October 17, 2018
charging the defendant with violation of probation, brought
to the Superior Court in the judicial district of
Stamford-Norwalk, geographical area number twenty, and
transferred to the judicial district of Fairfield,
geographical area number two, where the matter was triedtothe
court, Holden, J.; thereafter the court
denied the defendant's motion to dismiss; judgment
revoking the defendant's probation, from which the
defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.
J. McKay, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).
R. Aiello, special deputy assistant state's attorney,
with whom, on the brief, were John C. Smriga, state's
attorney, and Richard Palombo, senior assistant state's
attorney, for the appellee (state).
Sheldon, Elgo and Beach, Js.
defendant, Frederick M. Davis, appeals from the judgment of
the trial court revoking his probation and committing him to
the custody of the Commissioner of Correction for nine years.
On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) improperly
denied his motion to dismiss predicated on an alleged lack of
jurisdiction, (2) violated his constitutional right to be
present at a critical stage of the probation revocation
proceeding, and (3) improperly denied his request for a
continuance. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
26, 2016, the defendant pleaded guilty to possession of
narcotics with intent to sell in violation of General
Statutes § 21a-277 (a). The court sentenced the
defendant to a term of twelve years incarceration, execution
suspended, with five years of probation. The conditions of
his probation required, inter alia, that the defendant
‘‘not violate any criminal law of the United
States, this state or any other state or territory,
'' that he submit to random urinalysis, and that he
obtain substance abuse and mental health treatment.
the commencement of his probationary period, the defendant
was referred to Connecticut Renaissance by his probation
officer, Matthew A. Maiorano, for a substance abuse and
mental health evaluation. When the defendant repeatedly
failed to report for scheduled appointments, he was
discharged from that treatment center. Maiorano also
performed a urinalysis on the defendant in August, 2016,
which tested positive for cocaine and marijuana. In addition,
the defendant was arrested on August 15, 2016, and charged
with multiple drug related felonies, including possession of
narcotics with intent to sell by a person who is not
drug-dependent in violation of General Statutes §
21a-278 (b) and sale of narcotics in violation of §
response, Maiorano filed an arrest warrant application for
the defendant's violation of the terms of his probation.
In an accompanying affidavit, Maiorano alleged that the
defendant's ‘‘continued negative behaviors,
polysubstance abuse and continued narcotics trafficking
indicate that the beneficial purposes for which [he] was
initially placed on [p]robation . . . are no longer being
served.'' The state then filed an information
alleging that the defendant had breached the terms of his
probation in violation of General Statutes § 53a-32.
January 17, 2017, a hearing was held before the Norwalk
Superior Court. When the matter was called, Attorney M.
Elizabeth Reid from the Office of the Public Defender first
indicated that she represented the defendant. After a brief
colloquy with the court, she then stated:
‘‘Judge, as much as I'd love to represent
[the defendant] here, this matter is actually going to be
trans-ferred to [geographical area number two] in Bridgeport
for February [14, 2017].'' The court at that time
transferred the matter to the Bridgeport Superior Court.
April 19, 2017, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the
violation of probation action for lack of jurisdiction
‘‘over the defendant or the subject
matter.'' In that motion, the defendant claimed that
the court improperly transferred the matter from the Norwalk
Superior Court to the Bridgeport Superior Court, in
contravention of Practice Book § 41-23. He filed a
supplement to that motion a week later, in which he argued
that a probation revocation proceeding is a criminal matter.
The court heard argument from the parties on that motion, in
which the defendant's new public defender in Bridgeport
maintained that the Bridgeport Superior Court lacked
jurisdiction over the probation revocation proceeding due to
the allegedly improper transfer. The court thereafter denied
the motion to dismiss.
defendant rejected a plea offer from the state and a hearing
on the violation of probation charge commenced on April 27,
2017. At that hearing, Maiorano testified as to the
defendant's noncompliance with the terms of his
probation. In addition, the state presented the testimony of
three members of the Bridgeport Police Department who were
involved in the August 15, 2016 arrest of the defendant; see
footnote 1 of this opinion; which testimony the court
expressly credited. When the adjudicatory phase of that
proceeding concluded, the court found, by a fair
preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant had
violated the terms of his probation in multiple
counsel then requested a continuance of the dispositional
phase of the probation revocation proceeding until all
pending criminal matters were resolved ‘‘due to
[the defendant's] right of allocution'' as
codified in Practice Book § 43-10. After hearing initial
arguments from the parties on that request, the court
continued the matter approximately two weeks. When the
parties again appeared before the court on May 12, 2017, the
court heard further arguments on the defendant's
continuance request, which it then denied. At the conclusion
of the dispositional phase of the proceeding, the court found
that the beneficial aspects of ...