Justia Connecticut Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law

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Plaintiff, Kettle Brook Realty, LLC, owned real property in the Town of East Windsor that that was assessed for purposes of the October 1, 2012 grand list. The Board of Assessment Appeals denied Plaintiff’s request for a reduction in the property’s assessed value. Plaintiff subsequently filed a complaint in the superior court alleging that its property had been overvalued. The Town filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction because Plaintiff did not serve the appeal papers within the two-month period allotted by Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-117a. The superior court granted the Town’s motion. The Appellate Court affirmed. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that, under the plain language of section 12-117a, its appeal was timely commenced upon the filing of its appeal documents in the superior court even though the appeal was not served on the Town until a date beyond the expiration of the two-month appeal period. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Plaintiff failed to serve its appeal on the Town within the two-month limitation period, the trial court properly dismissed the appeal as untimely. View "Kettle Brook Realty, LLC v. Town of East Windsor" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, Chestnut Point Realty, LLC, owned real property in the Town of East Windsor that that was assessed for purposes of the October 1, 2012 grand list. The Board of Assessment Appeals denied Plaintiff’s request for a reduction in the property’s assessed value. Plaintiff subsequently filed a complaint in the superior court alleging that the property had been overvalued. The Town filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction because Plaintiff did not serve the appeal papers within the two-month period allotted by Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-117a. The superior court granted the Town's motion. The Appellate Court affirmed. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that, under the plain language of section 12-117a, its appeal was timely commenced upon the filing of its appeal documents in the superior court even though the appeal was not served on the Town until a date beyond the expiration of the two-month appeal period. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Plaintiff failed to serve its appeal on the Town within the two-month limitation period, the trial court properly dismissed the appeal as untimely. View "Chestnut Point Realty, LLC v. Town of East Windsor" on Justia Law

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Connecticut Energy Marketers Association brought this action against the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (collectively, Defendants) alleging that Defendants violated the Environmental Policy Act when Defendants approved a plan for a significant expansion of the use of natural gas in the state without evaluating the environmental impact of an increase in the use of natural gas pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 22a-1b(c). Defendants filed separate motions to dismiss, arguing that no environmental impact evaluation was required because Defendants’ activities did not constitute “actions which may significantly affect the environment” for purposes of section 22a-1b(c). The trial court agreed and dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in granting Defendants’ motions to dismiss on the ground that the requirement of an environmental impact evaluation in section 22a-1b(c) does not apply to Defendants’ activities in this case. View "Connecticut Energy Marketers Ass’n v. Department of Energy & Environmental Protection" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs requested from the Commissioner of Revenue Services a tax refund for the taxable years 2002, 2006, and 2007. The Commissioner denied the request. The trial court upheld the decision of the Commissioner. The Supreme Court (1) reversed the trial court’s award of summary judgment with respect to the taxable year 2002, holding that the form of the trial court’s judgment with respect to that claim was improper; but (2) affirmed the judgment of the trial court in all other respects, holding that the remainder of Plaintiffs’ contentions regarding the judgment were unavailing. View "Allen v. Commissioner of Revenue Services" on Justia Law

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Petitioner was charged with several criminal offenses. Petitioner pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. After a nonadversarial proceeding, the court rendered a judgment acquitting Petitioner of all offenses on the basis of mental disease or defect and committed Petitioner to the custody of the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Respondent) for a period not to exceed twenty-five years. Respondent later transferred custody of Petitioner to the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board. Petitioner remained committed to the custody of the Board for more than twenty-five years. Petitioner then filed a petition for habeas corpus challenging his extended confinement. The habeas court denied Petitioner’s petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the habeas court properly denied Petitioner relief on his claim regarding the knowing and voluntary nature of his plea; and (2) the habeas court correctly determined that Petitioner did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel. View "Dyous v. Commissioner of Mental Health & Addiction Services" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs were four bus companies operating buses over routes in and around the cities of New Britian and Hartford. Each plaintiff had authority to operate a bus service over a specific route pursuant to a certificate of public convenience and necessity. When a new busway was constructed by the state, the state sought to hire new companies to operate buses over the routes Plaintiffs currently operate. In a separate action, Plaintiffs sought to enjoin the Commissioner of Transportation from transferring the routes at issue to new operators. While that case was pending, the Commissioner condemned the certificates pursuant to the State’s power of eminent domain. Plaintiff filed the actions that were the subject of this appeal, claiming that the Commissioner lacked the statutory authority to condemn their certificates. The trial court consolidated the actions and granted the Commissioner’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that Conn. Gen. Stat. 13b-36(a) gave the Commissioner authority to condemn the certificates. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the legislature did not intend for the term “facilities” in the statute to refer to intangible operating rights reflected in the certificates at issue. View "Dattco, Inc. v. Commissioner of Transportation" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff was employed as a police officer by Defendant when he was injured. The Workers’ Compensation Commissioner dismissed Plaintiff’s claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits, concluding that Plaintiff had not departed his “place of abode” for duty as a police officer at the time he sustained his injury, and therefore, the incident was not compensable. The Workers’ Compensation Board affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiff was acting “in the course of his employment” at the time he was injured, and therefore, the Board erred in affirming the Commissioner’s decision to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim. View "Balloli v. New Haven Police Department" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, the owner of a parcel of land in the Town of Colchester, challenged the Town’s assessment of the property for the tax year 2011. The Colchester Board of Assessment Appeals upheld the Town’s original valuation. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that the Town had used an improper method for valuing the property. The trial court upheld the Town’s original assessment, determining that Plaintiff had not established that it was aggrieved by the Town’s valuation because it found that Plaintiff’s expert was not credible. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that the trial court applied the incorrect legal standard of valuation to the subject property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court’s determination that Plaintiff failed to establish aggrievement was not clearly erroneous, and the trial court properly rejected Plaintiff’s appeal. View "Nutmeg Housing Development Corp. v. Colchester" on Justia Law

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In 2006, Plaintiff’s decedent filed notices of claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commission assigned the decedent’s claims to its asbestos docket for adjudication. After the decedent died, Plaintiff, his widow, filed a claim for dependent benefits that was joined with the original claims. The Connecticut Insurance Guaranty Association became a defendant in the proceedings. The Association was originally dismissed from the case for lack of exposure. The Commissioner later reinstated the Association as a party to the proceedings. The Workers’ Compensation Review Board affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed the Board’s decision, holding that the Commissioner properly reinstated the Association as a party to the proceedings because the Commissioner’s broad case management authority permitted him to render a dismissal that was provisional, rather than final, in nature. View "Graham v. Olson Wood Associates, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a complaint against the Commissioner of Environmental Protection (Commissioner) and Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (Dominion) alleging that the operation of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station owned and operated by Dominion was causing unreasonable pollution of the state’s waters in violation of the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act of 1971. The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that Plaintiff lacked standing. The Supreme Court reversed, concluding that Plaintiff had standing to bring her action under Conn. Gen. Stat. 22a-16. The Court ordered the trial court to conduct a hearing to determine whether the pending administrative permit renewal proceeding for the nuclear power station’s operation was inadequate to protect the rights recognized by the Act. The administrative proceeding then terminated when the Commissioner issued a renewal permit for Millstone. The trial court granted Defendants’ motions to dismiss, concluding that Plaintiff’s action was moot. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiff’s claims were not moot because a determination that the renewal proceeding was inadequate to protect the rights recognized under the Act could result in the invalidation of the permit under which Millstone is currently operating. View "Burton v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection" on Justia Law