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Administrative Appeal Law

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).")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=510

AC38604 - Pajor v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act ("The plaintiff, John Pajor, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the Employment Security Appeals Division Board of Review (board), which dismissed his appeal from the dismissal of his challenge to a finding that he had been overpaid certain unemployment compensation benefits. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) applied the wrong standard of review to the board’s decision on his motion to correct findings, and (2) concluded that the board’s determination that the plaintiff did not show good cause for failing to attend a hearing on remand before an appeals referee was not arbitrary, unreasonable, or an abuse of discretion. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=507

SC19799 - Middlebury v. Connecticut Siting Council ("This appeal concerns a proviso contained in General Statutes § 16-50p, which precludes the defendant, Connecticut Siting Council, from granting a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need (certificate) for operation of an electric generating or storage facility unless the council, among other things, 'considers neighborhood concerns' with respect to specified factors. The plaintiffs, the town of Middlebury and sixteen residents and entities situated in Middlebury and adjacent towns, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their appeal from the decision of the council granting the petition of CPV Towantic, LLC (CPV), to open and modify a certificate for an electric generating facility. The plaintiffs' principal claim is that the trial court improperly determined that the council adequately had considered neighborhood concerns, despite the absence of express findings or analysis in its decision addressing the plaintiffs' concerns about adverse impacts from the facility. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


LexisNexis Practice Guide: Connecticut Administrative Law and Practice

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=466

The 2017 edition of LexisNexis Practice Guide: Connecticut Administrative Law and Practice has been received by all of our law libraries. Each chapter of this guide offers analysis, strategies, checklists, and tips. The table of contents is listed below:

Chapter 1. Introduction to Administrative Law

Chapter 2. Rulemaking

Chapter 3. Freedom of Information - Public Meetings

Chapter 4. Freedom of Information - Public Records

Chapter 5. Contested Cases - The Prehearing Process

Chapter 6. The Anatomy of a Contested Case

Chapter 7. The Post-Hearing Process

Chapter 8. Collateral Estoppel, Res Judicata, Stare Decisis and the Equitable Defenses

Chapter 9. Overview of Local Administrative Law

Chapter 10. Ethical Issues for the Administrative Lawyer

Chapter 11. Where to Find Administrative Agency Materials

For additional information, please contact your local Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Library.


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=448

SC19577 - Estate of Brooks v. Commissioner of Revenue Services (Administrative appeal; estate tax; "The plaintiffs, the coexecutors of the estate of Helen B. Brooks, appeal from the trial court's rendering of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the Commissioner of Revenue Services. The trial court upheld the decision of the defendant to deny the plaintiffs' request for a refund of estate taxes paid by the estate of the decedent, Helen B. Brooks (decedent). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the defendant had statutory authority to include in the decedent's gross estate the value of certain qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) in which the decedent enjoyed a life interest and levy an estate tax upon such property. The plaintiffs also assert that the defendant's construction of the statute resulted in a violation of the plaintiffs' due process rights. We disagree with the plaintiffs and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=404

AC38895 - Prendergast. V. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles ("The plaintiff, Hart Prendergast, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, suspending his license to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to General Statutes § 14-227b. The plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) found 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 or intoxicating liquor or drugs, and (2) concluded that his due process rights were not violated when the hearing officer continued the hearing to subpoena the police officers involved in the plaintiff’s arrest. We affirm the judgment of the court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=393

AC38146 - Moore 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, Larry A. Moore, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (commissioner). The decision ordered, pursuant to General Statutes § 14-227b (c), a six month suspension of the plaintiff's license to operate a motor vehicle because of his refusal to submit to chemical alcohol testing following his arrest for driving under the influence. The plaintiff claims that (1) the hearing officer's finding that he refused to submit to the chemical alcohol test was not supported by substantial evidence and (2) his due process right to present a defense was violated. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://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

 https://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

 https://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

 https://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.")


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