Recent Decisions

Mashantucket Pequot Court of Appeals

Jones v. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Court of Appeals Lacks Jurisdiction To Decide Appeal

Absent a final judgment from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court, the Mashantucket Pequot Court of Appeals lacks jurisdiction to decide an appeal.

CV-AA-2013-198
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Appellate Law - Civil , Finality , Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing

Mashantucket Pequot Court of Appeals

Colebut v. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Disability Benefit Appeal Not Filed Within 20 Days of Final Judgment

"A notice of appeal in a civil case shall be filed within 20 days of the filing of the final judgment of the tribal court," pursuant to Rule 3 of the Mashantucket Pequot Rules of Appellate Procedure.

MPTC-CV-2014-205
Tompkins, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Appellate Law - Civil , Timeliness , Social Services Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Serafinowicz v. Bernstein; Bernstein v. Serafinowicz

Psychologist Alleged That Criminal Attorney Stalked Him

A court can issue a protective order, if a stalker's alleged conduct would cause a reasonable individual to fear for his safety or if the stalker threatens his employment, business or career.

CV15-4034547S and CV15-4034579S
Trombley, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Defamation , Legal Profession

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Roberson v. Khorsandi

Housing Authority Owed Duty To Inspect Tenants' Smoke Detectors

A housing authority possesses the duty to conduct reasonable inspections of smoke detectors in residences occupied by persons receiving its vouchers and to warn or remove tenants, if it knows or should know that the smoke detectors do not work.

CV13-6036441
Blue, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Emotional Distress , Wrongful Death , Landlord/Tenant Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Multari v. Yale-New Haven Hosp.

Hospital Lacked Duty To Relative Who Was Not a Patient

A hospital may not owe a duty of care to a relative of a patient.

CV11-6012180S
Shapiro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Health Law

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Ellison v. St. Raphael Dialysis Ctr.

Slip and Fall Plaintiff Did Not Prove Actual Injury

A court can find that although defendant's conduct constituted the proximate cause of plaintiff's slip and fall on a wet floor, plaintiff failed to prove an actual injury as a result of the fall.

CV14-6049509
Pittman, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Premises Liability , Invitees

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

McGurk v. Connecticut Light & Power

345-Kilovolt Electric Transmission Line Did Not Overburden Easement

An electric company legitimately exercised the rights granted in an easement and did not overburden the easement, when it built a 345-kilovolt electric transmission line within 200 feet of a day care center.

CV13-6044598S
Wahla, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Energy and Natural Resources , Public Utilities

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

D'Angelo v. Solimine Contracting LLC

Homeowner Won Treble Damages for Alleged Theft of Pool Table

A court can award treble damages to a plaintiff who proves statutory theft, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-564.

CV14-6022650
Sheedy, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Personal Property , Torts , Intentional Torts , Conversion

Ansonia/Milford J.D., at Milford

Disciplinary Counsel v. Crozier

Attorney Convicted on Attempted Money Laundering Charges Suspended

A court can suspend an attorney who has been found guilty on charges of conspiracy and attempt to engage in money laundering.

CV14-6017102S
Iannotti, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Criminal Law

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Rosado v. Rosado

Dad Won Custody of 6th Grader Who Missed 23 Days of School

A court can find it is in the best interests of a minor child to award physical custody to the father, because the child missed 23 days of school, and his academic performance deteriorated in the care of the mother.

FA07-4028994S
Kenefick, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

New London J.D., at Norwich

Rezendes v. Percy

Father To Pay $10,000 Toward Mother's Attorney Fees

A court can order a father whose initial estimate of his income was extremely low to make a contribution toward the mother's attorney fees.

FA11-4116526S
Moukawsher, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Momah v. Reed

Dad Protests Son Going To Massachusetts School on Scholarship

A court can find it is in the bests interests of a high school student who won a scholarship to attend a boarding school in Massachusetts.

FA02-0732159S
Ficeto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support , Education Law

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Barr v. Barr

Husband Who Spent $109,000 on Girlfriends in Contempt of Court

A court can find that a party who willfully spent money on paramours, in violation of the court's automatic orders, dissipated marital assets and is in contempt of court.

FA13-4025428S
Heller, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

State v. Scott

Arraignment Identification Was Not Unnecessarily Suggestive

A court should exclude an out-of-court eyewitness identification, if the procedure was so suggestive and otherwise unreliable as to result in a very substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification, pursuant to State v. Marquez, a decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

CR12-0131357S
Fischer, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

State v. Campbell

23 Years for Attempted Murder and Risk of Injury to a Minor Affirmed

A houseguest who allegedly attempts to murder his host with a hammer as she sleeps can be sentenced to 23 years in prison.

CR13-269277
Ginocchio, J., Fischer, J., and Alexander, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Panchenkova v. Chigirinsky

Genuine Issue on Whether Former Husband Paid Russian Judgment

Payment in full can be asserted as a special defense to a claim to enforce a foreign judgment, pursuant to the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act.

CV12-6020819S
Dooley, J.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Family Law , International Law (Public)

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Laurel Woods Health Care Ctr. v. Dennison

Nursing Home Adequately Alleged Fraudulent Conveyance

A nursing home that alleges that a child transferred money from her parent's account to herself, after the parent signed a contract for health care services, can possess a cause of action for fraudulent conveyance.

CV14-6047913S
Fischer, J.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Health Law

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Jaakkola-Laborne v. Doran Bros. Moving and Storage

Owner Alleged Storage Facility Did Not Protect Goods from Mold

A factfinder can find that part of the damage to goods stored in a storage facility resulted from plaintiff's negligence.

CV12-6014471S
Adams, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Change of Life Time v. State

Apparent 1st Impression on Protected Property Interest

A private corporation's designation as a "qualified provider" of support and services pursuant to Medicaid waivers may not qualify as a constitutionally protected interest.

CV13-6036973S
Bellis, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Health Law , Social Services Law , Medicare/Medicaid

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Savo v. Mastrianno

Accidental-Failure-of-Suit Statute Saved Second Complaint

The accidental-failure-of-suit statute can save a complaint that was commenced after the original complaint was found to be void ab initio.

CV14-6051289S
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Torts , Motor Vehicles , Personal Injury

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Redding-Williams v. Blastow

Witness Did Not File Affidavit of 'Unavailability for Trial'

A court can find that a witness who was offered the opportunity to testify prior to traveling out of state and who chose not to and did not file an "affidavit of unavailability" failed to prove that she was not available for trial.

CV13-6019350
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Trial , Torts , Motor Vehicles , Personal Injury , Transportation

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Country Squire I v. Raw Constr.

2-Year SOL Applied To Allegation that Owner Negligently Performed

The two-year statute of limitations in C.G.S. §52-584 applies to allegations that an owner negligently failed to assess, supervise and perform construction work in a skillful manner.

CV12-6008392
Aurigemma, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Contracts , Breach

United States District Court

Pollard v. Lawrence & Memorial Hosp.

Phlebotomist Adequately Alleged Hospital Violated ADA

Allegations that plaintiff injured tendons in her ankle and that her doctor recommended physical therapy, time off from work and two surgeries, can be sufficient to allege a substantial restriction in the major life activities of walking, standing and working.

3:12cv1765
Eginton, J.

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

United States District Court

Jennette v. Hous. Auth. of the City of Bridgeport

Assistant Was Discharged after Informing Director about MS

A temporal proximity between informing a manager about a medical disability and discharge the following day can help to prove that the employer's nondiscriminatory rationale for discharge constituted a pretext for discrimination on the basis of disability.

3:13cv1500
Shea, J.

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

United States District Court

Dufresne v. O.F. Mossberg and Sons

No Proof that New Haven Gun Manufacturer Violated ADA

A job applicant who does not furnish evidence that a potential employer considered the applicant as barred from working a broad class of jobs cannot prevail on a failure-to-hire claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

3:14cv21
Garfinkel, J.

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

United States District Court

Kaminsky v. Schriro

Chief Won Motion To Dismiss Firearms Dealer's §1983 Claim

A court cannot impute gross negligence or deliberate indifference to a supervisor based solely on the allegation of a previous meeting with a subordinate.

3:14cv1885
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Hannah v. Wal-Mart Stores

African-Americans Won Motion To Consolidate Claims Against Wal-Mart

A court can exercise its discretion to consolidate discrimination complaints against a former employer, to conserve judicial resources.

3:14cv1808
Hall, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Race Discrimination

United States District Court

Evergreen Media Holdings v. Warren

Court Has Jurisdiction Over Claim California Co. Infringed Copyright

Connecticut General Statutes §52-59b(a)(2) of the Connecticut long-arm statute can provide jurisdiction over allegations that a California-based defendant infringed a copyright.

3:14cv1068
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Constitutional Law , Intellectual Property , Copyrights , Infringement (Copyright)

United States District Court

R4 Properties v. Riffice

Former Partners Dissociated from Joint Venture with Brother

Individuals who enter a joint venture and then dissociate from the joint venture may be required to pay the partnership the negative value of their partnership accounts, as of the date of dissociation.

3:09cv400
Hall, J.

Practice Areas: Business Entities , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Connecticut Appellate Court

Ogden v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of the Town of Columbia

Finding "Contractor's Yard" Term Too Vague as Applied Was Reversed

Because it would have been pointless for the plaintiff to bring his constitutional claim before the defendant zoning board of appeals, his claim that contractor yard regulations were unconstitutionally vague as applied to him was properly raised before the Superior Court on appeal.

AC 36516
Flynn, J.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning

Connecticut Appellate Court

In Re: Payton V.

Termination of Father's Rights to Children Upheld for Belt Beating

The deprivation of care, guidance or control statute, Connecticut General Statutes §45a-717(g)(2)(B), does not exempt a parent who fails to provide the care, guidance or control necessary for his children's well-being simply because some other person steps in during his absence to provide that care.

AC 37294
Mullins, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Schuler

Propensity Evidence Properly Was Admitted in Lack of Consent Case

Concerns regarding the prejudicial impact of propensity evidence admitted under §4-5(b) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence and the 2008 Supreme Court decision in State v. DeJesus, can be mitigated by proper jury instructions.

AC 36244
Gruendel, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Prior Bad Acts , Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Roberts

No Impropriety from Prosecutor Misidentifying Witness in Arguing

"Not every mistake by a prosecutor in closing argument, not every misstep, amounts to an impropriety," and here, no prosecutorial impropriety was found where the substance of the prosecutor's argument that the defendant was observed running from the scene with a gun in hand found complete support in the evidence, although the witness who provided the testimony was misidentified.

AC 37163
Bishop, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Browne v. Comm'r of Correction

Ineffective Counsel Claims Denied in Chase Case where Officer Died

"Decisions as to what witnesses to call at trial sometimes resemble a chess game: each move seeking an advantage may have the potential to create or to expose a weakness" and here, trial counsel's assistance was effective despite not presenting certain expert witness testimony.

AC 36190
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

Connecticut Light and Power v. Proctor

Implied in Fact Contract with Duped Chicken Farmer Was Upheld

To establish the existence of an implied in fact contract, the plaintiff must prove that it rendered services with the reasonable expectation that the defendant would pay for the services and that the defendant accepted those services in a manner that reasonably would lead the plaintiff to believe that the defendant intended to pay for the services.

AC 35952
Bear, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts

Connecticut Appellate Court

Portfolio Recovery Assoc. v. Healy

Standing Was Found To Exist To Bring Collections Action

A claim of standing implicates the court's subject-matter jurisdiction and the requirement of standing cannot be waived.

AC 36917
Per Curiam

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

Connecticut Supreme Court

Town of Groton v. Comm'r of Revenue Serv.

Sales Tax Tossed Out for Town's Revenue Neutral Trash Program

Fees that a municipality charges for refuse removal services provided to industrial, commercial or income producing real properties are not subject to the sales tax under Connecticut General Statutes §12-408(1)(A), when the municipality does not make a profit on those fees, because they are either used to defray overhead expenses in administering the refuse removal program or to pay the service charges of other participants in the refuse disposal process.

SC 19397
Robinson, J.

Practice Areas: Taxation

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Smith

Defendant's Ownership of Property Taken Defeats any Robbery Charge

The state is required to prove as an element of the crime of robbery in the first degree, Connecticut General Statutes §53a-134(a), that the defendant was not the owner of the property he was accused of taking from another.

SC 19314
Rogers, C.J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Moreno-Hernandez

Precedent Reversed on Attendant Circumstances for Attempt Statute

The attendant circumstances subdivision of the criminal attempt statute, Connecticut General Statutes §53a-49(a)(1), making it a crime for an individual, acting with the intent required for the commission of the predicate crime, to intentionally engage in conduct that would constitute the crime if the attendant circumstances were as he believed them to be, is not limited to situations where it is impossible for an individual to commit the intended crime, due to a mistake of fact.

SC 18919
Zarella, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Radzik v. Connecticut Children's Med. Ctr.

Medical Files Discovery Order, as Amended, Was Not a Final Judgment

Absent extraordinary circumstances, discovery orders generally do not satisfy either exception stated in the Supreme Court's 1983 decision in State v. Curcio, to constitute final judgments for appeal purposes.

SC 19267
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil , Interlocutory Appeal , Civil Procedure , Discovery

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of New Britain and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1186

Grievance that Was Not Filed Within 15 Days Was Not Arbitrable

A worker who has a grievance can be required to file a grievance complaint within 15 days of the event that caused the grievance.

2014-A-0289
Diaz and Sullivan – Panagrossi dissented

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

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Metropolitan Property & Cas. Ins. v. Wozniak

Defendant Who Allegedly Trespassed and Cut Neighbor's Trees To Pay $5K

To prevail on a cause of action for trespass, plaintiff must prove: (1) ownership or possessory interest in land; (2) intentional invasion, intrusion or entry by the defendant that affected plaintiff's possessory interest; and (3) direct injury to plaintiff.

CV14-6052786S
Elgo, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Trespass , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Danbury J.D., at Danbury

Hull v. Town of Newtown

Town Immune on Claim that Cop Did Not Frisk Hallucinating Man

If a police officer takes an individual who suffers from mental health issues into protective custody pursuant to C.G.S. §17a-503(a), the police officer lacks the duty to search, and the municipality is entitled to government immunity on claims it was required to and failed to conduct a search.

CV12-6008902
Ozalis, J.

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Gonzalez v. O&G Indus.

Use of Natural Gas To Clean Pipe Is Not Abnormally Dangerous Activity

When ruling on whether an activity is abnormally dangerous, courts may consider: (1) the existence of a high degree of risk of some harm; (2) the likelihood that harm will be great; (3) the ability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care; (4) the extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage; and (5) the extent to which dangerous attributes are greater than value to the community.

CV10-6034672S
Sheridan, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Ultra-hazardous Activity , Energy and Natural Resources

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Sires v. Linden Shores Ass'n

Condo Association Won Motion To Strike CUTPA Count

Allegations that a condo association misused the proceeds of an insurance policy and engaged in "systematic misrepresentations" may be insufficient to allege a violation of CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

CV14-6054149S
Sheridan, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Consumer Protection

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Grade A Market v. Surplus Contractors

Apparent 1st Impression on Lessee As Owner for Purposes of Mech. Lien

Although a lessee has the right to possess and use property as a result of a leasehold, it does not have the right to convey property and does not qualify as an owner for purposes of the mechanic's lien statute.

CV14-60234
Heller, J.

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

New London J.D., at Norwich

Rubenstein v. Rubenstein

Wife Who Fled From Country Ordered To Pay Former Husband $200 Per Week

A court can increase an award of alimony, if a party establishes a substantial change in circumstances as a result of money spent to track a former spouse and loss of employment as a result of disability.

FA96-4108659
Moukawsher, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Waterford (Juvenile Matters)

In Re: Ramon

DCF Proved that Minor Child Was in Immediate Physical Danger

A court can remove a minor child who is in immediate physical danger as a result of domestic violence.

K09-CP14-013959-A)
Mack, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Willimantic (Child Protection Session)

In Re: Anabella

Mom Who Bonded with Child Did Not Rehabilitate Herself

A court can find that termination of the parental rights is in the best interests of the minor child, because a parent with mental health issues failed to rehabilitate.

W10-CP14-016681A)
Foley, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Fleischmann v. Fleischmann

Husband Not Required To Disclose Communications with Counselor

Connecticut General Statutes §52-146c protects a patient's mental health treatment records.

FA14-4072698
Albis, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Privacy Law , Civil Procedure , Discovery

Hartford J.D., at Manchester

State v. Eddy

Driver Who Confessed Was Not Being Held in Police Custody

Routine booking questions and observations do not constitute custodial interrogation, for purposes of a motion to suppress evidence of a confession.

FA14-4072698
Mullarkey, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Philadelphia Ins. Cos. v. Alpine Worldwide Chauffered Serv.

Defendant Won Motion To Open and To Set Aside Default Judgment

A court can grant an order to set aside judgment of default for breach of contract, if defendant establishes: (1) it possessed a good defense to plaintiff's claim at the time that judgment entered; and (2) mistake, accident or other reasonable cause prevented plaintiff from making the defense.

14-6022110
Lee, J.

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

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Peterson v. Torrington Tax Collector

Constable's Service of Process Did Not Comply with §52-57(a)

A court may not possess personal jurisdiction, if a Hartford constable serves defendant at his business address in Torrington.

CV15-5007614
Danaher, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Dickman v. Conderino

Special Relationship Did Not Toll Three-Year Statute of Limitations

A special relationship between co-workers can result in a continuing duty that tolls the statute of limitations.

CV11-5035909S
Elgo, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Torts , Emotional Distress , Privacy Law

United States District Court

Exley v. Burwell

Medicare Beneficiaries Won Nationwide Class-Action Cert.

Plaintiffs who protest delayed Medicare decisions may be included in a class action, even if plaintiffs eventually obtained favorable decisions, if their claims are "capable of repetition yet evading review."

3:14cv1230
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Medicare/Medicaid , Civil Procedure , Class Actions

United States District Court

Ziemba v. Lajoie

Inmate Sought To Disqualify Office of the Attorney General

Allegations that defense counsel did not comply with court orders and filed too many requests for extensions are insufficient to prove that counsel should be disqualified.

3:11cv845
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Civil Rights , Criminal Law

United States District Court

Anthony v. City of Bridgeport

Cop's Prior Disciplinary Action Is Not Admissible

Evidence of prior disciplinary action against a police officer may not be admissible, if prior incidents do not share unusual or unique characteristics with the subject incident, as required to establish a pattern of conduct existed.

3:12cv619
Garfinkel, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Civil Rights , Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Temich v. Cossette

Cop Is Collaterally Estopped from Relitigating Excessive Force Claim

When both civil and criminal cases involve the issue of whether defendant police officer used excessive force, the issue was fully litigated in the criminal court and no evidence exists that the criminal court's decision was not fair or adequate, a court can grant judgment on a civil excessive force claim.

3:11cv958
Squatrito, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law , Civil Procedure

United States District Court

Strauch v. Computer Sciences Corp.

District Court Capped Number of Depositions in FLSA Class Action

A court can cap depositions for individuals in the second and third tiers of a potential class action with the potential for 4,000 to 4,421 members at no more than 60 depositions.

3:14cv956
Margolis, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Class Actions , Labor and Employment , Wages and Hours

United States District Court

Mendoza v. Testo

FLSA Plaintiff To Disclose Two Years of Federal Income Tax Returns

A court can order the disclosure of federal and state income tax returns, if: (1) the tax returns are pertinent to the subject matter of the complaint; and (2) the information is not otherwise readily available.

3:14cv1664
Merriam, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Labor and Employment , Wages and Hours

Connecticut Appellate Court

Wagner v. Our Lady of Mount Caritas, O.S.B., Inc.

Punitive Damages Upheld Against a Misrepresenting "Monastery"

Where the evidence amply supported a finding that the defendant intentionally misrepresented its status as a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery to induce the plaintiffs to fund the construction of a chapel, the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant's motion to set aside a jury's verdict finding the plaintiffs entitled to punitive damages.

AC 36373
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Punitive , Intentional Torts , Fraud (Torts)

Connecticut Appellate Court

Procaccini v. Procaccini

Court Improperly Used Gross Income To Set Alimony

The trial court incorrectly applied the law in its modification decisions by basing its financial orders solely on the defendant's gross income, rather than basing its orders properly on net income.

AC 36501
Alvord, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Nassra v. Nassra

Real Estate Taxes Were Paid as Provided in Separation Agreement

Precedent establishes that a separation agreement incorporated into a dissolution decree and the resulting judgment are to be regarded as a contract.

AC 36591
Alvord, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

In Re: Angel R.

Evidence Standard Heightened for Teen Transfers from DCF to DOC

Given the disparate missions of the Department of Corrections and Department of Children and Families, a juvenile previously adjudicated delinquent has a heightened liberty interest at stake in a transfer hearing under Connecticut General Statutes §17a-12(a) in which the proponent of a transfer of custody from DCF to DOC must, constitutionally, be required to adduce proof adequate to justify invoking the statute's provisions at a standard greater than a mere preponderance.

AC 36692
Bishop, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Juvenile Law , Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Young

Hiding in School after Shooting Supported Risk of Injury Charge

It was reasonable to infer that the defendant created a situation likely to endanger the life or limb of a child when he prompted a vigorous police response by committing a shooting in a residential neighborhood and then attempted to hide from police, who reasonably believed he was armed, in a school cafeteria with children present.

AC 36181
Norcott, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

Modaffari v. Greenwich Hosp.

Mistrial Was Not Necessary for Testimony about Polygraph Exam

While a question about the results of a polygraph examination and a statement in response were improper, they were stricken, and the plaintiff failed to meet her burden to prove that she was so prejudiced by those improprieties that she failed to receive a fair trial.

AC 36444; 36555
Keller, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Civil Procedure

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Kallberg

Any Ambiguity in Plea Agreement Was To Be Construed Against State

To resolve ambiguities in the formation of plea agreements in favor of the state would essentially undermine the reasoning of the Connecticut Supreme Court and Second Circuit in precedent.

AC 35800
Borden, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

McGee v. Comm'r of Correction

Ineffective Assistance Claim Was Rejected Including for Cross Exam

As any trial lawyer knows, anytime questions are put to a witness, a risk exists that unhelpful information will be disclosed, and a question which elicits marginally damaging testimony does not amount to ineffective assistance of counsel.

AC 36141
Lavine, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Civie v. Connecticut Siting Council

Aggrievement Was Not Shown from Additional Power Line in Easement

Precedent establishes that "pleading and proof of aggrievement are prerequisites to a trial court's jurisdiction over the subject matter of an administrative appeal" and, here, the trial court properly concluded that the plaintiffs were not classically aggrieved, because an existing easement explicitly allowed the construction of a new transmission line, and the plaintiffs failed to prove a specific legal detriment.

AC 36628
Lavine, J.

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Rostad v. Hirsch

Certification Improperly Granted for Paternity Decision Appeals

Certification was improvidently granted in the appeal and cross appeal of the Appellate Court's judgment affirming the trial court's award of child support, interest and attorney fees in this paternity action.

SC 19315
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil , Family Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

AFSCME, Council 4, Local 2663 v. Dep't of Children and Families

Finding of Just Cause to Terminate DCF Worker for Baby Death Upheld

A court does not sit to review the factual findings of an arbitrator.

SC 19166
McDonald, J.

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements

Freedom of Information Commission

Lowthert v. Likly

Agendas Adequately Described Executive Session Subject Matter

Because disclosure of the subject matter of a legal memorandum would itself violate the attorney-client privilege, agendas listing an executive session to discuss a "Confidential Attorney-Client Memorandum" adequately described the business to be transacted within the meaning of Connecticut General Statutes §1-225(d) of the Freedom of Information Act.

FIC 2014-171; 2014-246; 2014-416
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Brantley v. Board of Fire Comm'r

Decision To Fire African-American Firefighter Held Null and Void

An attorney's request to hold an open meeting to discuss his client's discharge is legally sufficient to require that the discussion take place in an open meeting.

FIC 2014-343
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Altimari v. Comm'r, State of Connecticut, Dep't of Emergency Services and Public Protection

1st Impression Issue: Records of Newtown Shooter Are Public Records

Requested documents informing the investigation into the Newtown shootings "related to the conduct of the public's business" within the meaning of Connecticut General Statutes §1-200(5) and were found to be "public records" under §1-200(5) and §1-210(a), despite being claimed as personal property belonging to the shooter or his mother and seized by police via a search warrant.

FIC 2014-372
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities/Office of Public Hearings

Comm'n on Human Rights and Opportunities ex rel. Pallet v. Oral Care Dental Group II

Worker Who Did Not Keep Boss's Text Messages Seeks Help Producing Them

A party who does not keep a supervisor's text messages, and who seeks help producing them, can follow the procedures in Connecticut General Statutes §51-85.

1310478
Wilson, Presiding Human Rights Referee

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Sexual Harassment , Civil Procedure , Discovery

Board of Labor Relations

Town of Guilford and Guilford Police Union, Local 356, Council 15, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Union Protested Loss of Medical Exemption for Cops with Injuries

A municipality that unilaterally eliminates a medical exemption that allows police officers with back and shoulder injuries to refrain from wearing bulletproof vests can be ordered to negotiate with the police union.

4815
Battey, Low and Collins

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

Board of Labor Relations

State of Connecticut and Connecticut State Police Union

Colonel Denied He Grabbed Arm of Union's President and Swore

Assault or physical abuse by an employer's representative in response to protected activity can violate the State Employee Relations Act.

4813
Battey, Low and Bird

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

Board of Labor Relations

City of Shelton and Local 1303-238, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Municipality Transferred Work Outside of the Bargaining Unit

A municipality that unilaterally transfers bargaining unit work to nonbargaining unit employees can violate the duty to bargain in good faith, pursuant to the Municipal Employee Relations Act.

4812
Battey, Low and Collins

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Unfair Practices

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Deshaies v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enter.

Patron Failed To Prove that Slot Machine Door Caused Injury

To prevail on a premises-liability claim, a plaintiff must prove that defendant possessed actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition.

MPTC-CV-PI-2013-133
Tompkins, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Torts , Personal Injury , Premises Liability , Invitees

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Jones v. Mashantucket Employment Rights Office

Elders Council Decides when Individual Is in 'Good Standing'

Only an individual who is in "good standing" on the date of hire is entitled to a Native American preference as a member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court, and the Elders Council decides which individuals are in "good standing."

CV-AA-2014-168
O'Connell, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing

Mashantucket Pequot Court of Appeals

Talyosef v. Mashantucket Pequot Worker's Compensation Comm'n

Workers' Comp Plaintiff Did Not Timely File Appellate Brief

An appellate brief must be filed within 30 days after the filing of the notice of appeal.

CV-AA-2014-179
Tompkins, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Appellate Law - Civil , Timeliness , Social Services Law , Workers’ Compensation

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Johnson v. Town of Bristol

Genuine Issues in High School Student's Accidents in Gymnasium

Government immunity may not apply when a minor plaintiff sues a municipality and the minor plaintiff, who allegedly was injured during gym class, qualifies as an identifiable person who was subject to imminent harm.

CV12-6034988S
Wiese, J.

Practice Areas: Education Law , Torts , Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Carriage Drive E. v. Ritchie

Neighbors To Remove Fence that Violated Restrictive Covenant

Restrictive covenants are enforceable by injunction, without the need to prove irreparable harm.

CV13-6038364S
Burke, J.

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

Ansonia/Milford J.D., at Milford

Milford Tax LLC v. Paradigm Milford LLC

Plaintiff Not Entitled To Attorney Fees for Bankruptcy Proceeding

A court can deny attorney fees for legal services for a bankruptcy proceeding that took place before a foreclosure complaint was filed to foreclose municipal tax liens.

CV14-6015774S
Moran, J.T.R.

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

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Knapp v. New London County Mut. Ins.

Plaintiff Did Not Prove Insurer Should Be Equitably Estopped

Absent affirmative acts of concealment or misrepresentations that a case would settle, a court can enforce the 18-month statute of limitations in a homeowner's insurance policy.

CV12-6034028S
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Panagrossi v. Panagrossi

Husband in Willful Contempt for Failure To Provide Health Insurance

A party who willfully fails to follow a court order to pay "full coverage" for health insurance can be held in contempt of court.

FA11-4048650
Gould, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Health Law

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Gilman v. Gilman

Unemployed Husband's 'Annual' Net Income is $195,393

A court can find that an unemployed husband's current "annual" income is the amount that he received in salary and bonuses during the first three months of the year.

FA10-4019776S
Shay, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Kent Literary Club of Wesleyan Univ. v. Wesleyan Univ.

All-Male Fraternity Alleges University Breached Contract

A court can find that a fraternity is unlikely to prevail on the merits of its claim that a university that required a switch to co-ed residential facilities breached a contract, engaged in misrepresentation or violated CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

CV15-6013185S
Domnarski, J.

Practice Areas: Education Law , Contracts , Breach , Consumer Protection

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Allen v. Hamden Plains Cemetery Assoc.

Child Not Beneficiary of Cemetery's Contract with Curvin Funeral Home

A plaintiff who is not able to identify the terms of the contract or the circumstances of its making cannot prove she was a third-party beneficiary.

CV09-5031784
Blue, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Torts , Emotional Distress

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Chiarelli v. Chiarelli

Disclosure Omitted Facts on which Handwriting Expert Relied

An expert disclosure that fails to indicate the facts upon which the expert relied and the grounds upon which the opinion is based is insufficient.

CV15-6052191
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Evidence , Expert Witnesses , Legal Profession

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Berlin v. Israel

Accidental-Failure-Of-Suit Statute Failed To Save 2nd Suit

If the original suit was not commenced against a defendant within the applicable statute of limitations, a second suit may not be saved by the accidental-failure-of-suit statute.

CV14-6055525S
Scholl, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Health Law , Medical Malpractice

United States District Court

Muldrow v. Carabetta Bros.

Employee Alleging Workers' Comp Retaliation Requested $7 M

Section 1983 actions can only be asserted against state actors or private parties acting under the color of law.

3:14cv1686
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Workers’ Compensation , Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing

United States District Court

Moore v. Ferron-Poole

African-American Adequately Alleged Race and Age Discrimination

Allegations that plaintiff, who was African-American, was the most qualified candidate, that interviewers recommended that plaintiff win the promotion and that defendant chose a younger individual who was not African-American are sufficient to allege an inference of purposeful discrimination.

3:14cv1540
Eginton, J.

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

United States District Court

United States v. Cohan

Former Bridgeport Law School Student Owes Government $236,535

The government can be entitled to summary judgment if evidence establishes that defendant signed promissory notes, received loans pursuant to these notes, and defaulted on payment obligations.

3:11cv412
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Education Law

United States District Court

Housatonic Habitat for Humanity v. Gen. Real Estate Holdings

Habitat for Humanity Escaped Sanctions for Inconsistent Motions

A party that allegedly misleads a tribunal can be sanctioned for bad-faith conduct.

3:13cv1888
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Environmental Law

United States District Court

Holloway v. Dollar Tree Distrib.

Lawyer Owes Reasonable Expenses for Client's Absence at Deposition

As a sanction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(d)(3), a court can order an attorney who allegedly failed to inform his client about a deposition to pay an opponent's reasonable expenses.

3:14cv1661
Bolden, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Family and Medical Leave Act , Wages and Hours

Connecticut Appellate Court

McCants v. State Farm Fire and Casualty

Residence Finding Upheld in Burnt Home Despite Conflicting Evidence

A person's residence is a place where the person intends to remain with some sense of permanency, but continuous presence is not required.

AC 36623
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

McLoughlin v. McLoughlin

Refusal To Rule Upheld on Dispute of Personal Property Postjudgment

The court lacked any statutory authority to issue an order resolving the parties' personal property dispute postjudgment, where the division of personal property pursuant to their separation agreement, incorporated into the dissolution judgment, left it to the parties to accomplish or to attend binding mediation.

AC 36086
Prescott, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process

Connecticut Appellate Court

In Re: G.Q.

Failure To Rehabilitate Finding Reflected Children's Special Needs

For a petition to terminate parental rights, whether the respondent mother achieved the necessary level of rehabilitation under Connecticut General Statutes §17a-112(j(3)(B)(i) could be evaluated properly only in light of the specific needs of her two children, each of whom was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

AC 37701
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Tilus

Counsel's Conflict Was Waived and Court Did Not Spur Witness Silence

When alerted that the defendant's constitutional right to conflict free counsel is in jeopardy, the trial court has a duty to explore the possibility of a conflict; but, it is important that the court defer to counsel where appropriate and refrain from unnecessarily interfering in the attorney-client relationship.

AC 35567
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law , Evidence