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Conn. Gen. Stat. 18-98d requires that if a person serving a term of imprisonment exercises his constitutional right to pursue a double jeopardy claim on a charge for which the sentence may run concurrently, that person is entitled, in any sentence subsequently imposed, to a reduction based on such presentence confinement in accordance with the provisions of the statute. The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the habeas court that denied Petitioner’s amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which alleged, among other things, that the calculation of his presentence confinement credit was incorrect. The Supreme Court held that interpreting section 18-98d so as to deny Petitioner presentence confinement credit for the time he was pursuing a double jeopardy appeal would render the application of that statute to him unconstitutional. View "James v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss the charges against him, holding that the trial court incorrectly determined that an expression of an intent to cause harm to another cannot constitute a true threat unless the contemplated harm is imminent or immediate. Defendant was charged with threatening in the second degree, threatening to commit a crime of violence with intent to terrorize, and threatening to commit a crime of violence in reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror. The trial court dismissed the charges, determining that the State would be unable to demonstrate that Defendant’s statement on which the charges were based constituted a “true threat.” The Supreme Court remanded the case to the trial court with direction to deny the motion to dismiss, holding that a jury reasonably could find that Defendant’s statement was an unprotected “true threat” prohibited by Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-62(a). View "State v. Pelella" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s judgment in favor of Defendant in light of this court’s decision in Sepega v. DeLaura, __ A.3d ___ (Conn. 2017). Plaintiff, a state trooper, sued Defendant hospital for personal injuries he sustained while subduing an emotionally disturbed person who had been committed to Defendant’s custody. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion to strike Plaintiff’s original complaint on the ground that Plaintiff’s claims were barred by the firefighter’s rule. Plaintiff then filed a substitute complaint pursuant to Practice Book 10-44. The trial court sustained Defendant’s objection to the substitute complaint and rendered judgment accordingly. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the new allegations in the substitute complaint materially differ from those in the original complaint for purposes of preserving Plaintiff’s right to appeal after repleading pursuant to Practice Book 10-44; (2) as this court has recently clarified in Sepega, decided today, the firefighter’s rule does not extend beyond claims of premises liability; and (3) the trial court’s decision to sustain Defendant’s objection to the substitute complaint in this case was improper because Plaintiff alleged a valid cause of action. View "Lund v. Milford Hospital, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The firefighter’s rule should not be extended beyond claims of premises liability so as to bar a police officer from recovering, under theory of ordinary negligence, from a homeowner who is also an alleged active tortfeasor. Plaintiff, a municipal police officer, sued Defendant, arguing that Defendant had negligently “created conditions which mandated that Plaintiff forcibly enter the premises in order to prevent harm” and resulted in Plaintiff’s injuries. Plaintiff did not make any claim that his injuries were caused by a defect in the premises. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion to strike and then granted judgment for Defendant, concluding that Plaintiff’s claim was barred by the firefighter’s rule. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the firefighter’s rule does not apply to general negligence claims. View "Sepega v. DeLaura" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the habeas court missing Petitioner’s habeas action alleging that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel at two criminal jury trials, both of which resulted in convictions and substantial prison sentences. The Commissioner of Correction moved to dismiss the action based on the terms of a stipulated judgment filed by Petitioner and the Commissioner in connection with a previous habeas action concerning the same two trials. The stipulation barred Petitioner from filing any further such actions pertaining to those trials. On appeal, Petitioner argued that his case was erroneously dismissed where he did not knowingly and voluntarily enter into the stipulated judgment. In affirming, the Supreme Court held (1) Petitioner did not properly raise his challenge to the enforceability of the stipulated judgment in the habeas court; and (2) the stipulated judgment was a legally sufficient ground for dismissal of the present habeas action. View "Nelson v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law

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Under certain circumstances, the privileged psychiatric records of a witness testifying for the state are subject to in camera review by the trial court so that the court can determine whether the accused’s constitutional right of confrontation allows him or her to access those records. Defendant was convicted of manslaughter in the second degree with a firearm. Defendant claimed that the trial court erred in declining to extend its holding in State v. Esposito, 471 A.2d 949 (1984), and violated his constitutional right to present a defense when it refused to conduct an in camera review of certain records of the victim protected by the psychiatrist-patient privilege where Defendant alleged that those records contained information material to his claim of self-defense. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the interests of an accused must prevail over a homicide victim’s psychiatrist-patient privilege when the accused makes a sufficient showing that the privileged information is pertinent to a claim of self-defense; but (2) Defendant’s constitutional claims were not adequately preserved at trial, and therefore, Defendant was not entitled to review under State v. Golding, 267 A.2d 832 (1989). View "State v. Fay" on Justia Law

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Defendant’s probation sentence had not expired at the time the trial court found that Defendant had violated his probation conditions and revoked his probation even though the trial court decided the violation charge after Defendant’s probation sentence was originally set to expire. Therefore, the trial court had jurisdiction to decide the violation charge. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the trial court’s judgment, holding that Defendant’s probation sentence had not expired when the trial court decided the probation violation charge because, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-31(b), the running of Defendant’s sentence had been interrupted while the violation charge was pending. View "State v. Kelley" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Defendant, the City of New Haven, was entitled to a new trial on this action for indemnification. Plaintiff, a police officer with the New Haven Police Department, was acquitted of sexual assault and unlawful restraint charges for conduct that allegedly occurred during the course of his employment. When Defendant declined to reimburse Plaintiff for economic loss sustained as a result of the prosecution in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. 53-39a, Plaintiff brought this indemnification action. The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for a new trial, holding that the trial court erred in prohibiting Defendant from using the complainants’ prior testimony, and the error was not harmless. View "Maio v. City of New Haven" on Justia Law

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The allegations in an inmate’s habeas corpus petition, which claimed that Petitioner was incorrectly classified as a sex offender and that he suffered negative consequences as a result of that erroneous classification, sufficiently alleged a cognizable liberty interest invoke the jurisdiction of the habeas court. The habeas court concluded otherwise and dismissed the petition on the basis that Petitioner failed to allege a protected liberty interest. The Appellate Court reversed, determining that Petitioner’s allegations established a protected liberty interest under the stigma plus test applied by the federal courts. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) under the facts of this case, the stigma plus test is the best test; and (2) Petitioner’s allegations were sufficient to invoke the jurisdiction of the habeas court. View "Anthony A. v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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At issue was how employers must determine the hourly wage - or regular rate - for retail employees whose pay fluctuates weekly because they receive commissions for the purposes of calculating overtime pay. Defendants in this case calculated Plaintiffs’ overtime pay using a method commonly known as the fluctuating workweek method. Plaintiffs brought this action claiming that Defendants’ use of the fluctuating method to calculate their regular rate for purposes of determining their overtime pay rate violated Connecticut wage laws. The district court certified a question to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court answered by holding that, although Connecticut wage laws do not prohibit the use of the fluctuating method for employees such as Plaintiffs, the state Department of Labor fair minimum wage order governing the calculation of overtime pay for mercantile employees does. View "Williams v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc." on Justia Law