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Administrative Appeal Law

Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3115

SC19884 - Trinity Christian School v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (Alleged employment discrimination by plaintiff religious institution; motion to dismiss employment discrimination complaint; interlocutory administrative appeal from defendant commission's denial of plaintiff's motion to dismiss employment discrimination complaint; "The plaintiff, Trinity Christian School, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, which dismissed the plaintiff's administrative appeal from the decision of the named defendant, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission), for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The commission had denied the plaintiff's motion to dismiss an employment discrimination complaint brought by a former female employee, who claims that the plaintiff unlawfully terminated her employment on the basis of her sex, marital status and pregnancy, in violation of state and federal employment discrimination laws. The plaintiff appealed from that decision to the Superior Court, claiming that court had jurisdiction to entertain the plaintiff's interlocutory appeal because General Statutes § 52-571b (d), which bars the state from burdening any religious belief, immunizes religious institutions, such as the plaintiff, from employment discrimination actions, and, therefore, the plaintiff was entitled to appeal from that decision under the immunity exception to the general prohibition against such interlocutory appeals. The trial court disagreed, concluding that § 52-571b (d) is not an immunity provision, and, as a consequence, the commission's denial of the plaintiff's motion to dismiss is not an immediately appealable order. The trial court therefore granted the commission's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's administrative appeal. On appeal to this court, the plaintiff raises the same jurisdictional claim that it asserted in the trial court. We agree with the reasoning and conclusion of the trial court, and, therefore, we affirm its judgment dismissing the plaintiff's appeal.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3083

AC39372 - Handel v. Commissioner of Social Services (Administrative appeal; application for Medicaid benefits; "The plaintiff, Heather Handel, conservatrix for her father, Robert Wojciechowski (applicant), appeals from the judgment of the trial court affirming the denial of certain Medicaid benefits by the defendant, the Commissioner of Social Services, and dismissing her administrative appeal from that denial. On appeal to this court, the plaintiff claims that she is entitled to the relief requested—Medicaid coverage for a specified period of months—because the decision denying that relief was not issued by the Department of Social Services (department) within the time period mandated by law. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40061 - Clark v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Administrative appeal; suspension of motor vehicle operator's and commercial driver's licenses by defendant Commissioner of Motor Vehicles; "When a driver is suspected of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, our statutes require that law enforcement commence any consensual chemical alcohol tests within two hours of such operation. Otherwise, the results of those tests, although ostensibly valid, are neither admissible nor competent evidence of operation under the influence. In an administrative appeal from the suspension of both his standard and commercial operator's licenses, the plaintiff, James P. Clark, challenged, among other things, the finding of the defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner), that his failed chemical alcohol tests were timely. The Superior Court was not persuaded and dismissed his appeal. The plaintiff now appeals, claiming that the court improperly (1) determined that there was substantial evidence in the record to support a finding that there was probable cause to arrest him for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and (2) denied his motion to reargue or for reconsideration. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3074

AC39332 - Starble v. Inland Wetlands Commission (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiff, Jennifer L. Starble, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing her appeal from the decision of the Inland Wetlands Commission of the Town of New Hartford (commission) granting Roger J. Schiffert and Linda Schiffert's (applicants) application for a permit to build a driveway across wetlands on their property. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the court incorrectly (1) concluded that the requirement of presenting feasible and prudent alternatives under General Statutes § 22a-41 (a) (2) and (b) (2), and under § 7.5 (f) of the Town of New Hartford Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations (regulations) was directory rather than mandatory, and (2) applied the substantial evidence test to review the record of the proceedings before the commission. We agree with both claims, and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Superior Court.")

AC39106 - Speer v. Dept. of Agriculture (Administrative appeal; appeal of animal disposal orders pursuant to statute (§ 22-538); "The plaintiff, Sheri Speer, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying her motion to open the judgment of nonsuit rendered in favor of the defendants, the Department of Agriculture (department), the city of Norwich (city), and Michele Lombardi, an animal control officer employed by the city. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court abused its discretion in denying her motion to open. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")



Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3054

AC40419 - Gianetti v. Dunsby (Tax relief; administrative appeal; subject matter jurisdiction; "The self-represented plaintiff, Charles D. Gianetti, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court rendered in favor of the defendants, Adam Dunsby, Robert Lesser, and Scott Centrella, in this action concerning the plaintiff's eligibility for tax relief under a municipal ordinance. On appeal, the plaintiff raises a bevy of challenges to the factual findings and evidentiary determinations of the court. In response, the defendants contend, inter alia, that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the present action. We agree with the defendants and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the court and remand the case with direction to dismiss the plaintiff's action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3005

AC40272 - Adams v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Administrative appeal; appeal from decision by defendant Commissioner of Motor Vehicles suspending plaintiff's motor vehicle operator's license; "The plaintiff, Nicholas Adams, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner), dismissing his appeal from the decision of the commissioner to suspend his motor vehicle operator's license, pursuant to General Statutes § 14-227b, for forty-five days and requiring an ignition interlock device in his motor vehicle for one year. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred in finding that (1) he was operating a motor vehicle; (2) he refused to submit to chemical testing; and (3) the police had probable cause to arrest him for operating under the influence in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2967

SC19726 - Marchesi v. Board of Selectmen (Statutory (§ 13a-39) petition by defendant adjoining landowners requesting definition of highway boundaries by defendant board of selectmen; administrative appeal from determination of board pursuant to statute (§ 13a-40); "This case returns to us after the remand ordered in Marchesi v. Board of Selectmen, 309 Conn. 608, 72 A.3d 394 (2013), for a trial de novo to determine the length and width of a particular highway known as Brockway Ferry Road. The plaintiff, Rhonda M. Marchesi, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her appeal, brought pursuant to General Statutes § 13a-40, from the decision of the defendants, the town of Lyme (town) and its Board of Selectmen (board), determining the lost or uncertain boundaries of the westerly end of Brockway Ferry Road pursuant to General Statutes § 13a-39. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that (1) the board and the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under §§ 13a-39 and 13a-40, respectively, because it had not been judicially established as a condition precedent that Brockway Ferry Road was in fact a public highway, and (2) there were numerous other defects in the prosecution of the underlying petition before the board. Turning to the merits, the plaintiff also claims that the trial court's finding with respect to the width of Brockway Ferry Road was clearly erroneous. We disagree with the plaintiff's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2951

AC39579 - Berka v. Middletown (Administrative appeal; "The principal issue in this appeal is whether the trial court properly dismissed the self-represented plaintiff's administrative appeal on the ground that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiff's failure to name the state of Connecticut Department of Public Health (department) as a party in his administrative citation. On appeal, the self-represented plaintiff, George Berka, claims first that the department acted improperly by not informing him that it needed to be named as a party and, second, that the trial court's dismissal of his appeal deprived him of due process. We disagree with the trial court's conclusion that the plaintiff's failure to name the department deprived it of subject matter jurisdiction. We conclude, however, that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiff's failure to serve his administrative appeal on the department. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2932

AC39371 - Metropolitan District v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities ("In this civil action, the plaintiff, The Metropolitan District, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (commission). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to the plaintiff’s failure to exhaust its administrative remedies. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1894

SC19815 - A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc. v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Administrative appeal; "After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.

The appeal is dismissed.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1874

SC19754 - Bouchard v. State Employees Retirement Commission ("In Longley v. State Employees Retirement Commission, 284 Conn. 149, 177–78, 931 A.2d 890 (2007), this court held that the defendant, the State Employees Retirement Commission, had improperly interpreted statutes governing retirement benefits by failing to directly add a retiree's final, prorated longevity payment to the salary earned in the retiree's final year of state employment for the purposes of calculating the retiree's base salary. Although the commission contended in Longley that it had calculated retirement benefits in accordance with its interpretation since the 1960s; id., 166; this court afforded relief to the two plaintiffs in that case without expressing a view on whether the decision applied retroactively. Id., 178. The commission subsequently ordered the recalculation and award of increased retirement benefits, in accordance with Longley, of any person who had retired, or whose benefits were not finalized, on or after October 2, 2001, the six year period preceding the date of the Longley decision. The present case raises the question of whether all state employees, irrespective of when they retired, are entitled to have their benefits recalculated in accordance with Longley.

This question comes to us by way of an unusual procedural posture—a two count complaint bringing (1) an administrative appeal from the commission's decision denying a petition for a declaratory ruling filed by the plaintiffs, retirees Roger J. Bouchard, James J. Malone and James E. Fox, and (2) a declaratory judgment action on behalf of a class, represented by the plaintiffs, of all state employees who retired and began collecting pensions before October 2, 2001. The trial court granted relief to the plaintiffs in the administrative appeal, but denied relief to the class on the ground that the declaratory judgment count was time barred. The plaintiffs appealed from the trial court's judgment insofar as it denied relief for the class. The commission cross appealed from the judgment insofar as it granted relief to the plaintiffs, and raised numerous alternative procedural and substantive grounds for affirming the judgment denying relief to the class. We conclude that the plaintiffs' claims for recalculation of benefits were time barred, and for the reasons supporting that conclusion neither they nor the class is entitled to relief. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the trial court's judgment")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1867

SC19701 - Valliere v. Commissioner of Social Services ("In this appeal, we consider the relationship between General Statutes § 45a-655 (b) and (d) in determining whether a spousal support order previously rendered by the Probate Court is binding on the defendant, the Commissioner of Social Services (commissioner), when calculating the allowance that may be diverted to the support of the community spouse of a Medicaid eligible institutionalized person pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1396r-5, a provision originally enacted as part of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 (catastrophic coverage act), Pub. L. No. 100-360, § 303 (a) (1) (B), 102 Stat. 683, 754. The commissioner appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the administrative appeal brought by the plaintiffs, Paul Valliere (Paul) and Ellen Shea, conservatrix and executrix of the estate of Marjorie Valliere (Marjorie), from the commissioner's decision to set a community spouse allowance for Paul in the amount of $0 with respect to the Medicaid benefit that paid for his wife Marjorie's long-term residential care. On appeal, the commissioner contends that, because § 45a-655 (b) and (d) must be construed in light of the federal single state agency requirement that is implemented by General Statutes § 17b-261b, the trial court improperly concluded that the community spouse allowance was controlled by a spousal support order rendered by the Probate Court prior to the application for, and award of, Medicaid benefits. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=868

SC19825, SC19826, SC19827 - Kirby of Norwich v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act ("The issue that we must resolve in these appeals is whether certain individuals who have engaged in door-to-door sales of vacuums provided by the plaintiff, Kirby of Norwich, also known as GP Industries of Norwich, Inc., should be classified as independent contractors or, instead, as employees of the plaintiff for purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-222 et seq. The named defendant, the Unemployment Compensation Act Administrator (administrator), found that there was an employer-employee relationship between the plaintiff and those individuals, thereby obligating the plaintiff to contribute to the state's unemployment compensation fund (fund), because the plaintiff failed to meet its burden of satisfying the requirements of all three prongs of the ABC test, codified at General Statutes § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii) (I), (II) and (III), with parts A, B and C of the test corresponding to clauses (I), (II) and (III), respectively, of that statutory provision. After the administrator's decisions were sustained by the Employment Security Appeals Division (appeals division) and the defendant Employment Security Board of Review (board), the plaintiff appealed to the trial court, which agreed with the administrator in three separate cases that such individuals are the plaintiff's employees on the ground that the plaintiff failed to establish that the individuals are "customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed" for the plaintiff, within the meaning of part C of the ABC test. See General Statutes § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii) (III). The plaintiff now appeals from the judgments of the trial court, claiming that the court in each case interpreted § 31-222 (a) (1) (B) (ii) (III) too narrowly and, as a result, incorrectly concluded that the individuals engaged in door-to-door sales of the plaintiff's product were employees of the plaintiff rather than independent contractors. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Environmental Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=827

AC38868 - Recycling, Inc. v. Commissioner of Energy & Enviromental Protection (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiff, Recycling, Inc. (RCI), appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its administrative appeal from the decision of the defendant Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection (commissioner), denying its application for an individual permit to construct and operate a volume reduction facility (individual permit) and revoking its general permit to construct and operate certain recycling facilities (general permit). On appeal, RCI claims that the trial court erred in dismissing its appeal because: (1) the denial and revocation was not warranted under the circumstances of this case; (2) the hearing officer violated its rights to a fair hearing by applying an erroneous standard of review; (3) the hearing officer erroneously excluded relevant evidence; and (4) the commissioner engaged in improper conduct during the proceedings. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=787

AC39496 - Lawrence v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiff, Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his administrative appeal from the decision of the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection (commissioner) granting the application of 16 Highgate Road, LLC (Highgate), to construct a residential dock and pier.The plaintiff claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) he was not classically aggrieved by the commissioner's decision, (2) he was statutorily aggrieved under General Statutes § 22a-19 only with respect to his claim of visual degradation, (3) the commissioner's decision was supported by substantial evidence in the record and (4) the commissioner's decision complied with all applicable laws and regulations. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")

  • Appendix - Lawrence v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=717

AC39418Fernschild v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles ("The plaintiff, Matthew Fernschild, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner), ordering a six month suspension of his license to operate a motor vehicle, pursuant to General Statutes § 14-227b, for his refusal to submit to a chemical alcohol test. The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that there was substantial evidence in the record to support the finding of the hearing officer that the plaintiff refused to submit to a chemical analysis of his breath. We agree and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=639

AC38045, AC38083 - Freese v. Dept. of Social Services, Cariglio v. Dept. of Social Services (Administrative appeals; "Our Supreme Court has construed remedial statutes liberally to give effect to their purpose. See Dorry v. Garden, 313 Conn. 516, 533, 98 A.3d 55 (2014). The plaintiffs, Kathleen Freese and Gustav Cariglio, appeal from judgments of the trial court dismissing their administrative appeals. The principal issue in these cases is whether General Statutes § 52-109, a remedial savings statute, could be utilized by the plaintiffs to save from dismissal their administrative appeals commenced in the names of the wrong persons as plaintiffs.

. . . The judgments are reversed and the cases are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.")



Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=536

SC19831 - Maturo v. State Employees Retirement Commission (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiff, Joseph Maturo, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the trial court upholding the declaratory ruling of the defendant, the State Employees Retirement Commission, and dismissing his administrative appeal. The plaintiff retired in 1991 from his position as a firefighter with the town of East Haven and was awarded a disability pension through his membership in the municipal employees retirement system (retirement system). He subsequently was elected to the position of mayor of East Haven in 1997, and served in that capacity until 2007, when he lost his reelection bid. During that time, the commission and the retirement services division of the Office of the State Comptroller (collectively, the agencies), which jointly administer the retirement system, interpreted the Municipal Employees' Retirement Act (act), General Statutes § 7-425 et seq., to provide that a retired member, who is reemployed by a municipality that participates in the retirement system, may continue to receive a retirement pension if he or she is reemployed in a position, such as the mayor of East Haven, that the municipality has not designated for participation in the system (nonparticipating position). In 2009, however, the agencies concluded that they had misconstrued the act in this regard and that a retiree cannot continue to collect a pension while reemployed in any full-time position with a participating municipality. Accordingly, when the plaintiff was again elected mayor in 2011, the retirement services division suspended his pension, a decision that both the commission and the trial court, Schuman, J., subsequently affirmed. On appeal, the plaintiff's primary contention is that the agencies improperly construed the reemployment and disability pension provisions of the act, and that he is not barred from receiving a disability pension while serving as the mayor of East Haven. The plaintiff also challenges the trial court's conclusions that he did not rely to his detriment on the agencies' previous interpretation of the act and that the commission did not violate his rights to equal protection and due process of law. Finding no error, we affirm.")


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=519

AC39068 - Godaire v. Dept. of Social Services (Administrative appeal; "The self-represented plaintiff, Raymond Godaire, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his appeal from the final decision of the defendant the Department of Social Services (department). The decision appealed from discontinued the plaintiff's benefits under the department's Medical Assistance to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled program (program or Husky C) on the ground that he had not met the program's spenddown requirements. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) concluded that the transfer of his administrative appeal from the judicial district of New London to the judicial district of New Britain did not violate his due process rights by denying him reasonable access to the courts, and (2) failed to conclude that his appeal should be sustained because the hearing officer's decision was based on "faulty records" and "records changed by the department . . . ." We reverse the judgment of the trial court for the reason that substantial rights of the plaintiff have been prejudiced because the hearing officer's decision was made upon unlawful procedure. See General Statutes § 4-183 (j).")


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