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Administrative Appeal Law

Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5903

SC20838 - 9 Pettipaug, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission (Administrative appeal; Zoning appeal, constructive notice, "This certified appeal requires us to consider a significant question in this time of great change in the local journalism industry, namely, how a publication qualifies as "a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality" for purposes of providing constructive notice of that municipality's promulgation of zoning regulations under General Statutes § 8-3 (d). The defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Borough of Fenwick (commission), appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiffs, 9 Pettipaug, LLC, and Eniotna, LLP. 9 Pettipaug, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission, 217 Conn. App. 714, 717, 737, 290 A.3d 853 (2023). On appeal, the commission claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that its publication of notice in The Middletown Press (Press) of an amended zoning regulation did not comply with § 8-3 (d) because none of Fenwick's fourteen year-round households subscribes to the Press and it is not sold anywhere in Fenwick. Given the Press' focus on news items of general interest, its ready availability for purchase in the commercial area of the town of Old Saybrook, in which the borough of Fenwick is located, the fact that the Press' website allows free access to legal notices, and the deference that we afford the commission's long history of using the Press for its legal notices, we conclude that the Press is a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality of Fenwick under § 8-3 (d). Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5900

  • SC20717 - Dept. of Public Health v. Estrada (Administrative appeal; Whistle-blower complaint, (1) "Did the Appellate Court correctly conclude that Estrada's disclosure was not a protected disclosure under ...§4-61dd?" (A) "Specifically, does §4-61dd apply to purported misconduct in municipal government?" (B) "Can an employee seek whistleblower protection for reporting her own error?" (2) "Did Estrada establish a causal connection between any alleged whistleblower disclosure and the complained of personnel actions?" And (3) "[t]o the extent that an actual violation of state law is required to establish a prima facie claim of retaliation under ...§4-61dd, did the Appellate Court correctly conclude that there were no required qualifications for acting directors of public health under ...§19a-200?")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5895

AC45560 - Romanelli v. Department of Social Services (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiff, Antoinetta Romanelli, executor of the estate of her husband, Antonio Romanelli (applicant), appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing her appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Department of Social Services, denying long-term care Medicaid benefits to the applicant. The plaintiff claims that (1) certain real property, which was contained in a trust and which the defendant used in its calculations to determine that the applicant was over the asset limit for Medicaid eligibility, was not actually available to the applicant due to his alleged incapacity to revoke the trust and therefore should not have been used to calculate his Medicaid eligibility and (2) the defendant violated due process by failing to provide notice to the applicant and/or his personal representative that the revocability of the trust was at issue in calculating the applicant’s Medicaid eligibility. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Freedom of Information Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5892

AC46003, AC46064 - Town of Greenwich v. Freedom of Information Commission ("On appeal, the defendants claim that the court improperly substituted its judgment for that of the commission by concluding that the requested records are preliminary drafts that are exempt from disclosure under § 1-210 (b) (1). We agree with the defendants. We also are not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ proffered alternative ground for affirmance, namely, that the requested records are exempt from disclosure under § 1-210 (b) (20).")


Election Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5870

SC20726 - Markley v. State Elections Enforcement Commission ("This appeal presents an issue of first impression under the first amendment to the United States constitution, namely, the extent to which the statutes and regulations governing the public funding of state elections in connection with the Citizens' Election Program (program), General Statutes § 9-700 et seq., may be applied to preclude publicly funded candidates from using their candidate committee funds to pay for campaign advertisements that, as a rhetorical device, invoke the name of a candidate in a different race to refer more broadly to the policies or political party associated with that candidate. The defendant, the State Elections Enforcement Commission (commission), imposed fines on the plaintiffs, Joe Markley and Rob Sampson, who were publicly funded candidates for state legislative office during the 2014 general election cycle, on the ground that they had violated the statutes and regulations governing the program when they utilized their candidate committee funds to pay for communications that criticized then Governor Dannel Malloy, who was seeking reelection to that office in that same election cycle, in the course of promoting their opposition to his policies. The plaintiffs now appeal from the judgment of the trial court upholding the decision of the commission, claiming that the commission's enforcement of the state election laws in that manner violated their first amendment rights. Although a compelling governmental interest is served by a condition that precludes publicly funded candidates from using program funds to support or oppose candidates in other races, we conclude that the commission violated the plaintiffs' first amendment rights with respect to the five advertisements at issue in this case because they could reasonably be understood to be something other than an appeal to vote against Governor Malloy. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5855

SC20769 - Northland Investment Corp. v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (Administrative appeal; Declaratory ruling; "This case resolves the question of whether a landlord of a multiunit residential building may recoup from its tenants the costs for utility services that it is liable to pay to a utility provider when the building does not have individual meters for each unit but, rather, has only a master meter. The plaintiff, Northland Investment Corporation, manages and owns multiunit residential buildings throughout the United States, including Connecticut. In its buildings that have only a master meter for the entire building, the plaintiff employs, or seeks to employ, a recoupment method it refers to as "ratio utility billing" (RUB). Under the RUB method, as developed by the plaintiff, it pays the utility company directly for the building's entire utility bill and then recoups the cost from the tenants in the form of a variable utility payment each month. Under this form of billing, the plaintiff bills each tenant directly for what the plaintiff contends is the tenant's "proportionate share" of utilities based on factors it has chosen (which it can modify in its sole discretion), such as a unit's square footage, number of occupants, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or a combination of these. This method of utility billing is included in a provision of the plaintiff's lease agreements.

The plaintiff sought a declaratory ruling from the defendant, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), that it may use RUB in recouping its costs for utility services from tenants. PURA concluded that the plaintiff was not authorized to do so. In the administrative appeal that followed, the trial court upheld PURA's decision. Both of the parties rely on General Statutes § 16-262e (c) in support of their respective arguments. Section 16-262e (c) governs the liability for payment of utility services provided to residential dwellings. The plaintiff argues that the plain meaning of § 16-262e (c) does not expressly prohibit the use of RUB. Because RUB is not expressly prohibited by law, the plaintiff argues, the method qualifies as a payment of "rent" under General Statutes (Supp. 2024) § 47a-1 (h). PURA disagrees and instead argues that RUB violates the plain meaning of § 16-262e (c) because the provision allows a tenant to be liable for utility costs only if the tenant's unit is individually metered and he or she has exclusively used the utilities so provided. We agree with PURA and conclude that § 16-262e (c) precludes a landlord's use of RUB to recoup utility service charges from tenants.")

  • SC20769 Dissent - Northland Investment Corp. v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5850

AC46146, AC46159 - Lepkowski v. Planning Commission ("The defendants, the Planning Commission of the Town of East Lyme (commission) and Real Estate Service of Conn., Inc. (RESC), each appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining in part the appeal brought by the plaintiff, Brian Lepkowski, from the commission's decision approving a resubdivision application filed by RESC. The dispositive claim asserted by the defendants is that the court incorrectly determined that § 4-14-3 of the East Lyme Subdivision Regulations (subdivision regulations) required the completion of an Environmental Review Team (ERT) evaluation in connection with RESC's application and that, consequently, the court improperly concluded that the commission illegally waived § 4-14-3 in granting RESC's application without an ERT evaluation having been performed. We agree with the defendants and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5823

SC20703 - Marshall v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Administrative appeal, Driving Under the Influence; "Turning now to the present case, we note that the arresting officer did not complete the report until he signed and dated it five business days after the plaintiff’s arrest. It is undisputed that the arresting officer failed to comply with the three business day preparation and mailing requirement of § 14-227b (c). The plaintiff’s attorney objected to the admission of the report on that ground. The hearing officer simply overruled the objection and admitted the report without hearing testimony from the arresting officer. Because the report failed to satisfy the preparation and mailing requirement, we conclude that the hearing officer abused her discretion by admitting the noncompliant report without the testimony of the arresting officer.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5788

AC45885 - Avon v. Sastre (Administrative appeal; "The plaintiffs, the town of Avon (town) and the town manager, Brandon Robertson, appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing their administrative appeal from the final decision of the defendant Freedom of Information Commission (commission) regarding a complaint filed by the defendant Joseph Sastre. In its final decision, the commission found that the plaintiffs had violated the Freedom of Information Act (act), General Statutes § 1-200 et seq., when they denied Sastre's request for a document (log) related to the resignation in 2019 of the town's police chief, Mark Rinaldo (Chief Rinaldo), and ordered that the town disclose the log pursuant to the act. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly dismissed their appeal from the commission's decision ordering disclosure of the log because (1) the log is not a public record under § 1-200 (5) and, thus, is not subject to disclosure under the act, and (2) even if the log is a public record, it is exempt from disclosure under General Statutes § 1-210 (b) (10) pursuant to the attorney-client privilege. We disagree with the plaintiffs and affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinions

   by Greenlee, Rebecca

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5779

SC20716 - GenConn Energy, LLC v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority ("On appeal to this court, GenConn argues that the trial court erred in concluding that PURA had acted within its authority. GenConn contends that PURA acted outside the scope of its authority under General Statutes § 16-243u, which specifically addresses peaking generation facilities, when it applied the general rate-making principles from § 16-19e in adjusting GenConn’s recovery. GenConn also contends that PURA’s change in methodology in evaluating the 2021 AFRR application was arbitrary and capricious. For its part, PURA contends that § 16-243u expressly affords it the authority to use the rate-making principles in § 16-19e, and, because it is statutorily obligated to review GenConn’s recovery each year, its decision to lower GenConn’s recovery was not arbitrary and capricious. We conclude that § 16-243u authorized PURA to determine GenConn’s recovery using the general rate-making principles found in § 16-19e and that the ‘‘change’’ in PURA’s methodology does not constitute an arbitrary and capricious decision. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

  • SC20716 Dissent - GenConn Energy, LLC v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5705

AC45899 - Connecticut Light & Power Co. v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority ("On appeal, Eversource claims that the Superior Court erred in (1) reviewing PURA’s decision under a deferential standard of review, (2) affirming PURA’s determination that certain storm related capital plant additions were not properly included in Eversource’s ‘‘core’’ capital program under the terms of the parties’ settlement agreement, and (3) affirming PURA’s decision on the basis of an argument not proffered by PURA in the administrative proceedings. We conclude that the Superior Court’s judgment is not an appealable final judgment. Consequently, because we lack subject matter jurisdiction, we dismiss Eversource’s appeal.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5633

SC20733 - Middlebury v. Fraternal Order of Police, Middlebury Lodge No 34. (“In this certified appeal, the plaintiff, the town of Middlebury (town), challenges the trial court’s dismissal of the town’s administrative appeal from the decision of the labor board concluding that the town violated MERA by unilaterally changing the town’s past practice of including extra duty pay in the calculation of pension benefits for members of the named defendant, Fraternal Order of Police, Middlebury Lodge No. 34 (union). The town claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that the labor board did not act unreasonably, illegally, arbitrarily, or in abuse of its discretion when it declined to apply the ‘‘contract coverage’’ standard, as adopted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in MV Transportation, Inc., Case No. 28-CA173726, 368 N.L.R.B. No. 66, slip op., pp. 1–2, 9–11 (September 10, 2019), and instead applied the clear and unmistakable waiver standard to the union’s claim that the town’s unilateral change to its pension plan constituted a refusal to bargain collectively in good faith in violation of MERA. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court..”)


Administrative Appeal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5605

AC45365 - Colandrea v. State Dental Commission ("The plaintiff, Anthony Colandrea, a dentist, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing his administrative appeal from the decision of the defendant Connecticut State Dental Commission (commission) disciplining him after finding him guilty of incompetence or negligence toward patients in violation of General Statutes § 20-114 (a) (2). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly dismissed his administrative appeal because (1) the administrative disciplinary proceeding before the commission was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, (2) the defendant Department of Public Health (department) failed to rebut the presumption of prejudice that purportedly arose from an ex parte communication between the department’s attorney and a former member of the panel that submitted a proposed decision to the commission mission pursuant to General Statutes § 4-179, (3) the commission abused its discretion in revoking his dental license as a disciplinary sanction, (4) the panel and the commission failed to act as impartial arbiters, and (5) the court abused its discretion in denying his motion to allow proof outside of the record. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")

AC45056 - Commissioner of Public Health v. Colandrea ("The defendant, Anthony Colandrea, appeals from the judgment of the trial court (1) denying his motion to vacate a contempt enforcement order, which stemmed from a contempt judgment rendered against him following his noncompliance with a subpoena duces tecum issued by the plaintiff, the Commissioner of Public Health, for certain records of his dental practice, and (2) granting in part the plaintiff's motion to increase a per diem fine that the court ordered as a contempt sanction. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court's judgment constitutes error because (1) the present subpoena enforcement action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, (2) the contempt proceeding against him was criminal in nature, such that (a) he was entitled to several rights afforded by the federal constitution and (b) the Office of the Attorney General, which represents the plaintiff, lost its statutory authority to continue seeking to enforce the subpoena on behalf of the plaintiff, and (3) the investigation with respect to which the plaintiff issued the subpoena has been concluded, thereby depriving the plaintiff of its statutory authority to continue prosecuting the present subpoena enforcement action. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Administrative Appeal Appellate Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5559

AC45598 - Mata v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Motor Vehicle, Appeal of suspension of motor vehicle operator's license for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor)

"On appeal to this court, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that the administrative record contained substantial evidence to support the hearing officer’s findings that he (1) operated the motor vehicle and (2) knowingly refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test. We affirm the judgment of the court."


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5533

  • SC20666 - High Watch Recovery Center, Inc. v. Dept. of Public Health (Contested hearing; subject matter jurisdiction "Held that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the plaintiff’s petition requesting intervenor status in the public hearing on B Co.’s certificate of need application was not a legally sufficient request for a public hearing for purposes of § 19a-639a (e), and, accordingly, the department’s decision to approve B Co.’s application was a final decision in a contested case: Contrary to the defendants’ contention that, to satisfy § 19a-639a (e), the plaintiff was required to expressly state in its petition to intervene that it was an entity with five or more people, that statute does not impose such a requirement but merely provides that an entity must be an entity with five or more people to be entitled to a hearing, and it was undisputed that the plaintiff satisfied that numerical requirement and that the OHCA was fully aware of that fact.

Furthermore, given the undisputed fact that the OHCA had already scheduled a public hearing on B Co.’s application, this court discerned no ambiguity with respect to the plaintiff’s request because, when the OHCA has already scheduled a public hearing, it is only logical that a party wanting to oppose the application would request intervenor status in that hearing, not request another or a different hearing, and that was precisely what the public notice instructed the plaintiff to do if it wanted to be heard on the plaintiff’s application.")


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Dowd, Jeffrey

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5524

SC20669, SC20674 - City of Hartford Police Department v. CHRO et al. (Administrative Appeal; Discrimination; Whether Human Rights Referee's Finding of Intentional Discrimination Was Supported by Substantial Evidence).

"On appeal, the defendants claim that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that there was not substantial evidence in the record to support the referee’s determination of intentional discrimination because Phan had failed to establish either an inference of discrimination in his prima facie case or, alternatively, that the plaintiff’s proffered reasons for terminating Phan’s employment were pretextual."


Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5508

SC20643 - Direct Energy Services, LLC v. Public Utilities Regulatory Authority ( Administrative Appeal; Whether Restrictions on Renewable Energy Program Violate Dormant Commerce, Free Speech or Contracts Clauses of Federal Constitution; Whether Plaintiffs Waived Constitutional Claims by Not Raising Them Before Agency; "This case requires us to decide, among other things, whether certain regulations imposed by the defendant, Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), on energy suppliers within this state violate the dormant commerce clause of the United States constitution. In October, 2020, PURA imposed a series of restrictions on retail electric suppliers who offer customers of this state voluntary products consisting of renewable energy credits (RECs) bundled with electric supply. These products are known as voluntary renewable offers (VROs). The two restrictions relevant to this appeal are the geographic restriction and the marketing restriction. The geographic restriction prohibits VROs from containing RECs sourced outside of particular geographic regions. The marketing restriction requires that suppliers provide clear language informing consumers that a VRO backed by RECs is not "renewable energy" itself but, rather, an energy product backed by RECs.

The plaintiffs, which are all companies that desire to market and sell VROs to Connecticut electric customers, contend that the geographic restriction impermissibly discriminates against RECs created outside of the permitted geographic regions. The plaintiffs further contend that the marketing restriction impedes commerce in the national marketplace because it imposes a regulatory requirement inconsistent with those of other states. The plaintiffs also raise a number of other constitutional and procedural claims. For its part, PURA contends that the trial court correctly concluded that neither the geographic restriction nor the marketing restriction violates the dormant commerce clause because, among other things, the restrictions help advance this state's legitimate environmental policy goals and improve consumer transparency. As to the plaintiffs' remaining claims, PURA contends that the trial court correctly concluded that they are either unreviewable or without merit. We agree with PURA 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=5504

SC20655 - Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Cantillon ("Cantillon failed to appear for the administrative hearing on the complainant's claims. Consequently, he was defaulted. Then, after a hearing in damages, the presiding human rights referee found that the complainant had suffered emotional distress and awarded her $15,000 in damages, in addition to costs and postjudgment interest.

The commission itself, viewing the award as too low in light of the pervasive scope and nature of Cantillon's discriminatory conduct, appealed to the Superior Court, challenging the amount of the award. Specifically, the commission argued that (1) under Patino v. Birken Mfg. Co., 304 Conn. 679, 708, 41 A.3d 1013 (2012), an award for garden-variety emotional distress damages presumptively must be at least $30,000, and (2) the referee made various errors of law in assessing the heinousness of Cantillon's conduct pursuant to the test espoused in Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities ex rel. Harrison v. Greco, Docket No. 7930433 (C.H.R.O. June 3, 1985) (Harrison). Neither the complainant nor Cantillon participated in the appeal, however, and, for arcane reasons that are set forth in the decision of the Appellate Court; see Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Cantillon, 207 Conn. App. 668, 670 n.1, 263 A.3d 887 (2021); the commission operated as both the appellant and the appellee in its appeal before the Superior Court. In doing so, the commission, as plaintiff, and the commission, as defendant, both challenged the referee's award as insufficient.

Even though no party to the appeal defended the decision of the referee or argued in support of Cantillon's likely position that the award was not impermissibly low, the trial court, recognizing that it was bound by the highly deferential standard of review that governs administrative decisions; see General Statutes § 4-183 (j); concluded that there was no legal basis for it to second-guess the award and rendered judgment dismissing the appeal. For similar reasons, and with the parties similarly situated, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court. See Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Cantillon, supra, 207 Conn. App. 670–71, 686. This certified appeal followed.

Like the courts below, we are compelled to affirm. If some minimum award for garden-variety emotional distress damages is to be established for such heinous conduct, then that minimum amount must be established by the legislature, either independently, via legislation, or in conjunction with the commission, through the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act's rule-making process; see General Statutes § 4-168 et seq.; and not on an ad hoc basis by this court.

We presume the reader's familiarity with the well reasoned opinion of the Appellate Court. That court did an admirable job of setting forth the relevant facts and procedural history, describing the controlling standard of review, summarizing the commission's arguments as to the alleged flaws in the decision of the referee, and explaining why those arguments ultimately were not persuasive. Specifically, the Appellate Court did not read Patino to adopt any presumptive floor for emotional distress damages; see Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Cantillon, supra, 207 Conn. App. 673–79; and it concluded that the referee's heavily fact specific assessment of the complainant's emotional distress damages was not an abuse of discretion. See id., 679–86. We agree with that court's resolution of the commission's claims, and no useful purpose would be served by retracing those steps here. We take this opportunity, however, to clarify and elaborate on a few points raised by the commission.")

  • SC20655 Dissent - Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities v. Cantillon


Freedom of Information Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5489

AC44972 - AC44972 - Lowthert v. Freedom of Information Commission (Administrative appeal; alleged violation of open meeting requirements of provision (§ 1-225 (a)) of Freedom of Information Act (§ 1-200 et seq.) by defendant Freedom of Information Commission and/or its staff; "The self-represented plaintiff, Marissa Lowthert, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court denying her application, pursuant to General Statutes § 1-206 (b) (2), for an order requiring the defendant, the Freedom of Information Commission (commission), to hold a hearing on a complaint she filed with the commission. On appeal, she claims that the court erred in denying her application because the commission and its executive director had a conflict of interest in violation of General Statutes § 1-85 when they decided not to schedule a hearing on her complaint. 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=5424

AC45011 - O'Reggio v. Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (Employment discrimination; claim that trial court erred in affirming administrative decision of defendant Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; "In the present case, the Superior Court concluded that the department was not liable because the employee who created the hostile work environment, Diane Krevolin, was not the plaintiff's "supervisor" pursuant to the definition adopted by the United States Supreme Court for Title VII purposes in Vance v. Ball State University, supra, 570 U.S. 424; that is, someone "empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the [plaintiff] . . . ." Id. The court determined that because Krevolin was not a supervisor, there was consequently "no merit to the plaintiff's argument that [the commission] should have imputed liability to [the department] on the basis of a supervisor theory of liability," and because the plaintiff did not challenge the decision on any other ground, it affirmed the decision of the commission in favor of the department.

On appeal to this court, the plaintiff asks us to conclude, contrary to the determination of the Superior Court, that the Vance definition of a "supervisor" for Title VII purposes does not apply to hostile work environment claims that are brought under CFEPA. She asks us, instead, to adopt a broader definition of the term for CFEPA purposes that would include employees like Krevolin who cannot "take tangible employment actions" but nonetheless control the day-to-day conditions of their subordinate's work. We conclude that the Superior Court properly determined that the Vance definition applies to claims brought under CFEPA, and, accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court")