October 18, 2016
J. Klau, with whom, on the brief, was Jonathan M. Starble,
for the appellant (plaintiff).
Richard C. Robinson, with whom were Laura A. Cardillo and, on
the brief, Joshua A. Hawks-Ladds, for the appellee
Rogers, C. J., and Palmer, Eveleigh, Robinson and Mullins,
ROGERS, C. J.
case raises the issue of whether a municipal tax appeal
brought pursuant to General Statutes §
12-117a is commenced, for purposes of meeting the
limitation period prescribed by that statute, by the filing
of the tax appeal with the Superior Court or, rather, upon
the service of the appeal on the municipal taxing authority.
The plaintiff, Kettle Brook Realty, LLC, appeals from the
judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial
court's dismissal of its tax appeal due to
untimeliness. Kettle Brook Realty, LLC v. East
Windsor, 158 Conn.App. 576, 579, 119 A.3d 1276 (2015).
The plaintiff claims that, under the plain language of §
12-117a, its appeal was timely commenced upon the filing of
its appeal documents in the Superior Court, even though the
appeal was not served on the defendant, the town of East
Windsor (town), until a date beyond the expiration of the two
month appeal period. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the
judgment of the Appellate Court.
following procedural history is relevant. The plaintiff owns
real property in the town. After the property was assessed
for purposes of the October 1, 2012 grand list, the plaintiff
appealed to the Board of Assessment Appeals of the Town of
East Windsor (board) to request a reduction in the
property's assessed value. On April 29, 2013, the board
denied that request and, on May 1, 2013, the town's
assessor mailed notice of the board's decision to the
28, 2013, the plaintiff filed a complaint in the Superior
Court, alleging that the property had been overvalued. The
complaint was accompanied by a citation and recognizance and
bore a return date of July 23, 2013. On July 10, 2013, a
marshal served the complaint, citation and recognizance on
the town. On July 17, 2013, the marshal filed the return of
service with the court. On August 14, 2013, the town filed a
motion to dismiss the appeal, arguing that the trial court
lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff did
not serve the appeal papers on the town within the two month
period allotted by § 12-117a. After a hearing, the court
granted the town's motion and dismissed the appeal.
plaintiff thereafter appealed from the dismissal of its
appeal to the Appellate Court. The Appellate Court agreed
with the trial court that the appeal was untimely pursuant to
§ 12-117a because the plaintiff did not serve the town
within two months of the date that the board had mailed
notice of its decision denying a change to the assessment of
the plaintiff's property. Id. In support of its
decision, the Appellate Court relied on its reasoning in the
companion case of Chestnut Point Realty, LLC v. East
Windsor, 158 Conn.App. 565, 119 A.3d 1229, cert.
granted, 319 Conn. 928, 125 A.3d 203 (2015), which was
decided the same day. In Chestnut Point Realty, LLC,
the Appellate Court, in affirming the trial court's
dismissal of the plaintiff real estate company's tax
appeal, relied on the plain language of § 12-117a, case
law governing the commencement of a civil action, public
policy considerations and a number of consistent trial court
decisions to which, the Appellate Court reasoned, the
legislature presumably had acquiesced. Id., 569-74.
The appeal in the present case, as well as the appeal by the
plaintiff in Chestnut Point Realty, LLC, followed.
procedural history of this case, and the arguments presented
on appeal, are identical to those in the companion case of
Chestnut Point Realty, LLC v. East Windsor, 324
Conn. 528, A.3d (2017), which we also decide today. For the
reasons explained in that opinion, we conclude that the
Appellate Court properly affirmed the trial court's
judgment dismissing the plaintiff's tax appeal as
judgment is affirmed.
opinion the other justices concurred.