In re Jeisean M.

Connecticut Supreme Court

270 Conn. 406 (2004)

July 27, 2004

 

In an extremely short, but extremely important per curium opinion, the Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s holding in Jeisean M, 74 Conn. App. 233 (2002) construing Practice Book § 63-6 as allowing a trial court to solely analyze an appellant’s statutory right of appeal, and whether an appellate applicant is indigent, not whether the appeal itself has merit. The Court indicated that certification of the appeal was “granted improvidently” and dismissed the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families’ appeal.

The importance of this decision to indigent appellants resonates when viewed in light of the hurdle that most appellants in termination of parental rights cases face. The legal consequences of requiring a merits review by the trial court was rebuked by the appellate court and the discussion of the interplay among the status giving an indigent parent the right of appeal is worth reviewing to understand why a merits review would destroy the indigent litigant the opportunity to present legal challenges addressed by the trial court. The decision may be accessed by going to the Judicial Branch website at www.jud.state.ct.us/external/supapp/Cases/AROcr/CR270/270cr92.pdf.

The companion case addressing the merits of the appeal may be accessed on this website.

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