Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the habeas court missing Petitioner’s habeas action alleging that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel at two criminal jury trials, both of which resulted in convictions and substantial prison sentences. The Commissioner of Correction moved to dismiss the action based on the terms of a stipulated judgment filed by Petitioner and the Commissioner in connection with a previous habeas action concerning the same two trials. The stipulation barred Petitioner from filing any further such actions pertaining to those trials. On appeal, Petitioner argued that his case was erroneously dismissed where he did not knowingly and voluntarily enter into the stipulated judgment. In affirming, the Supreme Court held (1) Petitioner did not properly raise his challenge to the enforceability of the stipulated judgment in the habeas court; and (2) the stipulated judgment was a legally sufficient ground for dismissal of the present habeas action. View "Nelson v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law

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Vaccinations are not “medical treatment” within the meaning of Conn. Gen. Stat. 17a-10(c), and therefore, the statute does not authorize the Commissioner of Children and Families to vaccinate a child temporarily placed in her custody over the objection of that child’s parents. The children’s parents in this case entered pleas of nolo contendere as to neglect allegations and agreed to commit their two children temporarily to the care and custody of the Commissioner. The parents, however, objected to vaccination of the children for common childhood diseases in accordance with the Department of Children and Families’ usual practice. The trial court granted the Commissioner permission to vaccinate the children, concluding that the Commissioner had the authority and obligation to vaccinate the children pursuant to section 17a-10c. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the statute does not authorize the Commissioner to vacate children committed to her temporary custody without parental consent. View "In re Elianah T.-T." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a developer, appealed a decision of Defendant, a planning and zoning commission, denied Plaintiff’s application for an affordable housing subdivision pursuant to the Affordable Housing Appeals Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-30g. The trial court sustained Plaintiff’s administrative appeal. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the commission was required to grant Plaintiff’s application for subdivision approval despite the application’s lack of compliance with a municipal road ordinance; and (2) the trial court properly ordered the commission to approve Plaintiff’s application “as is” rather than for consideration of conditions of approval. View "Brenmor Properties, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission of Town of Lisbon" on Justia Law

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The Town of Middlebury and sixteen residents and entities situated in Middlebury and nearby towns (collectively, Plaintiffs), appealed the dismissal of their appeal from the decision of the Connecticut Siting Council granting CPV Towantic, LLC’s petition to open and modify a certificate for an electric generating facility. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court properly determined that the council had adequately considered neighborhood concerns in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. 16-50p(c)(1) where Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proving that the council acted contrary to law and ignored the neighborhood concerns that were presented to it. View "Town of Middlebury v. Connecticut Siting Council" on Justia Law

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The statutory aggrievement principles of Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-8 do not extend to appeals from the decisions of historic district commissions brought pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 7-147i. Plaintiffs appealed from two decisions of the Historic District Commission of the Town of Groton with respect to alterations to a barn located on property owned by Steven and Caroline Young. The trial court denied relief, concluding (1) statutory aggrievement under section 8-8 does not extend to historic district commission appeals brought pursuant to section 7-147i, and (2) Plaintiffs failed to establish that they were classically aggrieved with respect to each of the Commission’s two decisions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court properly determined that Plaintiffs were not statutorily aggrieved under section 7-147i and section 8-8(a)(1); and (2) the trial court properly determined that Plaintiffs did not establish classical aggrievement in either appeal. View "Mayer v. Historic District Commission of Town of Groton" on Justia Law

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Melissa was the biological mother of Santiago, the minor child at issue in this case. Santiago was in the care of Maria from his birth until he was three years old. At that time, the Commissioner of Children and Families filed a motion for an order of temporary custody of Santiago on the basis of neglect. The trial court adjudicated Santiago neglected on the basis of abandonment by his biological parents and ordered him committed to the custody of the Commissioner. Thereafter, the Department of Children and Families filed a motion to terminate Melissa’s parental rights. Maria filed an amended motion to intervene as of right and permissively. The trial court denied the motion to intervene. Maria appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that Maria failed to plead a colorable claim of intervention as of right, and therefore, the trial court’s denial of her motion to intervene as of right was not a final judgment for purposes of this appeal. View "In re Santiago G." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a Connecticut corporation that operates Domino’s pizza franchises, filed a petition for a declaratory ruling with the Labor Commissioner seeking a determination that it could pay a reduced minimum wage to its delivery drivers because they regularly receive gratuities that result in the drivers earning in excess of the minimum wage. Plaintiff relied on Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-60(b), which directs the Commissioner, acting through the Department of Labor, to adopt regulations that recognize that employers may include gratuities as part of the minimum fair wage for certain employees in the restaurant and hotel industries (tip credit). At issue in this case was whether the Department’s regulations that limit the tip credit to bartenders and traditional waitstaff and do not allow employers to count gratuities toward the minimum wage for other employees such as restaurant delivery drivers, conflict with the enabling statute. The Commissioner issued a declaratory ruling finding that Plaintiff’s drivers were not subject to a tip credit. The trial court dismissed Plaintiff’s appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the regulations at issue are not incompatible with section 31-60(b). View "Amaral Brothers, Inc. v. Department of Labor" on Justia Law

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The Board of Review of the Employment Security Appeals Division found Southwest Appraisal Group, LLC (Plaintiff) liable for unemployment compensation taxes, plus interest, for three of its automobile appraisers following an audit by the Administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act (Defendant). The trial court dismissed Plaintiff’s appeal, deeming the three appraisers to be employees on the ground that Plaintiff had failed to prove that they had performed appraisal services for anyone other than Plaintiff despite evidence indicating that they operated independent businesses. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that the trial court improperly upheld the Board’s construction of Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-222(a)(1)(B)(ii), namely, that part C of the ABC test requires putative independent contractors to be customarily engaged in an independently established - and successful - trade, occupation, profession or business. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that evidence of the performance of services for third parties is not required to prove part C of the ABC test but, rather, is a single factor that may be considered under the totality of the circumstances analysis governing that inquiry. View "Southwest Appraisal Group, LLC v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act" on Justia 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