Week of September 5, 2016

Welcome to our Supreme and Appellate Court summaries webpage. On this page, I provide abbreviated summaries of decisions from the Connecticut Appellate Courts which highlight important issues and developments in Connecticut law, and provide practical practice pointers to litigants. I have been summarizing these court decisions internally for our firm for more than 10 years, and providing relevant highlights to my municipal and insurance practice clients for almost as long. It was suggested that a wider audience might appreciate brief summaries of recent rulings that condense often long and confusing decisions down to their basic elements. These summaries are limited to the civil litigation decisions. I may from time to time add commentary, and may even criticize a decision’s reasoning. Such commentary is solely my own personal opinion. Pullman & Comley’s Appellate Practice Group of which I am a member includes experienced appellate advocates in almost every area of the law.  Should you have a need to consult about a potential appeal, please email me at I hope the reader finds these summaries helpful. – Edward P. McCreery

Posted September 19, 2016

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions:

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions:

Trial Courts have continuing post judgment jurisdiction to address custody disputes, including the power to award attorney fees in conjunction with such disputes. Here, the unemployed defendant husband filed a motion to address what he claimed were efforts by his ex-wife, a highly paid corporate executive, to interfere with his custody rights, and he also filed a request that she be ordered to pony up $75k to pay his legal fees for the fight. He testified he owed $40k already to his lawyer and needed a $50k retainer for this fight. So the Trial Court awarded him $75k. The Appellate Panel held the Trial Court had a right to do that, but erred in considering past due legal bills in setting the amount the ex-wife had to front. The Trial Court should have only considered what new legal fees might be incurred in handling the current child custody dispute.

  • AC37750 - Pena v. Gladstone
  • AC37208 - State v. Balbuena
  • AC37234 - Moye v. Commissioner of Correction
  • AC37451 - Saez v. Commissioner of Correction
  • AC37527 - Miller v. Dept. of Agriculture

Court upheld the disposal order of appellant’s two large dogs when they escaped her yard and attacked a nearby little girl and then her grandmother who tried to intervene. Such proceedings are civil in nature, not criminal, and therefore the dog owner does not have a right to confront the accusing witnesses, and the hearing officer could allow the introduction of the hearsay statements of the witnesses and the victims from the police records. Administrative proceedings may consider hearsay evidence.

  • AC37645 - Washington Mutual Bank v. Coughlin

Property owners who had delayed foreclosure through multiple bankruptcy filings were not then entitled to a dismissal of the foreclosure upon the failure of the lender to provide an EMAP notice because the house was a vacation house, not their primary residence, and that status had not changed before the foreclosure was started six years prior. Thus the Court was able to duck the issue whether the failure to provide an EMAP notice would be a jurisdictional defect.

  • AC37856 - Johnson v. Commissioner of Correction

The facts and holdings of any case may be redacted, paraphrased or condensed for ease of reading.  No summary can be an exact rendering of any decision, however, so interested readers are referred to the full decisions.  The docket number of each case is a hyperlink to the Connecticut Judicial Department online slip opinion.  © 2016 Pullman & Comley, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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