by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court, which reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Defendants on the grounds that Plaintiff’s action was barred by governmental immunity as a matter of law. Plaintiff, administratrix of the estate of Elsie White, brought this action against Defendants, constables in the town of Westbrook, alleging that Defendants’ negligence was the proximate cause of White’s accidental drowning. The trial court granted summary judgment to Defendants. In reversing, the Appellate Court concluded that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Defendants’ conduct fell within the identifiable person, imminent harm exception to governmental immunity. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the Appellate Court erred in determining that a jury reasonably could find that White was an identifiable person subject to imminent harm for purposes of abrogating Defendants’ governmental immunity. View "Brooks v. Powers" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

by
At issue was whether all state employees, respective of when they retired, were entitled to have their benefits recalculated in accordance with Longley v. State Employees Retirement Commission, 931 A.2d 890 (Conn. 2007). A two-count complaint brought (1) an administrative appeal from the decision of the State Employees Retirement Commission denying a petition for declaratory ruling filed by Plaintiffs, and (2) a declaratory judgment action on behalf of a class, represented by Plaintiffs, of all state employees who retired and began collecting pensions before October 2, 2001. The trial court ruled in favor of Plaintiffs in the administrative appeal but denied relief for the class. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part and remanded the judgment with direct to render judgment for the Commission on the administrative appeal, holding (1) Plaintiffs’ claims for recalculation of benefits were time barred; and (2) neither Plaintiffs not the class were entitled to relief. View "Bouchard v. State Employees Retirement Commission" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court upholding that decision of the trial court denying Petitioner’s petition for a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence. In his petition, Petitioner claimed that new DNA testing demonstrated that he did not commit the murder for which he was convicted. The lower courts ruled that Petitioner was not entitled to relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Appellate Court should have engaged in a de novo review under the specific circumstances of this case; but (2) applying a de novo standard of review, Petitioner was not entitled to a new trial. View "Jones v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
At issue was the relationship between Conn. Gen. Stat. 45a-655(b) and (d) in determining whether a spousal support order previously rendered by the probate court was binding on the Commission of Social Services when calculating the allowance that may be diverted to the support of the community spouse of a Medicaid eligible institutionalized person pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1396r-5. The Commissioner decided to set a community spouse allowance for Paul Valliere in the amount of $0 with respect to the Medicaid benefit that paid for the long-term residential care of his wife, Majorie Valliere. The trial court sustained the administrative appeal brought by Plaintiffs, Paul and Ellen Shea, conservatrix and executrix of Majorie’s estate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the probate court did not exceed its authority under section 45a-655 by ordering community spouse support in an amount that exceeded that which the Department of Social Services could order pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1396r-5. View "Valliere v. Commissioner of Social Services" on Justia Law

by
At issue was the relationship between Conn. Gen. Stat. 45a-655(b) and (d) in determining whether a spousal support order previously rendered by the probate court was binding on the Commission of Social Services when calculating the allowance that may be diverted to the support of the community spouse of a Medicaid eligible institutionalized person pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1396r-5. The Commissioner decided to set a community spouse allowance for Paul Valliere in the amount of $0 with respect to the Medicaid benefit that paid for the long-term residential care of his wife, Majorie Valliere. The trial court sustained the administrative appeal brought by Plaintiffs, Paul and Ellen Shea, conservatrix and executrix of Majorie’s estate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the probate court did not exceed its authority under section 45a-655 by ordering community spouse support in an amount that exceeded that which the Department of Social Services could order pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1396r-5. View "Valliere v. Commissioner of Social Services" on Justia Law

by
At issue was whether individuals engaged in door-to-door sales of vacuums provided by Plaintiff should be classified as independent contractors or as Plaintiff’s employees for purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-222. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the trial court concluding that the individuals were Plaintiff’s employees on the ground that Plaintiff failed to establish that the individuals were “customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed” for Plaintiff within the meaning of part C of the ABC test, codified at Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-222(a)(1)(B)(ii)(I)(II) and (III). Therefore, the trial court properly dismissed Plaintiff’s appeals from administrative decisions that Defendants were properly designated as Plaintiff’s employees and that Plaintiff was liable for contributions based on their wages. View "Kirby of Norwich v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act" on Justia Law

by
Defendant was charged with violating Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-189a(a)(1), which prohibits a person from, knowingly and with malice, video recording another person under certain circumstances. At issue was the meaning of the element requiring that the victim be “not in plain view” when she is recorded. Specifically at issue was to whose plain view the statute refers. The Supreme Court held (1) the statute plausibly could refer to either the plain view of the defendant or the general public, rendering the statute ambiguous; and (2) consulting extra textual sources, the “not in plain view” element refers to the general public. The Supreme Court thus reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court, which concluded that the statutory language unambiguously referred to the plain view of the person making the recording, not the public. View "State v. Panek" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
At issue in this case was whether the Appellate Court properly determined that the trial court abused its discretion when it rendered a judgment of nonsuit against Plaintiffs for their counsel’s conduct in relation to counsel’s failure to comply with a court order. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court insofar as the court reversed the judgment of nonsuit but directed the Appellate Court to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings to consider a sanction proportionate to the facts supported by the record, holding (1) certain factual findings were not supported by the record; and (2) it could not be determined as a matter of law whether the trial court would have imposed the same sanction in the absence of these facts. View "Ridgaway v. Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
In certain circumstances, Conn. Gen. Stat. 42-150bb permits an award of attorney’s fees to a defendant when a plaintiff withdraws an action as of right pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-80 prior to a hearing on the merits. Plaintiff filed a foreclosure action against Defendant, but when the action had been pending for almost one year, Plaintiff withdrew its action as a matter of right prior to any hearing on the merits. Defendant sought an award of attorney’s fees pursuant to section 42-150bb. The trial court denied the motion. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that once a defendant moves for an award of attorney’s fees pursuant to section 42-150bb after a termination of proceedings that in some way favors the defendant, a rebuttable presumption exists that the defendant is entitled to attorney’s fees, and it is for the trial court to determine whether such an award is proper in light of the totality of the circumstances. View "Connecticut Housing Finance Authority v. Alfaro" on Justia Law

by
The Appellate Court dismissed as moot Petitioner’s appeal from the judgment of the habeas court, which denied his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging his conviction of assault in the second degree. The Appellate Court concluded that the habeas appeal was rendered moot by Petitioner’s subsequent deportation to Haiti where any relief provided in relation to Petitioner’s assault conviction would have no effect on his ability to lawfully reenter the United States or to become a citizen. The court specifically ruled that a prior unchallenged conviction of threatening in the second degree in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-62(a), which the court concluded constituted a crime of moral turpitude under the Immigration and Nationality Act, would remain as an impediment to Petitioner’s reentry. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 53a-62(a) is a divisible statute because it lists potential offense elements in the alternative, not all of which constitute crimes of moral turpitude as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(13)(C)(v) of the Act; and (2) therefore, the Appellate Court improperly determined that Petitioner’s threatening conviction constituted a crime of moral turpitude that rendered moot his habeas appeal challenging his assault conviction. View "St. Juste v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law