CHAPTER 910
COMMITTEES, AUDITORS AND REFEREES

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-434. State referees.

      Sec. 52-434. State referees. (a) Appointment of retired judges and members of the bar. Cases referred. (1) Each judge of the Supreme Court, each judge of the Appellate Court, each judge of the Superior Court and each judge of the Court of Common Pleas who ceases or has ceased to hold office because of retirement other than under the provisions of section 51-49 and who is an elector and a resident of this state shall be a state referee for the remainder of such judge's term of office as a judge and shall be eligible for appointment as a state referee during the remainder of such judge's life in the manner prescribed by law for the appointment of a judge of the court of which such judge is a member. The Superior Court may refer any civil, nonjury case or with the written consent of the parties or their attorneys, any civil jury case pending before the court in which the issues have been closed to a judge trial referee who shall have and exercise the powers of the Superior Court in respect to trial, judgment and appeal in the case, and any proceeding resulting from a demand for a trial de novo pursuant to subsection (e) of section 52-549z may be referred without the consent of the parties to a judge trial referee who has been specifically designated to hear such proceedings pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The Superior Court may, with the consent of the parties or their attorneys, refer any criminal case to a judge trial referee who shall have and exercise the powers of the Superior Court in respect to trial, judgment, sentencing and appeal in the case, except that the Superior Court may, without the consent of the parties or their attorneys, (A) refer any criminal case, other than a criminal jury trial, to a judge trial referee assigned to a geographical area criminal court session, and (B) refer any criminal case, other than a class A or B felony or capital felony, to a judge trial referee to preside over the jury selection process and any voir dire examination conducted in such case, unless good cause is shown not to refer.

      (2) Each judge of the Circuit Court who has ceased to hold office because of retirement other than under the provisions of section 51-49 and who is an elector and a resident of this state shall be a state referee for the remainder of such judge's term of office as a judge and shall be eligible for appointment as a state referee during the remainder of such judge's life in the manner prescribed by law for the appointment of a judge of the court of which such judge is a member, to whom the Superior Court may, with the written consent of the parties or their attorneys, refer any case pending in court in which the issues have been closed and which the judges of the Superior Court may establish by rule to be the kind of case which may be heard by such referees who have been appointed judge trial referees pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The judge trial referee shall hear any such case so referred and report the facts to the court by which the case was referred.

      (3) Each judge of the Juvenile Court who ceases or has ceased to hold office because of retirement other than under the provisions of section 51-49 and who is an elector and a resident of this state shall be a state referee for the remainder of such judge's term of office as a judge and shall be eligible for appointment as a state referee during the remainder of such judge's life in the manner prescribed by law for the appointment of a judge of the court of which such judge is a member, to whom a judge before whom any juvenile matter is pending may, with the written consent of the child concerned, either of such child's parents, or such child's guardian or attorney, refer any juvenile matter pending, provided such referee has been appointed a judge trial referee specifically designated to hear juvenile cases pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The judge trial referee shall hear any matter so referred and report the facts to the court for the district from which the matter was referred.

      (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 the Chief Justice 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.

      (b) Judge trial referees. The Chief Justice may designate, from among the state referees, judge trial referees to whom criminal and civil cases and juvenile matters may be referred. Criminal cases and civil cases of an adversary nature shall be referred only to state referees who are designated as judge trial referees, and proceedings resulting from a demand for a trial de novo pursuant to subsection (e) of section 52-549z shall be referred only to judge trial referees who are specifically designated to hear such proceedings. On or before October first of each year, the Chief Court Administrator shall publish the list of the judge trial referees specifically designated to hear such proceedings. Juvenile matters shall be referred only to judge trial referees who are specifically designated to hear juvenile cases. No designation pursuant to this subsection may be for a term of more than one year.

      (c) Hearing rooms. Each hearing by a judge trial referee shall be held in a suitable room, to be provided by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, in a courthouse in the judicial district where the case is pending unless the parties or their attorneys stipulate in writing that the hearing may be held elsewhere.

      (d) Attendance of judicial marshal. Each judge trial referee may have the attendance of a judicial marshal at any hearing before such trial referee. The judicial marshal shall receive the same compensation provided for attendance at regular sessions of the court from which the case was referred and such compensation shall be taxed by the state referee in the same manner as similar costs are taxed by the judges of the court.

      (e) Attendance of witnesses. Contempt of power. Each judge trial referee may compel the attendance of any witness summoned to appear before such trial referee at any hearing, in the same manner as the attendance of any witness may be compelled in the Superior Court, and may punish for any act of contempt committed in such trial referee's presence while engaged in the hearing in the same manner and to the same extent as judges of the Superior Court.

      (f) Compensation. Each judge trial referee shall receive, for acting as a referee or as a single auditor or committee of any court or for performing duties assigned by the Chief Court Administrator with the approval of the Chief Justice, for each day the judge trial referee is so engaged, in addition to the retirement salary: (1) (A) On and after January 1, 2006, and before January 1, 2007, the sum of two hundred fifteen dollars, and (B) on and after January 1, 2007, the sum of two hundred twenty dollars; and (2) expenses, including mileage. Such amounts shall be taxed by the court making the reference in the same manner as other court expenses.

      (g) Participation in alternative dispute resolution program approved by STA-FED ADR, Inc. A judge trial referee may participate in an alternative dispute resolution program approved by STA-FED ADR, Inc. in any year commencing July first provided such referee performed the duties of a judge trial referee or a senior judge for at least seventy-five days during the preceding year, except that (1) for the year commencing July 1, 1993, a judge trial referee may participate in said alternative dispute resolution program without having performed the duties of a judge trial referee or senior judge for seventy-five days during the preceding year, and (2) a judge trial referee may participate in said alternative dispute resolution program from the date such referee assumes such status, through the completion of the year commencing July first following such date without having satisfied the seventy-five-day requirement. Any judge trial referee who participates in said alternative dispute resolution program pursuant to subsection (f) of section 51-50c without having satisfied the seventy-five-day requirement set forth in said subsection shall not be eligible to participate in said program pursuant to this subsection without having satisfied the seventy-five-day requirement set forth in this subsection.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8177; 1955, S. 3207d; 1959, P.A. 363, S. 1; 1963, P.A. 149; 642, S. 56; 1967, P.A. 621, S. 5; 628, S. 5; 1971, P.A. 720; P.A. 73-282; P.A. 74-183, S. 107, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 496, 681; P.A. 77-576, S. 46, 65; 77-614, S. 73, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; 78-377, S. 2, 4; P.A. 79-426, S. 3; 79-608, S. 4, 10; P.A. 80-222, S. 1; P.A. 82-160, S. 167; 82-392, S. 2, 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29, S. 46, 82; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-35, S. 3, 9; P.A. 84-37, S. 1, 3; 84-436, S. 10, 12; P.A. 86-346; P.A. 87-508, S. 9, 10; P.A. 93-108, S. 4, 6; 93-313, S. 1, 4; P.A. 94-63; P.A. 95-80, S. 2, 3; 95-225, S. 30; P.A. 96-37, S. 8; P.A. 97-40, S. 5, 18; 97-178, S. 4; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-11, S. 38, 65; July 21 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 5, 8; P.A. 98-245, S. 13, 14; P.A. 99-215, S. 22; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-1, S. 40, 51; P.A. 00-99, S. 115, 154; 00-191, S. 15; P.A. 01-84, S. 5, 26; 01-195, S. 63, 64, 181; 01-203, S. 1; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 15; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3, S. 6.)

      History: 1959 act added provisions re appointment of judges ceasing to hold office after reaching age of seventy as state referees and re payment of state referees and designation of trial referees and stipulated chief justice's power to determine compensation and expense payments for state referees applies only to referees appointed from members of bar; 1963 acts provided public works commissioner rather than sheriff provide room for hearing and raised payment to referee from twenty-five to thirty-five dollars, adding expenses, including mileage; 1967 acts referred to judges retiring "other than under the provisions of section 51-49 rather than to judges reaching age of seventy", provided for referees to have powers of court in respect to trial, judgment and appeal and raised payment to referee to fifty dollars; 1971 act added provisions specifically applicable to appointment of circuit court judges as state referees, amending other provisions as necessary to reflect inclusion of circuit court judges as referees; P.A. 73-282 added provisions re appointment of juvenile court judges as state referees; P.A. 74-183 deleted reference to courthouses for "circuits", circuit courts having been abolished in reorganization of judicial system, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 amended section to remove power of common pleas and juvenile courts to refer cases to referees, reflecting transfer of all trial jurisdiction to superior court and added reference to judicial districts, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-576 raised payment to referees from fifty to one hundred dollars per day, effective July 1, 1979; P.A. 77-614 replaced public works commissioner with commissioner of administrative services as authority providing rooms for hearings; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 78-377 changed effective date of P.A. 77-576 as it affects this section from July 1, 1979 to January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-426 stated that judges meeting requirements for state referee are "eligible for appointment ..." as such where previously wording indicated that appointment was automatic; P.A. 79-608 reduced payment for state referees to seventy-five dollars per day; P.A. 80-222 specified that judges who retire during term are to be referees for remainder of that term and are thereafter eligible for appointment as previously provided; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 82-392 specified that written consent of parties or attorneys must be obtained prior to referral to state referees of civil jury cases only where previously such consent was required prior to referral of any case; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29 included reference to each judge of the appellate court in Subsec. (a); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-35 amended Subsec. (f), increasing compensation of state referee from seventy-five to one hundred dollars per day, effective April 1, 1984; P.A. 84-37 amended Subsec. (f) to permit compensation for performing duties assigned by the chief court administrator with the approval of the chief justice; P.A. 84-436 amended Subsec. (c) to replace commissioner of administrative services with office of the chief court administrator, effective July 1, 1985; P.A. 86-346 amended Subsec. (f) to increase per diem compensation from one hundred to one hundred twenty-five dollars; P.A. 87-508 amended Subsec. (a) to specify that referees be electors and residents of this state; P.A. 93-108 added Subsec. (g) permitting state trial referee to participate in alternative dispute resolution program approved by STA-FED ADR, Inc., effective June 3, 1993; P.A. 93-313 amended Subsec. (f) by increasing per diem for state referee from one hundred twenty-five dollars to one hundred sixty dollars, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-63 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions re referral of criminal cases to state referees and amended Subsec. (b) by specifying applicability to both civil and criminal cases; P.A. 95-80 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting requirement of written consent for referral of criminal case, effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 95-225 amended Subsec. (b) to authorize juvenile matters to be referred to trial referees and require that juvenile matters be referred only to trial referees who are specifically designated to hear juvenile cases; P.A. 96-37 changed "state trial referee" to "judge trial referee"; P.A. 97-40 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing term of appointment of member of the bar from one to three years and made a technical change in Subsec. (g); P.A. 97-178 amended Subsec. (a) by eliminating requirement of written consent of parties or attorneys for referral of civil jury case; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-11 amended Subsec. (a) to restore language deleted by P.A. 97-178, effective July 1, 1997; July 21 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 amended Subsec. (f) to increase per diem compensation to one hundred seventy dollars on and after October 1, 1997, and to one hundred seventy-five dollars on and after October 1, 1998, effective July 23, 1997; P.A. 98-245 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that Superior Court may, without consent of parties, refer criminal case other than criminal jury trial to judge trial referee and any criminal case, other than class A or B felony or capital case to judge trial referee for jury selection and voir dire, unless good cause shown not to refer and throughout section, "referee" and "state referee" changed to "judge trial referee"; P.A. 99-215 amended Subsec. (g) by making a technical change, correcting reference to Subsec. (f) of Sec. 51-50c; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-1 amended Subsec. (f) by adding Subdiv. (3) to increase per diem compensation from one hundred seventy-five dollars to two hundred dollars, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 00-99 replaced references to sheriff and deputy sheriff with judicial marshal in Subsec. (d), effective December 1, 2000; P.A. 00-191 amended Subsec. (a)(4) to add provisions re appointment of state referee to take evidence in any civil, nonjury case, including Sec. 8-8 appeals, and to report such evidence and findings of fact to the court; P.A. 01-84 amended Subsec. (f) to delete former Subdivs. (1) and (2) and made a technical change, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a)(4) and (d) for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 11, 2001; P.A. 01-203 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to add provision re Superior Court referral of proceeding resulting from demand for trial de novo to judge trial referee specifically designated to hear such proceedings without consent of parties, amended Subsec. (b) to add provisions re hearing of proceedings resulting from demand for trial de novo and re publication of list of judge trial referees specifically designated to hear such proceedings, and made technical changes in Subsecs. (a), (b), (d), (e) and (g); May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2 amended Subsec. (f) by increasing per diem compensation from two hundred dollars to two hundred eleven dollars, effective January 1, 2005; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3 amended Subsec. (f) to increase the per diem compensation from two hundred eleven dollars to two hundred fifteen dollars on and after January 1, 2006, and before January 1, 2007, and from two hundred fifteen dollars to two hundred twenty dollars on and after January 1, 2007, insert Subdiv. and Subpara. designators and reposition and rephrase language, effective January 1, 2006.

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