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In this negligence case, the Supreme Court answered a question certified to it by a federal district court by concluding that the trial evidence was not legally sufficient to support the jury's finding that a continuing course of conduct tolled the statute of limitations. Plaintiff insurer brought this untimely filed action against Defendant claims adjuster alleging that Defendant caused Plaintiff to incur liability to a mortgagee. Plaintiff argued that the limitation period for commencing an action was tolled until Defendant produced a document in its files that reflected the mortgagee's interest during the course of litigation between the mortgagee and Plaintiff. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Plaintiff. The court, however, set aside the jury's verdict on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that a continuing course of conduct tolled the action. The Supreme Court concluded that the evidence was not legally sufficient to toll the statute of limitations. View "Essex Insurance Co. v. William Kramer & Associates, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that, in light of Patsy v. Board of Regents, 457 U.S. 496, 501 (1982), and its progeny, a plaintiff is not required to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing a 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim in state court, regardless of the type of relief sought, and therefore, this Court's holdings in Pet v. Department of Health Services, 542 A.2d 672 (1988), and Laurel Park, Inc. v. Pac, 485 A.2d 1272 (1984), that exhaustion of state administrative remedies is a jurisdictional prerequisite to the filing of a section 1983 action for injunctive relief are overruled. Plaintiff, a homeowner who was the subject of several enforcement action under a municipal blight ordinance, brought a claim alleging a deprivation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The trial court dismissed Plaintiff's section 1983 claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed with respect to Plaintiff's section 1983 claims, holding that Plaintiff was not required to exhaust his state administrative remedies prior to filing his section 1983 claims in state court. View "Mangiafico v. Farmington" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Rights

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In these public interest appeals arising from a mix-up at a high school polling place in the town of Stratford where approximately seventy-six voters received the incorrect ballots, rendering those voters unable to cast a vote for their assembly district's state representative, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court insofar as it dismissed Plaintiff's complaint and reversed the trial court's judgment with respect to its issuance of a temporary injunction, holding that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims and similarly lacked jurisdiction to issue a temporary injunction. Plaintiff, a Republic Party's candidate for state representative, brought this action seeking declaratory relief, a new election, and injunction prohibiting certain state defendants from declaring the intervening defendant, the Democratic Party's candidate, as the winner of that election. The trial court dismissed the complaint in part as barred by the elections clause set forth in Conn. Const. art. III, 7 but granted Plaintiff's application for a temporary injunction. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the elections clause gives the state House of Representatives exclusive jurisdiction over this election contest; and (2) the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enjoin the state defendants from canvassing the votes and declaring a winner, even temporarily. View "Feehan v. Marcone" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's decision affirming the trial court's judgment dismissing Plaintiff's appeal from the decree of the probate court monitoring use of a September 11th Victim Compensation Fund award that had been paid to Plaintiff, the surviving spouse, as a "representative payee" for the benefit of her minor child, holding that the probate court lacked jurisdiction over the fund award. Plaintiff's husband died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and died intestate. Plaintiff filed a claim for compensation from the fund. Plaintiff was awarded $1,153,381, and the couple's minor child was awarded $1,271,940, which Plaintiff was to be paid on behalf of the minor child. The probate court appointed a guardian ad litem for the minor child in the estate administration proceedings and directed that the minor child's share of the benefits from the fund be placed into a guardianship account. Plaintiff unsuccessfully moved to dismiss the guardianship proceedings for lack of jurisdiction, and the trial court dismissed Plaintiff's probate appeal. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the probate court lacked jurisdiction over the fund award paid to Plaintiff as a representative payee because that award was neither the property of the decedent's estate nor the property of the minor child. View "Hynes v. Jones" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court in this interlocutory appeal regarding what preclusive effective to give in this action to the findings and judgment rendered by an English court in a prior action brought by Plaintiff against the named defendant, holding that the Appellate Court correctly found that none of the parties was entitled to the claimed preclusive effect. The English action resulted in a $243,023,089 judgment, plus interest, against the named defendant, Sebastian Holdings, Inc. Plaintiff, Deutsche Bank AG, later commenced the instant action against Sebastian and Alexander Vik, the sole shareholder and sole director of Sebastian. Plaintiff sought to pierce Sebastian's corporate veil and hold Vik personally liable for his corporation's judgment debt. All parties claimed, unsuccessfully, an entitlement to a preclusive effect as a result of the final judgment rendered in the prior English action. The Appellate Court agreed with the trial court that the parties were not entitled to have this action decided in their respective favor on the basis of the alleged preclusive effect of the English judgment. The Supreme Court adopted the Appellate Court's opinion as the proper statement of the issues and the applicable law concerning those issues and affirmed. View "Deutsche Bank AG v. Sebastian Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant, Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority, on the basis of a rule (Rule) promulgated by Defendant immunizing itself from liability for failures or deficiencies in its supply of water to customers, holding that there was no explicit authorization in the special act creating Defendant that authorized Defendant to promulgate such a rule. Defendant was created in 1967 by a special act of the General Assembly. On the basis of the authority purportedly granted to it by a provision of the special act, Defendant adopted the Rule at issue in this case. Plaintiff later commenced this action seeking damages on the basis of a loss of water service at a hotel operated by Plaintiff. Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing (1) the Rule immunized it from liability, and (2) the claim was barred by the common-law economic loss doctrine. The trial court rendered summary judgment for Defendant based on the Rule. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding that Defendant lacked authority to promulgate a rule that immunized it from liability for disruptions to water service. View "Raspberry Junction Holding, LLC v. Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Compensation Review Board affirming the decision of the Workers' Compensation Commissioner concluding that Plaintiff was not an employee of Intervale Group, LLC for purposes of the Workers' Compensation Act, holding that Plaintiff qualified as Intervale's employee for purposes of the Act and, therefore, was eligible for concurrent compensation benefits pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-310. Plaintiff was the sole member of Intervale, a single-member limited liability company. Plaintiff was employed part-time by the City of Stamford. After he was injured while working for the City, Plaintiff sought compensation based on the earnings that he received from both the City and Intervale, claiming that he was concurrently employed by Intervale. The City transferred the concurrent compensation obligation to the Second Injury Fund, which denied the claim for benefits on the ground that Plaintiff was not Intervale's employee. The Commissioner concluded that Plaintiff was not an employee of Intervale, and the Board affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Plaintiff provided services to Intervale and was subject to the hazards of Intervale's business, Plaintiff was Intervale's employee for purposes of the Act. View "Gould v. Stamford" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming Defendant's conviction, holding that Defendant's statements during interrogation did not meet the standard set forth in Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452, 459-60 (1994), so as to require suppression but that a more protective prophylactic rule set forth in this opinion is required under the Connecticut constitution to adequately safeguard the right against self-incrimination. Defendant was convicted of three counts of risk of injury to a child. On appeal, Defendant challenged the denial of his motion to suppress certain statements he made during interrogation, arguing that the statements had been elicited after he invoked his right to have counsel present. The Appellate Court affirmed, holding that Defendant's references to counsel would not have been understood by a reasonable police officer as an expression of a present desire to consult with counsel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Defendant's statements during the interrogation did not constitute an invocation of his right to counsel under Davis; (2) however, the state Constitution requires that police officers clarify an ambiguous request for counsel before they can continue the interrogation; and (3) because no such clarification was elicited in this case, and the failure to do so was harmful, Defendant was entitled to a new trial. View "State v. Purcell" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the trial court granting Defendant's motions to suppress all cell site location information (CSLI) obtained by the State as a result of three ex parte orders that had been granted pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 54-47aa, holding that because the State obtained did not obtain Defendant's historical CSLI based on a warrant supported by reasonable cause, the records were obtained in violation of Defendant's Fourth Amendment rights. The State obtained the CSLI at issue solely on the basis of a reasonable and articulable suspicion. The State conceded that it obtained the CSLI in violation of section 54-47aa. The trial court determined that suppression of both the historical and the prospective CSLI was the appropriate remedy. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court properly granted Defendant's motions to suppress the CSLI records because the records were obtained illegally and because suppression was the appropriate remedy as to the illegally obtained records; and (2) the trial court properly determined that suppression of those records also required that Defendant's statement and potential testimony be suppressed. View "State v. Brown" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion to suppress evidence discovered by the police during the forcible detention of Defendant, holding that Defendant's detention violated his Fourth Amendment rights under Navarette v. California, 572 U.S. 393 (2014). Defendant was detained pursuant to Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) on the basis of an anonymous telephone tip regarding "a young man that has a handgun." After Defendant was detained, the police saw him drop an object in a garbage can. A subsequent search revealed that the object was a handgun. Defendant was charged with criminal possession of a pistol and carrying a pistol without a permit. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that his detention was unconstitutional because the anonymous tip did not give rise to a reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in, or was about to be engaged in, criminal activity. Therefore, Defendant argued that the handgun was tainted as the result of his unlawful seizure. The trial court denied the motion to suppress. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the anonymous telephone call did not give rise to a reasonable suspicion that Defendant was in possession of a handgun, justifying an investigative Terry stop. View "State v. Davis" on Justia Law