The Connecticut Supreme Court ‘s October term begins tomorrow. From October 10th through October 20th, the Court will hear appeals in fourteen cases. Here’s a look at the first week:

Tuesday, October 10th

The Court hears argument in Angersola v. Radiologic Associates, SC 29619, where the issue is whether the time limitations set forth in the wrongful death statute, General Statutes § 52-555, are jurisdictional and whether they can be tolled by the continuing course of conduct doctrine. The second case, State v. Parnoff, SC 19588, asks whether the First Amendment protects a defendant from being convicted of disorderly conduct for his speech in telling two water company employees to get off his property or he would shoot them.

Wednesday, October 11th

The Court hears one case, Doe v. Town of West Harford, SC 19828, where it will decide whether the Appellate Court properly reversed a trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the Town where a lawsuit brought by an attorney who was involuntarily committed to the Institute of Living alleging police misconduct was served on the defendants one day after the expiration of the three year statute of limitations. The question is whether the lawsuit could be saved under the savings statute, General Statutes § 52-593a, which extends the limitations period if the marshal timely receives the complaint, in the absence of clear evidence of when the marshal, in fact, received  the complaint.

Thursday, October 12th

The Court hears one case, Ridgaway v. Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company, SC 19728, where it will determine whether a trial judge abused his discretion by entering a judgment of nonsuit as a disciplinary sanction against plaintiff’s counsel for a discovery violation.

Friday, October 13th

The week concludes with a family case and a habeas case. In Nuzzi v. Nuzzi, SC 19771, the Court will hear a dispute over an unallocated alimony award and determine whether the expiration of the support order during the pendency of the appeal rendered moot the appeal from the denial of the motion to modify. The second case, Juste v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19460, raises the question of whether an appeal by a habeas petitioner who has been deported is rendered moot without a showing by the petitioner that a reversal of his criminal conviction would affect his ability to reenter the country.

We are into the second week of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s 2017-2018 year. Here’s a look at this week’s cases:

Monday, September 18th

The first case is Francini v. Goodspeed Airport, LLC, SC 19705, where the Supreme Court will consider whether the Appellate Court properly held that an easement by necessity for a landlocked parcel is not limited only to ingress and egress. The trial court had rejected the plaintiff’s claim that his property’s easement by necessity to access a public highway also included a right of way to access commercial utilities and the Appellate Court reversed.

The second case is State v. Urbanowki, SC 19678, where the Court will consider whether evidence that the defendant in a strangulation prosecution had previously attempted to choke another woman was harmless error.

Tuesday, September 19th

As part of its public education goals, each year the Connecticut Supreme Court holds an “On Circuit” program where it hears oral arguments at an area law school, college, or high school. This year, the venue for the “On Circuit” program will be the University of New Haven and two cases will be argued.

The first case is Brooks v. Powers, SC 19727, which addresses governmental immunity. The plaintiff is the estate of a woman whose body washed up on the shore. A report had been made to the local police department that she was near the ocean during a severe storm and in need of medical attention, but no one responded. The issue is whether the imminent harm, identifiable victim exception to discretionary act immunity applies. The trial court had concluded that it does, granting summary judgment. A divided panel of the Appellate Court reversed.

The second case, State v. Panek, 19772, is about the meaning of the “not in plain view” element of the video voyeurism statute and, specifically, whether it must be evaluated from the perspective of the defendant or the public at-large. The trial court concluded that the former was the correct test, and granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss because the alleged victims were in his immediate physical presence. The State appealed and the Appellate Court affirmed, agreeing with the trial court.

Continue Reading Week Two at the Connecticut Supreme Court

The Connecticut Supreme Court ‘s 2017-2018 sitting kicks off on Monday. From September 11th through September 28th, the Court will hear oral arguments in nineteen cases. Here’s a look at first week:

Monday, September 11th

The new year starts with a divorce case and a zoning case. In Reinke v. Sing, SC 19687, the Supreme Court will consider whether a family court, without a finding of fraud, has jurisdiction to open a dissolution judgment several years after it was entered based on a party’s failure to disclose certain assets at the time of the divorce. The case has garnered interest from the Connecticut Bar Association and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which both urge for a reversal of the Appellate Court’s decision which had determined that, absent a finding of fraud, the trial court was without jurisdiction to open the dissolution judgment.

The second case is Piece of Paradise, LLC v. Borough of Fenwick Zoning of Appeals, SC 19890, a zoning a dispute over property related to actress Katherine Hepburn’s former Fenwick Estate “Paradise” set on Long Island Sound and built in 1939. At issue is whether the zoning board’s denial of a variance from a 2011 amendment to the zoning regulations, which imposed new setback requirements that effectively barred the property owner from building a single-family home on a parcel that was formerly part of a larger parcel containing the Hepburn home, constitutes a regulatory taking of property.

Continue Reading Week One at the Connecticut Supreme Court

Here’s a look at the second week of the Supreme Court’s 7th Term:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Court hears three cases today. The first is State v. Schovanec, SC 19851, which is an appeal by a defendant who was convicted of stealing a credit card and using it at a gas station. The defendant claims that the double jeopardy clause prohibits his conviction for larceny where he was also convicted for identity theft and illegal use of a credit card. The second case is Lucenti v. Laviero, SC 19723, where the Court will consider the standard to be applied when a plaintiff invokes the exception to the Workers Compensation Act’s exclusivity provision for circumstances where an employer has created a dangerous condition for which injuries are “substantially certain” to occur. Finally, in State v. Lee, SC 19688, the Court will hear another double jeopardy case and decide whether a violation of double jeopardy requires  that the second conviction be vacated or just that the second sentence be vacated.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Court will hear a crime victim’s writ of error in State v. Skipwith, SC 19608, challenging a defendant’s plea agreement and sentence which was made without notice being given to the victim as required by the Victim’s Rights Amendment to the Connecticut Constitution.  The second case of the day is Bagley v. Adel Wiggins Group, SC 19835, which will evaluate the standard of proof necessary to make an asbestos exposure claim under the Connecticut Product Liability Act.

Thursday, April 6, 2107

The Court closes its seventh term with two habeas cases. In both Perez v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19855, and James E. v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19854, the Court will decide whether a 2013 statutory amendment that requires serving 85 percent of a sentence before becoming eligible for parole violates the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws when applied to defendants who were sentenced prior to the 2013 amendment.

The Connecticut Supreme Court’s Seventh Term begins today and ends on Thursday, April 6th. Here’s a look at the first week of the March/April term:

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Court starts the term by hearing oral argument in Munn v. Hotchkiss, SC 19525, which is a federal lawsuit that resulted in a $41.5 million verdict in favor of a fifteen year old student who contracted tick-borne encephalitis while on a study abroad program in China that was organized by her Connecticut high school. The Second Circuit certified to the Supreme Court the question of whether Connecticut public policy imposes a duty on schools to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect-borne disease when it organizes a trip abroad.  The second case of the day is State v. Holley, SC 19598, which is the State’s appeal from the Appellate Court’s decision reversing a felony murder conviction based on testimony from non-expert witnesses that went beyond the limitations on lay opinion set forth in Code of Evidence section 7-1.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Court hears argument in Machado v. Taylor, SC 19838, where the State is claiming that it is shielded by sovereign immunity for injuries caused when a Department of Transportation truck hit the plaintiff’s vehicle because the plaintiff failed to prove that the State had obtained insurance coverage for its truck. In State v. Harris, SC 19649, the defendant, supported by an Innocence Project amicus brief, asks the Court to reconsider the test for eyewitness identifications in light of new scientific developments on the accuracy of such identifications.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Court hears two criminal cases. The first, State v. Kelley, SC 19694, asks whether a trial court loses jurisdiction to find a defendant in violation of his probation when it fails to dispose of the charge within 120 days after the arraignment. State v. Houghtaling, SC 19510, presents a Fourth Amendment question as to whether a residential property owner has standing to object to a search when he is leasing the property.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The first case of the day is Maturo v. State Employees Retirement Commission, SC 19831, which asks whether a retired municipal firefighter becomes ineligible for his pension when he gets elected to be the town’s mayor. The second case, James v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19787, will address whether and how presentence confinement credits apply when the defendant’s convictions where obtained after multiple trials.

 

The Connecticut Supreme Court’s February term begins today and ends on Thursday with the Court hearing six cases this week.

Tuesday, February 21st

The Court starts the term by hearing oral argument in Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc. v. Beverly Platner et al., SC 19797, where the Court will consider whether the plaintiff-land trust and the Attorney General proved at trial that the defendant’s landscaping activities on residential property violated a “conservation restriction” contained in the deed to preserve the property in its natural condition.

The second case of the day is State v. Jerzy G., SC 19641, where the issue is whether a defendant who has been deported has the right to appeal his criminal conviction. In State v. Aquino, 279 Conn. 293 (2006), the Supreme Court had held that when a defendant is deported, any challenge to the conviction becomes moot because there is no “practical relief” available to the deportee. In Jerzy G., the Supreme Court is being asked to reconsider that decision.

Wednesday, February 22nd

The Court hears two cases, Sepega v. LeLaura, SC 19683, and Lund v. Milford Hospital, SC 19834, where it is being asked to interpret the scope of the “firefighters rule.” The rule holds that firefighters and police officers cannot sue a property owner for injuries suffered during the performance of their duties on the premises. In both Sepega and Lund, the plaintiff-police officers claim that the rule should be limited only to premises liability cases and should not bar claims alleging other negligence on the part of the property owner.

Thursday, February 23rd

The Court end its February term with two habeas cases. In Anthony A. v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19565, the Court will decide whether a prisoner can use a writ of habeas corpus to seek removal of a sex offender registry requirement. In Nelson v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19830, the Court will consider whether a prisoner’s agreement not to file future habeas petitions challenging his conviction is enforceable.

 

 

Here’s a look at the second week of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s November 2016 term:

Monday, November 14th

The Court starts the week by hearing oral arguments in two criminal cases. In State v. Tilus, SC 19503, an appeal from a robbery conviction of a convenience store, the Court will consider whether a prosecutor equating the defendant’s claim that the victim-convenience store operated an illegal lottery with arguing that a sexual assault victim was a prostitute constituted prosecutorial impropriety. In Taylor v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19462, the Court will decide if a trial court’s error in sealing the contents of a juror’s note without first sharing it with defense counsel is subject to harmless error analysis.

Continue Reading November Term: Week Two

The third term of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s 2016-2017 sitting begins today. Here are the cases that it will be hearing this week:

Monday, November 7th  

The Court starts the November term with CCT Communications, Inc. v. Zone Telecom, Inc., SC 19574, a case which explores whether a contract’s termination clause for filing bankruptcy is effective when the bankruptcy case is filed but subsequently dismissed. The second case is Disciplinary Counsel v. Elder, SC 19698, where the Court will consider whether a lawyer was properly suspended for misrepresenting his identity on a telephone call ten years prior to the grievance complaint, in light of the Practice Book’s six year limitations period for attorney grievances.

Continue Reading November Term: Week One

Here’s a look at the second week of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s October 2016 term:

Monday, October 17th

The Court starts the week by hearing oral argument in Gold v. Rowland, SC 19585, a fifteen year old lawsuit by state employees claiming that they were entitled to stock when their insurer demutualized. Two criminal cases follow: In State v. Samuel M., SC 19578, the Court will consider what the standards should govern determining when a child charged with a felony should be tried as an adult on the regular criminal docket.  In State v. Bouknight, SC19326, the Court is confronted with the question of how Facebook profiles should be authenticated to support admission as evidence.

Continue Reading October Term: Week Two

The Connecticut Supreme Court has released its argument calendar for its second term of the 2016-2017 sitting. Here’s a look at the first week:

Tuesday, October 11th

The Court starts the October term with a family appeal and a habeas appeal. In Gabriel v. Gabriel, SC 19571, the Court granted certification to review the Appellate Court’s decision as to whether the trial court’s modification of unallocated alimony and child support was proper after there was a change in the primary custodial parent. In Kaddah v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19512, the Supreme Court will consider whether a prisoner has a right to the effective assistance of counsel in a second habeas proceeding, challenging the quality of the representation at the first habeas proceeding.

Continue Reading October Term: Week One