Supreme Court rejects New Canaan man's appeal
Published 4:37 pm, Wednesday, February 15, 2012
A New Canaan man's appeal on harassment and violating a protective order convictions last month was rejected by the state Supreme Court, according to a court official.
Michael Nowacki, 59, of Lost District Drive, filed the 11-page appeal on Tuesday along with motions for a new trial and to suspend judgment of the verdict.
The grounds Nowacki used to appeal to the state's highest court instead of the Appellate Court were that, in his estimation, public interest is involved and a delay may work as a substantial injustice.
"The decision to deny the direct appeal is another example of judicial retaliation by the Chief Justice against this advocate for justice," Nowacki said in an email seeking comment.
Judge Bruce Hudock, who presided over the jury trial, is to rule on the state motions when Nowacki returns to court for sentencing on March 20.
In the appeal, Nowacki cited many reasons to overturn the jury's verdict finding him guilty of violating a protective order forbidding him from contacting his ex-wife and harassing his nanny.
The Norwalk jury acquitted him of separate charges of harassing his ex-wife and disorderly conduct.
Nowacki, who was his own defense attorney and spent five hours on the stand interviewing himself during the two-week trial, testified that he inadvertently sent an email to his wife and was wrongly arrested for violating the judge's protective order.
Nowacki told the Supreme Court he wanted a ruling on the constitutionality of punishing him with up to five years in jail for inadvertent contact with his ex-wife.
He testified on the stand he meant to email a newspaper editor whose first and last names began with the same letter as his wife and he misread the pull-down menu and rather than sending the message to the editor, it went to his wife instead.
But the jury found him guilty of the charge even though Hudock instructed the six-member panel that to find Nowacki guilty, prosecutors had to prove that he "intentionally and not inadvertently or accidentally" contacted his wife.
Nowacki said he has sent a 12-page letter to each of the 187 members of the state General Assembly asking them to draft an amendment to the criminal protection laws, "to prevent sentencing or prosecution of any citizen for inadvertent contact with a protected party."