296 A.2d 1 (Conn.Cir.A.D. 1972), CV2-717-84063, Kelsaw v. Green

Docket Nº:CV2-717-84063 AP.
Citation:296 A.2d 1
Opinion Judge:DEARINGTON, Judge.
Party Name:Mayme E. KELSAW v. Lincoln GREEN.
Attorney:Donald C. Cousins, Bridgeport, for appellant (plaintiff). Lincoln Green, pro se.
Judge Panel:In this opinion KINMONTH, J., concurred; JACOBS, J., concurred in the result. DEARINGTON,
Case Date:October 20, 1972
Court:Circuit Court of Connecticut

Page 1

296 A.2d 1 (Conn.Cir.A.D. 1972)

Mayme E. KELSAW

v.

Lincoln GREEN.

No. CV2-717-84063 AP.

Circuit Court of Connecticut, Appellate Division.

Oct. 20, 1972

Argued Sept. 11, 1972.

Page 2

Donald C. Cousins, Bridgeport, for appellant (plaintiff).

Lincoln Green, pro se.

DEARINGTON, Judge.

Following a trial to the court, the defendant was found not guilty of being the father of a child of the plaintiff born May 28, 1971, and the plaintiff has appealed. There were three witnesses, the plaintiff and defendant and a welfare investigator who offered evidence solely to the expenditures of the welfare department for lying in expenses and accrued support. She assigns error as follows: (1) in the finding and conclusion, (2) in rendering judgment for the defendant when the plaintiff had made out a prima facie case based on constancy of accusation, (3) in rendering judgment for the defendant when the plaintiff had proved her case by a fair preponderance of the evidence, and (4) in rendering judgment for the defendant when the court had demonstrated a personal bias or prejudice against the plaintiff.

The plaintiff was unsuccessful in seeking to strike certain paragraphs and add others to the finding. Among the paragraphs sought to be stricken, were those in which the court found, (1) the defendant did not have sexual relations with the plaintiff, (2) the defendant is not the father of the child, (3) the plaintiff's constancy of accusation is not credible, and (4) the plaintiff did not make out a prima facie case. There was affirmative evidence from the defendant that he did not have relations with the plaintiff and was not the father of the child. 'As the trier, the court is the sole arbiter of the credibility of witnesses and is privileged to adopt whatever testimony it reasonably believes to be credible.' Branford Sewer Authority v. Williams, 159 Conn. 421, 424, 270 A.2d 546, 548. The plaintiff further claims that the finding by the court that her claimed constancy of accusation was not credible is improper, citing Maltbie, Conn.App.Proc. § 134, p. 165, to the effect that 'Statements characterizing the testimony of witnesses or their credibility are improper.' See Cripps v. Liquor Control Commission, 130 Conn. 693, 698, 37 A.2d 227. While it is improper in a finding to recite characterizing testimony, it is not improper for the court to find that the testimony of a...

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