Articles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court

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Plaintiffs were four bus companies operating buses over routes in and around the cities of New Britian and Hartford. Each plaintiff had authority to operate a bus service over a specific route pursuant to a certificate of public convenience and necessity. When a new busway was constructed by the state, the state sought to hire new companies to operate buses over the routes Plaintiffs currently operate. In a separate action, Plaintiffs sought to enjoin the Commissioner of Transportation from transferring the routes at issue to new operators. While that case was pending, the Commissioner condemned the certificates pursuant to the State’s power of eminent domain. Plaintiff filed the actions that were the subject of this appeal, claiming that the Commissioner lacked the statutory authority to condemn their certificates. The trial court consolidated the actions and granted the Commissioner’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that Conn. Gen. Stat. 13b-36(a) gave the Commissioner authority to condemn the certificates. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the legislature did not intend for the term “facilities” in the statute to refer to intangible operating rights reflected in the certificates at issue. View "Dattco, Inc. v. Commissioner of Transportation" on Justia Law

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Nicholas Giannoni was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk along a state highway. The highway ended at a private driveway and lawn and led directly to a stream culvert. When the sidewalk ended, Nicholas inadvertently rode his bicycle across the driveway, over a patch of grass, and into the culvert, injuring himself. Plaintiffs brought this highway defect action on behalf of Nicholas under Conn. Gen. Stat. 31a-144 against the Commissioner of Transportation. The Commissioner moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of sovereign immunity. The trial court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs alleged a cognizable highway defect claim under section 31a-144. View "Giannoni v. Comm’r of Transp." on Justia Law

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The Department of Motor Vehicles found that Raymond’s Auto Repair, LLC had overcharged for the use of its rotator truck to recover a damaged vehicle prior to the actual towing of that vehicle. The hearing officer ordered Raymond’s to pay a $600 restitution fee. The trial court vacated the reimbursement order, holding that state regulation of the pretowing recovery services at issue was subject to federal preemption. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that state regulation of pretowing recovery services, such as Raymond’s use of the rotator truck in this case, was not preempted by federal law. View "Raymond's Auto Repair, LLC v. Comm’r of Motor Vehicles" on Justia Law

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The Department of Motor Vehicles found that Plaintiff, a towing service, had overcharged for the nonconsensual towing of a motor vehicle trailer and ordered Plaintiff to pay restitution in the amount of $12,787 to the trailer’s insurer. In so finding, the Department rejected Plaintiff’s claim that Connecticut’s statutes and regulations regarding nonconsensual towing services are preempted under 49 U.S.C. 14501(c)(2)(C). The trial court reversed in part, concluding that the fees charged by Plaintiff were not subject to state regulation. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s judgment with respect to the determination that state regulation of fees charged for pretowing recovery services provided in connection with a nonconsensual towing is preempted by federal law, holding that state laws regulating the fees charged for recovery services performed in connection with a nonconsensual towing are not preempted by federal law. View "Modzelewski's Towing & Recovery, Inc. v. Comm’r of Motor Vehicles" on Justia Law