CHAPTER 833*
ENTRY AND DETAINER

      *Landlord and Tenant Act (Secs. 47a-1 through 47a-61) cited. 13 CA 1.

Table of Contents

Sec. 47a-43. (Formerly Sec. 52-462). Complaint and procedure: Forcible entry and detainer; entry and detainer.
Sec. 47a-44. (Formerly Sec. 52-463). Judge to try issue unless jury moved for and bond posted.
Sec. 47a-45. (Formerly Sec. 52-464). Summoning of jury.
Sec. 47a-45a. Finding. Judgment. Costs. Title to land not affected.
Sec. 47a-46. (Formerly Sec. 52-465). When double damages allowable.
Secs. 47a-47 to 47a-49.

      Sec. 47a-43. (Formerly Sec. 52-462). Complaint and procedure: Forcible entry and detainer; entry and detainer. (a) When any person (1) makes forcible entry into any land, tenement or dwelling unit and with a strong hand detains the same, or (2) having made a peaceable entry, without the consent of the actual possessor, holds and detains the same with force and strong hand, or (3) enters into any land, tenement or dwelling unit and causes damage to the premises or damage to or removal of or detention of the personal property of the possessor, or (4) when the party put out of possession would be required to cause damage to the premises or commit a breach of the peace in order to regain possession, the party thus ejected, held out of possession, or suffering damage may exhibit his complaint to any judge of the Superior Court.

      (b) Such judge shall forthwith issue a summons to the party complained of, directed to some proper officer, to notify him to appear at a specified time and place, within eight days from the exhibition of such complaint, in the superior court for the judicial district wherein the injury complained of was done, to answer to the matters contained in the complaint.

      (c) Such summons shall be served upon the party complained of six days inclusive before the day appointed for trial.

      (d) If, after service of such summons, the party complained of does not appear and defend, the judge shall proceed in the same manner as if he were present.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8198; P.A. 76-95, S. 21, 27; 76-435, S. 75, 82; 76-436, S. 409, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 79-571, S. 38; P.A. 80-483, S. 126, 186.)

      History: P.A. 76-95 applied provisions to cases of persons damaging premises or damaging or detaining personal property or cases where person out of possession would have to damage premises or commit breach of peace to regain possession; P.A. 76-435 revised effective date section of P.A. 76-95, see history for Sec. 47a-1; P.A. 76-436 removed provisions which had allowed complaints to judges of common pleas court and added reference to judicial districts, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; Sec. 52-462 transferred to Sec. 47a-43 in 1979; P.A. 79-571 divided section into Subsecs., added references to dwelling units and rephrased provisions; P.A. 80-483 made technical corrections.

      Annotation to former section 52-462:

      The remedy for a forcible entry and detainer was originally (1698) by proceedings instituted before a justice of the peace. In 1722 it was provided that they must be brought before two assistants, or an assistant and a justice of the peace, or two justices of the peace, one of whom must be of the quorum; and the complaint might be a qui tam one. 4 C. 92. Upon the abolition of the office of assistant, consequent on the adoption of the constitution of 1818, the court consisted of a judge of the county court and a justice of the peace, and, after the abolition of county courts in 1855, the place of the judge was supplied by a county commissioner. Such court was held to be one of limited jurisdiction. 18 C. 100. By the revision of 1875 the proceedings were to be before a single judge. Actual violence, used or threatened, is necessary to constitute a forcible entry or detainer. 23 C. 515. If some of the defendants are not served with the process, the others cannot object. 4 C. 93. Necessary averments. 17 C. 212; 18 C. 95; 99 C. 127; 100 C. 577. A mere agent cannot sustain a complaint. 23 C. 514. Under former statute, a writ of error lay to the superior court from the judgment of a county commissioner and a justice of the peace. 46 C. 468-472. Landlord has no right to regain the possession by force when his tenant is holding over. 52 C. 16. Dispossession under void execution may constitute. 79 C. 682. Defendant cannot show title or right of possession in himself or a third person. 85 C. 206. This law makes it unlawful for dispossessed owner to retake possession of his land by force. 99 C. 126. Plaintiff's cause of action based on possession; defendant's denial of plaintiff's possession does not put title in issue. 100 C. 577. Cited. 150 C. 346.

      A showing of force or threat of force is required for relief under this section. 10 CS 100; 13 CS 409; 17 CS 19. Distinguished from civil action under Sec. 52-465. 30 CS 607.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 190 C. 364. Cited. 196 C. 390. Cited. 203 C. 103. Cited. 209 C. 243. Cited. 221 C. 674. Public policy underlying the statute is to prevent self-help on part of landlords seeking to recover possession of premises and to avoid costs of disturbances to public that can result therefrom. The legality of individual's presence as a tenant is not at issue under this statute. Nothing in statute protects a possessor from being removed from premises by police in accordance with criminal law for a breach of the peace. 284 C. 502.

      Boat slip not deemed an appurtenance of the office. 5 CA 235. Cited. Id., 302. Cited. 17 CA 285. Cited. 24 CA 124; judgment of appellate court reversed and case remanded to that court for consideration of merits of plaintiff's claim challenging decision of inland wetlands commission, see 221 C. 674. Cited. 46 CA 112. In order to prevail under section, plaintiff must show that he was in actual possession of premises at the time of defendant's action, and in this case trial court's finding of possession was overruled because complainant did not possess keys to premises and only accessed premises for short periods every other month. 62 CA 517. Purpose of statute is to prohibit property owner from entering his or her property in the act of taking possession thereof from one not legally entitled to such possession but who, nonetheless, maintains actual possession of such property. 71 CA 859. Section protects peaceable possession from disturbance, and the removal of plaintiff from the premises by police after plaintiff caused a disturbance and court's subsequent no contact order which effectively kept plaintiff off the premises did not form a proper basis for a finding of an entry and detainer. 121 CA 760. Section seeks to discourage owner resorting to self-help tactics so that peace and good order may be maintained. Id., 790.

      Cited. 38 CS 1.

      Subsec. (a):

      Subdiv. (3) cited. 45 CA 46. Cited. 87 CA 180.


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      Sec. 47a-44. (Formerly Sec. 52-463). Judge to try issue unless jury moved for and bond posted. The issue joined on a complaint brought under section 47a-43 shall be tried by the judge, unless one of the parties, before the issue is joined, moves for a jury and gives bond with sufficient surety to the adverse party to answer all damages in case he fails to make his plea good.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8199; 1953, S. 3210d; 1971, P.A. 40, S. 9; P.A. 77-451, S. 4; P.A. 79-571, S. 39.)

      History: 1971 act amended section to remove prior option for twelve jurors upon specific request; P.A. 77-451 included findings that damage was caused to premises or personal property or that personal property was detained or that party out of possession would have to cause damage to premises or commit a breach of peace to regain possession; Sec. 52-463 transferred to Sec. 47a-44 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 52-462 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 79-571 removed all previous provisions other than provision for trial of complaint by judge, reincorporating deleted provisions in Secs. 47a-45 and 47a-45a.

      Annotations to former section 52-463:

      If jury disagree, another may be summoned. 4 C. 93. Evidence that complainant has no title is irrelevant. Id., 94. Taxation of costs. Id., 95. A writ of error is a supersedeas of the writ of restitution. Id.; Id., 371. Not guilty, a good plea. 18 C. 86. General verdict sufficient. Id., 85; Id., 101. Each party may challenge two jurors. 20 C. 518. Cited. 150 C. 348.

      Distinguished from civil action under section 52-465. 30 CS 607.

      Annotation to present section:

      Cited. 203 C. 103.


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      Sec. 47a-45. (Formerly Sec. 52-464). Summoning of jury. If motion is made for a jury, the names of the jurors to compose a six person panel to try such cause shall be drawn, by the clerk of the court in which the case is to be tried, from the jury box in the same manner as is provided by law in civil cases. A sufficient number shall be drawn to allow for three peremptory challenges on each side and three peremptory challenges shall be allowed to each side. The judge shall excuse any juror whom he finds disqualified to sit on such case. The jury shall be impaneled and sworn to inquire into the complaint brought under section 47a-43.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8200; 1953, S. 3211d; 1971, P.A. 40, S. 10; P.A. 79-571, S. 40; P.A. 97-200, S. 2.)

      History: 1971 act deleted provisions which had allowed four peremptory challenges for twelve-member juries, the option for full juries having been abolished; Sec. 52-464 transferred to Sec. 47a-45 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 52-422 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 79-571 restated provisions and added provisions formerly found in Sec. 47a-44 re jury size and re impaneling and swearing of jurors; P.A. 97-200 deleted provision which prohibited drawing jurors from town in which premises wherein alleged injury took place are situated.

      Annotation to former section 52-464:

      Distinguished from civil action under section 52-465. 30 CS 607.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 45 CA 46.

      Cited. 40 CS 107.


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      Sec. 47a-45a. Finding. Judgment. Costs. Title to land not affected. (a) If it is found (1) that a forcible entry has been made into the land, tenement or dwelling unit, or (2) that the same are detained with force and strong hand, or (3) that damage has been caused to the premises or damage to or removal of or detention of the personal property of the possessor, or (4) that the party put out of possession would be required to cause damage to the premises or commit a breach of the peace in order to regain possession, as complained of, the judge shall render judgment that the complainant be restored to, and reseized of, the premises or that the personal property removed or detained be returned to the complainant, and shall award a writ of restitution accordingly. The complainant shall recover costs from the person complained of. Execution shall be granted against the person complained of.

      (b) If the person complained of is found not guilty, costs shall be taxed against the complainant and execution shall be granted against the complainant.

      (c) The judgment rendered in such proceeding shall not affect or be evidence of the title to such land, tenement or dwelling unit.

      (P.A. 79-571, S. 41; P.A. 80-483, S. 127, 186; P.A. 84-266, S. 1, 4.)

      History: P.A. 80-483 made technical changes; P.A. 84-266 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize the judge to render judgment that the personal property removed or detained be returned to the complainant.

      Cited. 38 CS 1.

      Subsec. (a):

      Trial court did not err in failing to award plaintiffs attorney's fees as a recoverable cost under this subsection. Statutory provision is devoid of any express language authorizing an award of attorney's fees, court will not presume that legislature intended for statute to operate in derogation of the long-standing common-law rule disfavoring award of attorney's fees to prevailing party. 87 CA 779.

      Subsec. (c):

      Court order restoring tenant to possession did not create a new right or privilege to occupy the premises but rather restored the status quo ante. 121 CA 790.


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      Sec. 47a-46. (Formerly Sec. 52-465). When double damages allowable. The party aggrieved may recover in a civil action double damages and his costs against the defendant, if it is found on the trial of a complaint brought under section 47a-43 that he entered into the land, tenement or dwelling unit by force or after entry held the same by force or otherwise injured the party aggrieved in the manner described in section 47a-43.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8201; P.A. 76-95, S. 22, 27; 76-435, S. 75, 82; P.A. 79-571, S. 42; P.A. 80-483, S. 128, 186.)

      History: P.A. 76-95 allowed recovery of double rather than treble damages and authorized recovery of damages in cases where defendant "otherwise injured the party aggrieved in the manner described in section 52-462"; P.A. 76-435 revised effective date section of P.A. 76-95, see history for Sec. 47a-1; Sec. 52-465 transferred to Sec. 47a-46 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 52-462 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 79-571 added reference to dwelling units and changed wording slightly; P.A. 80-483 made technical changes.

      Annotations to former section 52-465:

      This action for damages is not defeated by proof of title in the defendant. 6 C. 80.

      Statute merely provides for damages and costs. 30 CS 607.

      Annotations to present section:

      Standard of proof required for award of double damages under statute is same as that of other tort cases; judgment of appellate court in Freeman v. Alamo Management Co., 24 CA 124, reversed. 221 C. 674.

      Cited. 24 CA 124; judgment reversed, see 221 C. 674. Cited. 43 CA 1. Trial court did not err in failing to award plaintiffs attorney's fees as a recoverable cost under this section. Section is devoid of any express language authorizing an award of attorney's fees, court will not presume that legislature intended for statute to operate in derogation of the long-standing common-law rule disfavoring award of attorney's fees to prevailing party. 87 CA 779. Where damages awarded under section encompass the same conduct as for damages awarded pursuant to Sec. 47a-18a, the sum for actual damages may not be included in the award pursuant to both Secs. 47a-18a and 47a-46. 89 CA 836.


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      Secs. 47a-47 to 47a-49. Reserved for future use.

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