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Heyward v. Judicial Department of Connecticut

Appellate Court of Connecticut

September 15, 2015

THERESA D. S. HEYWARD ET AL.
v.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT ET AL

Argued April 15, 2015

Page 921

Action to recover damages for, inter alia, alleged employment discrimination, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Waterbury, where the court, Zemetis, J., granted in part the defendants' motion to dismiss, rendered judgment thereon, and transferred the matter to the judicial district of Hartford, and the plaintiffs appealed to this court.

Appeal dismissed in part; affirmed.

SYLLABUS

The plaintiffs, T, a clerk in a state courthouse, and her husband, K, brought this action alleging that the defendants, the Judicial Department and T's supervisor, A, the chief clerk of the courthouse, had subjected T to, inter alia, harassment and discrimination in the workplace on the basis of her race and gender. K alleged a claim of loss of consortium. T initially filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities in which she named the state as the sole respondent. Thereafter, the commission issued to T a release of jurisdiction letter that authorized her to bring this action in the Superior Court. The trial court subsequently granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint and rendered judgment thereon. The court dismissed all counts of the complaint as against A, and all but two of the counts as against the state, and ordered those two counts transferred to a different judicial district. On appeal to this court, the plaintiffs claimed, inter alia, that the trial court improperly granted the motion to dismiss. Held :

1. This court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction that portion of the plaintiffs' appeal that challenged the trial court's decision as to the counts of the complaint asserted against the state; the trial court's ruling was a partial judgment, as it disposed of only four of the six counts against the state, and, under the applicable rule of practice (§ 61-4 [a]), the plaintiffs could have appealed had the trial court made a written determination, and the chief judge concurred, that the issues resolved were of such significance to the determination of the case that the delay incident to appeal would be justified; moreover, the trial court's ruling did not terminate a separate and distinct proceeding, but was a step along the road to a complete resolution of the action as to the state, and the plaintiffs did not advance any argument that the trial court's decision jeopardized a presently held statutory or constitutional right absent an immediate appeal.

2. This court declined to review the plaintiffs' claim that the trial court improperly dismissed all of the counts of the complaint as against A, the claim having been deemed abandoned as a result of the plaintiffs' failure to brief it adequately.

3. This court lacked jurisdiction to consider the plaintiffs' claim challenging the trial court's transfer order, as that order was interlocutory in nature, did not terminate a separate and distinct proceeding, or conclude any recognized right of the parties, and the plaintiffs failed to identify any right irretrievably lost by the change of venue.

Eddi Z. Zyko, for the appellants (plaintiffs).

Ann E. Lynch, assistant attorney general, with whom, on the brief, was George Jepsen, attorney general, for the appellees (defendants).

Keller, Prescott and Bishop, Js.

OPINION

Page 922

[159 Conn.App. 795] PRESCO ...


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