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Zanard-Kloth v. Department of Social Services

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of New Britain

March 20, 2014

JOAN ZANARD-KLOTH
v.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES [*]

Page 413

Memorandum of decision on plaintiff's appeal from decision by Department of Social Services to recover payment of government assistance.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

Administrative appeal; in plaintiff's appeal from defendant's decision to record lien against certain of her real property to secure repayment of reimbursable government assistance to plaintiff and her minor child, whether there was substantial evidence to establish plaintiff's liability where defendant failed to introduce into evidence her original application for public assistance; whether plaintiff received and was liable for reimbursement of assistance where defendant's representative testified plaintiff received assistance, defendant's financial assistance statement admitted into evidence as business record in hearing before defendant detailed certain public assistance payments made to plaintiff and amount of child support defendant recovered on her behalf, and plaintiff did not deny receiving public assistance, admitted defendant had recovered child support payments on her behalf, and submitted documents that tended to show defendant provided her public assistance; whether defendant's financial assistance statement was unreliable and should not have been admitted where defendant could not locate plaintiff's original eligibility documents; whether plaintiff waived claim on appeal that financial assistance statement should not have been admitted by failing to object to its admission and relied on it in hearing before defendant to establish that child support had been recovered on her behalf; whether financial assistance statement bore sufficient indicia of reliability such that its admission was not improper under relaxed evidentiary rules applicable to administrative hearings; whether plaintiff's status as victim of domestic violence relieved her of responsibility to reimburse defendant for public assistance where plaintiff presented no support for such claim; whether defendant's ability to recover assistance was barred by statute of limitation plaintiff did not identify.

Joan Kloth-Zanard, self-represented, the plaintiff.

Gary G. Williams, assistant attorney general, the defendant.

OPINION

Page 414

[53 Conn.Supp. 364] Hon. Eliot D. Prescott, J.

This is an administrative appeal brought by the plaintiff, Joan Kloth-Zanard,[1]

Page 415

challenging a decision by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to record a lien against real property owned by the plaintiff to secure repayment of government assistance paid by the State of Connecticut to the plaintiff. For the reasons set forth below, the decision of the agency is affirmed.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The record reveals the following facts and procedural history. Between February, 1995, and October, 1998, the plaintiff received cash assistance for the benefit of herself and her minor child from the State of Connecticut pursuant to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Temporary Family Assistance (TANF) programs. The plaintiff has also received medical assistance from the State for substantial periods of time. Specifically, the plaintiff has received $24,528.20 in reimbursable cash assistance, and has failed to reimburse the State for $24,528.20 of that sum.[2] The plaintiff [53 Conn.Supp. 365] does not ...


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