as a whole and in light of each other and, so read, the language of the parties' contract unambiguously demonstrated that construction delay claims were subject to a 10-day notice rule.

AC 36194
Mullins, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Torts

Connecticut Supreme Court

Handsome, Inc. v. Planning and Zoning Comm'n of the Town of Monroe

Standing To Appeal Special Permit Decision Was Lost by Foreclosure

The law established in mortgage foreclosure actions also applies to mechanic's liens, and the plaintiff, having lost title to its property after a judgment of strict foreclosure entered on a mechanic's lien and the law day passed without redemption or motion to open, was not aggrieved by the zoning commission's later decision to impose conditions in extending its special permit and lacked standing to appeal.

SC 19262
Zarella, J.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Rossignol v. Salka

Plaintiff Alleged Defendant Drove while Distracted by Dog

Allegations that defendant driver was distracted by an unrestrained dog that was inside his motor vehicle can be sufficient to allege a cause of action for common-law recklessness.

CV15-6056732S
Wiese, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Galbreath v. State

Driver Alleging that State Plow Rear-Ended Her Won $39,151

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to a driver who allegedly was rear-ended.

CV14-6023745
Shortall, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles

Connecticut Supreme Court

Artie's Auto Body v. Hartford Fire Ins.

Judgment Reversed on CUTPA Claim of Unfair Auto Body Labor Rates

Insurance companies in Connecticut have the right to negotiate the hourly labor rate they are willing to pay for auto body repairs and to refuse to give their business to auto body repair shops with which they are unable to agree on such a rate.

SC 19219
Palmer, J.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Consumer Protection

Connecticut Supreme Court

Joseph Gen. Contracting v. Couto

1st Impression Issue: Individual Liability Exists under CUTPA

The plain language of Connecticut General Statutes §42-110b clearly indicates that an individual can be liable for a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

SC 19209
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Consumer Protection , Business Entities , Personal Liability

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Banks v. Town of Cornwall

Genuine Issue Whether Town Knew 8-Foot Ladder Was Defective

Municipal officers are not immune from legal responsibility for negligence that arises out of their ministerial acts.

CV14-6011013S
Pickard, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury

Connecticut Supreme Court

Carraway v. Comm'r of Correction

Jurisdiction Was Lacking To Appeal Only To Clarify a Legal Standard

A party is not aggrieved and lacks standing to appeal from a decision that the party is seeking to have affirmed.

SC 19347
Rogers, C. J.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Criminal , Criminal Law

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Region 9 Bd. of Educ. v. Town of Bethel

School Buses Are Exempt from Taxation Pursuant to §12-81(4)

School buses and vans that are owned by a board of education and that are used to transport school children are exempt from taxation, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §12-81(4).

CV12-6024843S
Aronson, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Taxation , Personal Property

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Alisberg

Agency Complained Polling Stations Lacked Adequate Wheelchair Ramps

Registrars of voters can be held responsible for ensuring that polling stations are accessible to individuals with disabilities and are equipped with handicapped parking and wheelchair ramps.

2014-039
Bramante, Vice Chair

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Election and Political Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Fleury v. Lynch

Haitian's Request for Waiver under §212(h) of INA Denied

A petitioner's conviction of possession of a controlled substance may not be waived under §212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

14-80

Practice Areas: Immigration Law , Criminal Law

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Gaia Colchester LLC v. Balaban Rd. Assoc.

$337K Awarded for Breach, Fraud and Intentional Torts

At a hearing in damages, a court can award a buyer damages for breach of contract, fraud, intentional torts and attorney fees.

CV12-6028766S
Rittenband, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Wessels v. Bialobreski

CUTPA Count Stricken from Allegations Lawyer Stole Funds

Malpractice claims cannot be brought under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, if the activity complained about concerns the representation of the client.

CV13-6019988
Abrams, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Malpractice

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Doyle v. Danbury Hosp.

Dr. Experts Did Not Qualify as 'Similar Health Care' Providers

A doctor who has been trained to dispense steroids may not qualify as a "similar health care provider" to a doctor who is board-certified in and is a specialist in pain management.

CV15-5007545S
Danaher, J.

Practice Areas: Health Law , Medical Malpractice

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Pryce v. Pryce

Jamaican Wife Awarded 4 Parcels, $190K Lump Sum and 5 Motor Vehicles

A court can find that a husband who allegedly sexually assaulted his spouse and has been sentenced will not have any living expenses when in prison, and that his spouse should receive most of the parties' assets.

FA12-4064860S
Albis, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Patino-Arias v. Patino-Arias

Wife Has Earning Capacity of $500 Per Week as Hairdresser

A court can find, based on education, skills, training and prior earnings, that a party is capable of earning a certain amount, even if the party does not currently earn that amount.

FA14-4018638
Shluger, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Kowalec v. Kowalec

Wife Awarded Retirement Accounts and Lump Sum of $15,000

A court can draw an adverse inference from one party's refusal to testify about a fire that caused extensive damage to the marital residence and award retirement accounts to the other party.

FA14-4014598
Pickard, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New London J.D., at Norwich

Griffith v. Griffith

Wife Who Did Not Return Husband's Tools To Pay $18,450

A court can order a wife who allegedly claimed that she could not find the husband's tools, although she apparently listed them for sale, to pay the cost to replace them.

FA11-4117328S
Moukawsher, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law