Articles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court

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The Appellate Court dismissed as moot Petitioner’s appeal from the judgment of the habeas court, which denied his amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging his conviction of assault in the second degree. The Appellate Court concluded that the habeas appeal was rendered moot by Petitioner’s subsequent deportation to Haiti where any relief provided in relation to Petitioner’s assault conviction would have no effect on his ability to lawfully reenter the United States or to become a citizen. The court specifically ruled that a prior unchallenged conviction of threatening in the second degree in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-62(a), which the court concluded constituted a crime of moral turpitude under the Immigration and Nationality Act, would remain as an impediment to Petitioner’s reentry. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 53a-62(a) is a divisible statute because it lists potential offense elements in the alternative, not all of which constitute crimes of moral turpitude as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(13)(C)(v) of the Act; and (2) therefore, the Appellate Court improperly determined that Petitioner’s threatening conviction constituted a crime of moral turpitude that rendered moot his habeas appeal challenging his assault conviction. View "St. Juste v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law

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The probate court retains the statutory authority to make findings pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 45a-608n(b) in connection with a petition for special immigrant juvenile status pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J) when the minor child, who is the subject of the petition, reaches the age of eighteen during the pendency of the petition. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the judgments of the superior court for juvenile matters dismissing Mother’s and Son’s appeals from the decisions of the probate court. The Appellate Court concluded that section 45a-608n does not provide the probate court with authority to make juvenile status findings after the individual’s eighteenth birthday. The Supreme Court held that, on the contrary, the probate court did not lose its authority to make juvenile status findings pursuant to section 45a-608n(b) when Son turned eighteen years old during the pendency of the petition. View "In re Henrry P. B.-P." on Justia Law

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Defendant, a citizen of Poland, was charged with sexual assault in the fourth degree. The superior court granted Defendant’s application for accelerated rehabilitation. Defendant was subsequently ordered removed from the United States and deported to Poland. Ultimately, the court found that Defendant had failed successfully to complete the accelerated rehabilitation program, terminated Defendant’s participation in the program, and ordered his rearrest on the pending criminal charge. Defendant appealed. The Appellate Court did not reach the merits of Defendant’s claims, concluding that the appeal should be dismissed as moot under State v. Aquino, 901 A.2d 1194 (Conn. 2006). Specifically, the court found that Defendant’s appeal was rendered moot by his deportation because the reason for his deportation was unrelated to the accelerated rehabilitation program or the pending criminal charge. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Aquino, properly construed, did not control the present case because the record established the reason for Defendant’s deportation; and (2) there was a reasonable possibility that the trial court’s orders would result in prejudicial collateral consequences. View "State v. Jerzy G." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that Conn. Gen. Stat. 54-1j(a) does not require the trial court to inquire directly of a defendant as to whether he or she has spoken with counsel about the possible immigration consequences of pleading guilty before the court accepts the defendant’s guilty plea. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, which denied Defendant’s motion to vacate his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree on the ground that the trial court failed to ask Defendant whether he had spoken with counsel about the possible immigration consequences of pleading guilty before accepting the plea offer. Because Defendant expressly acknowledged that he understood those consequences, the trial court substantially complied with section 54-1j. View "State v. Lima" on Justia Law