Recent Decisions

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Digirolamo v. Otis Elevator Co.

Expert Testimony about Elevator Mechanics Not Required

If elevator doors malfunctioned, as alleged, expert knowledge, skill, training, experience, or education were not required to prove breach of duty.

CV-PI-2014-119
Londregan, J.

New Haven J.D., at Meriden

Papa v. Hoffman

Plaintiff Protested Relative's Appointment as Conservator

A probate court did not violate Connecticut General Statutes §45a-650(f) when it found that appointing a relative as a conservator of the person constituted the least restrictive means of intervention available.

CV15-6008077
Cronan, J.

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Estate of Torres v. Berline Line Apartments

Spouse Failed to Allege Bystander Emotional Distress

Because plaintiff spouse failed to adequately allege contemporaneous sensory perception of the event that allegedly injured her husband, the court granted the defendants' motion to strike her claim of bystander emotional distress.

CV10-6016042
Epstein, J.

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Pierczyk Straska Farm v. Town of Rocky Hill

Farmer Did Not Receive Notice of Specific Violations

A municipality that issued a citation for failure to comply with a blight ordinance failed to provide the property owner adequate notice of the specific violations and the nature of the remediation required.

CV15-5016838
Swienton, J.

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Manginello v. Church Homes Inc.

Genuine Issue When Actionable Harm Took Place

An actionable harm existed only when plaintiff discovered that she was injured and that defendant's conduct caused the injury.

CV13-6040833
Huddleston, J.

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Sheehan v. Burnette

Wife Wanted Child Tax Credit on Income Tax Returns

If one spouse claimed the child tax credit on an income tax return, that could prevent the other spouse from claiming the child as a dependent.

FA03-0177866
Nastri, J.

Putnam J.D., at Willimantic (Child Protection Session)

In Re: Ethan

Tracker Indicated Violent Husband Resided with Wife

A court found it was in the best interests of the minor children to commit them to the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

W10-CP14-016753A and W10-CP14-016754A
Foley, J.T.R.

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Higbie v. Higbie

Navy SEAL Objected To Restriction on Right to Bear Arms

Absent credible evidence that a former Navy SEAL was a danger to himself or others, or exhibited any significant mental health or substance abuse issues, a court did not impose any restrictions on his possession of firearms, other than those imposed by federal and state law.

FA15-5014539
Colin, J.

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Dawkins v. Gordon-Dawkins

Jamaican Wife Awarded Lump Sum of $11,000

A court awarded a lump sum property distribution, so that a party received part of the equity in the marital residence and partial pay back of a loan.

FA15-6050036
Adelman, J.

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Bumpus v. Bumpus

Husband in Contempt for Failure to Pay Attorney Fees

A party who willfully disobeyed a clear and unambiguous court order could be held in contempt of court.

FA13-4031246
Nastri, J.

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Simonson v. Simonson

Husband Taped Conversation without Wife's Knowledge

The court barred the use during discovery and trial of a conversation that defendant husband taped without plaintiff wife's knowledge and consent.

FA15-6025703
Colin, J.

New London J.D., at New London

Rice v. Ryders Health Management Inc.; Rice v. Mystic Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Ctr.

Occupational Therapist Awarded $100,000 for Distress

Rejecting claims that discharge alone was insufficient to prove negligent infliction of emotional distress, a court found that plaintiff provided sufficient evidence that defendants deceitfully lured plaintiff away from a previous employer and then encouraged dubious charges and discharged plaintiff, after plaintiff developed the programs that defendants sought.

CV11-6008602 and CV13-6016915
Vacchelli, J.

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Vaid v. Equinox Greenwich Old Track Rd. Inc.

Defense Motion To Set Aside $10 Million Verdict Denied

Ruling on a motion to set aside a $10.8 million verdict, a court rejected claims that evidence of causation was insufficient, that cardiac injuries were not foreseeable and that jury instructions were incorrect.

CV13-6019426
Lee, J.

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Crismale v. Walston

Environmental Police Proved Probable Cause to Arrest

To prevail on malicious prosecution, plaintiff was required to prove: (1) defendants initiated criminal proceedings; (2) criminal proceedings terminated in plaintiff's favor; (3) defendants acted without probable cause; and (4) defendants acted with malice, for a purpose other than to bring an offender to justice.

CV14-6049358
Wilson, J.

New London J.D., at New London

Tasoulas v. Tasoulas

Brother Requested Sealing to Protect Family's Privacy

Although the court denied a motion to seal the entire file, it granted a motion to seal pictures of plaintiff's father, as he lay in his bed in a nursing facility, intubated.

CV15-5014977
Vacchelli, J.

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Provost-Daar v. Merz Aesthetics

Surgeon Disputed Timeliness of Informed Consent Claim

The 90-day extension to the statute of limitations in Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a(b) applied even though plaintiffs alleged lacked of informed consent.

CV13-6037872
Wilson, J.

United States District Court

St. Louis v. Perlitz

Sex Trafficking Law Not Applicable in Foreign Country

A federal law that imposed liability for sex trafficking activity lacked extraterritorial application and did not apply unless the sex trafficking activity took place in the United States.

3:13cv1132
Chatigny, J.

United States District Court

N. River Ins. Co. v. O&G Indus.

Workers Who Won $35 Million Intervened in Insurance Dispute

A $35 million arbitration award gave workers who were injured in an explosion a legitimate interest in litigation between a subcontractor and its insurance company.

3:13cv589
Meyer, J.

United States District Court

Beyer v. Anchor Insulation

Defense Sought Sanctions for Failure to Preserve Evidence

Defendants were entitled to an adverse inference that floor coverings that were removed from the plaintiffs' home one day prior to a home inspection would have been favorable to the defense.

3:13cv1576
Margolis, J.

United States District Court

Nielsen v. Van Leuven

Plaintiff Alleged Fiance's Brother Crashed his Car

As along as plaintiff's allegations complied with Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, he could plead the allegations based "upon information and belief."

3:15cv1154
Shea, J.

United States District Court

Barsky v. Yale-New Haven Hosp.

Plaintiff Did Not Waive Psychiatrist-Patient Privilege

Plaintiff, who allegedly suffered garden-variety emotional distress in connection with employment discrimination, did not waive the psychiatrist-patient privilege.

3:15cv1040
Eginton, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Hadden v. Capitol Region Educ. Council

Employer Sought to Apportion Workers' Compensation Claim

Apportionment under Connecticut General Statutes §31-275 was barred, because a pre-existing disease that was aggravated by a workplace injury was not occupational.

AC 36913
Gruendel, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Profetto v. Lombardi

Ex-Wife Sought Foreclosure when Husband Did Not Pay Back Loan

The trial court's order that the husband pay back a loan that the wife made to the husband during the marriage constituted a "money judgment," as opposed to a "family support judgment."

AC 37756
Per Curiam

Connecticut Appellate Court

Estela v. Bristol Hospital Inc.

Doctor Failed to Prove Mistake or Accident Prevented Prosecution

Proof that mistake, accident or other reasonable cause prevented plaintiff from prosecuting a complaint was required to demonstrate that a motion to open a judgment of nonsuit should have been granted.

AC 36526
Prescott, J.

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Wright

Trial Court Wrongly Excluded Evidence about Victim's Consent

The trial court wrongly excluded material evidence, but the error was harmless.

SC 19233 and 19234
Zarella, J.

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Rudis

Unofficial Checkers Could Not Always Hear Citizens Speak

Citizens who spoke too softly for the unofficial checkers to hear were not required to speak up.

2014-173
Castagno, Chair

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Pivirotto

Registrar Accepted Petitions with Signatures for DTC Slate

The identity of the petition circulator was obvious on the face of petitions that contained signatures for a town committee primary, because the name appeared at the top of each form in print.

2016-005
Castagno, Chair

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Fardy

Former Campaign Worker Allegedly Marked up Flyers

A former campaign worker who allegedly acted alone when she marked up and distributed campaign flyers was not required to include "paid for by" and "approved by" attributions.

2014-029
Castagno, Chair

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Halo v. Yale Health Plan

Second Circuit Rejected 'Substantial Compliance' Approach

A health plan's failure to comply with Department of Labor claims-procedure regulations could result in de novo review in federal court, unless the plan otherwise established procedures that conformed with department regulations and proved that failure to comply was inadvertent and harmless.

14-4055
Katzmann, J.

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: O'Donnell

Candidate Not Informed About Vote Tabulator Test

Only the chairs of the town committees of political parties must be informed about the date when vote tabulators will be prepared, tested and sealed.

2015-158
Castagno, Chair

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Dowling

No Evidence Candidate Used Town Computer for Campaign

Use of a town computer when campaigning for public officer and campaigning on "town time," if proven, would violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-610 and 9-622.

2015-028A
Castagno, Chair

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Bergeron

Citizen Claimed He Received False Instructions about Voting

Connecticut General Statutes §9-363 provided that any person who, with intent to defraud an elector of his or her vote, caused an elector to lose part of his or her vote was guilty of a felony.

2015-163
Castagno, Chair

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Thompson

Amended Sentencing Range Was Longer than Original Sentence

Defendant's sentencing range, in the event that Amendment 782 to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines applied, was longer than his original sentence, and the district court correctly concluded that he was not entitled to a sentence reduction.

15-2038-cr and 15-2039-cr

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Johnson

Sentence of 320 Months for Drug Trafficking Affirmed

Because application of Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines did not change defendant's applicable guidelines range, defendant was not entitled to a sentence reduction.

15-2051-cr

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Berry v. Skyview Ctr.

Probate Court, Sua Sponte, Appointed Conservator of Person

In the absence of a pre-hearing notice, a probate court decree that appointed a conservator of the person violated Connecticut General Statutes §45a-649.

CV15-5035480 and CV15-5035132
Ecker, J.

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Horzepa v. City of Waterbury

Plaintiff Alleged Defendants Broke Sewer Main, Caused Backup

Absent any claim that members of the general public were affected by the alleged sewage backup, plaintiff did not allege a common injury, and the court granted defendants' motion to strike plaintiff's public nuisance count.

CV15-6027853
Taylor, J.

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Heroy v. Sound View Behavioral Health LLC

Psychiatrist Qualified as Similar Health Care Provider to Nurse

A written opinion from a doctor who was board-certified in the same specialty as defendant nurse was sufficient to meet requirements in Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a.

CV15-6014467
Aurigemma, J.

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms Int'l

1st Impression on Gun Manufacturers' Immunity Claim

The federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which generally barred suits against gun manufacturers, appeared to provide an exception for "an action brought against a seller for negligent entrustment or negligence per se."

CV15-6048103
Bellis, J.

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Casillo v. Gomez

Plaintiff Alleged He Was Falsely Accused of Fraud

Although plaintiff maintained that his complaint alleging that he was falsely accused of fraud stated a cause of action for emotional distress, his complaint actually sounded in malicious prosecution.

CV12-6030191
Blue, J.

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Colonial Health & Rehab Ctr. of Plainfield v. Dep't of Pub. Health

1st Impression on Alleged Violations at Nursing Facility

Absent evidence that the underlying incidents presented a probability of death or serious harm, a hearing officer for the Department of Public Health abused her discretion when classifying the alleged violations at a nursing facility as class B violations.

CV15-6028374
Moll, J.

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Trommer v. City of Middletown

Motorcyclist Alleged Cop Did Not Properly Investigate Accident

Connecticut General Statutes §14-108a(a)(2), which requires a report to the commissioner of the Department of Transportation, did not create a private cause of action, in the event that a police officer did not properly investigate an accident.

CV15-6014574
Aurigemma, J.

New Haven J.D., at Meriden

Smith v. Smith

Wife Allegedly Lost $183,836 Gambling at Casino

A court can find one party at greater fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship, as a result of that party's alleged extramarital affairs and gambling.

FA14-4020225
McNamara, J.

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Martin v. Travelers Indem. Co.

$205,448 Awarded to Plaintiff Rear-Ended by Distracted Driver

A court awarded economic damages for medical expenses and lost wages as well as non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to an individual who was rear-ended by a driver who allegedly drove while distracted.

CV14-6044287
Kamp, J.

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Marques v. Rudder

$60,208 Awarded to Plaintiffs in Minor Collision

A court awarded economic damages for reasonable medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to plaintiffs in a minor motor-vehicle collision.

CV14-6049582
Huddleston, J.

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Brown v. Shehadeh

Plaintiff Was 25 Percent Contributorily Negligent for Fall

A court reduced damages for a fall 25 percent as a result of plaintiff's contributory negligence.

CV13-6040966
Agati, J.

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Fulvi v. Pelletier

$11,914 Awarded to Buyer Who Proved Sellers Breached Contract

Plaintiff proved that defendant sellers breached a contract when they allegedly took cabinets that were included in the sale and negligently misrepresented the condition of the central air conditioning.

CV14-6009905
Shah, J.

United States District Court

United States v. Lanier

Government Provided Sufficient Grounds for Wiretap

The government's application for authorization for a wiretap must include "a full and complete statement as to whether or not other investigative procedures have been tried and failed or why they reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or to be too dangerous," pursuant to 18 United States Code 2518(1)(c).

3:15cr105
Underhill, J.

United States District Court

Coover v. Chapdelaine

Wardens Ordered to Create 'Separation Profile' for Inmate

A prisoner who allegedly was viciously attacked could request a "separation profile," to keep him separate from the known family and associates of his alleged victim.

3:16cv13
Bryant, J.

United States District Court

Parks v. Blanchette

DOC Requested Costs to Defend Inmate's Civil-Rights Suit

A district court denied a defense motion to recoup litigation costs, because the losing party possessed limited financial resources and the case involved difficult questions or an issue of public importance.

3:09cv604
Bolden, J.

United States District Court

Dicara v. Liberty Mut. Ins.

Pro Se Litigant Asked Court to Certify a Class Action

A pro se plaintiff was not permitted to prosecute a class action on behalf of others, because he was only allowed to represent himself.

3:16cv165
Garfinkel, J.

United States District Court

Coale v. Metro-North R.R. Co.

Metro-North Did Not Preserve Sample of Substance on Floor

At trial, the court could instruct the jury that if neither party proved by a preponderance of the evidence the nature of the substance on the floor at a Metro-North station, then the jury could infer that identification of the nature of the substance would be harmful to Metro-North.

3:08cv1307
Haight, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Fisk v. Town of Redding

Design Contractor Did Not Create a Public Nuisance

Because a nuisance constituted a condition on the property, as opposed to the act that created it, a design contractor that lacked control of the property could not be found legally responsible for creating a nuisance.

AC 37537
Schaller, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Farmassony v. Farmassony

Order to Reimburse Husband $23,439 for Day Care Reversed

Day care payments were subject to the statutory prohibition against retroactive modification in Connecticut General Statutes §46b-86, because they were paid as part of a "support order."

AC 36472
Sheldon, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Fishbein v. Menchetti

Allegedly Ex-Girlfriend Refused to Pay Back $71,769

The statute of frauds in Connecticut General Statutes §52-550(a) barred plaintiff's claim that he loaned his former girlfriend $66,500, and that she breached a contract when she refused to pay him back.

AC 37638
Per Curiam

Connecticut Appellate Court

Magana v. Wells Fargo Bank

Attorney's Representations Did Not Constitute Evidence

The trial court wrongly relied on the unsupported representations of bank defendants' attorney that plaintiff failed to comply with a discovery request.

AC 37792
Per Curiam

Connecticut Appellate Court

Kayla v. Greene

First Impression on Civil Protection Orders for Stalking

An individual applying for a civil protection order on the basis of stalking was required to prove only that there were reasonable grounds to believe that a defendant stalked and would continue to stalk.

AC 37785 and 37786
Prescott, J.

Connecticut Supreme Court

The Neighborhood Assoc. v. Limberger

Unit Owner Did Not Receive Notice of Foreclosure Policy

A condo association's failure to follow notice and comment requirements when it adopted a standard foreclosure policy deprived the trial court of subject-matter jurisdiction.

SC 19509
McDonald, J.

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Anthony

Request to Withdraw Guilty Plea Before Sentencing Denied

Case law required that defendant show a plausible reason to withdraw a guilty plea, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied defendant's motion to withdraw, without additional inquiry, when defendant expressed concerns about his legal representation.

SC 19382
Eveleigh, J.

Middletown J.D., at Middlesex

Bassford v. Bassford

Child Who Received $1 Failed to Prove Undue Influence

To prevail on a claim of undue influence, plaintiffs must prove not only undue influence but also that the operative effect was to cause the testator to make a will that did not reflect his actual testamentary desires.

CV15-6012903
Quinn, J.T.R.

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Howroyd v. New England Ski & Scuba

Allegedly, Instructor Did Not Recognize Decompression Sickness

Allegations that defendant offered scuba diving lessons, that defendant's agent or worker supervised plaintiff's dive, and that plaintiff was allowed to ascend too quickly and encouraged to dive a second time, were sufficient to state a claim.

CV15-6059915
Huddleston, J.

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Carter v. Ellerby

Customer Who Lost Finger Failed to Prove Negligence

A plaintiff who failed to prove that a defective condition on defendants' property caused plaintiff's partial amputation, or that defendants were negligent, could not prevail.

CV14-6047070
Rush, J.T.R.

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Imperial Dev. LLC v. Town of Coventry

Undeveloped Lots Qualified for Forest Land Classification

Construction of four roads and the marketing efforts of the owner were insufficient to change the forest land classification of undeveloped lots that potentially could remain undeveloped for a decade.

CV15-6029662
Schuman, J.

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Two Yale & Towne LLC v. Zoning Bd. of the City of Stamford

Design Guidelines Required that Signs be Helpful to Public

Although applicant objected that design guidelines were only advisory, a zoning board enforced guidelines that encouraged the use of signs that provided information helpful to the public.

CV15-6025012
Tobin, J.T.R.

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Comm'n on Human Rights and Opportunities v. Specialty Transportation

85-Year-Old Driver Did Not Prove Age Discrimination

A school bus driver was not able to prove disparate treatment, absent proof that the employer's other school bus drivers were "similarly situated."

CV15-6028765
Schuman, J.

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

De Jiminez v. Monzon

Wife Feared for Life, Fled Country and Requested Divorce

Although the court lacked personal jurisdiction over defendant husband, it possessed subject-matter jurisdiction over the marriage as a result of allegations that plaintiff wife feared for her life as a result of escalating threats from husband, fled from Guatemala and moved to Connecticut, where she resided for more than one year.

FA15-6059982
Albis, J.

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Deneutte v. City of New Haven

Plaintiff With Alzheimer's Could Not Recall Details of Fall

A former attorney's proposed testimony about his conversation with his client before his client suffered from Alzheimer's constituted hearsay and was not admissible.

CV13-6036798
Fischer, J.

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

State v. Yeaw

48 Years For Lying in Wait and Firing at Police Affirmed

An individual who allegedly turned out the lights, armed himself, lay in wait for the police to arrive and then fired at them could be convicted of attempted assault on public safety personnel.

CR12-263009
Fischer, J., Alexander, J. and Ginocchio, J.

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

State v. Walker

15 Years for Stabbing Victim a Dozen Times in Back Affirmed

An individual who pled guilty to first-degree assault could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

CR14-249856
Fischer, J., Hadden, J. and Ginocchio, J.

United States District Court

SCS Direct v. Insassy

'Loom Bands' Trade Dress Was Inherently Distinctive

The Lanham Act protected a product's trade dress, if the trade dress was inherently distinctive or acquired a secondary meaning in the marketplace.

3:14cv20
Arterton, J.

United States District Court

United States v. Mack

Defendant Won Motion To Bifurcate and Hold Two Trials

Defendant proved that he would be substantially prejudiced as a result of evidence of his prior felony convictions The government prosecuted Dominique Mack and co-defendant Keronn Miller on charges of shooting Ian Francis, possession of a firearm (a Ruger SR9c 9mm semi-automatic pistol) by a convicted felon, and conspiracy to tamper with a witness.

3:13cr54
Shea, J.

United States District Court

Stanley v. Taylor

'Three Strikes' Rule Invoked to Dismiss Civil-Rights Complaint

A prisoner who previously filed three complaints that were dismissed as frivolous, and who did not allege imminent physical danger, could not proceed in forma pauperis on a civil-rights claim.

3:15cv1722
Bryant, J.

United States District Court

Sberbank of Russia v. Traisman

Counterclaims Could Have Been Litigated in Russia

Res judicata prohibited defendant from relitigating defenses and counterclaims concerning guaranties of loans that he could have pursued in prior litigation in Rusia.

3:14cv216
Eginton, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Whitney v. J.M. Scott Assoc.

$1.3 Million Award for Loss of Benefit of Bargain Affirmed

The trial court properly restored the injured party to the position he would have enjoyed, if the wrong had not been committed.

AC 36912
Pellegrino, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Do v. Comm'r of Motor Vehicles

Driver Arrested for DUI Alleged A-44 Contained Errors

If a state trooper submitted sloppy paperwork that indicated in one area that the operator drove an Audi A4 and in another area that the operator drove a Mercedes Benz, the paperwork might not be considered reliable enough to be admitted into evidence.

AC 37712
Prescott, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Prenderville v. Sinclair

Plaintiffs Did Not Promptly Serve Summons and Complaint

Although the Supreme Court explained in Coppola v. Coppola that an erroneous return date was a curable defect, plaintiffs' proposal to amend the return date in a medical-malpractice action was not in compliance with the two-month restriction in Connecticut General Statutes §52-48(b).

AC 36931
Mullins, J.

Connecticut Appellate Court

Brown v. Otake

Dr. Did Not Prove Tortious Interference with Expectancy

A cause of action for tortious interference with a business expectancy required proof that defendants acted maliciously or were guilty of misrepresentation, molestation, intimidation or fraud.

AC 37691
Prescott, J.

Connecticut Supreme Court

Hart v. Fed. Express Corp.

Fedex Worker's Heartbeat Was 300 Beats per Minute

Psychological as well as physical injuries from cardiac arrhythmia were compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. The following facts were relevant.

SC 19523
Espinosa, J.

Freedom of Information Commission

Shpak v. Superintendent of Sch., Oxford Pub. Sch.

Educational Records Were Exempt under FERPA

Educational records that concerned another child were exempt from disclosure, pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

2015-566
Freedom of Information Commission

Freedom of Information Commission

Sease v. Comm'r, State of Conn.

Inmate Requested Copies of Emails about Other Inmates

The Department of Correction could refuse to provide an inmate with information about other inmates as a result of security concerns.

2015-457
Freedom of Information Commission

Freedom of Information Commission

Schulman v. Comm'r, State of Conn., Dep't of Correction

Legal Assistance to Inmates Bid Did Not Contain Trade Secrets

To qualify for a statutory "trade secret" exemption, a substantial element of secrecy must exist, to the extent it would be difficult to acquire the information without improper methods.

2015-382
Freedom of Information Commission

Freedom of Information Commission

Romitti v. Comm'r State of Conn., Dep't of Emergency Serv. and Pub. Protection

Injured Motorcyclist Sought Records from Fatal Accident

Photographs of the accident scene, measurements taken by accident reconstructionists and the tape of the first 911 call of a fatal motorcycle accident were not exempt from disclosure.

2015-606
Freedom of Information Commission

Freedom of Information Commission

Poindexter v. Harp

City of New Haven Claimed Attorney-Client Privilege

A municipality that first claimed that records were exempt from disclosure as a result of attorney-client privilege and then (several months later) provided the records to complainant, did not respond promptly, in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. On June 17, 2015, complainants requested "any and all communications . . . from and to Michael Dolan[,] to and from John Rose[,] and/or any other City of New Haven" workers concerning Nicole Jefferson and "any and all invoices for Michael Bayonne."

2015-459
Freedom of Information Commission

Freedom of Information Commission

Nejfelt v. Mayor, Town of Plymouth

Mayor Was Invited by Private Citizen to Speak to Residents

When a private citizen invited an elected official to visit a park and to speak to residents, that did not qualify as a "public meeting," pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §1-200(2).

2015-735
Freedom of Information Commission

Freedom of Information Commission

Asatov v. Comm'r State of Conn., Dep't of Veterans Affairs

Job Seeker Requested Copies of Competitors' Applications

If an exam were required and an individual other than the job applicant requested disclosure of examination papers, the examination papers might be exempt from disclosure.

2015-526
Freedom of Information Commission

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of Brookfield and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1544

Town Implemented Premium Cost Sharing Retroactively

Although a union objected it did not agree that premium cost sharing would be retroactive, arbitrators concluded that the union did not carry its burden of proof.

2014-0050
Hampton and Podurgiel – Neary dissented

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of New Haven and CACP, Local Elm City

Grievance about Pay Was Not Filed Timely, within 15 Days

A collective bargaining contract that required workers to file grievances within 15 days of the date that they reasonably would have had knowledge of the occurrence that led to the grievance was enforceable.

2012-A-0684
Diaz and Boldry – Sevas dissented

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Salazar v. Lynch

Mom Worried about Prostitution, if Children Return to Guatemala

Evidence failed to establish a reasonable probability that petitioner's daughters would be forced into prostitution, if returned to Guatemala.

14-2517

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Ramsey v. Bullock

Plaintiff Stabbed by Neighbor Awarded $123,738

A court awarded economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, loss of life's enjoyment, and scarring and physical limitation.

CV14-6043436
Wenzel, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Intentional Torts, Assault, Personal Injury, Damages

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Kelly v. Alcaraz

Court Awarded $146,321 to Plaintiff Struck in Crosswalk

A court reduced the damages 60 percent, because plaintiff was contributorily negligent.

CV14-6022615
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

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

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Hoberman v. Top Notch Pool Serv.

Owners Alleged Defendants Provided Negligent Maintenance

Property owners failed to adequately allege that the principal of a pool maintenance company should have been able to foresee harm to a swimming pool, such that the principal should be held individually responsible.

CV15-6059640
Huddleston, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Beechmont Condominium Ass'n v. Cecunjanin

Condo Owner Did Not Pay Common Charges After Fire

A condominium association can foreclose on a lien it obtained when it continued to charge common fees after a fire destroyed a condominium unit.

CV13-6034426S
Jennings, J.T.R.

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

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

O'Brien v. City of New Haven

Tax Assessor Won $92,437 in Attorney Fees Under C.G.S. §7-101a

Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §7-101a, when he prevailed in the underlying case brought against him in his official capacity, a municipal worker was entitled to recover defense fees from the municipality.

CV15-6054959
Frechette, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Attorney Fee Recovery, Contracts, Breach, Taxation

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Hochman v. Abrams

Wife Protested Participation in 8th-Grade Class Trip To Israel

A court ordered defendant wife to surrender her child's passport and to pay $816 toward travel expenses for his class trip.

FA02-0170885S
Nastri, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Costa v. Plainville Bd. of Educ.

High School Student Was Injured at Senior Class Picnic

Because a high school student's participation at a senior class picnic was voluntary, he did not qualify as an "identifiable" victim subject to imminent harm, for purposes of an exception to government immunity.

CV13-6021448
Shortall, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Education Law, Torts, Personal Injury, Liability, Immunity

Hartford J.D., at Hartford (Juvenile Matters)

In Re: Nathan; In Re: Megel; In Re: Gurmehar

Mom Requested Disclosure of Juveniles' Police Reports

The mother of a young, male victim was not entitled to the police reports of the alleged juvenile delinquents.

00002888618, 00002888612 and 00002888625
Gilligan, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Tierinni v. Savino

2014 Journal Inquirer Article Was Not Defamatory

A defamatory statement was defined as a statement that tended to harm the reputation of another as to lower him in the regard of the community.

CV14-5037719
Nazzaro, J.

Practice Areas: Communications and Media Law

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Weed v. Sherwood

1st Impression on Director who Did Not Make Pre-Suit Demand

Because a member of the board of directors did not make a pre-suit demand that a nonstock corporation take suitable action, as required by Connecticut General Statutes §52-572j and 33-722, she lacked standing to assert a derivative claim on behalf of the corporation.

CV13-6018235
Lee, J.

Practice Areas: Business Entities, Civil Procedure, Standing

United States District Court

Wasilewski v. Abel Womack Inc.

Defendant Requested Remittitur for 'Excessive' Damages Award

Given the serious and permanent nature of the injuries, the $4 million that a jury awarded plaintiff for pain and suffering failed to shock the court's sense of justice.

3:10cv1857
Bolden, J.

Practice Areas: Products Liability, Design Defect

United States District Court

Allah v. Milling

Inmate Awarded $62,650 for Solitary Confinement

Plaintiff's placement in administrative segregation as a pretrial detainee violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

3:11cv668
Garfinkel, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Civil Rights, Criminal Law

United States District Court

Knox v. United States

Doctor Was Not Timely Disclosed as an Expert Witness

A court can preclude testimony from an expert witness who was not timely disclosed.

3:12cv1741
Merriam, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Discovery, Evidence, Expert Witnesses, Torts, Personal Injury, Premises Liability

United States District Court

Grayson v. General Electric

Class Action Requested Info on Prior Customer Complaints

Information about consumer complaints and corporate procedures for collecting consumer information can be relevant in a class-action, product-liability suit.

3:13cv1799
Garfinkel, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Discovery, Products Liability, Design Defect, Manufacturing Defect

Connecticut Appellate Court

Francini v. Goodspeed Airport

1st Impression on Property Easement for Electricity Service

Easements by necessity could be granted for property landlocked from utility services.

AC 37258
Lavery, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Public Utilities

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Gilligan

Trial Court Wrongly Admitted Toxicology Expert's Testimony

Although an expert's testimony about the ratio of cocaine to metabolite should have been excluded, the evidence was cumulative of other evidence and admission of the expert's testimony constituted harmless error.

AC 37031
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence, Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Miller v. Appellate Court

Appellate Court's Suspension of Civil-Rights Attorney Affirmed

An attorney who allegedly filed a frivolous appeal and failed to comply with court deadlines and procedure could be sanctioned, regardless of whether the alleged conduct violated Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

SC 19436
Palmer, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Civil Procedure

Statewide Grievance Committee

Stavola v. Cali

Allegedly, Attorney Did Not Provide Full Accounting of Funds

An attorney who allegedly did not comply with a request for a full accounting of funds violated Rule 1.15(e) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

15-0351
Shugarts, Allen and Molinaro

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

Cianciolo v. Puzzio

Allegedly Attorney Did Not Inform Dr. About Settlement

An attorney who allegedly sent a letter of protection to a medical provider, and did not inform the medical provider about the receipt of settlement funds, can be presented to Connecticut Superior Court for discipline.

15-0299
Shugarts, Allen and Molinaro

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of Ledyard and AFSCME Council 4, Local 2693L

Town Promoted Candidate Who Scored Lower on Exam

A municipality was not required to promote a candidate who obtained the highest exam score, provided that it promoted one of the top three candidates.

2015-A-0335
Diaz, Malse and Toomey

Practice Areas: Administrative Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Labor and Employment, Labor Law, Collective Bargaining Agreements, Hiring/Firing

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of East Haven and UPSEU/C.O.P.S., Local 1662

Public Works Employee Performed Traffic Control

A municipality was required to offer an assignment to perform traffic control to a police officer first, prior to offering the assignment to a public works department employee.

2015-A-0102
Daly, Mandell and Shay

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of West Haven and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 681

Worker Did Not Prove That He Was Not Offered Overtime Work

A heavy equipment operator failed to prove that a municipal dispatcher did not call and offer the opportunity to work overtime during a storm.

2014-A-0460
Daly and Malse – Panagrossi dissented

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Bridgeport and IAFF, Local 834

Allegedly Fire Chief Was Disruptive and Used Profanity

A municipality possessed just cause to suspend a worker who allegedly was disruptive and used profanity.

2012-A-0410
Cain, Ryan and Shea

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Bridgeport Housing Auth./Park City Communities and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 2311

Maintenance Worker Sought an Insurance Waiver Payout

Arbitrators enforced a clause in a collective bargaining contract that allowed workers who provided proof of alternate insurance coverage to obtain an insurance waiver payout.

2015-A-0250
Cain, Massa and Toomey

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Preston v. Bristol Hosp.

Worker Failed to Prove that Discharge Was Discriminatory

A reasonable jury could not find that the proffered reason for discharge constituted a pretext for discrimination or retaliation.

15-1150

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Steiner v. Lewmar

Parties Disputed Whether Offer of Judgment Included Attorney Fee

An offer to settle claims for breach of contract and trademark infringement included previously made claims for attorney fees.

14-3817cv

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Contracts, Breach, Legal Profession, Attorney Fee Recovery

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Carolina v. Rubino

Three Strikes Rules Did Not Violate Right to Equal Protection

The "three strikes" rule in 28 United States Code §1915(g) passed rational-basis review and did not deny a prisoner who was indigent access to the courts.

14-2237-pr

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Harris-Clemons v. Charly Trademarks Ltd.

'Alias' Moved to Intervene in IP Suit over 'Nearer to You' Music

An intervenor presented sufficient evidence to merit the opportunity to establish that the intervenor was an independent and separate legal entity from defendant.

15-1016-cv

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property, Trademarks

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

In Re: Indicon; Vanguard Products Corp. v. Citrin

Claims Against Nondebtors Were Not Related to Bankruptcy Estate

The bankruptcy court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over claims against nondebtors defendants for breach of fiduciary duty and unfair trade practices that were not related to the bankruptcy estate.

15-746-bk

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Rogers v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enter.

Release Signed by Wife Was Binding on Husband who Slipped

A validly signed and executed release barred recovery as a result of the principles of accord and satisfaction.

CV-PI-2014-157
O'Connell, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law, Contracts

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Nuterangelo v. Scott

1st Responder Not Exempt for Disobeying Traffic Signal

Connecticut General Statutes §14-283 required that a first responder exercise due care for safety of others and use an audible warning signal and flashing lights.

CV12-6030853S
Burke, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury, Motor Vehicles, Liability, Immunity

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Martinez v. Bart Realty LLC

Genuine Issues about Landlord's Duty of Care to Injured Customer

A landlord that maintained control and possession of premises could owe a duty of care to bar customers.

CV14-6049499S
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Business Entities

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Santos v. Bailey

Patient Alleged Wrongful Touching During Hernia Exam

Allegations that defendant doctor wrongfully touched plaintiff during a hernia exam can be sufficient to allege a claim for medical malpractice.

CV15-6057532S
Noble, J.

Practice Areas: Medical Malpractice, Health Law, Torts, Intentional Torts, Assault, Emotional Distress

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Saporoso v. Chen

Commercial Tenants Left Premises in Damaged Condition

A landlord who proved that fixtures were removed improperly and utility lines were cut improperly was entitled to damages for repairs and cleaning, plus six months of lost rent and reasonable attorney fees.

CV13-6046353
Elgo, J.

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

Hartford J.D., at Hartford (Housing Session)

High Line Lube v. Hickory N. Properties

Tenant Won Injunction To Enforce Restrictive Covenant

A likelihood existed that a tenant could enforce a restrictive covenant that prevented a landlord from entering into a lease with a competitor.

CVH-8461
Woods, J.

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

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Leigh v. Schwartz

$4.25 Million Medical-Malpractice Verdict Affirmed

In a medical-malpractice case, a jury was allowed to rely on expert testimony, even though the testimony was based on an inference.

CV11-6018306
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Health Law, Medical Malpractice

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Milbert v. Milbert

Wife Requested To Relocate To California with Minor Child

A court can find it was in the best interests of the minor child to relocate to a state where his extended, close-knit family resided.

FA15-5039631
Ficeto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

State v. Terry

15 Years for Stabbing Victim in Heart Affirmed

An individual who stabs a victim with a knife during a fight can be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

CR12-659597
Fischer, J., Hadden, J., and Ginocchio, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

R.A. Travel Inc. v. Sterling Executive Serv.

Plaintiff Proved it Arranged Travel Services for Musicians

A travel company that allegedly provided air transportation, hotel accommodations and ground transportation for entertainers and their entourages was entitled to damages for breach of contract.

CV14-6044356
Thim, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Contracts, Breach, Business Entities

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Shaw v. Five Mile River Works

Defendant Moved to Strike Second Count as Repetitious

Defendant filed a motion to strike, and the proper method to address pleadings that were unnecessary or repetitious was via a request to revise.

CV15-6025284
Povodator, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Torts, Personal Injury, Premises Liability

United States District Court

Caruso v. Colvin

'Treating Physician' Rule Did Not Apply To Claimant

The "treating physician" rule did not apply, because the opinions of treating physicians were contradicted by their own previous reports and other evidence in the record.

3:14cv1560
Hall, J.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law, Social Security Compensation, Health Law

United States District Court

Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc.

$288,857 Awarded for Litigating Attorney Fees, Post-Trial Motions

A court can reduce fees for litigating attorney fees and post-trial motions 25 percent as a result of partial success.

3:10cv1827
Arterton, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Attorney Fee Recovery, Intellectual Property

United States District Court

Prezio Health v. Schenk

Worldwide Covenant Not To Compete Was Not Enforceable

A covenant not to compete that was unrestricted in geographical area was not reasonable, and a court found that the covenant was not enforceable.

3:13cv1463
Eginton, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Employment Contracts, Business Entities, Contracts, Breach

United States District Court

McLean v. Univ. of Conn. Health Ctr.

UConn Psychologist's Claim for Constructive Discharge Dismissed

Allegations that plaintiff was denied the opportunity to take one week of unpaid vacation were insufficient to allege that work conditions were so intolerable that a reasonable individual would have been compelled to resign.

3:15cv1771
Underhill, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Hiring/Firing, Wages and Hours

United States District Court

United States v. Valentin

Intercepted Call Was Useful to Prove Narcotics Conspiracy

A phone call that discussed buying narcotics and recruiting another individual was made during and in furtherance of a conspiracy and was admissible, except for comments about violence toward a police officer that were more prejudicial than probative.

3:14cr55
Bryant, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence, Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Michaels v. Michaels

Father Claimed Mother Should Have Filed New Motion to Modify

The Appellate Court rejected a claim that when mediation with family relations failed, the mother should have filed a new motion to modify visitation.

AC 37175
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Connecticut Appellate Court

In Re: Daniel

Court Rejected Grandparents' Offer To Take on Challenging Kids

Grandparents who resided in another state might not be the most suitable guardians, if one had a criminal history and the other did not appear capable of managing children with challenging behavior.

AC 38454
Sheldon, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Adams

Conviction for Attempted Larceny at Dept. Store Reversed

To obtain a conviction of larceny by shoplifting, the state must prove that property defendant took was goods, wares or merchandise exposed for sale within the store.

AC 36701
Harper, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

Conn. Hous. Fin. Auth. v. Alfaro

Foreclosure Defendant Was Not Entitled to Attorney Fees

Absent evidence that plaintiff withdrew a foreclosure complaint in response to defendant's defense, defendant was not entitled to attorney fees pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §42-150bb.

AC 37265
Prescott, J.

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

Connecticut Appellate Court

Citigroup Global Mkt. Realty v. Christiansen

Foreclosure Defendant Did Not Obtain Automatic Appellate Stay

Although defendant filed his appeal from the trial court's judgment of strict foreclosure one day before the law day, he did not obtain an automatic appellate stay and title vested in plaintiff when defendant did not exercise his right to redemption on his law day.

AC 38637
Prescott, J.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights, Appellate Law - Civil, Stays, Civil Procedure

State Elections Enforcement Commission

SEEC Investigation

Contributor Who Did Not Identify Source of Contribution Fined $250

The State Elections Enforcement Commission fined an individual who allegedly donated $10 of his own money and $90 he collected from individuals in a bar and then signed a form stating that all the money originated from him.

2014-166
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Tunik

Stamford Citizen Claimed that he Lacked Identification

A citizen who claimed that he lacked identification could be allowed to vote, if he completed an affidavit.

2014-154
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Lew

1st Impression on Attribution on Back 'Face' of Publication

An attribution that appeared on the outer back page of a newspaper-like communication was not printed on the "face" of the publication.

2015-155 and 2015-178
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Labella

Donation to Political Party Violated State Contractor Ban

A political donation to a party committee from the principals of a company that held a valid prequalification certificate from a state agency violated the state contractor contribution ban.

2014-46A
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Jansen

SEEC Approved Citizens' Election Grant That Was $11,140 Too Much

The amount of money that a candidate was entitled to from the Citizens' Election Fund varied based on whether his opponents were from major or minor political parties.

2014-131
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: D'Appollonio

BOE Chairman Proved that He Paid for Referendum Flyers

Insufficient evidence existed that a chairman of a board of education, who distributed flyers that advocated the approval of a referendum budget, used a school copying machine and public resources to produce the flyers.

2015-149
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Aiken

Clinton Town Clerk Wrongly Assessed $500 in Late Fees

A party endorsement for a slate of candidates was effective not when made but when a certificate of party endorsement was delivered to the town clerk.

2015-181
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

Office of the Attorney General

Letter to: Libbin

Conditional Pardon Did Not Result in Erasure of Records

If a pardon provided that an individual was not allowed to keep a pistol, revolver or handgun, the pardon was considered "conditional" for purposes of criminal erasure statutes.

2016-02
Jepsen, A.G.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Administrative Law

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Pryor v. Brignole

Law Firm Alleged Statements Were True and Constituted Opinion

Allegations that statements to a client were true, that they constituted opinion and that they did not impugn the plaintiff's general competence or integrity as an attorney constituted viable special defenses in a lawsuit alleging that a name partner slandered an attorney who left the firm.

CV15-6059311
Huddleston, J.

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

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Lotkowski v. Eldred

Kia Driver Awarded $2,000 Additur for Pain and Suffering

It was inconsistent to award substantial damages for medical expenses and not to award damages for pain and suffering.

CV15-6027686
Wiese, J.

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

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Errichetti v. Botoff

Genuine Issue Whether Neighbor's Fence Qualified as 'Spite Fence'

To prevail on a cause of action under the "spite fence" statute, Connecticut General Statutes §52-480, plaintiff must prove: (1) a structure was built on defendant's property; (2) malicious erection of the structure; (3) intent to injure the enjoyment of the adjacent land; (4) harm to the value of adjacent land; (5) the structure was useless to defendant; and (6) enjoyment of the adjacent owner's land was harmed.

CV14-6022623
Heller, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Deranamie v. Conn. Bar Examining Comm.

Law Applicant Failed to Prove Good Moral Character

An individual who applied for admission to the bar possessed the burden to prove good moral character and fitness to practice law.

CV12-5036148
Robaina, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Samakaab v. State Dep't of Soc. Serv.

Retaliation for Making Complaint About Management Not Proved

Although plaintiff apparently signed a letter alleging that management stifled debate and wasted resources, that was insufficient to prove that plaintiff opposed a discriminatory employment practice, as required to establish retaliation pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §46a-60.

CV15-6056335
Scholl, J.

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

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Rojas v. Choe

Plaintiffs Won Double Damages for Overtime Violations

Connecticut General Statutes §31-72 permitted a court to award double damages, costs and reasonable attorney fees, if defendants acted with bad faith, arbitrariness or unreasonableness.

CV13-6020582
Adams, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Wages and Hours

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

21st Century N. Am. Ins. Co. v. Perez

Insureds Paid 24 Cents Less than Premium Owed

An insurance company alleged it was not obligated to defend and to indemnify, because the insureds paid 24 cents less than the premium amount owed.

CV14-6051072
Epstein, J.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law, Automotive

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Velasquez v. Ibarra

Court Imputed Husband's Earnings Were $760 per Week

A court imputed the husband's earnings, based on the husband's expenses and spending.

FA15-6027385
Nastri, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Rochler v. Rochler

No Proof Cohabitation Changed Ex-Wife's Financial Needs

A husband, who claimed that his former wife was cohabitating, had the burden to prove that a change of circumstances took place that altered the financial needs of his former wife.

FA09-4038302
Shluger, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Ansonia/Milford J.D., at Milford

Herold v. Herold

Parties Agreed to 50-50 Division of Parenting Time

A court approved the parties' decision to divide parenting time equally.

FA14-4020251
Malone, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Baldwin v. Wolfe

Motion to Relocate to Work in Film Industry Denied

A parent's request to relocate with his minor child so that he could pursue his dream job in the film industry was not in the best interests of the minor child.

FA10-4011811
Gould, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Deep River Assoc. v. McCann

Dry Cleaner Defendants Denied Any Legal Responsibility

Allegations that defendants contaminated the groundwater with a hazardous chemical inimical to public health were sufficient to allege that defendants violated Connecticut General Statutes §22a-16 of the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act.

CV15-6013881
Aurigemma, J.

Practice Areas: Environmental Law

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

State v. Nicholson

20 Years for Stabbing Neighbor with Large Kitchen Knife Affirmed

An individual who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter can be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

CR12-263560
Fischer, J., Alexander, J. and Ginocchio, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

State v. Bryson; State v. Hearl

Charges Against two Defendants for Cruelty to Goats to be Joined

A court can permit a joint trial against separate defendants, when charges against each defendant were virtually identical, the alleged crimes were not excessively brutal and trial will not be excessively long or complex.

CR15-0147257 and CR15-0147222
Danaher, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States District Court

Fabian v. Hosp. of Central Conn.

Allegedly Hospital Refused to Hire Transgender Surgeon

Title VII, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of "sex," extended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of transgender status.

3:12cv1154
Underhill, J.

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

United States District Court

Probatter Sports LLC v. Sports Tutor Inc.

Genuine Issue if Pitching Machine Patent Was 'Obvious'

Absent evidence concerning the knowledge held by a person of ordinary skill in the art at the time of a patent filing, defendant may not be entitled to summary judgment on a claim that the patent was "obvious."

3:05cv1975
Bryant, J.

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property

United States District Court

Dwinnell v. Fed. Express Long Term Disability Plan

Worker Alleged Aetna Wrongfully Denied her Long-Term Disability

A plan did not prevent the same company that served as the claims paying administrator from also serving as the appeal committee that reviewed claims that were denied.

3:14cv1439
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law, Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits, Health Benefits

United States District Court

Crawford v. Town of Danbury

Estranged Husband Failed to Allege Monell Claim Against Town

To allege a claim for municipal liability, plaintiff was required to establish an official policy or custom caused injury.

3:16cv281
Underhill, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Rodriguez

Guilty Plea Made Petitioner's Insufficient Evidence Claim Moot

A defendant who pled guilty to attempt to commit arson when he was on probation rendered moot his claim that insufficient evidence existed to find that he violated the terms of probation.

SC 19199
McDonald, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Evidence

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Maietta

Probation Terms Did Not Violate Constitutional Right to Bear Arms

Defendant voluntarily waived his Second Amendment right to bear arms when he agreed to a condition of probation that prevented the possession of firearms.

SC 19524
Epinosa, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Evidence

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Brundage

Res Judicata Did Not Prevent Prosecution of Kidnapping Charges

The doctrine of res judicata did not apply where the state filed a substitute information charging new offenses, following a defendant's successful appeal from judgments of conviction and a remand for a new trial.

SC 19308
Espinosa, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Housing Auth. and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1303-451

Parties Disputed Vacation Benefits of Long-Term Bookkeeper

An employer violated the terms of the collective bargaining contract when it did not allow vacation benefits to follow a long-term worker who entered the collective bargaining unit.

2016-A-0191
Hampton

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Stamford and IAFF, Local 786

Grievance Was Not Filed Timely, Within 10 Days

A collective bargaining contract required that the union request arbitration within 10 days of the date that the municipality denied a grievance.

2015-A-0219
Cain and Baldyga – Shea dissented

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of New Haven and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 884

Human Resources Asked Doctor to Explain Return-to-Work Orders

A human resources manager acted prudently when he requested an explanation from a doctor who provided inconsistent orders about whether the employee was required to work light duty.

2014-A-0098
Daly, Panagrossi and Lipton

Practice Areas: Administrative Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration (ADR), Labor and Employment, Labor Law, Collective Bargaining Agreements, Family and Medical Leave Act

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Forbes v. Lynch

Petitioner To Be Removed Following Larceny Conviction

An abuse of discretion could be found, if the Board of Immigration's decision provided no rational explanation, inexplicably departed from established policies, or was based on conclusory statements and lacked any reasoning.

15-2445

Practice Areas: Immigration Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Carillo-Palencia v. Lynch

Citizen of Guatemala Requested Fifth Continuance

The Board of Immigration Appeals did not abuse its discretion, when it denied a petitioner's fifth request for a continuance.

14-4760

Practice Areas: Immigration Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Illarramendi

Defendant Appealed 156-Month Sentence for Ponzi Scheme

The district court relied on gains of more than $20 million from defendant's Ponzi scheme when it computed a United States Sentencing Guidelines range.

15-526

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, White Collar Crime

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Lawson v. Hilderbrand

Police Remained in Home After Owners Revoked Consent

Qualified immunity served to protect government officials from civil suits for damages, if their conduct did not violate clearly established constitutional or statutory rights about which a reasonable person would have been aware.

15-653

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Smith v. Department of Correction

Allegedly, Plaintiff Missed Four Discovery Deadlines

Dismissal of a complaint is merited, if plaintiff's failure to comply with court orders established willfulness or conscious disregard for the discovery process.

15-868cv

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Violette v. State; Gilgrados v. State

'Sudden Emergency' Doctrine Did Not Apply To Mosquito Swarm

The "sudden emergency" doctrine was restricted to situations in which: (1) an actual emergency existed; (2) defendant did not cause the emergency; and (3) when confronted with the emergency, defendant chose a reasonably prudent course of action.

CV13-6040420 and CV13-6042521
Epstein, J.

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

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Gaines v. CT Transit

Bus Passenger Awarded $11,968 for 2011 Accident

A court awarded economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to a front-seat passenger injured in a bus accident.

CV13-6021459
Sheedy, J.T.R.

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

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Doe v. Carroll

Child Victim of Alleged Sexual Assaults Awarded $1 Million

A court can award damages to the alleged childhood victim of a stepfather's sexual assaults. Plaintiffs alleged the following facts.

CV12-6013620
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Intentional Torts, Assault, Damages, Emotional Distress

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Doe v. Annulli

High School Student Awarded $200,000 for Alleged Sex Assaults

A court can award non-economic damage, for emotional and psychological damage, to a high school student who allegedly was sexually assaulted by the father of a friend.

CV14-6022790
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Intentional Torts, Assault, Damages, Emotional Distress

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Diaz v. Perez

Injured Boy Did Not Prove that Trampoline Owner Was Negligent

Plaintiff failed to prove that defendant was negligent in failing to take reasonable and proper precautions for the safety of children who used the trampoline.

CV15-6026336
Roraback, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury, Premises Liability

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Rowe v. Rubin

Ivey, Barnum Attorneys Awarded $100,553 in Condominium Suit

A plaintiff who prevailed on a civil complaint pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §47-75(a) was entitled to reasonable attorney fees.

CV13-6018375
Adams, J.T.R.

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

New London J.D., at New London

Town of Preston v. Rabon

1st Impression on Owner's Refusal To Remediate Property

The Inland-Wetlands Act did not include a provision for innocent land owners, and maintenance of an inlands-wetlands violation infringed the law.

CV13-6019210
Bates, J.

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

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Ciesinski v. City of Hartford

Genuine Issues in Hartford Police Officer's Whistleblower Complaint

To prevail, on a whistleblower complaint, plaintiff must prove: (1) plaintiff engaged in protected activity; (2) plaintiff was disciplined; and (3) a causal connection existed between plaintiff's participation in protected activity and the discipline.

CV14-6050384
Noble, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Whistle-blower Law

New Haven J.D., at Meriden

Schrenker v. Schrenker

Husband to Pay $500/Month for Wife's Contribution to Business

A court can award the husband his solely-owned business and order that he pay the wife $500 per month as a return on her contribution to his business.

FA14-4020807
McNamara, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Burke v. Burke

Husband Requested that Wife Contribute to College Expenses

A wife who had "limited financial circumstances" was not required to contribute to college expenses for the parties' child.

FA01-0726776
Ficeto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

State v. Wilkerson

10 Years for Father who Rolled Over on Young Baby Affirmed

A court sentenced a father to 10 years in prison, because he allegedly rolled over on his young baby when sleeping.

CR13-271975
Fischer, J., Vitale, J., and Alexander, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

State v. Frazier

15 Years For Intercourse with 15-Year-Old Affirmed

A court can sentence an adult who allegedly picked up a teen and paid her $40 for intercourse to 15 years in prison.

CR13-274226
Fischer, J., Vitale, J., and Alexander, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States District Court

Maratea v. State Dep't of Educ.

Caucasian Hairdressing Teacher Alleged Reverse Race Discrim

In a reverse discrimination claim, allegations that defendant favored individuals outside plaintiff's protected class were sufficient to allege an inference of discrimination.

3:14cv1785
Bolden, J.

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

United States District Court

Brown v. Waterbury Bd. of Educ.

African-American Principal Alleged Race Discrimination

Allegations that Caucasian principals who received complaints about intimidation and bullying were treated differently and were not placed on administrative leave or demoted were sufficient to allege intent to discriminate on the basis of race.

3:15cv460
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Discrimination, Race Discrimination

United States District Court

Sitkovestskiy v. Young

Sovereign Immunity Barred Claims Against Patent Examiner

A pro se complaint against a federal officer, who was acting in her official capacity and within her statutory and constitutional authority, was barred by sovereign immunity.

3:15cv1073
Bryant, J.

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property, Patents

United States District Court

Gilly v. Ocwen

$11.5 Million 'Judgment' Against Ocwen Financial Corp. Was 'Sham'

A court can order that a registration of judgment be stricken, if the purported judgment did not arise from a court of appeals, a district court, a bankruptcy court or the Court of International Trade.

3:16mc21
Meyer, J.

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

United States District Court

Medina v. Black

Prisoner Alleged Guards Asked Inmates to Threaten and Attack

Allegations that plaintiff inmate was singled out for harassment and threats, because he filed a suit against a corrections officer, were sufficient to state a claim for violation of his constitutional right to equal protection.

3:15cv1371
Bryant, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

United States District Court

Gonzalez v. Waterbury

Suspect in High-Speed Chase Did Not Prove Monell Claim

To prevail on his claim against the municipality, plaintiff was required to establish a direct causal link between a municipal policy or custom and the alleged constitutional deprivation.

3:12cv478
Underhill, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Trustees of the I.B.E.W. Local Union No. 488 Pension Fund v. Norland Electric

Company President in Contempt of Court To Be Fined $1,000 per Day

A company president who failed to comply with court orders to answer or respond to postjudgment interrogatories was held in contempt of court and fined $1,000 per day.

3:11cv709
Haight, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Business Entities

United States District Court

Larobina v. Citibank

Removal of FDCPA Claims Was Achieved Timely, Within 30 Days

The 30-day period in which to remove a lawsuit from Connecticut Superior Court to district court did not begin to run until defendants actually received a copy of the pleadings.

3:16cv153
Underhill, J.

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

Connecticut Appellate Court

Rousseau v. Statewide Grievance Comm.

Divorce Lacked Standing to Appeal Dismissal of Grievance

A plaintiff who filed a grievance complaint that apparently alleged abuse of process and misrepresentation failed to prove that he possessed standing to appeal a local grievance panel's decision.

AC 37728
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Civil Procedure, Standing

Connecticut Appellate Court

Housing Auth. of the Town of Greenwich v. Weitz

Section 8 Tenant's Attorney Appeared, Was Ready for Trial

A trial court wrongly defaulted a Section 8 tenant, solely on the basis of her absence from court, when her attorney went to court and indicated that he was ready to proceed.

AC 36966
Per Curiam

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

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Peterson

Police Had Reasonable Suspicion To Stop and Frisk Defendant

The legal standard for reasonable and articulable suspicion was whether, based on experience and training, a reasonable individual who had the information available to police would have suspected criminal activity.

SC 19414
Rogers, C.J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Evidence

Freedom of Information Commission

Wood v. Superintendent of Sch., Stafford Pub. Sch.

Superintendent Refused to Provide Information about Admin Leave

A reporter who requested access to "records of disciplinary action" was not entitled to records that concerned an elementary school teacher placed on administrative leave, following a report about inappropriate conduct.

2015-210
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law, Communications and Media Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Townsend v. Manager of Human Resources and Benefits, City of New Haven

Entry-Level Test Taker Was Not Entitled To Copy of Scoring Key

A municipality was not required to disclose the scoring key that contained answers to an entry-level exam.

2015-255
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Kauffman v. Chair, State of Conn., Bd. of Trustees

UConn Wrongly Barred Courant Reporter from Budget Meeting

The board of trustees of the University of Connecticut violated Connecticut General Statutes §1-225(a) when it convened in executive session for an improper reason.

2015-452
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law, Communications and Media Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Akers v. Vitullo

UConn Law School Applicant Sought Explanation for Denial

A public agency was not required to perform research or answer questions, in response to a freedom of information request from a law school applicant.

2015-304
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

In Re: [Redacted]

Unnamed Attorneys Missed Mandatory Mediation Conference

Attorneys remained counsel of record until relieved of the obligation by the Second Circuit and were expected to comply with the Second Circuit's order to attend a mediation conference, even though their client hired new counsel.

16-90010-am

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Forgione v. Skybox Barber Lounge LLC

Gay Worker Alleged Employer Used LGBT Slur

The legislature exempted small employers from the significant costs of litigating employment discrimination claims.

CV14-6050777
Agati, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Hiring/Firing, Discrimination, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Age Discrimination, Torts, Emotional Distress

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Comm'r of Labor v. Dental Care of Conn.

Manager Not Personally Liable as 'Employer' for Unpaid Wages

An individual who possessed ultimate authority and responsibility for the payment of wages could qualify as an "employer," for purposes of Connecticut General Statutes §31-72.

CV13-6046958
Scholl, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Wages and Hours

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Murphy v. Murphy

No Proof that Cohabitation Altered Wife's Financial Needs

A court denied a husband's motion to modify alimony, as a result of cohabitation pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-86(b), because he did not prove that the wife's living arrangement resulted in a change of circumstances that altered the wife's financial needs.

FA11-4059670
Bozzuto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Contracts

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Bessette v. Bessette

Provision in Separation Contract Was Self-Executing

The alimony provision in the parties' dissolution contract was self-executing, so that alimony ended as soon as the wife began to cohabitate with a boyfriend.

FA10-4010003
Shah, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Contracts

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Fersch v. Comm'r of Motor Vehicles

Jeep Wrangler Driver Disputed Timeliness of Blood-Alcohol Test

Although the hearing officer admitted hearsay evidence, substantial evidence existed that plaintiff operated a motor-vehicle after 1:31 a.m., and that police commenced a breath-alcohol test within two hours of operation, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §14-227b.

CV15-6030137
Schuman, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States District Court

Siuzdak v. Lynch

FBI Agent Alleged Retaliation for Complaining about Discrim

Temporal proximity that consisted of protected activity followed closely in time by adverse employment action was sufficient to raise an inference of retaliation, and the court denied defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

3:14cv1543
Bolden, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Age Discrimination

United States District Court

Savage v. S. Conn. State Univ.

Tenured SCSU Professor Did Not Prove Discrimination

A decision not to permit plaintiff professor to teach summer classes and to pay plaintiff as though she was allowed to teach during the summer did not qualify as an adverse employment action.

3:09cv302
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Orientation Discrimination

United States District Court

Langer v. 121 Inflight Catering LLC

68-Year-Old Driver Did Not Prove Discriminatory Failure to Hire

Allegations that defendant's employee stated that defendant intended to hire "young, energetic guys" to work as drivers were insufficient to prove that defendant's nondiscriminatory business rationales for a decision not to hire constituted a pretext for age discrimination.

3:14cv861
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Discrimination, Age Discrimination

United States District Court

Wilmoth v. Merrill

Michigan Petition Circulator Won Temporary Restraining Order

Connecticut General Statutes §9-410(c) provided, "Each circulator of a primary petition page shall be an enrolled party member of a municipality of this state who is entitled to vote."

3:16cv223
Hall, J.

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Cote v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co.

Court Granted Untimely Request For Trial by Jury

Fed. R. Civ. P. 38(b) required a written jury demand to be served "no later than fourteen days after the last pleading directed to the issue [was] served."

3:14cv1644
Bolden, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Insurance Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Bennett v. Bowditch

Plaintiff's Predecessor Won Property Via Adverse Possession

When plaintiff's predecessor in interest won title to disputed areas, as a result of adverse possession, that extinguished an easement that previously had provided access to the disputed areas to defendants.

AC 37243
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Connecticut Appellate Court

Buck v. Town of Berlin

Res Judicata Barred Inverse-Condemnation Claims

A claim that arose from the same cause of action that was litigated in a prior action was barred by res judicata.

AC 37209
Beach, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Connecticut Supreme Court

NPC Offices LLC v. Kowaleski

Definition of 'Professional' Offices in Contract was Ambiguous

The term "professional offices" in a right-of-way agreement that created an express easement over defendant's driveway was ambiguous, and the Supreme Court construed the ambiguity in favor of plaintiff, as the grantee of the easement.

SC 19408
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Contracts, Breach

Connecticut Supreme Court

Lewis v. Clarke

Limo Driver Was Entitled To Tribal Sovereign Immunity

Even if defendant was sued in his individual capacity, the doctrine of tribal immunity extended to allegations that defendant, an employee of a Native American tribe, was acting within the scope of employment at the time of a motor-vehicle accident.

SC 19464
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law, Torts, Motor Vehicles, Personal Injury

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Jamison

Lack of Accomplice Credibility Instruction Was Not Plain Error

Although the trial court's failure to provide, sua sponte, an instruction to the jury to carefully scrutinize the testimony of defendant's accomplice constituted error, it did not require reversal of the verdict.

SC 19409
Palmer, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

Stanfield v. Dixon

Mystic Lawyer Allegedly Did Not Communicate Adequately

A lawyer admitted that evidence existed that he did not communicate adequately with a client, in violation of Rule 1.4, and he agreed to participate in a fee dispute program.

14-0765
Cousineau, Esq., and Matthews

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

Stamford/Norwalk J.D. v. Hoffman

Attorney Admitted in 1970 to Take Course in Legal Ethics

An attorney who allegedly failed to comply with the disclosure and independent counsel requirements for entering into a business transaction with a client was ordered to take a course in legal ethics.

15-0429
Cousineau, Esq., and Matthews

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

Mendez v. Niesobecki

Attorney Reprimanded for Failure to Pay Court Judgment

An attorney who admitted that he did not make payments on a court-ordered judgment was reprimanded.

15-0164
Riccio, Freedman and Koffsky

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

McDonald v. Coley

Allegedly Attorney Refused To Provide Client a Copy of File

An attorney who allegedly refused to provide a former client a copy of his file, unless he paid the balance of his retainer and $100, engaged in unethical conduct, in violation of Rule 1.16(d) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

15-0189
Woviotis, Sullivan and Jenkins

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

Lovett v. Opin

Allegedly Lawyer Did Not Promptly Distribute Settlement

An attorney who allegedly did not promptly distribute settlement funds was ordered to take a continuing legal education course in legal ethics and IOLTA account management.

15-0464
Riccio, Freedman and Koffsky

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

Bowler v. Cannatelli

Allegedly Wallingford Lawyer Commingled Funds in IOLTA Account

An attorney who allegedly used his IOLTA account to pay personal and business expenses, although he previously agreed that he would not pay personal expenses from his IOLTA account, was ordered to be presented.

14-0571
Goulden, Sheridan and Golger

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Administrative Law

Office of the Attorney General

Letter to: Murray

AG Discussed Residential Placements for School Children

If a residential placement were required for a school-aged child to obtain meaningful educational progress, the school district might be required to pay.

2016-01
Jepsen, A.G.

Practice Areas: Education Law, Administrative Law

Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

Comm'n on Human Rights & Opportunities ex rel. Saraceno v. Midstate Med. Ctr.

Worker with Wedding Jitters Alleged Discharge Violated ADA

Allegations a worker was discharged, because the worker took a vacation immediately after taking a medical leave of absence, were sufficient to state claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act.

1130445
Wright, J., Presiding Human Rights Referee

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

Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board

Advisory Opinion 2016-1

Former Trooper Can Work as Municipal Cop Within One Year

A former Connecticut State Trooper can engage in post-state employment as a police officer for a municipality that also receives services or supervision from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, without violating the "revolving door" provision.

2016-1
Chiusano, Chair

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Stephenson v. Lynch

Jamaican Claimed Res Judicata Barred 2nd Deportation Proceeding

The government was allowed to commence a second deportation proceeding and to charge an alien as removable for his aggravated felony conviction, if the second charge was based on a different conviction for a distinct criminal offense than the conviction underlying the first charge.

15-122

Practice Areas: Immigration Law, Criminal Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Voloshin

27 Months of Supervised Release Was Reasonable

A requirement that a defendant undergo 27 months of supervised release was both procedurally and substantively reasonable.

14-4364-cr

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Nastri

Defendant Protested Above-Guidelines Sentencing Decision

Defendant failed to prove that an above-guidelines sentence was shockingly high, shockingly low or otherwise unsupportable as a matter of law.

15-726-cr

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Moreno

Choking Incident Led Court to Increase Offense Level 8 Levels

United States Sentencing Guideline §2L1.2(b)(1)(C) permits an eight-level increase to the base offense level for illegal re-entry, if defendant previously was convicted of an "aggravated felony."

14-4700-cr and 14-4709-cr
Lynch, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Crozier

Attorney Defendant Sought to Represent Himself as Co-Counsel

A criminal defendant lacked a constitutional right to represent himself, as co-counsel.

15-572-cr

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Evidence

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Ximenes v. Lvov

Plaintiff's $21,812 Award Failed to Shock Sense of Justice

Plaintiff failed to prove that a verdict so shocked the sense of justice as to compel a conclusion that the jury was influenced improperly.

CV14-6020951
Adams, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts, Damages

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

White v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp.

R.R. Platform Did Not Qualify as 'Sidewalk' under §13a-144

The fact that individuals walked on railroad platforms did not convert them into "sidewalks," for purposes of Connecticut General Statutes §13a-144.

CV15-6055608
Blue, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Damages, Personal Injury, Transportation

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Moreno v. H.N.S. Management

Plaintiff with Arthritis Won $7,000 for Fall when Exiting Bus

A plaintiff was not entitled to an additur, if the jury award failed to shock the court's conscience.

CV13-6035955
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Damages, Personal Injury, Transportation

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

McCall v. Tuxedo Junction Entertainment

Plaintiff Awarded $378,175 for 2012 Assault and Stabbing

A court awarded economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain, suffering and scarring, to the victim of an assault.

CV13-6042982
Flanagan, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts, Damages, Personal Injury

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Dental Assoc. of Kensington LLC v. DEB Realty LLC

Dentist Alleged Emotional Distress from Sewage Discharge

No cause of action existed for negligent infliction of emotional distress based solely on damage to property.

CV15-6029683
Young, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Emotional Distress

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Legowski v. Shaikh

Consequential Damages and Attorney Fees Awarded for Breach

A court can award consequential damages, liquidated damages, attorney fees and costs to a plaintiff who allegedly was induced to enter into a contract when defendant had no intent of fulfilling the terms.

CV15-6029671
Shortall, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Contracts, Breach

Windham J.D., at Putnam

Bonvouloir v. The Partner Network

Plaintiff Won Triple Damages for Breach of Sales Contract

A plaintiff who proved that defendant wrongfully breached a purchase-and-sales agreement, because it did not convey title and did not return the deposit, was entitled to triple damages, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-564.

CV15-6009134
Calmar, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Contracts, Breach

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Jefferson v. PRRC Inc.; PRRC Inc. v. Cargill Inc.

Consumer Alleged Food Poisoning from Turkey Wings

A consumer who allegedly became ill as a result of consuming turkey wings was required to present a medical expert to support her allegations that she suffered from food poisoning.

CV12-6035765
Elgo, J.

Practice Areas: Products Liability, Evidence, Expert Witnesses

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Chodos v. Votre

Attorney Won Summary Judgment in Malpractice Suit

To prove causation in a legal-malpractice action, plaintiffs were required to present evidence about what would have happened in the underlying action, if defendant attorney had not been negligent.

CV13-6043043
Alander, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Attorney Malpractice, Insurance Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Stallings v. Stallings

Child Refused To Disclose College Financial Information

A child who refused to make pertinent financial information available to her father did not qualify for post-majority educational support, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56c(e).

FA06-4010011
Nastri, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Noseworthy v. Stango

Applicant Sought to Continue Civil Order of Protection

A court denied a request to continue a civil order of protection, because respondent appeared to have a supportive family, no prior history of violence and he was not arrested or disciplined at school.

CV16-4036064
Taylor, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Civil Procedure

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Cizek v. Cizek

Connecticut has Jurisdiction Over Wife who Resides in Germany

Because plaintiff husband met the Connecticut residency requirement, the parties jointly filed taxes in Connecticut and no other state possessed jurisdiction, the court concluded it had personal jurisdiction over defendant wife.

FA15-6061349
Suarez, J.

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

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Anderson v. Anderson

Father Fined for Late Visits and Failure to Visit

A court fine a father who arrived late for visitation, failed to notify the wife that he intended to visit or missed visitation, in violation of a prior court order.

FA08-4015639
Cutsumpas, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Ansonia/Milford J.D., at Milford

Windham v. Doctor's Assoc.

Franchisee who Breached Subway Contract to Pay $250 per Day

A court upheld an arbitrator's decision to terminate plaintiff's Subway franchise and required that plaintiff pay $250 per day, as long as he continued to operate the franchise.

CV11-6007428
Hiller, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Contracts, Breach, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration (ADR)

Unites States District Court

Pape v. Law Offices of Frank N. Peluso

Attorney Faulkner Won $35,724 in Attorney Fees and Costs

A "prevailing party" under the FDCPA is presumptively entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees, and a court approved attorney fees of $400 per hour to an attorney with 45 years of experience who specialized in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases.

3:13cv63
Margolis, J.

Unites States District Court

Martinez v. State

Corrections Officer Failed to Prove Gender Discrimination

To establish a prima facie case of failure to promote, a plaintiff was required to prove: (1) she belonged to a protected class; (2) she applied for and was qualified for the job; (3) she was rejected; and (4) the job remained unfilled, and defendant employer continued to seek applicants with plaintiff's qualifications.

3:13cv457
Meyer, J.

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

Unites States District Court

United States v. Chavez

Defendant Protested Disclosure of Cell Tower Location Information

The Stored Communications Act authorized the government to request cellular records from telecommunications companies based on a court order.

3:14cr185
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

United States District Court

Estate of Gardner v. Continental Cas. Co.

Long-Term Care Policyholders Won Class-Action Certification

Common questions of fact or law existed concerning whether nursing care facilities were required to provide licensed nursing care 24 hours per day so that plaintiffs would qualify for coverage under long-term care insurance policies.

3:13cv1918
Arterton, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Class Actions, Insurance Law, Health Law

Unites States District Court

Peeler v. Fed. Bureau of Investigation

Plaintiff Maintained FBI's Search of Records Was Inadequate

The adequacy of a search was determined by the methods employed, as opposed to the results obtained, and a computer search that used the plaintiff's date of birth and alternate spellings of his name was adequate.

3:15cv169
Squatrito, J.

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Edizione v. Dragone

Plaintiff Sought Stay Pending Decision by Court in Rome

A creditor that attempts to enforce a foreign judgment and then discovers that defendants appealed the foreign judgment can be entitled to a stay.

AC 37834
Mullins, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights, International Business and Commercial Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Fairfield Merrittview L.P. v. City of Norwalk

Trial Court Properly Reduced Tax Assessment by $14.9 Million

Prompt amendment of the complaint to add a limited liability company as a party plaintiff was effective to confer jurisdiction on the trial court.

SC 19373
Rogers, C.J.

Practice Areas: Taxation, Civil Procedure, Motion Practice, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Peeler

1st Impression on Right to Order State to Pay Private Defense Cost

The trial court did not deny defendant his right to counsel of choice when it denied his motion to fund his private defense costs on remand.

SC 19282
Robinson, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Carter

Appeal of Restraining Order Conviction Dismissed

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal, because after reviewing the record, appellate briefs and oral arguments it concluded that certification was granted improvidently.

SC 19384
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Criminal, Evidence

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Fox

Owner of DaSilva Realty Violated State Contractor Ban

An individual who qualified as the principal of a prospective state contractor was banned from donating to a gubernatorial committee and to a party committee, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §9-612(f)(2)(A) of the state contractor ban.

2015-179
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

MDC and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 184

Worker Met Requirements of Position that MDC Posted

Arbitrators can order an employer to consider hiring a job applicant, after the employer wrongly concluded that the applicant lacked proper certification.

2016-A-0001
Brown and Blum – Podurgiel dissented

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Derby and AFSCME, Council 15, Local 1375

Cop on Light Duty Asked to Swap with Cop on Regular Duty

An arbitration contract can provide a chief of police discretion concerning the number and type of light duty assignments, and whether an officer who works a light duty assignment can swap with an officer who has regular duty.

2014-A-0542
Cain, Silvers and Camilliere

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Stephenson v. State

Petitioner Claimed Security Officer Recanted Trial Testimony

The Second Circuit ordered the district court to decide whether the petitioner possessed a credible, compelling claim of actual innocence, after a security officer allegedly recanted his trial testimony.

14-1310

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Evidence

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Smulley v. Mutual of Omaha Bank

Abstention Was Not Required After Several Defendants Settled

The Colorado River doctrine permitted dismissal when parallel proceedings between substantially the same parties were pending in federal and state courts.

14-4499

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Settlement, Banking and Financial Institutions, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

In Re: Friedberg; Friedberg v. Neier

Debtor Complained Property Sold for Less than True Value

The debtor's claims that property sold for less than true value at the auction sale were conjectural and did not concern the reasonableness of the bankruptcy court's approval of the settlement.

15-779

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Lamoureux v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enter.

Plaintiff Slipped on Ice After Playing Bingo at Foxwoods Casino

To prevail on a claim for breach of the duty owed to a business invitee, a plaintiff must prove that defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused her to slip and fall.

MPTC-CV-PI-2014-172
O'Connell, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law, Torts, Personal Injury

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Garmakani v. Munn

Handyman Awarded $76,688 as Result of Pit Bull Attack

At a hearing in damages, a court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to the victim of a dog bite.

CV14-6022366
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Burkett v. Yale-New Haven Hosp.

Emergency Room Patient Adequately Pled Res Ipsa Loquitur

Plaintiffs may be entitled to plead in the alternative and to present both claims of specific acts of negligence and circumstantial claims of negligence, such as res ipsa loquitur.

CV14-6047894
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury

New London J.D., at New London

Cotoia v. Conn. Spiritualist Soc'y

Genuine Issue whether Society Abandoned Public Use

A plaintiff who brings an adverse possession claim against a quasi-municipal entity can be required to prove that any public use of the disputed area was abandoned.

CV14-6022041
Cosgrove, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New London J.D., at New London

Mesa Underwriters Specialty Ins. v. Bella Fiore

Plaintiff in Underlying Case Allegedly Was Assaulted

A court can find that an alleged assault at a restaurant did not qualify as an "occurrence" or "accident" for purposes of insurance.

CV13-6019285
Leuba, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law, Policy Terms

Windham J.D.

Trudeau v. Trudeau

Wife Alleged Husband Sexually Assaulted Children

A court can find one party at greater fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship, as a result of allegations that he sexually assaulted the other parties' minor children from an earlier relationship.

FA15-5006128
Graziani, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Kellogg v. Fayerweather Yacht Club

Lawyer Requested Reinstatement to Yacht Club without Apology

A private club can suspend one of its members and condition reinstatement on a written apology, provided that the club's by-laws are reasonable, the member received a meaningful hearing and the sanction was reasonable.

CV14-6046497
Thim, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Entertainment and Sports Law

New London J.D., at New London

Morris v. Geising

Circulator Alleged Waiting Period Violated Freedom of Speech

Connecticut General Statutes §9-59 required that an individual who changed his political affiliation was "not entitled to the privileges accompanying enrollment" for a three-month period.

CV16-5015038
Bates, J.

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Constitutional Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Burros v. Bellemare Tree Serv. LLC

Homeowner Alleged Tree Service Trespassed and Cut Tree

Allegations that defendant tree service was not registered as a home improvement contractor and wrongly entered plaintiff's property and cut down a tree were insufficient to state a claim for unfair trade practices.

CV15-6029185
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Consumer Protection, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Schafer v. Schafer

Service at Summer Cottage After Defendant Left Was Insufficient

Service at a summer cottage owned by defendant's relative that took place after defendant left the summer cottage was insufficient, even if defendant received actual notice.

FA15-6012510
Shah, J.

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

Harford J.D., at Harford

Dougan v. Sikorsky

Putative Class-Action Plaintiffs Did Not Prove 'Commonality'

A court can certify a class action in part, even if putative plaintiffs failed to establish the element of "commonality."

X03-CV12-6033069
Miller, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Class Actions, Torts, Toxic Torts

United States District Court

Enzo Biochem v. Applera Corp.

Applera Corp. Won Judgment After 12 Years of Litigation

To infringe by equivalence an accused product or process must contain elements or equivalent to each claimed element of the patented invention.

3:04cv929
Arterton, J.

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property, Patents, Infringement (Patents)

United States District Court

United States v. Pitts

Defendants Who Worked on GEDs Won Sentence Reductions

A court can reduce the length of prison sentences for drug-related offenses pursuant to new guideline ranges.

3:10cr148
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States District Court

Dean v. Town of Hamden

Bar Did Not Prove Municipality Violated Equal-Protection Clause

To prove a class-of-one or selective enforcement equal- protection claim, plaintiffs were required to prove that comparators were similarly situated.

3:14cv448
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Land Use and Planning

United States District Court

Outlaw v. City of Hartford

Plaintiff Awarded $454,197 for Officer's Use of Excessive Force

A court can find that a reasonable officer would not have repeatedly struck a citizen who lay unresisting on the ground.

3:07cv1769
Crawford, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Torts, Intentional Torts, Assault, Damages

United States District Court

Dempsey v. Hous. Operations Management Inc.

Disabled Tenant Protested Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent

A tenant who was disabled and failed to pay rent lacked a claim that he should not be evicted, as a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act.

3:15cv615
Underhill, J.

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

Connecticut Appellate Court

Davis v. Davis-Henriques

Probate Court Found Will Was Not Witnessed by Two Individuals

Connecticut General Statutes §45a-251 requires that two individuals witness a will, and a proponent of a will must establish strict compliance with the statute.

AC 37495
Gruendel, J.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates, Civil Procedure

Connecticut Appellate Court

Parnoff v. Yuille

Attorney Not Entitled to Recovery in Quantum Meruit

An attorney who violated Connecticut's attorney "fee cap statute," Connecticut General Statutes §52-251c, could not recover on an alternative quantum meruit count for the value of services provided.

AC 36106
Pellegrino, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Attorney Fee Recovery

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Njoku

Evidence of Other Male DNA on Vaginal Swab Was Barred

Evidence of the victim's sexual conduct generally was not admissible as a result of the rape shield statute, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it barred the admission of evidence of other male DNA on the vaginal swab taken from the victim.

AC 36189
Kahn, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Raffone

Defendant Forfeited Truck After Attempt to Steal Windows

Connecticut General Statutes §54-33g allowed the condemnation and forfeiture of a truck that allegedly was used during an attempt to steal skylight windows from Home Depot.

AC 37518
DiPentima, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Personal Property

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Leconte

Restrictions on Cross-Exam Did Not Violate Sixth Amendment

The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it restricted defense counsel's cross-examination of a co-conspirator, because the defense was given ample opportunity during cross-examination to challenge the co-conspirator's credibility.

SC 19258
Zarella, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Weik v. Bd. of Selectmen

Assistant Town Clerk Was Unable To Post Agenda Timely on Web Site

A failure to post the agenda of a special meeting on a municipal Web site, 24 hours prior to the meeting, may not be the fault of the board of selectmen, if the assistant town clerk was unable to post the agenda as a result of computer difficulty.

FIC 2015-369
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Smith v. Cooke

Complainant Requested Legal Invoices that Did Not Yet Exist

Respondents were not required to comply with a request for records that did not exist at the time of the request.

FIC 2015-380
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Robinson v. Chief, Police Dep't, Town of Trumbull

Search Warrant Application Was Exempt from Disclosure

Search warrant applications, inventories, state police reports, and witness statements can be exempt from disclosure, as records of law enforcement agencies compiled in connection with investigation of crime.

FIC 2015-161
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Terreros-Terreros v. Lynch

Petitioner who Alleged Past Persecution Can Relocate

A petitioner who alleged past persecution and who was capable of relocating to another part of his country was not eligible for relief.

13-1487

Practice Areas: Immigration Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Brown

Defendant Argued Evidence of Gun Possession Was Insufficient

A rational jury could find that defendant possessed a firearm, if police observed defendant making a throwing motion as he fled on foot and later discovered a gun at that location.

15-176-cr

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Evidence

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Hannon v. Schulman and Assoc.

Inmate Alleged Denial of Legal Assistance Violated §1983

An inmate who filed a civil-rights complaint, alleging that defendants did not provide legal assistance, in violation of 42 United States Code §1983, was required to allege that a state actor was involved personally, and that the allegedly unlawful conduct prejudiced a legal action.

15-2132

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Evidence

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Hazard v. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Disabled Customer Allegedly Toppled 100-Pound Propane Tank

A court can find that it was not reasonably foreseeable that a disabled customer would ride her motorized scooter in an area where customers were not allowed, become caught in the electrical lines or water hoses and topple a 100-pound propane tank.

CV-PI-2009-210
Londregan, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law, Torts, Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Northrup v. Witkowski

Municipality Immune for Failure to Install New Pipes

Because reckless conduct is willful conduct for purposes of Connecticut General Statutes §52-557n(a)(2)(A), claims against municipal defendants for recklessness were barred by government immunity.

CV10-6008204
Blue, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Liability, Immunity, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New Haven J.D., at Meriden

Machado v. Taylor

Floor Installer Won $13,280 for Accident with Dump Truck

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to an individual rear-ended by a nine-ton Freightliner dump truck.

CV12-6005586
Cronan, J.

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

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Francis v. Veterinary Assoc. of N. Branford LLC

Vet Not Responsible For Dog Fight in Waiting Room

A vet was not required to take special precautions in connection with dogs not known to be dangerous.

CV13-6037953
Blue, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury, Liability

New London J.D., at New London

Deptulski v. Ansonia Acquisitions I

Decedent Fell to Death when Staircase Collapsed

Recklessness is conduct that takes on the aspect of highly unreasonable conduct and that involves an extreme departure from ordinary care, when a high degree of danger is apparent.

CV15-6025135
Vacchelli, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Tavella v. Rolling Ridge Condominium Assoc.

Condo Board Did Not Provide 10 Days' Warning of No Smoking Rule

Connecticut General Statutes §47-261b(a) requires that a condominium board provide 10 days' advance warning to unit owners of an intent to adopt a rule.

CV14-6040894
Kamp, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Costello and McCormack

Law Firm Awarded $39,899 for Representing Divorcee

A law firm that allegedly deposits $20,000 into the firm's trustee account without the client's permission and then returns the $20,000 to the client does not have unclean hands.

CV14-6023815
Povodator, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Attorney Fee Recovery, Family Law

Ansonia/Milford J.D., at Milford

Harris v. Arisian

Owner Who Did Not Immediately Comply Fined $1,000

"Any person who . . . fails to comply with [a cease and desist order] immediately . . . shall be subject to a civil penalty" of no more than $2,500, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §8-12.

CV11-6008312
Stevens, J.

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

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Steller v. Steller

Alimony Decreased from $100,000 to $60,000 per Year

A court can grant a former husband's motion to reduce alimony, as a result of the husband's semi-retirement.

FA06-4022284
Schluger

Practice Areas: Family Law

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Mangino v. Helmy

Mom Was Worried Dad Would Take Child to Egypt

A court can prohibit parents from removing a minor child from the United States without a court order.

FA14-4014916
Gallagher, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Idone v. Idone

Alimony Increased from $1,600 to $6,000 per Month

A court can modify alimony, because the husband's income increased four times, the wife experienced health problems and the previous alimony award was insufficient to maintain the wife's standard of living.

FA10-4009730
Gallagher, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

United States District Court

Thornton v. Colvin

Treating Dr. Claimed Patient's Medical Condition Had Stabilized

The "treating physician rule" requires that administrative law judges give significant deference to the opinions of treating physicians.

3:13cv1558
Haight, J.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law, Health Law

United States District Court

Rosario v. Compass Group

Asst. Manager Sought to Certify FLSA Collective Action

A court can deny a motion to certify a collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, if plaintiff assistant managers fail to meet their burden of establishing a modest factual showing that they were "similarly situated."

3:15cv241
Shea, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Wages and Hours

United States District Court

Weghorst v. Hartford Life and Accident Ins.

No Right to Jury Trial in §502(a)(1)(B) ERISA Case

Second Circuit precedent does not permit a right to a jury trial on a complaint to recover ERISA Benefits under Section 502(a)(1)(B).

3:15cv560
Bolden, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Trial, Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits, Health Benefits, Insurance Law

United States District Court

Crespo v. Beauton

Police to Disclose any Prior Complaints against K-9 Handler

In civil-rights actions, courts can permit discovery of prior similar complaints or incidents, if any, regardless of the results of the prior similar complaints.

3:15cv412
Garfinkel, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Discovery, Civil Rights

United States District Court

Beyer v. Anchor Insulation Co.

Plaintiffs' Motion to Prohibit Surveillance of Kids Denied

A court can deny as moot, a request to prohibit future surveillance of plaintiffs and their minor children.

3:13cv1576
Margolis, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Discovery, Products Liability

Connecticut Appellate Court

136 Field Point Circle Holding Co. v. Razinski

Trial Court Did Not Conduct Hearing Pursuant to §47a-26b(d)

Because defendant tenants filed an answer, before they allegedly failed to make use-and-occupancy payments, they were entitled to a hearing on the merits of plaintiff landlord's motion for judgment of possession under Connecticut General Statutes §47a-26b(d).

AC 37213
Schuman, J.

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

Connecticut Appellate Court

Fazio v. Fazio

Language in Separation Contract Was Ambiguous

A court may consider extrinsic evidence, if language in a separation contract is ambiguous concerning whether alimony would immediately and irrevocably terminate in the event of cohabitation.

AC 37241
Prescott, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Hope v. State

Seizure of Homeowner's Firearms Did Not Violate Second Amendment

The seizure of a homeowner's firearms pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §29-38c did not violate the Second Amendment, because it did not prevent law-abiding, responsible citizens from use of firearms to defend their homes.

AC 37354
Per Curiam

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Herrick v. The Monkey Farm

Judgment of Nonsuit Deprived Plaintiff of his Day in Court

Judgment of nonsuit that resulted because counsel failed to timely pay a $500 sanction, was disproportionate.

AC 37218
Bishop, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Torts, Personal Injury

Connecticut Supreme Court

Merscorp Holdings v. Malloy

First Impression Issues on Payments of Recording Fees

A two-tiered structure for recording fees, that required companies affiliated with a national electronic database to pay higher fees, sought to accomplish a legitimate public purpose of raising revenue and did not violate equal-protection rights.

SC 19376
Palmer, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

In the Matter of: Megrue-Cliff Place LLC

No Proof Private Dock Was Likely to Harm Shellfish or Birds

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection may consider whether construction of a private dock was likely to harm shellfish and birds and unreasonably pollute, impair or destroy the public trust in the air, water or other natural resources.

201407131
Whalen, Deputy Commissioner

Practice Areas: Environmental Law, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of Glastonbury and Glastonbury Police Officers Assoc.

Sergeant Won $5,000 in Tuition Reimbursement for Law School

Arbitrators can order a municipality to pay tuition reimbursement to a police officer who received a grade of "B" or higher when she went to law school.

2014-A-0446
Pittocco, Esq. and Franzo – Melita dissented

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Gianetti v. New England Life Ins. Co.

Life Insurance Company Reformed Parties' Contract

Reformation is appropriate when a written document fails to express the parties' real agreement, as a result of a "mutual mistake."

14-4507-cv

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Pierre v. Lynch

Drug Gang Allegedly Threatened to Kill Petitioner

To qualify for relief under the Convention Against Torture, a petitioner must prove: (1) it was more likely than not that petitioner would be tortured, if returned to her country of origin; and (2) government officials would inflict or otherwise acquiesce in the torture.

14-236

Practice Areas: Immigration Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Pinzon-Gallardo

Fines Were Greater than Defendants' Abilities to Pay

The district court can exceed its discretion, when it imposes fines that are greater than defendant's ability to pay.

14-2823, and 14-3740

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Evidence, Witnesses

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

At Engine Controls v. Goodrich Pump & Engine Control Sys.

Military Manufacturer Was Not Entitled to Tolling

To establish fraudulent concealment of a legal cause of action for purposes of tolling the statute of limitations, a plaintiff can be required to establish defendant: (1) possessed actual awareness, as opposed to imputed knowledge, of facts necessary to establish plaintiff's cause of action; and (2) defendant intentionally concealed these facts from plaintiff.

15-179-cv

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

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Mahon v. City of Hartford

High School Student Won $1.01 Million for Hallway Eye Injury

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economical damages for pain and suffering to a high school student injured when another student threw a bottle in a dark hallway.

CV13-6042701
Peck, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Damages, Personal Injury, Education Law

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

One Commons Park v. The Water Pollution Control Auth. of the City of Stamford

Genuine Issues Concerning City of Stamford's Sewer Charges

Connecticut General Statutes §7-255 provides, "The water pollution control authority may establish and revise fair and reasonable charges for connection with and for the use of a sewerage system."

CV11-6011647
Adams, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Public Utilities, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Temple v. Comm'n on Human Rights and Opportunities

Female African Alleged Discharge was Discriminatory

A court can consider whether a decision by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities that a complainant did not prove discrimination on the basis of race or sex was arbitrary, illegal or an abuse of discretion.

CV15-5016328
Moll, J.

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

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Dinunzio v. Dinunzio

Wife of Unsuccessful Day Trader Awarded $75 per Week

A court may consider the parties' health, incomes and sources of earnings when it awards alimony and distributes property.

FA14-4073712
Suarez, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Prendergast v. Comm'r of Motor Vehicles

Motorist Protested Continuance After the State Rested its Case

A hearing officer is allowed to grant a continuance upon a showing of good cause, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §14-227b(g), and can permit state witnesses to testify even after the state has rested its case.

CV15-6029663
Schuman, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Administrative Law

United States District Court

Perez-Dickson v. Bridgeport Bd. of Educ.

Principal Did Not Prove Prima Facie Case of Race Discrimination

Even if a principal on administrative leave established a prima facie case of discrimination, board of education defendants adequately articulated a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason, as a result of surveillance tapes that indicated potentially abusive conduct.

3:13cv198
Eginton, J.

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

United States District Court

Larocca v. Frontier Communications

58-Year-Old Accountant Did Not Prove Age Discrimination

Lack of a college degree can provide a valid, nondiscriminatory rationale for an employer to refuse to hire a job candidate.

3:13cv1872
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Hiring/Firing, Discrimination, Age Discrimination, Torts, Intentional Torts, Fraud (Torts)

United States District Court

Raffone v. Nugent

Genuine Issue on Excessive Use of Force by K-9 Dog 'Jager'

To prevail on an excessive-force claim, a plaintiff must prove that the amount of force used was objectively unreasonable, either as to when or how applied and that, as a result, plaintiff suffered a compensable injury.

3:13cv1589
Arterton, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Estate of Devine v. Fusaro

Estate Alleged Baton Projectiles Constituted Excessive Use of Force

Law enforcement officers can be entitled to qualified immunity, if they use less-than-lethal force after several hours of negotiations with an armed individual on public property.

3:14cv1019
Meyer, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Torcasio v. New Canaan Bd. of Educ.

Request to Depose Boss's Wife Constituted 'Fishing Expedition'

Absent evidence that a nonparty's testimony is relevant or critical to claims in the complaint, a court can grant defendants' request to quash a subpoena and to issue a protective order.

3:15cv53
Merriam, J.

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

United States District Court

Mendez v. Pure Foods Management Group

Court Lacked Jurisdiction Over Maryland and NJ Defendants

A foreign defendant's contacts with Connecticut are only material if those contacts give rise to the claims in the case.

3:14cv1515
Underhill, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Jurisdiction and Service of Process, Labor and Employment, Wages and Hours

United States District Court

Robb v. Conn. Bd. of Veterinary Med.

Vet Failed to Adequately Allege Viable Antitrust Claim

A plaintiff who fails to adequately allege that defendants reached agreement to conspire with one another may not possess a viable antitrust claim under the Sherman Act.

3:15cv906
Eginton, J.

Practice Areas: Antitrust, Unfair Competition, Administrative Law, Health Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Studer v. Studer

Dad Protested Order To Support Adult Disabled Child

Because a Florida court issued the initial child support order, Florida law, which requires parents to support adult disabled children, governed the duration of child support.

SC 19508
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support, Civil Procedure, Choice of Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Obas

Exemption from Sex Registry Did Not Violate Plea Agreement

A trial court can exempt a defendant who has served his sentence and who has registered as a sex offender from a requirement that he continue to register.

SC 19290
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Roman

Murder Defendant Did Not Prove Juror Misconduct

Evidence that bus passengers allegedly discussed defendant's case and that alternate jurors exchanged side comments, rolled their eyes and exchanged skeptical glances may be insufficient to prove that juror misconduct deprived defendant of his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.

SC 19474
Espinosa, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of East Haven and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1303-159

Town Fired Secretary who Requested Second FMLA Leave

A worker who exhausted her FMLA leave to care for an injured child may not be entitled to take a second FMLA leave, because she suffered from acute stress.

2015-A-0157
Cho, Esq., Melita and Panagrossi

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Success Village and UAW Local 376

Employer Lacked Just Cause to Discharge Maintenance Worker

Arbitrators can find that discharge is overly harsh, and order reinstatement with back pay.

2014-A-0425
Daly, Esq. and Shay – Boldry dissented

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

PolyOne Designed Structures and Teamsters, Local 191

Worker Allegedly Cursed at Boss who Asked why He Was Lying Down

An employer can possess just cause to discharge a worker who allegedly decided to lie down and then cursed at and acted aggressively when a supervisor requested an explanation.

2016-A-0010
Diaz, Ryan and Krzywicki

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Meriden and AFSCME, Council 15, Local 1016

Officer Allegedly Signed Letter Without Reading it

A municipality can possess just cause to discharge an officer for allegedly engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer and for making public statements with reckless disregard of facts.

2014-A-0311
Gnocchi and Leverty – Shea dissented

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Derby and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1303-259

City Tax Clerk Allegedly Pled Guilty to Shoplifting Clothes

An employer can possess just cause to discharge a worker who handles cash payments from the public and who allegedly pleads guilty to shoplifting when off duty.

2015-A-0376
Daly and Margenot – Ferrucci dissented

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

City of Bridgeport and IAFF, Local 834

Firefighter Asked To Cancel Vacation One Hour in Advance

A municipality can enforce a provision in a collective bargaining contract that requires that workers who rescind vacation requests indicate their decision in writing, 24 hours or more in advance.

2015-A-0179
McMahon and Ryan – Shea dissented

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

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Bridgeport Hous. Auth./Park City Comm'n and AFSCME, Council 4, Local 1303-430

Discharge of Sr. Accountant Reduced To Written Warning

Arbitrators can find that discharge is overly harsh, and reduce the discharge to a written warning.

2015-A-0377
Diaz, Neary and Malse

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Chaudhry v. Target Corp.

Target Defeated Customer's 'Mode-of-Operation' Claim

Connecticut's "mode-of-operation" rule requires evidence that defendant's mode of operation gave rise to a foreseeable risk of injury to customers, and that plaintiff's injury proximately was caused by an accident within the zone of risk.

14-3388

Practice Areas: Torts, Premises Liability

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Virag v. Goodwill of W. & N. Conn.

Prospective Employee Was Unable to Speak English

A prospective employee who is unable to speak English may not be able to prove that age was the "but for" cause of the employer's decision not to hire.

14-470

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Mejia v. Lynch

Petitioner Failed to Submit Adequate Application for Relief

The Board of Immigration Appeal can deny a motion to open, if a petitioner fails to submit an application for relief, as required by 8 Code of Federal Regulations §1003.2(c)(1).

13-1252

Practice Areas: Immigration Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Lawrence + Mem'l Hosp. v. Burwell

New London Hospital Argued it Was Both Rural and Urban

Section 401 of the Medicare Act allows hospitals to be classified as urban for some purposes and rural for others.

15-164-cv
Rakoff, J.

Practice Areas: Health Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Larobina v. Wells Fargo Bank

Emotionally Distraught Mortgagor Failed to Prove CUTPA Violation

A plaintiff who alleges emotional distress as a result of false charges of being delinquent on his mortgage may not be able to establish an "ascertainable loss," as required to prove unfair trade practices.

14-2961

Practice Areas: Consumer Protection, Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Pequot Pharm. Network v. Conn. Hospice

First Impression on Nullum Tempus as Defense to SOL

An arm of the tribe can assert the doctrine of nullum tempus as a defense to plaintiff's failure to timely file a complaint.

CV-GC-2015-104
O'Connell, J.

Practice Areas: Native American Law, Civil Procedure, Statute of Limitations, Contracts, Breach

Mashantucket Pequot Court of Appeals

Deshaies v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enter.

Plaintiff Failed To Request Disclosure of Employee's Name

If plaintiff failed to request disclosure of the identity of an employee witness during discovery, defendant may not be required to disclose the name.

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

Practice Areas: Native American Law, Appellate Law - Civil, Torts, Premises Liability

New London J.D., at New London

Stern v. McEwen

Tavern Permittee Rebutted Presumption of Responsibility

A tavern permittee can rebut the statutory presumption of responsibility for service of alcohol under the dram shop act.

CV10-6006881
Bates, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury, Motor Vehicles

New London J.D., at New London

Lozada v. Perry

Plaintiff Who Allegedly Was Punched Awarded $140,000

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to the victim of an intentional assault and battery.

CV14-6022332
Leuba, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Torts, Intentional Torts, Assault, Battery

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Zhang v. 56 Locust Rd. LLC

Adverse Possession of Horseback Riding Ring Established

If plaintiffs' predecessors' use of the disputed area took place for much longer than 15 years, under a claim of right and the predecessors' use was both open and notorious, a court can grant judgment of adverse possession to plaintiffs.

CV12-6015791
Povodator, J.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Pierczyk Straska Farm v. Town of Rocky Hill

Farm Objected that Municipal Blight Ordinance Did Not Apply

A municipal blight ordinance can extend to a farm and farming operations.

CV15-5016838
Swienton, J.

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

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Zevin v. Murashova

Husband from Belarus Did Not Prove Wife Abandoned Family

A court can find one party at greater fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship, because he was emotionally unavailable and uncommunicative.

FA15-5007602
Gallagher, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Rivera v. Case

Mom's Motion to Relocate with Child to Puerto Rico Denied

A court can find that it is not in the best interests of the minor child for the mother and child to relocate to Puerto Rico, because relocation would effectively eliminate the child's father from the child's life.

FA15-4077375
Ficeto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Johnson-Jones v. Jones

Wife of 17 Years Awarded Car, $52K Lump Sum and $50 per Week

A court may consider the parties' health, resources and retirement incomes when it awards alimony and distributes property.

FA15-6061180
Suarez, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Godburn v. Connell

Wife Objected To Teaching 8-Year-Old Child to Shoot Firearms

A court can grant a mother's request to restrain a father from keeping firearms or ammunition in his home and from exposing the minor children to firearms or teaching them to shoot.

FA13-4013006
Gallagher, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

D'Eramo v. D'Eramo

Arrest Led To Discharge from Job in Reinsurance Industry

A court can deny a motion to modify alimony and child support, if a party lost his job because of misconduct.

FA11-4035364
Owens, J.T.R.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Custody and Child Support

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

State v. Wang

State Requested Involuntary Administration of Psych Drugs

A court can order the involuntary administration of psychiatric medication, if the medication is substantially likely to render a defendant competent to stand trial and will not cause unnecessary risk to defendant's health or interfere with defendant's ability to assist defense counsel.

CR10-0104889
O'Keefe, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Tolland J.D., at Rockville

State v. Walker

Prisoner Who Bit Corrections Officer Sentenced to Five Years

An individual who allegedly bites a corrections officer can be sentenced to 20 years for assault on a public safety officer.

CR12-102332
Fischer, J., Hadden, J. and Ginocchio, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

State v. Carey

Jury Reasonably Found Jilted Woman Had Intent To Kill Lover

Intent to kill can be inferred from conduct such as the type of weapon, the manner of use, the type of wound and events that take place immediately before and after the wound was inflicted.

CR12-0261727
Keegan, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Chiagouris v. Comm'r of Motor Vehicles

Court Overturned Suspension of Driver's License for DUI

If police lack concrete evidence about when the arrestee drove his motor vehicle, they may not possess probable cause to arrest for driving under the influence.

CV15-6030194
Schuman, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Motor Vehicles (Criminal)

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Nat'l Waste Assoc. v. TD Bank

Court Denied Plaintiff's Request for Trial by Jury

If the cause of action is essentially legal, as opposed to essentially equitable, a party can be entitled to a trial by jury.

CV10-6007649
Moukawsher, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Trial

United States District Court

Libertarian Party of Conn. v. Merrill

Libertarians Won Injunction in Professional Circulator Suit

Circulation of ballot access petitions constitutes core political speech, the restriction of which constitutes a severe burden that merits strict scrutiny.

3:14cv1851
Hall, J.

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law

United States District Court

Doe v. New Fairfield Bd. of Educ.

Parents of Alleged Victim Alleged BOE Violated Title IX

Allegations that the alleged victim of sexual abuse continued to encounter the alleged abuser on the school bus and in the school lunchroom, and was subjected to harassment by classmates, can be sufficient to allege that education opportunities were negatively affected and that school officials were deliberately indifferent, in violation of Title IX.

3:13cv1025
Eginton, J.

Practice Areas: Education Law

United States District Court

Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County v. Borough of Litchfield

Reasonable Factfinder Could Find Religious Discrimination

To establish a prima facie nondiscrimination claim under RLUIPA, a plaintiff must produce evidence that defendants, when they denied a religious organization's application to build an addition, acted with intent to discriminate on the basis of religion.

3:09cv1419
Hall, J.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law, Civil Rights, Land Use and Planning

United States District Court

Shao v. Beta Pharma Inc.

Bank Records Are Relevant To Claim Defendant Commingled Funds

Ruling on a motion to quash, a court can find that bank records are relevant to allegations that the individual defendant commingled the corporate defendant's funds with his own funds and exercised dominion and control over the corporate defendant.

3:14cv1177
Haight, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Discovery, Banking and Financial Institutions, Business Entities, Personal Liability

United States District Court

Doe v. Mastoloni

Plaintiffs Sought To Delay Discovery Until After Deposition

A court can deny a request to delay production of pertinent documents until after depositions are taken.

3:14cv718
Haight, J.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Discovery, Constitutional Law, Education Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Wheelabrator Bridgeport L.P. v. City of Bridgeport

Court Wrongly Rejected Cash Flow Approach to Valuation

The discounted cash flow approach can be used to assess the fair market value of a waste-to-energy facility that accepts tipping fees and sells electricity.

SC 19288
Zarella, J.

Practice Areas: Taxation, Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Connecticut Supreme Court

McCullough v. Swan Engraving Inc.

Wife Not Required to File Separate Survivor Benefits Claim

Connecticut General Statutes §31-294c may not require that a dependent file a separate claim for survivor's benefits, if the employee filed a timely claim for benefits during his or her lifetime.

SC 19480
Eveleigh, J.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law, Workers’ Compensation, Civil Procedure, Statute of Limitations

Connecticut Supreme Court

Caruso v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of the City of Meriden

Regs Did Not Practically Destroy Property's Value

Unusual hardship can be proved by establishing that a zoning regulation has deprived the property of all reasonable use and value and caused the "practical confiscation" of the property.

SC 19380
Robinson, J.

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

Freedom of Information Commission

Talbert-Slagle v. Superintendent of Sch., Hartford Public Sch.

Hartford Public Schools Inadvertently Failed to Comply

Respondents who fail to comprehend the ninth part of a nine-part request for records and inadvertently fail to comply can violate C.G.S. §1-210(a) and 1-212(a).

FIC2015-313
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Muir v. Chief, Police Dep't, City of Hartford

Attorney's Interview Tapes Qualified as Public Records

A municipality that hires an attorney to investigate a discrimination complaint can be required to disclose copies of the attorney's written report and taped interviews.

FIC2015-323
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Dudgeon-Eisenlohr v. Chairman, Inland Wetlands Comm'n

Executive Session Held to Discuss Interview Committee Violated FOIA

Respondents who convene in executive session in order to discuss who would represent their commission on an interview committee can violate Connecticut General Statutes §1-225(a).

FIC2015-279
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Dobson v. Chairman, Dep't of Energy and Envtl. Protection

Whistleblower Alleged DEEP Did Not Provide All Responsive Recs

A public agency is not required to create records and generally is only required to provide copies of responsive records that the agency keeps.

FIC2015-243
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Freedom of Information Commission

Aronow v. Freedom of Info. Officer, Univ. of Conn. Health Ctr.

UConn Health Center Waited Four Months To Begin Records Search

Respondents who do not begin to search for records in response to a complainant's request for four months can violate C.G.S. §1-210(a) and 1-212(a).

FIC2015-141
Freedom of Information Commission

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. v. Bandrich

NY Lawyer Who Resides in Danbury Sentenced as Leader

A lawyer who allegedly files hundreds of fraudulent immigration applications and is convicted can receive a sentencing enhancement for the lawyer's leadership role.

14-3104; 14-4390

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Immigration Law, Legal Profession

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Gonzalez v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust

Claims that Bank Violated Constitutional Rights Barred

Claim preclusion bars the pursuit of claims that were actually made or that might have been made in an earlier suit.

15-756-cv

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

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Martinez v. City of New Haven

11 Year Old Won $40,814 for School Auditorium Accident

A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and noneconomic damages, for pain and suffering, to a school student who was injured in a school auditorium.

CV13-6042389
Agati, J.

Practice Areas: Torts, Personal Injury

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Kusmit v. Mahoney

Law Firm Won Motion to Strike Legal-Malpractice Claims

A lawyer's apportionment complaint against another lawyer and law firm can be stricken, because plaintiffs who alleged legal malpractice did not allege damage to property, personal injury or wrongful death.

CV15-6054222
Fischer, J.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession, Attorney Malpractice, Torts, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Narden v. Town of Westbrook Zoning Bd. of Appeals

Applicants Did Not Request the Minimum Variances Possible

If applicants prove that an unusual hardship exists, they are not required to request the absolute minimum variances possible.

CV14-6012589
Quinn, J.T.R.

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

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Hinds v. Gullap

Wife of 10 Years Won Green Card And 2003 Ford Windstar

A court can find that a husband left a marital residence after his wife allegedly threw water at him and threatened to have him arrested.

FA15-6059112
Ficeto, J.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

State v. Walton

Defense Claimed Photo Array Was Unnecessarily Suggestive

A court can suppress an identification based on a photo array, if police procedures are unnecessarily suggestive.

CR13-0414326
Crawford, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence, Admissibility, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Quality Cardiovascular Care v. Malinics

Myers Harrison Expert Witness Is Qualified to Testify

A court can admit the testimony of a valuation expert who formulated an opinion based on financial statements, tax returns and monthly charge analysis reports.

CV10-6004787
Brazzel-Massaro, J.

Practice Areas: Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Town of Middlebury v. Conn. Siting Council

Siting Council Adequately Considered Neighborhood Concerns

If opponents of a power plant expansion submit evidence about air quality, water supply and the public's safety, and the agency's decision indicates that the agency extensively considered those topics, opponents may not be able to prove that the agency failed to adequately consider "neighborhood concerns," as required by Connecticut General Statutes §16-50p(c)(1).

CV15-6029869
Schuman, J.

Practice Areas: Environmental Law, Energy and Natural Resources

Tolland J.D., at Rockville

Betancourt v. Warden

Defense Did Not Know About State's Chief Witness' Agreement

If the state's chief witness reaches agreement with the state that will confer a benefit on the witness for his testimony, and the defense is unaware of the agreement, that can provide grounds to grant a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

CV12-4004762
Oliver, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Curran v. Curran

Contract Provided that Third Party Would Value Dealership

Absent bad faith, fraud or gross misconduct, if parties stipulate that a third party will decide the value of a minority stakeholder's shares, they may not appeal and claim that the third-party appraiser did not properly apply a minority discount.

CV12-6039298
Sheridan, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts, Business Entities, Valuation, Dissolution

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Horrocks v. Keepers Inc.

1st Impression on Alleged Unconscionability of Arb Clause

A court can enforce an arbitration clause that is not procedurally or substantively unconscionable and that does not violate public policy.

CV15-6054684
Wilson, J.

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration (ADR), Labor and Employment, Wages and Hours

United States District Court

Polite v. Winn Residential

Tenant Refused Landlord's Reasonable Accommodation

A tenant who allegedly refuses to accept a reasonable accommodation may not raise a plausible inference that defendant landlord refused to accommodate her disability.

3:14cv1921
Bolden, J.

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

United States District Court

Von Britton v. State

Former Inmate Seeks $10 Million for Alleged Failure to Diagnose

A former inmate's broad and conclusory statement that a prison warden managed medical care decisions can be insufficient to state a claim for supervisory liability.

3:14cv133
Shea, J.

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

Connecticut Appellate Court

Kenosia Commons v. DaCosta

Tenant Purchased Shares of Stock in Mobile Manufactured Home Park

An individual who purchases shares of stock in a mobile manufactured home park may not qualify as an "owner" of the park, for purposes of a summary-process action.

AC 37396
Lavine, J.

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

Connecticut Appellate Court

Tirreno v. The Hartford

Insurer Moved to Enforce Parties' Settlement Agreement

A trial court possesses the power to enforce a settlement agreement, provided that the terms are clear and unambiguous.

AC 36879
Alvord, J.

Practice Areas: Contracts, Breach, Torts, Personal Injury, Motor Vehicles

Connecticut Appellate Court

Town of Trumbull v. Palmer

Affidavit Was Not Filed in Conjunction with Motion to Open

When a defendant files a motion to open a judgment of dismissal that entered because her attorney did not attend a dormancy status conference, defendant's attorney may not be required to file an affidavit.

AC 36718
Bishop, J.

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

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Berrios

Mother's Jury Tampering Did Not Prevent a Fair Trial

Allegations that defendant's mother tampered with the jury by approaching a juror outside the courthouse and speaking to that juror about the evidence can be insufficient to prove that the jury was unable to decide the case fairly and impartially.

SC 19494
Robinson, J.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Mulcahy

Candidate Used Club Funds for Letter that Benefitted Campaign

A candidate who uses a private entity's funds to write a letter that benefits his campaign for re-election to public office and who does not include an attribution that explains who paid for and approved the letter can violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-613 and 9-621(a).

2015-093
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Minor

Incumbent's Post on Facebook Did Not Violate C.G.S. §9-610(d)

A post on Facebook that does not cost anything to print or mail may not violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-610(d), which prevents incumbent candidates from use of public funds "to mail or print flyers or other promotional materials" that promote an incumbent within three months of an election.

2015-114
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Mazurek

Two Candidate Committees Engaged in Joint Expenditures

Separate candidate committees can engage in joint campaign expenditures, provided that each committee pays a pro rata share.

2014-099
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Coviello

Campaign Worker Did Not Properly Report Cost of Sign

A campaign worker who allegedly does not report a campaign expenditure can violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-608.

2014-073
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

State Elections Enforcement Commission

Complaint by: Bernaschina

Town Attorney Asked BOE Candidate Not To Dumpster Dive

A town attorney who requests that a candidate from a different political party cease and desist from combing through a garbage dumpster does not violate prohibitions in Connecticut General Statutes §9-610(d)(1) on incumbents' use of public funds.

2015-126
Castagno, Chair

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law, Administrative Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Brayboy v. O'Dwyer

BOE Security Guard Did Not Prove Adverse Employment Action

A failure to investigate may constitute an adverse employment action only if the failure to investigate is retaliation for a separate, protected act.

15-1416

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment, Discrimination, Race Discrimination

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Asante-Addae v. Sodexo Inc.

General Manager's Predecessor Had 20 Years More Seniority

Absent evidence that plaintiff and a predecessor were similarly situated in material respects, a plaintiff may not be able to prevail on a disparate pay claim.

15-1377

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

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Roque

15 Years for Gun Possession Not Cruel and Unusual Punishment

A sentence of 15 years in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm may not violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, if defendant previously was convicted on charges of first-degree escape, first-degree assault and first-degree robbery.

14-3768

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States v. Constantinou

Defendant Objected to Use of Side Bars During Voir Dire

Use of side bars during voir dire, which is a common practice in Connecticut district court, may not qualify as clear or obvious error.

14-4725

Practice Areas: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, White Collar Crime, Fraud (White Collar)

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Watley v. Katz

Court Acted Prematurely When it Dismissed Complaint

An individual can be entitled to notice before adverse judicial action is taken, and failure to provide an opportunity to be heard can provide grounds for reversal.

14-3862

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure, Family Law, Custody and Child Support

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Yale-New Haven Hosp. v. Nicholls

Second Wife's Request for Re-Hearing on Benefits Denied

The Second Circuit can deny a request for a re-hearing on the validity of domestic relations orders that were entered after the plan participant passed away.

13-4725-cv

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil, Family Law, Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits, Pensions and Other Retirement Benefits