The Connecticut Supreme Court’s 2018-2019 year begins this week. The First Term runs from September 16 through September 26, and the Court will hear argument in fourteen cases. Here’s a look at this week’s cases:
Monday, September 16, 2019
The first term begins with argument in two cases. In Graham v. Friedlander, S.C. 20243, the Court will decide whether the trial court properly dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against the Norwalk Board of Education and its employees for failure to exhaust administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. The issue is whether, under Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, 137 S. Ct. 743 (2017), the IDEA exhaustion requirement does not apply to the plaintiffs’ claims that the defendants negligently hired an unqualified person to provide services to autistic children, where the plaintiffs alleged that the harm they suffered could not be remedied through IDEA administrative procedures.
The second case, Gilchrist v. Commissioner of Correction, S.C. 20141, asks whether a habeas corpus case may be dismissed sua sponte for lack of jurisdiction under Practice Book § 23-39 without notice or an opportunity to be heard and without acting on the petitioner’s request for appointment of counsel.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
The Court will hear argument in companion appeals in Schwerin v. Schwerin, S.C. 20208 & 20209, which involve the interpretation of two family trusts. The Court will decide at which generational level the trust principal should be divided where the trusts require the principal to be distributed upon expiration to the “grantor’s issue then living, per stirpes.”
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
In In re Tresin J., S.C. 20267, the Court will decide whether the trial court improperly terminated the parental rights of the incarcerated respondent on the basis that the respondent had no ongoing relationship with the child. At issue is whether, pursuant to the “infancy exception” recognized in In re Carla C., 167 Conn. App. 248 (2016), the trial court was required to consider the respondent’s positive feelings toward the child before terminating the respondent’s parental rights for lack of an ongoing parent-child relationship.
Thursday, September 19, 2019
The first week of the term concludes with argument in two criminal cases. In State v. Lamont Edwards, S.C. 19899, the Court will decide whether Section 8-5(2) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence, which provides that the hearsay rule does not preclude an out-of-court identification if the declarant is available and the defendant has the opportunity for cross-examination, applies where the declarant does not also make an in-court identification. The Court will also decide whether the defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him was violated where the state introduced hearsay evidence of an out-of-court identification during redirect after the defendant elicited testimony that other witnesses failed to identify him.
The week concludes with State v. Angel M., S.C. 20106, in which the Court will consider whether to overrule State v. Huey, 199 Conn. 121 (1986), which held that a trial court may consider a defendant’s refusal to admit guilt as a factor in sentencing.