Substitute Senate Bill No. 1108

Public Act No. 01-71

AN ACT CONCERNING OFFERS OF JUDGMENT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 52-192a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) After commencement of any civil action based upon contract or seeking the recovery of money damages, whether or not other relief is sought, the plaintiff may, not later than thirty days before trial, file with the clerk of the court a written "offer of judgment" signed by [him or his] the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, directed to the defendant or [his] the defendant's attorney, offering to settle the claim underlying the action and to stipulate to a judgment for a sum certain. The plaintiff shall give notice of the offer of settlement to the defendant's attorney [,] or, if the defendant is not represented by an attorney, to the defendant himself or herself. Within [thirty] sixty days after being notified of the filing of the "offer of judgment" and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court, the defendant or [his] the defendant's attorney may file with the clerk of the court a written "acceptance of offer of judgment" agreeing to a stipulation for judgment as contained in plaintiff's "offer of judgment". Upon such filing, the clerk shall enter judgment immediately on the stipulation. If the "offer of judgment" is not accepted within [thirty] sixty days and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the court, the "offer of judgment" shall be considered rejected and not subject to acceptance unless refiled. Any such "offer of judgment" and any "acceptance of offer of judgment" shall be included by the clerk in the record of the case.

(b) After trial the court shall examine the record to determine whether the plaintiff made an "offer of judgment" which the defendant failed to accept. If the court ascertains from the record that the plaintiff has recovered an amount equal to or greater than the sum certain stated in [his] the plaintiff's "offer of judgment", the court shall add to the amount so recovered twelve per cent annual interest on said amount, computed from the date such offer was filed in actions commenced before October 1, 1981. In those actions commenced on or after October 1, 1981, the interest shall be computed from the date the complaint in the civil action was filed with the court if the "offer of judgment" was filed not later than eighteen months from the filing of such complaint. If such offer was filed later than eighteen months from the date of filing of the complaint, the interest shall be computed from the date the "offer of judgment" was filed. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees in an amount not to exceed three hundred fifty dollars, and shall render judgment accordingly. This section shall not be interpreted to abrogate the contractual rights of any party concerning the recovery of attorney's fees in accordance with the provisions of any written contract between the parties to the action.

Sec. 2. Section 52-193 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

In any action on contract, or seeking the recovery of money damages, whether or not other relief is sought, the defendant may, not later than thirty days before trial, file with the clerk of the court a written notice signed by [him or his] the defendant or the defendant's attorney, directed to the plaintiff or [his] the plaintiff's attorney, offering to allow the plaintiff to take judgment for the sum named in such notice.

Approved June 6, 2001