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.

Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

by Zigadto, Janet


AC41275 - Wozniak v. Colchester (Writ of mandamus; "This case concerns the obligation of a municipality to file an application on behalf of a property owner to correct flood maps promulgated by federal administrative authorities. The plaintiffs . . . appeal from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, the town of Colchester. The dispositive issue is whether the trial court properly determined that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the plaintiffs were entitled to a writ of mandamus. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. . .

The plaintiffs have presented no basis on which this court reasonably could conclude that an individual property owner is prohibited, as a matter of federal administrative law, from filing a LOMR application with FEMA. The relevant federal regulations and the materials submitted in connection with the motion for summary judgment all contemplate such filings by property owners, and the case law reflects that property owners routinely apply for and secure LOMRs from FEMA. The availability of that legal remedy, which would provide the plaintiffs the very relief they seek, is fatal to their mandamus action. See Sterner v. Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club, Inc., 188 Conn. 531, 534, 450 A.2d 369 (1982) ("for mandamus to lie, the plaintiff must have no other adequate remedy"); 55 C.J.S., Mandamus ยง 7 (2009) ("mandamus is used sparingly . . . and only when it is the sole available remedy"). We therefore conclude that the trial court properly rendered summary judgment in favor of the defendant in the present case. The judgment is affirmed.")