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Connecticut Supreme Court to Visit Watkinson School

Watkinson School. Courtesy image (file photo)

The ‘On Circuit’ visit is scheduled for March 27.


The Connecticut Supreme Court will travel to Watkinson School in Hartford on Wednesday, March 27, to hear two cases as part of its “On Circuit” program. The visit is the first time that the justices will hear arguments at Watkinson School.

The program provides students, educators, and the public with a greater understanding of the appellate process. Over the years, the Supreme Court has heard arguments at several schools, colleges, and universities throughout the state.

Details of the visit are as follows:

When & where:

Wednesday, March 27, 2024, in Watkinson School’s Foisie Family Amphitheater, 180 Bloomfield Ave, Hartford. The first argument will start at 10 a.m.; the second case is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. A 20-minute question-and-answer period with counsel from the case, students, and faculty will follow each argument. Please allow enough time to clear security upon arrival; also, no backpacks or water bottles will be allowed inside the amphitheater.

Cases to be heard:

The 10 a.m. case is State of Connecticut v. Raikes Y. Delacruz-Gomez, from the Waterbury Judicial District. At issue is whether the trial court correctly admitted uncharged misconduct evidence about names of outstanding felony charges from an unrelated case in defendant’s arrest warrant; and whether admission of evidence that the violent fugitive task force arrested defendant was not unfairly prejudicial. Briefs.

The 11:30 a.m. case is Frances Wihbey v. Pine Orchard Assoc. Zoning Board of Appeals in Branford et al., from the Hartford Judicial District.  At issue is whether short-term rentals of a single-family dwelling constituted permissible use under 1994 Pine Orchard Association zoning regulations. Briefs.

The Connecticut Network (CT-N) will livestream the arguments. Watkinson will serve as pool for still photos.

“The Court is very much looking forward to our visit to Watkinson School as part of the Supreme Court ‘On Circuit’ program,” said Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson. “For the students in attendance, it is an interactive and interesting way to not only learn about the appellate process, but to watch, in person, real-time arguments before the Court. After all, you never know whether there’s a future justice in the audience – in fact, our own Justice Raheem Mullins graduated from Watkinson in 1997.  We are very grateful to Watkinson’s faculty for their work to make this event both memorable and educational.”

“With this experience, our students have an extraordinary opportunity to witness our system of justice in real life, in real time,” said Head of School Teri Schrader. “It is vitally important that we remember that at its core, the process of constructing and hearing an appeal is a critical element of what lies at the heart of our way of life: striving for fairness and justice. It is all too easy to become cynical when we do not understand or feel connected to the ideals of the levels of our government. That Court will be in session at our school draws our young people into the reality and importance of the judicial system in a visceral and unforgettable way.  We are honored to host and to have this rare opportunity on our campus.”

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