PA 10-36—HB 5542

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT MAKING MINOR, TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING CHANGES TO CERTAIN STATUTES CONCERNING CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW AND PROCEDURE

SUMMARY: This act makes a number of unrelated minor, technical, and conforming changes.

1. The act codifies a recent Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that the statute banning all gambling wagers and wagering contracts does not apply to wagers or contracts otherwise authorized by law (see BACKGROUND).

2. The criminal laws on illegal gambling do not apply to advertising, operating, or participating in state conducted off-track betting. The act also excludes the off-track betting system operated by an authorized licensee. The law authorizes the Division of Special Revenue to transfer ownership of the off-track betting system.

3. The act changes sentencing for two crimes. By law, 2nd degree kidnapping with a firearm is a class B felony (see Table on Penalties) with a three-year mandatory minimum sentence. The act eliminates a requirement that the court impose a five-year prison sentence, which the court could suspend down to the three-year mandatory minimum. By law, 2nd degree manslaughter with a firearm is a class C felony with a one-year mandatory minimum sentence. The act eliminates a requirement that the court impose a three-year prison sentence, which the court could suspend down to the one-year mandatory minimum.

4. By law, a cause of action is not lost by missing a statute of limitations if the process to be served is personally delivered to a state marshal and the process is served within 30 days of delivery. The act extends this provision to service of process by constables and other proper officers. These officers are also authorized by statute to serve process. The act also codifies a recent Connecticut Supreme Court ruling by specifying that these officers must receive the process before the statute of limitation expires (see BACKGROUND).

5. PA 07-123 split the offense of violating the conditions of release by someone released pending trial into 1st and 2nd degree crimes. The act makes a conforming change to another statute that imposes a penalty for conviction of an offense while released pending trial. That statute excluded violations under the conditions of release statute. The act makes a conforming change to exclude both the 1st degree and 2nd degree crimes.

6. By law, a person convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of certain crimes must submit to the taking of a DNA sample. The law allows someone whose DNA profile has been included in the data bank to request its expungement if his or her criminal conviction is reversed and the case dismissed. The act extends this provision to cases in which a finding of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect is reversed and the case dismissed.

7. Under prior law, a foreign statutory trust's agent for service of process filed a signed statement in duplicate with the secretary of the state when the agent changed its address, and the secretary filed one copy and mailed the other to the foreign statutory trust. The act clarifies that the agent files (a) notice of the change of address with the secretary and (b) a signed statement in duplicate when resigning. By law, a resignation takes effect 30 days after mailing notice.

8. The act eliminates a definition of “wire communication” in the provisions on criminal investigation of sex offender registrants using the Internet because it is not used in those provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2010, except a technical change eliminating a statutory reference is effective October 1, 2010 to match the date the referenced statute is repealed.

BACKGROUND

Related Case — Wagers and Wagering Contracts

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled that the statute banning gambling wagers and wagering contracts does not apply to wagers or contracts otherwise authorized by law. The court ruled that this statute was “irreconcilable” with the state's “various forms of legalized wagering” such as the lottery, off-track betting, pari-mutuel betting, jai alai, and Indian casinos through tribal-state compacts. The court also looked at the statutes criminalizing gambling and found that they exclude gambling authorized by law. The court ruled that it would be consistent for all of these statutes to be construed to apply to illegal gambling (Sokaitis v. Bakaysa, 293 Conn. 17 (2009)).

Related Cases — Service of Process

A Superior Court judge interpreted the statute that preserves lawsuits if the process is delivered to a state marshal to file the action. The judge noted that the statute was amended as part of a large bill to reform the sheriffs system and it was one of many statutes amended to give state marshals, instead of sheriffs, the power to serve process. This particular statute was amended to replace the broader term “officer,” which would have included constables and other officers who are authorized to serve process, with “state marshal. ” The judge concluded that the amendment was not intended to exclude process served by constables and a proper interpretation of the statute allowed it to apply to process given to a constable (Abitz v. Fierer, 44 CLR 820 (January 15, 2008)).

In another case under this statute, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the process must be delivered to the state marshal before the statute of limitations expires, even though this requirement was not expressly stated in the statute. The court found that prior to the sheriffs' reform act, the statute included this requirement and the legislative history did not show any intention of changing this provision. The court found that to rule otherwise would produce an absurd result and allow a party to bring an action at any time by delivering process for a state marshal to serve within 30 days. The court stated that such an interpretation would be contrary to the intent behind the statute and frustrate the purpose of the statutes of limitation (Tayco Corp. v. Planning and Zoning Commission, 294 Conn. 673 (2010)).

Related Act

PA 10-178 contains the same provision on preserving lawsuits when process is delivered within the required time frame to a proper officer.

OLR Tracking: CR: JM: PF: ts