Substitute House Bill No. 6895

Public Act No. 01-167

AN ACT CONCERNING DECISIONS OF THE CLAIMS COMMISSIONER.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (a) (1) Within five days after the convening of the 2002 regular session, the Claims Commissioner shall report to the General Assembly on all claims that have been filed with the Office of the Claims Commissioner pursuant to section 4-147 of the general statutes and have not been disposed of by the Claims Commissioner within three years of the date of filing, except claims in which the parties have stipulated to an extension of time for the Claims Commissioner to dispose of the claim.

(2) Within five days after the convening of the 2003 regular session, and each regular session thereafter, the Claims Commissioner shall report to the General Assembly on all claims that have been filed with the Office of the Claims Commissioner pursuant to section 4-147 of the general statutes and have not been disposed of by the Claims Commissioner within two years of the date of filing or within any extension thereof granted by the General Assembly pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, except claims in which the parties have stipulated to an extension of time for the Claims Commissioner to dispose of the claim.

(b) The Claims Commissioner shall give notice to all claimants whose claims are the subject of a report as provided in subsection (a) of this section that their claims will be considered at the next regular session of the General Assembly pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(c) With respect to any claim that is the subject of a report as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the General Assembly may (1) grant the Claims Commissioner an extension for a period specified by the General Assembly to dispose of such claim, (2) grant the claimant permission to sue the state, (3) grant an award to the claimant, or (4) deny the claim.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 4-151 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Claims shall be heard as soon as practicable after they are filed. The following claims shall be privileged with respect to assignment for hearing: (1) Claims by persons who are sixty-five years or older or who reach such age during the pendency of the claim, (2) claims by persons who are terminally ill, as defined in section 52-191c, and (3) claims by executors or administrators of estates. Hearings may be held at the Office of the Claims Commissioner, at any available hearing facility in the State Capitol or Legislative Office Building, upon request at any courthouse serving a judicial district or geographical area or city or town hall in the state or at such other suitable place as the Claims Commissioner finds is convenient and just to the claimant and to the Attorney General.

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 4-160 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) In each action authorized by the Claims Commissioner pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section or by the General Assembly pursuant to section 4-159 or section 1 of this act, the claimant shall allege such authorization and the date on which it was granted, except that evidence of such authorization shall not be admissible in such action as evidence of the state's liability. The state waives its immunity from liability and from suit in each such action and waives all defenses which might arise from the eleemosynary or governmental nature of the activity complained of. The rights and liability of the state in each such action shall be coextensive with and shall equal the rights and liability of private persons in like circumstances.

Sec. 4. Section 4-154 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Within ninety days after hearing a claim, the Claims Commissioner shall render [his] a decision. [He] The Claims Commissioner shall make a finding of fact for each claim and file such finding with [his] the order or recommendation disposing of the claim. The clerk of the Office of the Claims Commissioner shall deliver a copy of such finding and order or recommendation to the claimant and to the representative for the state, which representative may in appropriate cases be the Attorney General. If such claim will be submitted to the General Assembly by the Claims Commissioner pursuant to the provisions of section 4-159, the clerk shall give notice to the claimant that such claim will be so submitted and that the General Assembly may accept, alter or reject the recommendation of the Claims Commissioner.

Approved July 6, 2001