The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.
Administrative Appeal Law

Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=361

SC19622 - Amaral Brothers, Inc. v. Dept. of Labor (Administrative appeal; "General Statutes § 31-60 (b) carves out certain exceptions to Connecticut's minimum wage laws. Among other things, § 31-60 (b) directs the Labor Commissioner, acting through the defendant, the Department of Labor, to adopt regulations that recognize that employers may include gratuities as part of the minimum fair wage for employees in the restaurant and hotel industries who customarily and regularly receive gratuities (tip credit). The primary question raised by this appeal is whether the department's regulations, which 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. Because we conclude that the regulations are not incompatible with § 31-60 (b), we affirm the judgment of the trial court dismissing the appeal of the plaintiff, Amaral Brothers, Inc., from the commissioner's declaratory ruling that the plaintiff's drivers are not subject to a tip credit.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=342

SC19651 - Southwest Appraisal Group, LLC v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act (Unemployment compensation; employer contributions "The sole issue in this appeal is whether part C of the ABC test; see General Statutes § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii); which governs whether an employment relationship exists for purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-222 et seq., requires proof that the putative employee perform services for third parties other than the putative employer, in order to be deemed an independent contractor. The plaintiff, Southwest Appraisal Group, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its appeal from the decision of the Board of Review of the Employment Security Appeals Division (board), which found it liable for unemployment compensation taxes, plus interest, for three of its automobile appraisers following an audit by the defendant, the Administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly applied part C of the ABC test, which asks whether "such individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed"; General Statutes § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii) (III); in deeming the three appraisers to be employees on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to prove that they had performed appraisal services for anyone other than the plaintiff, despite other evidence indicating that they operated independent businesses. We conclude 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. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=280

AC37958 - Martinez v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act (Unemployment compensation benefits; "The defendant Administrator of the Unemployment Compensation Act appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the appeal by the plaintiff, Orlando Martinez, and reversing the decision of the Employment Security Board of Review (board) denying benefits to the plaintiff. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) disregarded the factual findings of the board although no motion to correct was filed as required by Practice Book § 22-4, and (2) determined that the board abused its discretion in concluding that the plaintiff engaged in wilful misconduct. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=261

SC19567 - Allen v. Commissioner of Revenue Services (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiffs, Jefferson Allen and Evita Allen, appeal from the trial court's award of summary judgment upholding the decision of the defendant, the Commissioner of Revenue Services, denying their request for a tax refund for the taxable years 2002, 2006, and 2007. In this appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly concluded that: (1) it lacked subject matter jurisdiction with respect to the plaintiffs' claim for a refund for the taxable year 2002 on the basis of the three year limitation period to file an income tax refund pursuant to General Statutes § 12-732 (a); (2) § 12-711(b)-18 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies permitted the defendant to tax the plaintiffs' income derived from the exercise of options because the options were granted as compensation for performing services within the state; and (3) it is constitutional to impose a tax on income derived from the exercise of nonqualified stock options by a nonresident who was granted the options as compensation for performing services within the state. We disagree with each of the plaintiffs claims. Because the form of the trial court's judgment with respect to the plaintiffs' claim relating to the taxable year 2002 was improper, we reverse the trial court's award of summary judgment with respect to that taxable year and remand the case with direction to render judgment dismissing that claim. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other respects.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=236

SC19461 - Blakely v. Danbury Hospital (Wrongful death; "The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the lapse of a jurisdictional time limitation for commencing suit in a statutory cause of action gives a defendant immunity from suit, such that an interlocutory appeal would be permitted to challenge a decision concluding that the accidental failure of suit statute (savings statute), General Statutes § 52-592, saved an otherwise untimely action. We conclude that no immunity from suit arises under such circumstances. Consequently, a decision concluding that the savings statute permits a statutory cause of action subject to a jurisdictional time limitation to proceed cannot be the subject of an interlocutory appeal authorized under State v. Curcio, 191 Conn. 27, 31, 463 A.2d 566 (1983).")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=220

SC19664 - Burton v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection (Injunction; action to enjoin intake and discharge of water from Long Island Sound by defendant nuclear power company for use at nuclear power station; motion to dismiss for lack of standing; "The issue that we must resolve in this appeal is whether the trial court properly dismissed the complaint claiming a violation of the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act of 1971 (act), General Statutes § 22a-14 et seq., on the ground of mootness. The plaintiff, Nancy Burton, brought this action against the defendants, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection (commissioner) and Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (Dominion), claiming that the operation of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station (Millstone), which is owned and operated by Dominion, is causing unreasonable pollution of the waters of the state in violation of the act. Thereafter, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the plaintiff lacked standing, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff appealed from the judgment of dismissal and, in Burton v. Commissioner of Environmental Protection, 291 Conn. 789, 792–93, 970 A.2d 640 (2009) (Burton I), this court reversed the judgment of dismissal. We concluded that the plaintiff had standing to bring her action under General Statutes § 22a-16 because she had alleged facts that would support inferences that: (1) unreasonable pollution, impairment or destruction of a natural resource would probably result from Millstone's operations; id., 804; and (2) pursuant to General Statutes § 22a-20, the pending administrative permit renewal proceeding for Millstone's operation was inadequate to protect the rights recognized by the act because the hearing officer and the Department of Environmental Protection (department) had not conducted the proceeding fairly and impartially. Id., 812. As the remedy, we ordered that the trial court conduct a hearing to determine whether the pending administrative proceeding was inadequate to protect the rights recognized by the act. Our decision in Burton I was officially released on June 2, 2009. On September 1, 2010, the administrative proceeding terminated when the commissioner issued a renewal permit for Millstone. Thereafter, the defendants filed separate motions to dismiss the plaintiff's action, contending that, because no hearing on the adequacy of the permit renewal proceeding had been conducted pursuant to this court's order in Burton I, and because the permit renewal proceeding had terminated, the plaintiff's action was moot. The trial court granted the motions to dismiss, and this appeal followed. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=104

AC37527 - Miller v. Dept. of Agriculture (Appeal of animal disposal orders pursuant to statute (§ 22-358); "The plaintiff, Kim Miller, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing her appeal from the final decision of the defendant Department of Agriculture (department), to uphold, pursuant to General Statutes § 22-358, two disposal orders of an animal control officer of the town of Hamden to euthanize the plaintiff's two rottweiler dogs after they attacked the victim, Cynthia Reed. The plaintiff argues that the court erred in dismissing her appeal because the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture (commissioner), prior to adopting the recommendation of the department hearing officer, Bruce Sherman, to affirm the disposal orders, overlooked "a severe deprivation" of her rights by the hearing officer. The plaintiff claims that the hearing officer violated her constitutional rights to due process and to confront the witnesses against her, acted arbitrarily and capriciously in rendering his proposed final decision, and made his decision upon unlawful procedure. See General Statutes § 4-183 (j) (3) (Superior Court may overturn administrative decision "made upon unlawful procedure"). More specifically, the plaintiff claims that the hearing officer: (1) violated her right under the sixth amendment to the United States constitution to confront the witnesses against her when he allowed the statements of Reed and another witness to the attack, Monique Jones, to be admitted as evidence despite the fact that they did not testify and were not available for cross-examination; (2) improperly forced one of the plaintiff's witnesses to leave the hearing before testifying, thereby depriving the plaintiff of due process; (3) issued a proposed final decision that was made upon unlawful procedure because the department lacked written rules of procedure that applied specifically to hearings on dog disposal orders; and (4) acted arbitrarily and capriciously when he "interjected his opinion" about a substantive matter while questioning a witness for the plaintiff. We affirm the judgment of the trial court dismissing the plaintiff's appeal.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Christopher Roy

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=30

SC19562 - Shannon v. Commissioner of Housing ("The defendant, the Commissioner of Housing, administers the state rental assistance program (rental program), which, like the federal program operated pursuant to § 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f (section 8 program), provides "rental assistance for low-income families living in privately-owned rental housing." General Statutes (Supp. 2016) § 8-345 (a); see also, e.g., Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Sullivan Associates, 250 Conn. 763, 769–70, 739 A.2d 238 (1999) (discussing section 8 program). In this appeal, we consider whether the defendant may terminate rental program assistance to a registered sex offender who had that status when he was admitted to the rental program prior to the promulgation of § 17b-812-13 (9) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, which makes sex offender registration a ground for termination or denial of rental program assistance. The plaintiff, Francis Shannon, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his administrative appeal from the decision of the defendant to terminate his rental program assistance. On appeal, the plaintiff claims, inter alia, that the trial court improperly concluded that the defendant's application of § 17b-812-13 (9) of the regulations was not retroactive and, thus, did not exceed the authority granted to the defendant by the legislature. We conclude that the relevant statutes, regulations, and agency policies demonstrate that the defendant applied § 17b-812-13 (9) of the regulations retroactively by imposing a new obligation on the plaintiff's sex offender status that terminated his rental program assistance, and that the legislature did not authorize such retroactive agency action. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=204

January 2009 - November 2010 (reverse chronological order)

Hogan v. Dept. of Children & Families - SC18009 ("...appeal from department of children and families' decision to place plaintiff's name on statutory (§ 17a-101k) child abuse and neglect registry for injuries sustained by juvenile detainee while under plaintiff's supervision at juvenile detention center; whether registry scheme was unconstitutional as violative of due process and separation of powers, and constituted bill of attainder.")

AC28698 - Papic v. Burke ("On appeal to this court, the plaintiff claims that (1) federal law preempts the defendant’s authority to penalize him for fraud and misrepresentation, (2) the defendant improperly found that the plaintiff violated §§ 36b- 4 (a) and 36b-6 (c), and (3) the plaintiff was deprived of due process of law.")

AC29348 - Finley v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles ("The plaintiff...appeals from the trial court’s judgment dismissing his appeal from the order issued by a hearing officer of the department of motor vehicles suspending his motor vehicle operator’s license for one year due to his refusal to take a chemical alcohol test in violation of General Statutes § 14-227b. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that there was substantial evidence in the record to support the hearing officer’s findings that the plaintiff (1) was identified as the operator of the motor vehicle in question and (2) improperly refused to submit to a chemical alcohol test.")

AC29411 - Pierce v. Lantz ("The plaintiff...an inmate in a state correctional institution, appeals to this court after his administrative appeal, brought in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA), General Statutes § 4-166 et seq., challenging ‘‘regulations’’ of the department of correction (department) was dismissed in Superior Court. The plaintiff complained in his ‘‘petition,’’ filed with the department, that certain department regulations involving censorship of mail, compact discs and cassette tapes, as well as a 30 percent markup on compact discs and cassette tapes sold at the institution’s commissary were not properly promulgated regulations and, therefore, were unenforceable. It is the claim of the defendant commissioner of correction that the censorship restrictions concerning the mail, compact discs and cassette tapes, as well as the commissary markups were directives or rules and not regulations as defined under the UAPA and, therefore, that the plaintiff’s claim was properly dismissed by the trial court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")

Moraski v. Connecticut Board of Examiners of Embalmers & Funeral Directors - SC18248 (The plaintiffs contend that the trial court improperly concluded that: (1) their challenge to the board’s summary suspensions had been rendered moot; (2) the board had not abused its discretion or otherwise acted unlawfully in the procedures leading to the revocation of the license and certificate; and (3) the board had not abused its discretion in imposing the penalties of revocation and an excessive fine.")

Sastrom v. Psychiatric Security Review Board - SC17908, SC17909 ("In these certified appeals, we must determine whether the Superior Court has subject matter jurisdiction to decide the appeals brought by the plaintiffs, Roy Sastrom and Guy Levine, from the declaratory rulings by the defendant, the psychiatric security review board (board), in which the board concluded that §17a-581-44 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies is valid because it does not conflict with General Statutes §17a-599.")

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Law - SC18175 ("In this tax appeal, we consider whether the trial court properly interpreted and applied the terms and provisions of General Statutes §§ 12- 217ee and 12 217n, which concern business tax credits for certain research and development expenses. The plaintiff, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., appealed to the Superior Court, pursuant to General Statutes § 12- 237, from the decision of the defendant, Pamela Law, the commissioner of revenue services, denying the plaintiff’s request to exchange its research and development tax credit carried forward from income year 2003 for a credit refund in income year 2004 pursuant to §§ 12-217ee and 12-217n. The plaintiff now appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, dismissing the plaintiff’s appeal after concluding that the plaintiff had failed to comply with the relevant terms of § 12 217n by prematurely attempting to exchange its research and development tax credit from income year 2003.")

Rainforest Cafe, Inc. v. Dept of Revenue Services - SC18153 ("The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether a retailer can be both a ‘‘nonresident contractor,’’ pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 12-430 (7), and a ‘‘retailer engaged in business in this state,’’ pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 1999) § 12- 411 (3), under the Sales and Use Tax Act, General Statutes § 12-406 et seq. (act). The plaintiff, Rainforest Cafe, Inc., appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, the department of revenue services, in the plaintiff’s tax appeal brought pursuant to General Statutes § 12-422.2 The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly determined that a nonresident contractor could not also be a retailer engaged in business in this state, and that the plaintiff therefore was not relieved of its tax liability under § 12- 430 (7) even though it had paid taxes pursuant to § 12- 411 (3).")

Key Air, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue Services - SC18167 ("The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether General Statutes § 12-407 (a) (37) (J) (iii) excludes from the sales and use tax pilot training services that a certificated air carrier obtained for its pilots flying qualifying aircraft that are owned by the carrier’s customers, who pay fees to cover those training costs. The defendant, the commissioner of revenue services, appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the tax appeal of the plaintiff, Key Air, Inc., from the defendant’s assessment of a sales and use tax against the plaintiff for the tax period from July 1, 1997, through June 30, 2000.")

AC30510 - Livingston v. Dept. of Consumer Protection ("The plaintiff... appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his administrative appeal. The defendant, the department of consumer protection, liquor control commission (commission), denied the plaintiff’s application for a renewal of his liquor permit for the Taurus Cafe´ in New Haven pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2007) § 30-47 (1). On appeal to this court, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly (1) affirmed the decision of the commission upholding the remonstrance and thereby denied the renewal of his liquor permit on the basis of his failure to maintain employment and payroll records and to pay the associated taxes because the commission did not have the proper jurisdiction to adjudicate those matters and (2) affirmed the finding of the commission that the people who worked for his business were "employees."")

AC29373, AC30418 - Albright-Lazzari v. Commissioner of Children & Families ("The plaintiffs... appeal from the judgments of the trial court dismissing their appeal from the administrative decision of the department of children and families (department). The plaintiffs’ administrative appeal challenged the department’s substantiation of claims against Kimberly Albright-Lazzari of emotional neglect of her child and the placing of her name on the central child abuse and neglect registry (registry) maintained by the defendant, the commissioner of children and families (commissioner), pursuant to General Statutes § 17a-101k.")

Stash v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles - SC18534 ("The plaintiffs in each of these consolidated appeals... commenced administrative appeals in the trial court challenging the decisions of the defendant, the commissioner of motor vehicles, to suspend their motor vehicle operator’s licenses (license) for ninety days after... each failed a test utilized to detect the presence of alcohol in a subject’s blood.... The plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly concluded that there was sufficient proof that they had operated their motor vehicles while having the statutorily proscribed elevated blood alcohol content because a mathematical calculation is necessary to convert the results of a chemical analysis test performed on breath into the blood alcohol content ratio contemplated by § 14-227b (o),5 and because the test results are subject to some margin of error.")

AC31054 - Okeke v. Commissioner of Public Health ("The plaintiff... appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the commissioner of public health (commissioner) denying his request to amend his son’s birth certificate. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the court improperly determined that the commissioner correctly interpreted General Statutes § 19a-42 (d) (1).") Dissent

SC18302 - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. v. Commissioner of Revenue Services ("General Statutes § 12-412 (78) (aircraft manufacturing exemption) exempts from the sales and use tax the "sales of and the storage, use or other consumption by an aircraft manufacturer operating an aircraft manufacturing facility in this state of materials, tools, fuel, machinery and equipment used in such facility. . . ." This appeal requires us to resolve whether the legislature intended the aircraft manufacturing exemption to extend to items used in connection with research and development at an aircraft manufacturing facility.")

AC31465 - Reveron v. Board of Firearms Permit Examiners ("The plaintiff... appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his administrative appeal from the final decision issued by the defendant, the state board of firearms permit examiners. The defendant, in its final decision, affirmed the revocation by the commissioner of public safety (commissioner) of the plaintiff’s state permit to carry pistols or revolvers (pistol permit).")

AC30720 - Hogberg v. Dept. of Social Services ("The plaintiffs... appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, the department of social services (department). The dispositive issue on appeal is whether, pursuant to the department’s Uniform Policy Manual, the defendant properly determined that the medical conditions of Richard Hogberg did not constitute exceptional circumstances resulting in significant financial duress that would have warranted an increase in his minimum monthly needs allowance (allowance) under the medicaid program. See Department of Social Services, Uniform Policy Manual § 1570.25 (D) (3) (Uniform Policy Manual).")

AC31347 Marquand v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act ("The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her appeal from the decision of the employment security board of review (board), which had denied her motion to open for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")

AC31522 - Charbonneau v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles ("The plaintiff... commenced an administrative appeal in the trial court from the decision of the defendant, the commissioner of motor vehicles (commissioner), suspending his motor vehicle operator’s license for ten months and disqualifying him from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life. Following a hearing, the court upheld the commissioner’s decision and dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal. On appeal, the plaintiff challenges the court’s decision.")

AC31487 - Albuquerque v. State Employees Retirement Commission ("To have standing to bring an appeal from the decision of an administrative agency, a person must be aggrieved by the decision. See General Statutes § 4-183 (a); Alvord Investment, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 282 Conn. 393, 399, 920 A.2d 1000 (2007); Terese B. v. Commissioner of Children & Families, 68 Conn. App. 223, 228, 789 A.2d 1114 (2002). The issue in this appeal is whether the plaintiff, Sharon Lee Albuquerque, was aggrieved by the decision of the defendant, the state employees retirement commission, denying her benefits pursuant General Statutes (Rev. to 1987) § 7-439g.")

SC18347 - Board of Education v. Board of Labor Relations ("The central issue in this case is whether an increase in the workload of certain teachers during the course of a school year constituted a unilateral change of a condition of employment under this state’s collective bargaining law. The plaintiff, the board of education of Region 16, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its appeal from the decision of the named defendant, the state board of labor relations (board), in which the board concluded that the plaintiff had violated General Statutes § 10-153e (b) when it unilaterally changed a condition of employment. Specifically, the board concluded that the plaintiff acted unlawfully when it unilaterally and substantially increased the workload of certain employees who were members of the defendant Region 16 Education Association (union). In addition, the board concluded that the plaintiff had engaged in unlawful direct dealing with the employees.

The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly: (1) upheld the board’s conclusion that the union was not required to prove that there was a unit wide employment practice in order to establish a prima facie case of a unilateral change; (2) concluded that the board’s determination that the union had established a prima facie case of a unilateral change of a definite and fixed employment practice was supported by substantial evidence; and (3) concluded that the board’s ruling that the plaintiff had engaged in unlawful direct dealing with the employees was supported by substantial evidence.")


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