The Connecticut Supreme Court has released its argument calendar for its first term of the 2016-2017 sitting. Here’s a look at the first week:
Monday, September 12th
The Court will hear a pair of juvenile sentencing cases State v. Delgado, SC 19663 and State v. Boyd, SC 19673. The issue in both cases is whether Eight Amendment challenges to life sentences for crimes committed by minors where the court failed to consider the defendants’ youth as a mitigating factor are now moot in light of Public Act 15-84 which provides for parole hearings for juvenile offenders sentenced to more than ten years in prison.
Tuesday, September 13th
The Court will hear three cases in the areas of product liability, workers compensation, and criminal law. The first case is Bifolck v. Philip Morris, Inc., SC 19310, where the Court will hear re-argument in a case it heard last year in order to consider whether it should abandon the consumer expectation test for product liability actions premised on design defects in favor of the risk utility test set forth in the Third Restatement. Twelve organizations have filed amici briefs in the case. (Murtha Cullina authored an amicus brief in this appeal). The second case of the day is a workers compensation appeal in Holston v. City of New Haven Police Department, SC 1963, where the question is whether an untimely filing of a hypertension claim barred a subsequent claim for heart disease benefits. Finally, in State v. Bouiknight, SC 19326, the Court will consider the authentication necessary to admit a Facebook profile page into evidence.
Wednesday, September 14th
The Court will hear two criminal cases, Dyous v. Commissioner, Department of Mental Health, SC 19582 and State v. Benedict, SC 19549. Dyous involves a claim that by an insanity acquitted that his guilty by reason of insanity plea was not knowing and voluntary because he was not aware that his term of mental commitment could exceed the term for imprisonment if he had been found guilty. In Benedict, the defendant appeals from his criminal conviction where one of the jurors that convicted him was a police officer whose supervisor was a member of the same department that investigated the defendant’s case.
Thursday, September 15th
The Court will hear a child protection appeal in In re Jayce O., SC 19669, where the issue is whether it is constitutional to consider termination of parental rights to a first child, rendered when the parent was a minor, in considering a petition to terminate parental rights to a second child. The second case is the State’s Attorney’s appeal in State v. Ayala, SC 19466, in which the Appellate Court reversed an interfering with an officer conviction where the prosecutor amended the charges after the presentation of evidence to change the location of the alleged assault from the scene of the initial traffic stop to a holding cell at the police station.
Friday, September 16th
The Court will hear two criminal cases. In State v. Spielberg, SC 19627, the Court will consider whether, in light of the legislature’s 2011 decriminalization of marijuana possession, a defendant convicted of possession of a controlled substance within 1500 feet of a school and risk of injury to a minor is entitled to have those convictions erased, where the factual predicate for those convictions was marijuana possession. In State v. A.M., SC 19497, the Court hears an appeal by the State’s Attorney from an Appellate Court decision concluding that a prosecutor’s comments to the jury during closing argument about the defendant’s failure to testify constituted prosecutorial impropriety.
Appellate Insights provides analysis and insight on appeals of interest to the business community. Check back after the oral arguments for posts analyzing the issues and arguments in Bifolck v. Philip Morris, Inc., SC 19310 (product liability) and Holston v. City of New Haven Police Department, SC (workers compensation).