Posts tagged with "information"

Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Information Seeking Increased Penalty Denied

In a recent criminal law matter, a Superior Court of Connecticut entertained a defendant’s motion to dismiss a Part B information submitted by the State that sought to increase the penalty for his present DUI conviction based on a previous one.

In 2008, the defendant was convicted under New Hampshire’s statute criminalizing driving with an elevated alcohol content. The defendant requested that the conviction be reduced from a Class B Misdemeanor to a Violation, and the court granted this motion in January 2009. On June 27, 2009, the defendant was convicted in Connecticut of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (OMVUI). Because the defendant had a prior conviction for a similar offense, the State submitted a Part B information seeking enhanced penalties. The defendant moved to dismiss the information.

General Statutes § 14-227a penalizes operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence. A person is guilty of this crime if they operate a motor vehicle “(1) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, or (2) while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content.” New Hampshire’s law is markedly similar: a person cannot drive or attempt to drive “(a) while such person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug … (b) while such person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.” NHRSA § 265-A:2.

Connecticut’s statutes also provide for enhanced penalties for multiple convictions of OMVUI. As required by § 14-227a(g), the essential elements of the two crimes must be substantially the same. In this case, the Superior Court found that the essential elements of the Connecticut and New Hampshire statutes were indeed substantially the same. It stated that the defendant placed an improper emphasis on the distinction between the terms “misdemeanor” and “violation,” noting that what matters is the “function and purpose” of the statutes. Because the Connecticut legislature intended to deter people from driving under the influence, it did not matter what label was applied. Therefore, the defendant’s motion to dismiss was denied.

When faced with a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (a.k.a. driving under the influence), an individual is best served by consulting with an experienced criminal law practitioner. Should you have any questions regarding criminal defense, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya in the firm’s Westport office in Fairfield County at 203-221-3100 or at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Written by Lindsay E. Raber, Esq.

Adoptive Children and Communications with their Biological Parents

Leigh Ryan, Esq. is an attorney with Maya Murphy, P.C., a full service law firm with offices in Westport, CT and New York City. Ms. Ryan is licensed to practice law in Connecticut and New York.

Connecticut telephone number: (203) 221-3100; New York telephone number: (212) 682-5700; Firm url: www. Mayalaw.com; E-mail: LRyan@Mayalaw.com

One of adoptive parents’ principal concerns is that of the role of the biological parents. Can a biological parent change their minds about the adoption? Can the biological parents communicate with the adopted child? Can the adopted child ever find out information about his/her biological parent(s)? All these questions can be nerve-racking for individuals who wish to adopt.

The reality is that in all states, the biological parents have a period of time in which they can revoke their consent to the adoption. In Connecticut, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-719 allows for a birth parent to file a petition to set aside an order voluntarily terminating parental rights at any time before the entry of the final adoption decree. However, a biological parent’s ability to revoke may be terminated in cases of abandonment, failure to support the child, or abuse and neglect. Once the court issues a final decree of adoption, a birth parent’s consent becomes final and irrevocable.

After a final adoption decree, it is possible for the adoptive child and biological parents to communicate. The extent of that communication can be negotiated prior to the final adoption decree. In some cases, biological parents and intended adoptive parents enter into what is known as a Cooperative Postadoption Agreement. This is a written agreement between either or both birth parents and an intended adoptive parent(s) regarding communication or contact contacteither or both birth parents and the adopted child. It is in the Cooperative Postadoption Agreement that the extent of involvement of the birth parents can be defined.

In the case of Cooperative Postadoption Agreements, the identity of the biological parents is known. However, generally, adoption records are sealed and only non-identifying information is provided to the adoptive parents or adopted child (if he/she is an adult) upon request. This non-identifying information includes (1) age of biological parents in years at the birth; (2) heritage of the biological parent or parents; (3) education stated in the number of years of school completed; (4) general physical appearance of the biological parent(s); (5) talents, hobbies and special interests of the biological parent or parents; (6) existence of any other child or children born to either biological parent of the adopted or adoptable person; (7) reasons for placing the child for adoption or for biological parental rights being terminated; (8) religion of biological parent or parents; (9) field of occupation of biological parent or parents in general terms; (10) health history of biological parent or parents and blood relatives; (11) manner in which plans for the adopted or adoptable person’s future were made by biological parent or parents; (12) relationship between the biological parents; (13) any psychological, psychiatric or social evaluations; and (14) any other relevant non-identifying information.

In the event that the adoptive parents or adopted adult child wishes to learn the identity of the biological parents, written consent must first be obtained from the person whose identity is being request. Therefore, the identity of the birth parents (if not already known) will remain unknown unless the birth parent(s) consents.

Given the significant impact that contact with biological parents can have on the adopted child, it is important to have an attorney who is well versed in adoption law.
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Our family law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best divorce attorneys and family attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut divorce or New York divorce today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce law attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free divorce consultation as well as free consultation on all other familial matters. Divorce in CT and divorce in NYC is difficult, but education is power. Call our family law office in CT today.

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Requisite Proof to Demonstrate Irreparable Harm in Connection to Breach of Non-Compete

Requisite Proof to Demonstrate Irreparable Harm in Connection to Breach of Non-Compete
VBrick Systems, Inc. v. Stephens, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45835

VBrick Systems, Inc. was a Delaware corporation with primary business operations based in Wallingford, Connecticut that provided networked streaming video products and services. The company employed Mr. Robert Stephens as its Army Federal Territory Manager from July 2005 until April 1, 2008 when he tendered his resignation from the company and began to work at Optibase, Inc as its Director of Federal Sales. Optibase is a direct competitor that also sells networked video products and services to government, military, and private sector customers.
Mr. Stephens traveled to Connecticut after he was hired by VBrick to attend a training session at the company’s headquarters and signed an employment agreement that contained non-compete and non-disclosure clauses. In the agreement, he agreed to refrain from working at a competing company during an eighteen-month period after his termination from VBrick. The non-disclosure covenant stipulated that Mr. Stephens be legally obligated to maintain the confidential nature of VBrick’s business operations and information that he had access to during his employment with the company. The employment agreement stated that Connecticut law would govern any legal disputes but failed to enumerate any geographical limitations for the restrictive covenants.
VBrick alleged that Mr. Stephens breached the covenants by accepting a position with a competitor within eighteen months of his termination and by using VBrick’s proprietary information in his role as an Optibase employee. VBrick sued in federal court and requested that the court enforce the provisions contained in the restrictive covenants. The court ultimately found in favor of Mr. Stephens and denied VBrick’s request for injunctive relief. The court found that VBrick did not meet the burden of proof to demonstrate that it would suffer irreparable harm if the court did not issue an injunction.
The court held that VBrick failed to present adequate and convincing evidence that Mr. Stephens actually possessed or had access to any of its trade secrets or confidential information. He had familiarized himself with the products he was marketing and selling by using the company’s training programs and corporate website, both of which are accessible by the public. Additionally, VBrick did not convince the court that Mr. Stephens’ action as an Optibase employee had “affected or will significantly affect VBrick’s sales or revenues”. This meant that VBrick was unable to show that it had been adversely affected by Mr. Stephens’ actions or that it was likely to be in the future. VBrick’s testimony offered evidence to the contrary when it stated before the court that its sales and revenues remained strong despite Mr. Stephens’ termination and the national economic downturn. In light of inadequate evidence to show that Mr. Stephens’ action at Optibase created an imminent danger for VBrick’s business operations, the court had no option but to deny VBrick’s request for injunctive relief.
If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

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