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A court may look to the evidence presented at trial when determining if a defendant’s conviction violated the constitution prohibition against double jeopardy. Defendant appealed his convictions of assault of public safety personnel and interfering with an officer, arguing that the two convictions constituted a double jeopardy violation. To resolve Defendant’s claim, the Appellate Court reviewed evidence presented at trial and concluded that the two crimes did not stem from the same conduct. Consequently, the Appellate Court concluded that Defendant did not satisfy the requirements to establish a double jeopardy violation in the context of a single trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Appellate Court properly reviewed the evidence to determine that the offenses in question did not arise from the same act or transaction; and (2) therefore, Defendant’s conviction did not violate double jeopardy. View "State v. Porter" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court dismissing Plaintiff’s appeal from the decision of the Town of Lyme and its Board of Selectmen (collectively, Defendants) determining the lost or uncertain boundaries of the westerly end of Brockway Ferry Road pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 13a-39. On appeal, Plaintiff challenged the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board and the trial court and argued that the trial court’s determination of the highway’s width was clearly erroneous. In affirming, the Supreme Court held (1) the trial court correctly determined that the Board had jurisdiction to define the highway’s boundaries under section 13a-39 despite the absence of a prior judicial determination regarding the highway’s legal status; (2) the proceedings before the Board complied with section 13a-39, and thus the trial court was not divested of subject matter jurisdiction; and (3) the trial court’s finding of the highway’s boundaries was not clearly erroneous. View "Marchesi v. Board of Selectmen of the Town of Lyme" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the habeas court, which was rendered on remand following the Appellate Court’s previous decision denying Petitioner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, holding that certification was improvidently granted. The Court, however, made two additional observations about the case. First, the Court deferred to the Appellate Court’s construction of its own ambiguous judgment allowing the admission of new evidence with respect to whether counsel’s deficient performance was prejudicial as a remand for a new trial requiring a new habeas judge to try the case under Conn. Gen. Laws 51-183c; and (2) should additional findings be necessary from an existing record in order to enable the expeditious resolution of a case, the reviewing court may retain jurisdiction over the appeal by means of a rescript that does not disturb the underlying judgment pending the remand and subsequent appellate proceedings. View "Barlow v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The thirty-day deadline provided by Practice Book 11-21, which governs motions for attorney’s fees, is directory rather than mandatory, thus affording a trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions. In this contract and promissory estoppel action, the trial court rendered judgment for Plaintiff. The Appellate Court reversed and remanded to the trial court with direction to render judgment in favor of Defendant. Defendant filed a motion for attorney’s fees pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 42-150bb. The trial court denied the motion on the basis that the motion was not timely. The Appellate Court reversed, determining that the thirty day deadline set forth in Practice Book 11-21 is directory. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Practice Book 11-21 is directory and therefore affords the trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions for attorney’s fees in appropriate cases; and (2) the Appellate Court properly remanded the case for a hearing on Defendant’s motion. View "Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman" on Justia Law

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Any error in the trial court’s acceptance of Defendant’s waiver of the right to counsel following the court’s canvass was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore, Defendant was not entitled to a new trial. Defendant was charged with crimes in connection with a robbery. Before trial, Defendant moved to discharge his appointed public defender and to represent himself. After canvassing Defendant about his decision, the trial court granted the motion. About four months later, the trial court canvassed Defendant a second time regarding his decision to represent himself. Defendant responded affirmatively. After the ensuing trial, Defendant was found guilty of certain crimes stemming from the robbery. On appeal, Defendant argued that the first canvass was inadequate, and therefore, his initial waiver of the right to counsel was not knowing and voluntary. The Appellate Court concluded that the first canvass was deficient but that the error was harmless inasmuch as Defendant was canvassed a second time. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that any inadequacy in the first canvass was harmless as a result of the second, adequate canvass. View "State v. Cushard" on Justia Law

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At issue was what sort of “specific agreement” is required under DiLullo v. Joseph, 792 A.2d 819 (Conn. 2002), to overcome DiLullo’s presumption that a landlord’s insurer has no right of subrogation to bring an action against a tenant for damage the tenant caused to the rented property. The lower courts in this case concluded that it was sufficient for the lease to allocate to the tenant responsibility for damage caused by the tenant and to require the tenant to obtain insurance even without a specific agreement authorizing subrogation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an express agreement that the tenant will bear responsibility for his or her negligence and needs to obtain his or her own insurance to cover that responsibility is the kind of “specific agreement” that will overcome DiLullo’s presumption against subrogation; and (2) the parties in this case made a specific agreement sufficient to overcome the application of DiLullo’s presumption against subrogation, and allowing subrogation was fair and consistent with the doctrine of equitable subrogation. View "Amica Mutual Insurance Co. v Muldowney" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court ordering a new Democratic special primary in this challenge brought by Plaintiff, a losing candidate, holding that the number of absentee ballots invalidated as a result of the Court’s disposition of the issues remained sufficiently high to place the reliability of the November 14, 2017 special primary results seriously in doubt. After the results of the special party were determined, Plaintiff challenged them pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-329a, arguing that improprieties in the absentee balloting process had undermined the reliability of the results. After a hearing, the trial court ordered that a new special primary be held as a result of the improprieties. The Supreme court affirmed, holding that the trial court (1) improperly concluded that supervised absentee balloting at a certain nursing home did not comply with the statutory provisions governing that process; (2) correctly concluded that Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-140b(a) prohibits a party official or candidate from directing a police officer to retrieve absentee ballots from electors and to deliver them to the town clerk; and (3) correctly concluded that certain absentee ballots were not “mailed” within the meaning of that term, as used in section 9-140b(c). View "Keeley v. Ayala" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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The Appellate Court erred in concluding that, under Conn. Gen. Stat. 46b-86(a), in the absence of a finding of fraud, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to modify the property distribution orders in a prior judgment dissolving Plaintiff’s marriage to Defendant. The Appellate Court reversed the judgment of the trial court, which modified its previous property distribution orders, ruling that, in the absence of a finding or concession of fraud, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to open the dissolution judgment at least as to the division of the parties’ marital assets, despite the parties’ agreement to permit the trial court to do so. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the parties submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court by agreement, and in light of that agreement, the trial court acted within its authority under Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-212(a) in opening the dissolution judgment. View "Reinke v. Sing" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court adopted the decision of the trial court as a statement of the facts and the applicable law on the issues raised in this case regarding whether Plaintiff’s claim was justiciable and not rendered moot by subsequent legislation or barred by the doctrine of laches. Plaintiff, the town of Glastonbury, brought this action seeking a determination that, prior to 2014, the Metropolitan District Commission (Defendant), a quasi-municipal corporation that provides potable water to eight member and five nonmember towns, unlawfully imposed surcharges on it and other nonmember towns. While the action was pending, the legislature enacted No. 14-21 of the 2014 Special Acts (S.A. 14-21), which authorized Defendant to impose a surcharge on nonmember towns under certain conditions. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that S.A. 14-21 was retroactive and rendered Plaintiff’s claim moot. The trial court denied the motion, ruling that the special act was not retroactive and that the surcharges imposed prior to the passage of the special act were unlawful. The Supreme Court affirmed. View "Glastonbury v. Metropolitan District Commission" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff’s action against Defendants in their individual capacities was properly dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff, an inmate, brought this action against defendant state employees in their official and invidious capacities, alleging that they had violated his constitutional rights because they were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. The trial court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss the claims against Defendants in their individual capacities because Plaintiff failed properly to serve Defendants in their individual capacities pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-57(a). The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Appellate Court fully considered and properly resolved the issue against Plaintiff. View "Harnage v. Lightner" on Justia Law