Substitute House Bill No. 5130

Public Act No. 00-191

An Act Concerning Court Operations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 51-81d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The Commissioner of Revenue Services, or the commissioner's designee, shall collect any fee established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, record such payments with the State Comptroller and deposit such payments promptly with the State Treasurer, who shall credit such payments to the Client Security Fund. The Treasurer shall maintain the Client Security Fund separate and apart from all other moneys, funds and accounts and shall credit any interest earned from the Client Security Fund to the fund. Any interest earned from the fund during the period from its inception to the effective date of this act shall be retroactively credited to the fund.

Sec. 2. Section 7-412 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

All rules made as herein provided and all changes therein shall be printed forthwith for distribution by such board, and the board shall give public notice of the place or places where copies of such rules may be obtained. In each such publication shall be specified the date, not less than ten days subsequent to the date of such publication, when such rules shall take effect. The rules affecting any test shall in no case be changed after the publication of notice of such test. [Copies of all such rules and of all changes therein, certified by the secretary of the board, shall be filed with the clerk of the superior court for the appropriate judicial district, within ten days after the adoption thereof, and shall be filed, preserved and indexed by such clerk.]

Sec. 3. Subsection (f) of section 7-152b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(f) If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first class mail a notice of the assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than thirty days nor more than twelve months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice of assessment with the clerk of [the superior court for the geographical area] a superior court facility designated by the Chief Court Administrator within the boundaries of the judicial district in which the town, city or borough is located together with an entry fee of eight dollars. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within such twelve-month period, assessments against the same person may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The clerk shall enter judgment, in the amount of such record of assessment and court costs of eight dollars, against such person in favor of the town, city or borough. Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as a judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment and a levy of execution on such judgment may issue without further notice to such person.

Sec. 4. Subsection (f) of section 7-152c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(f) If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first class mail a notice of the assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than thirty days nor more than twelve months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice of assessment with the clerk of [the superior court for the geographical area] a superior court facility designated by the Chief Court Administrator within the boundaries of the judicial district in which the municipality is located together with an entry fee of eight dollars. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within such twelve-month period, assessments against the same person may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The clerk shall enter judgment, in the amount of such record of assessment and court costs of eight dollars, against such person in favor of the municipality. Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as a judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment and a levy of execution on such judgment may issue without further notice to such person.

Sec. 5. Subsection (c) of section 52-59b of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 99-160, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) Any nonresident individual, foreign partnership or the executor or administrator of such nonresident individual or foreign partnership, over whom a court may exercise personal jurisdiction, as provided in subsection (a), shall be deemed to have appointed the Secretary of the State as its attorney and to have agreed that any process in any civil action brought against the nonresident individual or foreign partnership, or the executor or administrator of such nonresident individual or foreign partnership, may be served upon the Secretary of the State and shall have the same validity as if served upon the nonresident individual or foreign partnership personally. The process shall be served by the officer to whom the same is directed upon the Secretary of the State by leaving with or at the office of the Secretary of the State, at least twelve days before the return day of such process, a true and attested copy thereof, and by sending to the defendant at the defendant's last-known address, by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, a like true and attested copy with an endorsement thereon of the service upon the Secretary of the State. The officer serving such process upon the Secretary of the State shall leave with the Secretary of the State, at the time of service, a fee of twenty-five dollars, which fee shall be taxed in favor of the plaintiff in the plaintiff's costs if the plaintiff prevails in any such action. The Secretary of the State shall keep a record of each such process and the day and hour of service.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 52-549a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) In any small claims action, the parties may, by agreement, submit such matter to a commissioner of the Superior Court chosen on a rotating basis by the clerk of the court to which such small claim is returned, from a list of such commissioners approved by the Chief Court Administrator, in accordance with section 52-549d, and submitted to the parties by the clerk in the [geographical] small claims area in which such matter is filed. If the parties fail to agree on the first commissioner so chosen, the clerk shall choose another upon whom the parties may agree on such rotating basis.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 52-549d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any commissioner of the Superior Court, admitted to practice in this state for at least two years, who is able and willing to hear small claims, may submit his name to the clerk of the superior court for any [geographical] small claims area in which the commissioner may have a law office or in which he is convenient and available to the litigants and counsel of the [geographical] small claims area. The name shall be submitted to the Chief Court Administrator for approval to be placed on a list of available commissioners in any [geographical] small claims area for hearing of small claims. The approved name shall thereupon be returned to the clerk who shall maintain a list of all approved names.

Sec. 8. Subsection (g) of section 51-345 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(g) In small claims matters, civil process shall be made returnable to a Superior Court facility designated by the Chief Court Administrator to serve the small claims area within the boundaries of the judicial district where the plaintiff resides, where the defendant resides or is doing business or where the transaction or injury occurred. If the plaintiff is either a domestic corporation, United States corporation, a foreign corporation or a limited liability company, civil process shall be made returnable to a Superior Court facility designated by the Chief Court Administrator to serve the small claims area within the boundaries of the judicial district where the defendant resides or is doing business or where the transaction or injury occurred.

Sec. 9. Subsection (c) of section 52-605 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) Within thirty days after the filing of the judgment and the certificate, the judgment creditor shall mail notice of filing of the foreign judgment by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the judgment debtor at his last-known address. The proceeds of an execution shall not be distributed to the judgment creditor earlier than thirty days after filing of proof of service with the clerk of the court in which enforcement of such judgment is sought.

Sec. 10. Section 52-606 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) If the judgment debtor shows the court that an appeal from the foreign judgment is pending or will be taken, or that a stay of execution has been granted, the court shall stay enforcement of the foreign judgment until the appeal is concluded, the time for appeal expires or the stay of execution expires or is vacated, upon proof that the judgment debtor has furnished the security for the satisfaction of the judgment required by the state in which it was rendered. The judgment debtor shall provide notice of the stay of enforcement to the judgment creditor (1) by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, or (2) by verified delivery to the judgment creditor as the named addressee by private messenger, delivery or courier service.

(b) If the judgment debtor shows the court any ground upon which enforcement of a judgment of a court of this state would be stayed, the court shall stay enforcement of the judgment for an appropriate period, upon requiring the same security for satisfaction of the judgment as is required in this state. The judgment debtor shall provide notice of the stay of enforcement to the judgment creditor.

Sec. 11. Section 51-198 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Supreme Court shall consist of one Chief Justice and six associate judges, who shall, at the time of their appointment, also be appointed judges of the Superior Court.

(b) In addition thereto, each chief justice or associate judge of the Supreme Court who elects to retain his office but to retire from full-time active service shall continue to be a member of the Supreme Court during the remainder of his term of office and during the term of any reappointment under section 51-50i, until he attains the age of seventy years. He shall be entitled to participate in the meetings of the judges of the Supreme Court and to vote as a member thereof.

(c) A judge of the Supreme Court who has attained the age of seventy years may continue to deliberate and participate in all matters concerning the disposition of any case which the judge heard prior to attaining said age, until such time as the decision in any such case is officially released. The judge may also participate in the deliberation of a motion for reconsideration in such case if such motion is filed within ten days of the official release of such decision.

Sec. 12. Subsection (h) of section 51-44a of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 99-267, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(h) (1) Judges of all courts, except those courts to which judges are elected, shall be nominated by the Governor exclusively from the list of candidates or incumbent judges submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission. Any candidate or incumbent judge who is nominated from such list by the Governor to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and who is appointed Chief Justice by the General Assembly, shall serve a term of eight years from the date of appointment. The Governor shall nominate a candidate for a vacancy in a judicial position within forty-five days of the date he receives the recommendations of the commission. When considering the nomination of an incumbent judge for reappointment to the same court, the Governor may nominate the incumbent judge if the commission did not deny recommendation for reappointment. Whenever an incumbent judge is denied recommendation for reappointment to the same court by the commission or is recommended by the commission but not nominated by the Governor for reappointment to the same court, or whenever a vacancy in a judicial position occurs or is anticipated, the Governor shall choose a nominee from the list of candidates compiled pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection and subsection (f) of this section, the Governor may nominate an associate judge of the Supreme Court to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court without such judge being investigated and interviewed by the commission and being on the list of qualified candidates compiled and submitted to the Governor by the commission. An associate judge of the Supreme Court who has been nominated by the Governor to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in accordance with this subdivision, and who is appointed Chief Justice by the General Assembly, shall serve an initial term as Chief Justice equal to the remainder of such judge's term as an associate judge of the Supreme Court.

Sec. 13. Subsection (e) of section 20 of public act 99-185, as amended by section 2 of public act 00-49, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading or on a form prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator under oath that the health, safety or liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by disclosure of location information, the information must be sealed and shall not be disclosed to the other party or the public unless the court, after a hearing, determines that it is in the interest of justice that such disclosure be made.

Sec. 14. Subsection (d) of section 24 of public act 99-185, as amended by section 3 of public act 00-49, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) A hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination shall be requested within twenty days after service of the notice. Such hearing shall be held within twenty days of the receipt of such request. At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the respondent establishes that: (1) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under a provision substantially similar to section 12, 13 or 14 of public act 99-185; (2) the child custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so pursuant to a statute substantially similar to sections 12 to 14, inclusive, of public act 99-185; or (3) the respondent was entitled to notice of the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which registration is sought, but such notice was not given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice.

Sec. 15. Subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 52-434 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(4) In addition to the judge trial referees who are appointed pursuant to subdivision (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection, the Chief Justice may appoint, from qualified members of the bar of the state, who are electors and residents of this state, as many state referees as he may from time to time deem advisable or necessary. No appointment of a member of the bar may be for a term of more than three years. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, state referees appointed by the Chief Justice from members of the bar shall receive such reasonable compensation and expenses as may be determined by the Chief Justice. The Superior Court may appoint a state referee pursuant to this subdivision to take such evidence as it directs in any civil, nonjury case including, but not limited to, appeals under section 8-8. Any such state referee shall report on such evidence to the court with any findings of fact. The report shall constitute a part of the proceeding upon which the determination of the court shall be made.

Sec. 16. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that sections 13 and 14 shall take effect July 1, 2000, sections 4, 5, 7 and 8 shall take effect September 1, 2000, and sections 2, 3, 6, 9, 10 and 15 shall take effect October 1, 2000.

Approved May 26, 2000