CHAPTER 319q

ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS

Table of Contents

Sec. 17b-60. (Formerly Sec. 17-2a). Fair hearings by commissioner. Application.

Sec. 17b-61. (Formerly Sec. 17-2b). Decision. Appeal. Extension of time limit for filing appeal.

Secs. 17b-62 and 17b-63 to 17b-65. (Formerly Secs. 17-292d to 17-292f). Transfer of general assistance application by person temporarily residing in substance abuse clinic or group home for persons with AIDS to town of applicant’s legal domicile. Fair hearings; application. Procedure for fair hearings by commissioner. Decision; appeal.

Sec. 17b-66. (Formerly Sec. 17-82f). Request for hearing.

Secs. 17b-67 to 17b-74. Reserved


Sec. 17b-60. (Formerly Sec. 17-2a). Fair hearings by commissioner. Application. An aggrieved person authorized by law to request a fair hearing on a decision of the Commissioner of Social Services or the conservator of any such person on his behalf may make application for such hearing in writing over his signature to the commissioner and shall state in such application in simple language the reasons why he claims to be aggrieved. Such application shall be mailed to the commissioner within sixty days after the rendition of such decision. The commissioner shall thereupon hold a fair hearing within thirty days from receipt thereof and shall, at least ten days prior to the date of such hearing, mail a notice, giving the time and place thereof, to such aggrieved person, or if the application concerns a denial of or failure to provide emergency housing, the commissioner shall hold a fair hearing within four business days from receipt thereof, and shall make all reasonable efforts to provide notice of the time and place of the fair hearing to such aggrieved person at least one business day prior to said hearing. A reasonable period of continuance may be granted for good cause. The aggrieved person shall appear personally at the hearing, unless his physical or mental condition precludes appearing in person, and may be represented by an attorney or other authorized representative. A stenographic or mechanical record shall be made of each hearing, but need not be transcribed except (1) in the event of an appeal from the decision of the hearing officer or (2) if a copy is requested by the aggrieved person, in either of which cases it shall be furnished by the Commissioner of Social Services without charge. The Commissioner of Social Services and any person authorized by him to conduct any hearing under the provisions of this section shall have power to administer oaths and take testimony under oath relative to the matter of the hearing and may subpoena witnesses and require the production of records, papers and documents pertinent to such hearing. No witness under subpoena authorized to be issued by the provisions of this section shall be excused from testifying or from producing records, papers or documents on the ground that such testimony or the production of such records or other documentary evidence would tend to incriminate him, but such evidence or the records or papers so produced shall not be used in any criminal proceeding against him. If any person disobeys such process or, having appeared in obedience thereto, refuses to answer any pertinent question put to him by the commissioner or his authorized agent or to produce any records and papers pursuant thereto, the commissioner or his agent may apply to the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford or for the judicial district wherein the person resides, or to any judge of said court if the same is not in session, setting forth such disobedience to process or refusal to answer, and said court or such judge shall cite such person to appear before said court or such judge to answer such question or to produce such records and papers and, upon his refusal to do so, shall commit such person to a community correctional center until he testifies, but not for a longer period than sixty days. Notwithstanding the serving of the term of such commitment by any person, the commissioner or his agent may proceed with such inquiry and examination as if the witness had not previously been called upon to testify. Officers who serve subpoenas issued by the commissioner or under his authority and witnesses attending hearings conducted by him hereunder shall receive like fees and compensation as officers and witnesses in the courts of this state to be paid on vouchers of the commissioner on order of the Comptroller.

(1959, P.A. 96, S. 1; 1967, P.A. 759, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 297; 369, S. 1; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 77-274; 77-614, S. 608, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 2, 6, 127; P.A. 87-473, S. 3; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-133, S. 1; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-262, S. 34, 87; P.A. 95-220, S. 4–6; 95-360, S. 8, 32.)

History: 1967 act authorized appearance by a representative of aggrieved person as well as attorney; 1969 acts added Subdiv. (2) making transcription optional unless copy requested by aggrieved person in which case it is to be furnished without charge and replaced jails with community correctional centers; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services; P.A. 77-274 required that hearing application be mailed within 60 rather than 30 days of decision; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of social services with commissioner of income maintenance, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 replaced Hartford county with judicial district of Hartford-New Britain; P.A. 87-473 added “or if the application concerns a denial of or failure to provide emergency housing, the commissioner shall hold a fair hearing within 4 business days from receipt thereof, and shall make all reasonable efforts to provide notice of the time and place of the fair hearing to such aggrieved person at least 1 business day prior to said hearing”; P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 91-133 removed prohibition against hearings subsequent to the decease of the aggrieved person and authorized hearings without the personal appearance of the aggrieved person if such appearance is precluded by the person’s mental or physical condition; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 93-262 replaced commissioner of income maintenance with commissioner of social services and allowed any person operating or applying for a license to operate a family day care home to make an application for a hearing, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-2a transferred to Sec. 17b-60 in 1995; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-360 deleted family day care home operators and license applicants from those authorized to apply for a hearing, effective July 13, 1995.

See Sec. 52-260 re witness fees.

Annotations to former section 17-2a:

Where objection was made to constitutionality of Sec. 17-90 on the basis of violation of due process of law, held that hearing procedure set forth in this section and Sec. 17-2b satisfies requirements of due process. 152 C. 56. Cited. 165 C. 490; 170 C. 258; 172 C. 292; 177 C. 599; 179 C. 83; 189 C. 29; 191 C. 384; 204 C. 672; 209 C. 390; 214 C. 256; Id., 601; 222 C. 69; 226 C. 818.

Cited. 6 CA 47; 20 CA 470; 38 CA 522; 44 CA 143.

Cited. 30 CS 587; 31 CS 515; 32 CS 561; Id., 599; Id., 607; 34 CS 281; Id., 586; 35 CS 622; 40 CS 554.

Cited. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 269; Id., 504; 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 85; Id., 138; Id., 338, 339; Id., 450, 647. Commissioner may subpoena witness but does not have to do so merely because appellant requests him to. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 291. Cited. Id., 506. Record did not furnish evidential support for hearing officer’s determination, hence judgment for commissioner set aside. Id., 603.

Annotations to present section:

Cited. 38 CA 522; 44 CA 143.

Sec. 17b-61. (Formerly Sec. 17-2b). Decision. Appeal. Extension of time limit for filing appeal. (a) Not later than sixty days after such hearing, or three business days if the hearing concerns a denial of or failure to provide emergency housing, the commissioner or his designated hearing officer shall render a final decision based upon all the evidence introduced before him and applying all pertinent provisions of law, regulations and departmental policy, and such final decision shall supersede the decision made without a hearing, provided final definitive administrative action shall be taken by the commissioner or his designee within ninety days after the request of such hearing pursuant to section 17b-60. Notice of such final decision shall be given to the aggrieved person by mailing him a copy thereof within one business day of its rendition. Such decision after hearing shall be final except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(b) The applicant for such hearing, if aggrieved, may appeal therefrom in accordance with section 4-183. Appeals from decisions of said commissioner shall be privileged cases to be heard by the court as soon after the return day as shall be practicable.

(c) The commissioner may, for good cause shown by an aggrieved person, extend the time for filing an appeal to Superior Court beyond the time limitations of section 4-183, as set forth below:

(1) Any aggrieved person who is authorized to appeal a decision of the commissioner, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, but who fails to serve or file a timely appeal to the Superior Court pursuant to section 4-183, may, as provided in this subsection, petition that the commissioner, for good cause shown, extend the time for filing any such appeal. Such a petition must be filed with the commissioner in writing and contain a complete and detailed explanation of the reasons that precluded the petitioner from serving or filing an appeal within the statutory time period. Such petition must also be accompanied by all available documentary evidence that supports or corroborates the reasons advanced for the extension request. In no event shall a petition for extension be considered or approved if filed later than ninety days after the rendition of the final decision. The decision as to whether to grant an extension shall be made consistent with the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection and shall be final and not subject to judicial review.

(2) In determining whether to grant a good cause extension, as provided for in this subsection, the commissioner, or his authorized designee, shall, without the necessity of further hearing, review and, as necessary, verify the reasons advanced by the petition in justification of the extension request. A determination that good cause prevented the filing of a timely appeal shall be issued in writing and shall enable the petitioner to serve and file an appeal within the time provisions of section 4-183, from the date of the decision granting an extension. The circumstances that precluded the petitioner from filing a timely appeal, and which may be deemed good cause for purposes of granting an extension petition, include, but are not limited to: (A) Serious illness or incapacity of the petitioner which has been documented as materially affecting the conduct of personal affairs; (B) a death or serious illness in the petitioner’s immediate family that has been documented as precluding the petitioner from perfecting a timely appeal; (C) incorrect or misleading information given to the petitioner by the agency, relating to the appeal time period, and shown to have been materially relied on by the petitioner as the basis for failure to file a timely appeal; (D) evidence that the petitioner did not receive notice of the agency decision; and (E) other unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances of an exceptional nature which prevented the filing of a timely appeal.

(1959, P.A. 96, S. 2, 3; 1963, P.A. 73, S. 1; P.A. 74-183, S. 209, 291; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-162; 76-436, S. 179, 681; P.A. 77-452, S. 52, 72; 77-603, S. 67, 125; P.A. 78-280, S. 25, 127; P.A. 87-473, S. 4.)

History: 1963 act changed jurisdiction from common pleas to circuit court; P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas and included reference to judicial districts; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services; P.A. 76-162 required decision within 60 rather than 30 days of hearing and required “final definitive administrative action” within 90 days of hearing request; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-452 repeated change in courts and, with P.A. 77-603, replaced previous detailed appeal provisions in Subsec. (b) with statement that appeals be made in accordance with Sec. 4-183; P.A. 78-280 removed Subsec. indicators and deleted provisions formerly in Subsec. (a) re appeals; P.A. 87-473 amended Subsec. (a) to require a final decision not later than 3 business days after the hearing if the hearing concerns a denial of or failure to provide emergency housing and changed the time limit for notice of the final decision from 72 hours to 1 business day and added Subsec. (c); Sec. 17-2b transferred to Sec. 17b-61 in 1995.

Annotations to former section 17-2b:

Where objection was made to constitutionality of Sec. 17-90 on the basis of violation of due process of law, held that hearing procedure set forth in this section and Sec. 17-2a satisfies requirement of due process. 152 C. 56, 57. Cited. 165 C. 490; 168 C. 336; 172 C. 292. Plaintiffs, who were denied AFDC benefits while residents of Connecticut and who appealed the denial while still residents, were “aggrieved” parties, and thus could maintain the appeal notwithstanding their subsequent removal from Connecticut. 174 C. 8. Cited. 177 C. 599; 189 C. 29; 191 C. 384; 214 C. 601; 222 C. 69; 229 C. 664; 233 C. 370.

Cited. 44 CA 143.

Cited. 30 CS 587; 31 CS 515. A classification of obligations recognized in regulations concerning disposition of assets by welfare claimants is not a violation of equal protection provisions of U.S. Constitution as to those not recognized. Id., 547. Conclusions drawn from facts proved must not be the result of speculation and conjecture; does not permit reliance on hearsay when better evidence is readily available. 32 CS 560. Substantial and competent evidence requirement means such evidence that has rational probative force. Id., 564. Cited. Id., 603; Id., 605. Failure to make a finding of facts from evidence introduced at hearing constitutes an abuse of discretion. Id., 606. Cited. 33 CS 769; 34 CS 265; Id., 586; 40 CS 554.

In an appeal taken under section, the basic issue before the court is whether commissioner has acted illegally or so arbitrarily and unreasonably as to abuse his discretion. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 271. Cited. Id., 504, 505; 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 67; Id., 85; Id., 138; Id., 338, 339; Id., 450, 647; 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 294. On appeal from commissioner’s hearing, court cannot substitute its judgment for that of commissioner; it can only decide whether action of agency was illegal, arbitrary or an abuse of discretion. Id., 505. Cited. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 353; Id., 687.

Annotation to present section:

Cited. 44 CA 143.

Secs. 17b-62 and 17b-63 to 17b-65. (Formerly Secs. 17-292d to 17-292f). Transfer of general assistance application by person temporarily residing in substance abuse clinic or group home for persons with AIDS to town of applicant’s legal domicile. Fair hearings; application. Procedure for fair hearings by commissioner. Decision; appeal. Sections 17b-62 to 17b-65, inclusive, are repealed, effective March 1, 2004.

(P.A. 79-517, S. 1–3; P.A. 83-85; P.A. 85-61; P.A. 87-473, S. 1, 2; 87-589, S. 76, 87; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 89-239, S. 5; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-133, S. 2; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-16, S. 18, 89; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-262, S. 1, 87; 93-395, S. 3; 93-435, S. 59, 95; P.A. 95-220, S. 4–6; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 97.)

Sec. 17b-66. (Formerly Sec. 17-82f). Request for hearing. Any applicant or beneficiary aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner made without a fair hearing may request a hearing in accordance with the provisions of section 17b-60.

(1969, P.A. 730, S. 22.)

History: Sec. 17-82f transferred to Sec. 17b-66 in 1995.

Annotation to former section 17-82f:

Cited. 20 CA 470.

Annotation to present section:

Cited. 44 CA 143.

Secs. 17b-67 to 17b-74. Reserved for future use.

Note: Chapter 319r is also reserved for future use.