CHESTNUT POINT REALTY, LLC v. TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR, SC 19554; KETTLE BROOK REALTY, LLC v. TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR, SC 19555

Judicial District of New Britain

 

      Taxation; Whether a Property Tax Appeal is Timely Commenced Under General Statutes § 12-117a Where it is Filed in Superior Court Within Two Months of Board’s Decision but not Served Within Two Months of Decision. The plaintiffs appealed from tax assessments of their East Windsor properties to the town’s board of assessment appeals.  The board denied their appeals and, on May 1, 2013, mailed notice of its decisions to the plaintiffs.  On June 28, 2013, the plaintiffs filed appeals in Superior Court claiming to be aggrieved by the board’s decisions.  The trial court granted the town’s motions to dismiss the appeals, finding that it lacked jurisdiction over them because the plaintiffs did not serve the appeals on the town within two months of mailing of notice of the board’s decisions as required by General Statutes § 12-117a.  The plaintiffs appealed, and the Appellate Court (158 Conn. App. 565 and 158 Conn. App. 576) affirmed the judgments dismissing the actions as untimely, finding that they were not timely commenced under § 12-117a.  The Appellate Court noted that it was well settled that a civil action is commenced by the service of process and that the actions were not timely commenced because there was no dispute that they were served on the town more than two months after the mailing of notice of the board’s decisions.  In these certified appeals to the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs claim that the plain language of § 12-117a requires only that a tax appeal be filed within two months of notice of the board’s decision and that the Appellate Court wrongly construed the statutory language as requiring that the appeal be served on an opposing party within the two month period.  They claim that their tax appeals were timely because they were filed in Superior Court within two months from the date of the mailing of the notice of the board of assessment appeal’s decisions.