Welcome to our Supreme and Appellate Court summaries page. 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 based on my own particular field of practice, so you will not find distillations of the many criminal and matrimonial law decisions on this page. I may from time to time add commentary, and may even criticize a decision’s reasoning. Such commentary is solely my opinion . . . and when mistakes of trial counsel are highlighted because they triggered a particular outcome, I will try to be mindful of the adage . . . “There but for the grace of God . . ..” I hope the reader finds these summaries helpful. – Edward P. McCreery
Posted July 8, 2014
SC19047 - Commissioner of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission
1994 legislation that expanded the disclosure requirements of law enforcement agencies beyond just the name, rank & serial number of the accused while an investigation is pending, did not also overrule an earlier Supreme Court decision which held the disclosure requirements while the case is pending is nonetheless limited to the information listed in CGS 1-215. The Freedom of Information Commission's (FOIC) interpretation of the statutory amendment to require the police to show prejudice to their investigation to exempt the entire police report from disclosure was not reasonable. Thus a police department does not have to provide the full police report while the case is still pending.
AC35705 - Red Buff Rita, Inc. v. Moutinho
Plaintiff, guarantor of 14 various notes and mortgages, claimed to have entered into an oral forbearance agreement with the current holder of the loans. Plaintiff claimed the defendant breached that forbearance agreement when it started a foreclosure of some of the mortgages. The plaintiff sued the defendant for breach of contract, fraud, & misrepresentation. The trial court granted the defendant’s Motion to Strike all three claims on the grounds that the alleged forbearance agreement would violate the Statute of Frauds (“SOF”). The Appellate Court reversed holding the complaint sufficiently alleged enough facts to meet the “partial performance” exception to the SOF. In particular the complaint alleged that as part of the forbearance agreement, the borrowers had to provide a new note secured by a mortgage on new property, along with another guarantee by the plaintiff, and all those documents had been provided. The Motion to Strike should not have been granted. Finally, the decision held it was inappropriate for the defendant to try and raise in the appeal a potential collateral estoppel defense when another court ruled against the plaintiff on the identical claims while this appeal was pending. Such claims are more properly raised by special defense in the trial court below.
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.