CHAPTER 910
COMMITTEES, AUDITORS AND REFEREES

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-425. Appointment of a committee in civil actions.
Sec. 52-426. Compensation of committee and stenographer.
Sec. 52-427. Auditors or committee may be appointed when court not in session.
Sec. 52-428. Auditors in actions involving matters of accounting.
Sec. 52-429. Powers of auditors and committees over witnesses.
Sec. 52-430. Filling of auditor or committee vacancies when court not in session.
Sec. 52-431. Recommittal of incomplete report.
Sec. 52-432. Judge not to be auditor or committee.
Sec. 52-433. Auditor or committee appointed judge may finish case.
Sec. 52-434. State referees.
Sec. 52-434a. Powers of referees.
Sec. 52-434b. Referrals to senior judges; their powers and compensation.
Sec. 52-434c. Certain referees assigned to Appellate Court. Eligibility. Powers and jurisdiction.
Sec. 52-434d. Special education administrative contested cases pilot program.

      Sec. 52-425. Appointment of a committee in civil actions. (a) In any civil action pending in the Superior Court in which an issue of fact has been closed to the court, the court may, upon motion of any party to the record, appoint a committee of one, two or three disinterested persons to hear the evidence and report the facts to the court. A committee shall not be appointed without the consent of all parties appearing, unless the court, after a hearing upon the motion for appointment of a committee, is of the opinion that the questions involved are such as clearly ought to be sent to a committee.

      (b) If the action has been brought solely for the recovery of a money demand, the committee may: (1) Report simply that it finds the issue in favor of the plaintiff and that he recover a certain sum, or that it finds the issue in favor of the defendant, as the case may be, or (2) report specifically the facts relevant to the issue and established by the evidence. In all other actions, the committee shall report specifically the facts relevant to the issue and established by the evidence.

      (c) Upon the acceptance of any report, judgment shall be rendered thereon according to law and the facts found.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8168; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 125; P.A. 74-183, S. 105, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 494, 681; P.A. 82-160, S. 161.)

      History: 1959 act substituted circuit court for municipal court; P.A. 74-183 removed actions pending in circuit court from purview of section, reflecting reorganization of judicial system, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 removed actions pending in court of common pleas from purview of section, reflecting transfer of all trial jurisdiction to superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. and Subdiv. indicators.

      Auditors may require the parties to furnish each other copies of their respective claims. 37 C. 428. May grant adjournments on terms. 26 C. 311. May grant a rehearing before filing report. 31 C. 368, 370. Ought not to stay at house of either party during trial. 39 C. 268. The report cannot be set aside because against the weight of evidence. 13 C. 563; 23 C. 541; 24 C. 585; 26 C. 312; but see 14 C. 362. Report may be set aside for mistake of law. 2 D. 120. Report should state facts, not evidence of facts. 20 C. 588; 23 C. 34; 26 C. 267; 30 C. 279. Certainty necessary in report. 13 C. 467, 468; 36 C. 473. Report may be set aside for admission of improper evidence; K. 353; 1 R. 268; 14 C. 71; 98 C. 562; but not if it worked no injury. 37 C. 429. Further hearing in court after return of report. 13 C. 396; 31 C. 380. Acceptance of report conditionally; 11 C. 368; or in part only. 17 C. 34; 36 C. 424. Report, if accepted, is a part of the record. 4 D. 374. Court cannot infer additional facts from the facts found and reported by the committee. 42 C. 517. Court cannot recommit the report on the ground that the finding is against the evidence. 43 C. 451. Adverse report; party loses his right to withdraw, when. 47 C. 436. Certain questions of fact undecided by committee; court may recommit report for further finding upon the evidence already received. 49 C. 351. Report should not be rejected where the items allowed are so stated that the court can render an intelligible and just judgment. 51 C. 131. Court cannot find facts upon mere evidence reported by committee. 52 C. 427. Reappointment of committee not necessary at each term of court. 53 C. 328. Conclusiveness of report as to facts; 76 C. 367; Id., 484; Id., 567; Id., 654; 85 C. 237; Id., 390; 87 C. 41; Id., 70; 98 C. 566; 103 C. 283; 109 C. 216; but court may correct account where all items are found; 86 C. 199; 87 C. 241; but failure of committee properly to weigh evidence no ground for recommittal. 82 C. 460; 87 C. 241. Misconduct of committee as ground to reject report; 67 C. 347; use of form of report furnished by counsel; 74 C. 189; employing party's surveyor. 67 C. 345. Report is sufficient if necessary facts are found; surplusage will be rejected. 68 C. 113; 87 C. 70. Including in report rulings of committee and facts upon which they are made. 70 C. 429; 76 C. 84; 85 C. 237; 87 C. 241; 88 C. 431. Report of majority as report of committee. 82 C. 464. Remonstrance, its use, and procedure upon it. 76 C. 567; 80 C. 248; 85 C. 237; 87 C. 42; Id., 241; 98 C. 566. Members of committee may testify as to their doings. 76 C. 567; see 75 C. 248. Use of stenographer's notes of evidence before them discountenanced. 76 C. 567; 87 C. 241. Referring report back for failure to properly consider testimony; 82 C. 460; for error in evidence as to value. 81 C. 63. Effect of referring matter to committee before issues closed. 74 C. 189. Committee cannot pass on demurrer to complaint. 92 C. 193. Remonstrance merely stating that conclusion is against evidence is demurrable. 93 C. 146. Presumption that action of committee is proper in absence of showing to the contrary. Id., 149. Remonstrance does not lie on ground that committee mistook the weight of the evidence; when report may be recommitted. 96 C. 501; 98 C. 565. See notes to chapter 909 and sections 52-424, 52-431. Held that legislature intended references to attorney referees under Sec. 52-434 (a)(4) to conform to procedure set forth in this statute to require consent of all parties. 199 C. 496. Cited. Id., 518. Cited. 210 C. 705.

      Cited. 11 CA 1.

      Where complaint and counterclaim contain not numerous questions of law but numerous questions of fact, the questions involved ought to be sent to a committee. 5 CS 376. Cited. 16 CS 460.


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      Sec. 52-426. Compensation of committee and stenographer. When any civil action is pending in the Superior Court and has been ordered by the court to be tried before a committee appointed by the court, without a motion or written request for such committee, and no provision is made by law for the expense of such committee, the judge shall tax and allow for the services of the committee a reasonable fee, not exceeding forty dollars per day, and, when required, for the services of a stenographer and for a transcript furnished to the committee, the same rate as is allowed by law to the official court reporter. Such amounts when so taxed, shall be paid by the clerk of the court to which the action is made returnable in the same manner as other court expenses.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8169; 1959, P.A. 168; P.A. 76-436, S. 407, 681; P.A. 82-160, S. 162.)

      History: 1959 act doubled fee for services of committee; P.A. 76-436 removed actions "brought to the court of common pleas and referred to a committee upon written stipulation of the parties or their attorneys" from purview of section, reflecting transfer of all trial jurisdiction to superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 28 CA 270.


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      Sec. 52-427. Auditors or committee may be appointed when court not in session. Any judge of the Superior Court may, when the court is not in session, in any action pending before the court in which a reference is proper, upon the written application of either party, with notice of at least six days to the opposite party, appoint auditors or a committee in the action. Upon making the appointment, the judge shall immediately certify the appointment to the clerk of the court.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8170; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 126; 1967, P.A. 656, S. 47; P.A. 74-183, S. 106, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 495, 681; P.A. 82-160, S. 163.)

      History: 1959 act substituted circuit court for municipal court; 1967 act substituted "when the court is not sitting" for "in vacation"; P.A. 74-183 removed circuit court judges from purview of section, reflecting reorganization of judicial system, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 removed judges of common pleas court from purview of section, reflecting transfer of all trial jurisdiction to superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section.

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      Sec. 52-428. Auditors in actions involving matters of accounting. When in any action it is necessary, by reason of its being brought upon a bond with conditions, or of any special plea or claim of set-off, to settle any matter which might be the subject of an action for an accounting, the court may appoint one or more auditors to adjust and settle such matter and report their award to the court; but any other issue joined in such action shall be heard and decided as in other cases.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8171; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 127.)

      History: 1959 act deleted exception for actions before justices of the peace.

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      Sec. 52-429. Powers of auditors and committees over witnesses. Auditors and committees appointed by any court, while engaged in the trial of the cases which they are appointed to hear, shall have the same power and authority over witnesses as the appointing court and may commit any such witness for contempt for not more than thirty days.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8172; 1961, P.A. 517, S. 48.)

      History: 1961 act deleted obsolete provision granting same power and authority over witnesses and to commit for contempt as justices of the peace have and substituted appointing court and commitment for not more than 30 days.

      See Sec. 51-33 re penalties for contempt of court.

      Cited. 222 C. 799.

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      Sec. 52-430. Filling of auditor or committee vacancies when court not in session. If any auditor, committee or member of a committee, appointed by any court, dies or declines or is unable to act, at any time when the court is not in session, the parties, or their attorneys, may agree in writing to the appointment of any person to act in his place. If they cannot agree, any judge of the court, upon application of either party and reasonable notice to the other, may fill the vacancy. Upon the filing of the agreement signed by the parties or the appointment signed by the judge with the clerk of the court, the appointment of the person therein designated shall be as effectual as if made by the court.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8173; P.A. 82-160, S. 164.)

      History: P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section.

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      Sec. 52-431. Recommittal of incomplete report. When a finding of facts made and returned to any court by an auditor or a committee, in the judgment of the court or of the Supreme Court, is incomplete or insufficient, the court may thereupon, unless objection is made by all the parties to the action, recommit the cause of action and the report to the same auditor or committee to complete and perfect the report and to return it to the court for acceptance.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8174; P.A. 82-160, S. 165.)

      History: P.A. 82-160 made minor changes in wording.

      Where material facts not found, motion to recommit is proper; 87 C. 70; but should not ordinarily be recommitted to find facts necessary to present rulings of committee; 85 C. 237; and, if all facts found, court may correct account without recommitting. 86 C. 199; 87 C. 241. Where report omits facts necessary to present claims of law, proper course is to remonstrate and ask recommittal; 91 C. 198; so, where facts involved in rulings on evidence are omitted; 92 C. 193; 95 C. 337; Id., 538. See note to section 52-425.

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      Sec. 52-432. Judge not to be auditor or committee. No judge whose salary is paid by the state may be appointed as an auditor or committee in any civil action.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8175; P.A. 82-160, S. 166.)

      History: P.A. 82-160 substituted "may" for "shall".

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      Sec. 52-433. Auditor or committee appointed judge may finish case. Any auditor or committee who is appointed judge of any court shall complete his duties as such auditor or committee in the same manner and with the same effect as if he had not been so appointed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8176.)

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      Sec. 52-434. State referees. (a) Appointment of retired judges and members of the bar. Cases referred. (1) Each judge of the Supreme Court, each judge of the Appellate Court, each judge of the Superior Court and each judge of the Court of Common Pleas who ceases or has ceased to hold office because of retirement other than under the provisions of section 51-49 and who is an elector and a resident of this state shall be a state referee for the remainder of such judge's term of office as a judge and shall be eligible for appointment as a state referee during the remainder of such judge's life in the manner prescribed by law for the appointment of a judge of the court of which such judge is a member. The Superior Court may refer any civil, nonjury case or with the written consent of the parties or their attorneys, any civil jury case pending before the court in which the issues have been closed to a judge trial referee who shall have and exercise the powers of the Superior Court in respect to trial, judgment and appeal in the case, and any proceeding resulting from a demand for a trial de novo pursuant to subsection (e) of section 52-549z may be referred without the consent of the parties to a judge trial referee who has been specifically designated to hear such proceedings pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The Superior Court may, with the consent of the parties or their attorneys, refer any criminal case to a judge trial referee who shall have and exercise the powers of the Superior Court in respect to trial, judgment, sentencing and appeal in the case, except that the Superior Court may, without the consent of the parties or their attorneys, (A) refer any criminal case, other than a criminal jury trial, to a judge trial referee assigned to a geographical area criminal court session, and (B) refer any criminal case, other than a class A or B felony or capital felony, to a judge trial referee to preside over the jury selection process and any voir dire examination conducted in such case, unless good cause is shown not to refer.

      (2) Each judge of the Circuit Court who has ceased to hold office because of retirement other than under the provisions of section 51-49 and who is an elector and a resident of this state shall be a state referee for the remainder of such judge's term of office as a judge and shall be eligible for appointment as a state referee during the remainder of such judge's life in the manner prescribed by law for the appointment of a judge of the court of which such judge is a member, to whom the Superior Court may, with the written consent of the parties or their attorneys, refer any case pending in court in which the issues have been closed and which the judges of the Superior Court may establish by rule to be the kind of case which may be heard by such referees who have been appointed judge trial referees pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The judge trial referee shall hear any such case so referred and report the facts to the court by which the case was referred.

      (3) Each judge of the Juvenile Court who ceases or has ceased to hold office because of retirement other than under the provisions of section 51-49 and who is an elector and a resident of this state shall be a state referee for the remainder of such judge's term of office as a judge and shall be eligible for appointment as a state referee during the remainder of such judge's life in the manner prescribed by law for the appointment of a judge of the court of which such judge is a member, to whom a judge before whom any juvenile matter is pending may, with the written consent of the child concerned, either of such child's parents, or such child's guardian or attorney, refer any juvenile matter pending, provided such referee has been appointed a judge trial referee specifically designated to hear juvenile cases pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The judge trial referee shall hear any matter so referred and report the facts to the court for the district from which the matter was referred.

      (4) In addition to the judge trial referees who are appointed pursuant to subdivision (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection, the Chief Justice may appoint, from qualified members of the bar of the state, who are electors and residents of this state, as many state referees as the Chief Justice may from time to time deem advisable or necessary. No appointment of a member of the bar may be for a term of more than three years. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, state referees appointed by the Chief Justice from members of the bar shall receive such reasonable compensation and expenses as may be determined by the Chief Justice. The Superior Court may appoint a state referee pursuant to this subdivision to take such evidence as it directs in any civil, nonjury case including, but not limited to, appeals under section 8-8. Any such state referee shall report on such evidence to the court with any findings of fact. The report shall constitute a part of the proceeding upon which the determination of the court shall be made.

      (b) Judge trial referees. The Chief Justice may designate, from among the state referees, judge trial referees to whom criminal and civil cases and juvenile matters may be referred. Criminal cases and civil cases of an adversary nature shall be referred only to state referees who are designated as judge trial referees, and proceedings resulting from a demand for a trial de novo pursuant to subsection (e) of section 52-549z shall be referred only to judge trial referees who are specifically designated to hear such proceedings. On or before October first of each year, the Chief Court Administrator shall publish the list of the judge trial referees specifically designated to hear such proceedings. Juvenile matters shall be referred only to judge trial referees who are specifically designated to hear juvenile cases. No designation pursuant to this subsection may be for a term of more than one year.

      (c) Hearing rooms. Each hearing by a judge trial referee shall be held in a suitable room, to be provided by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, in a courthouse in the judicial district where the case is pending unless the parties or their attorneys stipulate in writing that the hearing may be held elsewhere.

      (d) Attendance of judicial marshal. Each judge trial referee may have the attendance of a judicial marshal at any hearing before such trial referee. The judicial marshal shall receive the same compensation provided for attendance at regular sessions of the court from which the case was referred and such compensation shall be taxed by the state referee in the same manner as similar costs are taxed by the judges of the court.

      (e) Attendance of witnesses. Contempt of power. Each judge trial referee may compel the attendance of any witness summoned to appear before such trial referee at any hearing, in the same manner as the attendance of any witness may be compelled in the Superior Court, and may punish for any act of contempt committed in such trial referee's presence while engaged in the hearing in the same manner and to the same extent as judges of the Superior Court.

      (f) Compensation. Each judge trial referee shall receive, for acting as a referee or as a single auditor or committee of any court or for performing duties assigned by the Chief Court Administrator with the approval of the Chief Justice, for each day the judge trial referee is so engaged, in addition to the retirement salary: (1) (A) On and after January 1, 2006, and before January 1, 2007, the sum of two hundred fifteen dollars, and (B) on and after January 1, 2007, the sum of two hundred twenty dollars; and (2) expenses, including mileage. Such amounts shall be taxed by the court making the reference in the same manner as other court expenses.

      (g) Participation in alternative dispute resolution program approved by STA-FED ADR, Inc. A judge trial referee may participate in an alternative dispute resolution program approved by STA-FED ADR, Inc. in any year commencing July first provided such referee performed the duties of a judge trial referee or a senior judge for at least seventy-five days during the preceding year, except that (1) for the year commencing July 1, 1993, a judge trial referee may participate in said alternative dispute resolution program without having performed the duties of a judge trial referee or senior judge for seventy-five days during the preceding year, and (2) a judge trial referee may participate in said alternative dispute resolution program from the date such referee assumes such status, through the completion of the year commencing July first following such date without having satisfied the seventy-five-day requirement. Any judge trial referee who participates in said alternative dispute resolution program pursuant to subsection (f) of section 51-50c without having satisfied the seventy-five-day requirement set forth in said subsection shall not be eligible to participate in said program pursuant to this subsection without having satisfied the seventy-five-day requirement set forth in this subsection.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8177; 1955, S. 3207d; 1959, P.A. 363, S. 1; 1963, P.A. 149; 642, S. 56; 1967, P.A. 621, S. 5; 628, S. 5; 1971, P.A. 720; P.A. 73-282; P.A. 74-183, S. 107, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 496, 681; P.A. 77-576, S. 46, 65; 77-614, S. 73, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; 78-377, S. 2, 4; P.A. 79-426, S. 3; 79-608, S. 4, 10; P.A. 80-222, S. 1; P.A. 82-160, S. 167; 82-392, S. 2, 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29, S. 46, 82; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-35, S. 3, 9; P.A. 84-37, S. 1, 3; 84-436, S. 10, 12; P.A. 86-346; P.A. 87-508, S. 9, 10; P.A. 93-108, S. 4, 6; 93-313, S. 1, 4; P.A. 94-63; P.A. 95-80, S. 2, 3; 95-225, S. 30; P.A. 96-37, S. 8; P.A. 97-40, S. 5, 18; 97-178, S. 4; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-11, S. 38, 65; July 21 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 5, 8; P.A. 98-245, S. 13, 14; P.A. 99-215, S. 22; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-1, S. 40, 51; P.A. 00-99, S. 115, 154; 00-191, S. 15; P.A. 01-84, S. 5, 26; 01-195, S. 63, 64, 181; 01-203, S. 1; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 15; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3, S. 6.)

      History: 1959 act added provisions re appointment of judges ceasing to hold office after reaching age of 70 as state referees and re payment of state referees and designation of trial referees and stipulated chief justice's power to determine compensation and expense payments for state referees applies only to referees appointed from members of bar; 1963 acts provided public works commissioner rather than sheriff provide room for hearing and raised payment to referee from $25 to $35, adding expenses, including mileage; 1967 acts referred to judges retiring "other than under the provisions of section 51-49 rather than to judges reaching age of seventy", provided for referees to have powers of court in respect to trial, judgment and appeal and raised payment to referee to $50; 1971 act added provisions specifically applicable to appointment of circuit court judges as state referees, amending other provisions as necessary to reflect inclusion of circuit court judges as referees; P.A. 73-282 added provisions re appointment of juvenile court judges as state referees; P.A. 74-183 deleted reference to courthouses for "circuits", circuit courts having been abolished in reorganization of judicial system, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 amended section to remove power of common pleas and juvenile courts to refer cases to referees, reflecting transfer of all trial jurisdiction to superior court and added reference to judicial districts, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-576 raised payment to referees from $50 to $100 per day, effective July 1, 1979; P.A. 77-614 replaced public works commissioner with commissioner of administrative services as authority providing rooms for hearings; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 78-377 changed effective date of P.A. 77-576 as it affects this section from July 1, 1979 to January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-426 stated that judges meeting requirements for state referee are "eligible for appointment ..." as such where previously wording indicated that appointment was automatic; P.A. 79-608 reduced payment for state referees to $75 per day; P.A. 80-222 specified that judges who retire during term are to be referees for remainder of that term and are thereafter eligible for appointment as previously provided; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 82-392 specified that written consent of parties or attorneys must be obtained prior to referral to state referees of civil jury cases only where previously such consent was required prior to referral of any case; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29 included reference to each judge of the appellate court in Subsec. (a); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-35 amended Subsec. (f), increasing compensation of state referee from $75 to $100 per day, effective April 1, 1984; P.A. 84-37 amended Subsec. (f) to permit compensation for performing duties assigned by the chief court administrator with the approval of the chief justice; P.A. 84-436 amended Subsec. (c) to replace commissioner of administrative services with office of the chief court administrator, effective July 1, 1985; P.A. 86-346 amended Subsec. (f) to increase per diem compensation from $100 to $125; P.A. 87-508 amended Subsec. (a) to specify that referees be electors and residents of this state; P.A. 93-108 added Subsec. (g) permitting state trial referee to participate in alternative dispute resolution program approved by STA-FED ADR, Inc., effective June 3, 1993; P.A. 93-313 amended Subsec. (f) by increasing per diem for state referee from $125 to $160, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-63 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions re referral of criminal cases to state referees and amended Subsec. (b) by specifying applicability to both civil and criminal cases; P.A. 95-80 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting requirement of written consent for referral of criminal case, effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 95-225 amended Subsec. (b) to authorize juvenile matters to be referred to trial referees and require that juvenile matters be referred only to trial referees who are specifically designated to hear juvenile cases; P.A. 96-37 changed "state trial referee" to "judge trial referee"; P.A. 97-40 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing term of appointment of member of the bar from one to three years and made a technical change in Subsec. (g); P.A. 97-178 amended Subsec. (a) by eliminating requirement of written consent of parties or attorneys for referral of civil jury case; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-11 amended Subsec. (a) to restore language deleted by P.A. 97-178, effective July 1, 1997; July 21 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 amended Subsec. (f) to increase per diem compensation to $170 on and after October 1, 1997, and to $175 on and after October 1, 1998, effective July 23, 1997; P.A. 98-245 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that Superior Court may, without consent of parties, refer criminal case other than criminal jury trial to judge trial referee and any criminal case, other than class A or B felony or capital case to judge trial referee for jury selection and voir dire, unless good cause shown not to refer and throughout section, "referee" and "state referee" changed to "judge trial referee"; P.A. 99-215 amended Subsec. (g) by making a technical change, correcting reference to Sec. 51-50c(f); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-1 added Subsec. (f)(3) to increase per diem compensation from $175 to $200, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 00-99 replaced references to sheriff and deputy sheriff with judicial marshal in Subsec. (d), effective December 1, 2000; P.A. 00-191 amended Subsec. (a)(4) to add provisions re appointment of state referee to take evidence in any civil, nonjury case, including Sec. 8-8 appeals, and to report such evidence and findings of fact to the court; P.A. 01-84 amended Subsec. (f) to delete former Subdivs. (1) and (2) and made a technical change, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a)(4) and (d) for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 11, 2001; P.A. 01-203 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to add provision re Superior Court referral of proceeding resulting from demand for trial de novo to judge trial referee specifically designated to hear such proceedings without consent of parties, amended Subsec. (b) to add provisions re hearing of proceedings resulting from demand for trial de novo and re publication of list of judge trial referees specifically designated to hear such proceedings, and made technical changes in Subsecs. (a), (b), (d), (e) and (g); May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2 amended Subsec. (f) by increasing per diem compensation from $200 to $211, effective January 1, 2005; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3 amended Subsec. (f) to increase the per diem compensation from $211 to $215 on and after January 1, 2006, and before January 1, 2007, and from $215 to $220 on and after January 1, 2007, insert Subdiv. and Subpara. designators and reposition and rephrase language, effective January 1, 2006.

      See Conn. Const. Art. V, S. 6 re powers of state referees.

      Report of referee stands before court as would a report from a committee. 58 C. 374. Cited. 136 C. 82. See notes to Secs. 52-425, 52-431. Cited. 158 C. 16; Id., 291. History, nature and jurisdiction of state trial referees. Sec. 51-29, limiting time for decision, is inapplicable to state trial referees. 164 C. 360. Cited. 172 C. 362. Cited. 176 C. 391. Statute is not unconstitutional by allowing retired judges to exercise judicial power. Although party did not consent to a hearing before referee, her attorney consented and a client is bound by the acts of her attorney. 177 C. 173. Cited. 181 C. 217. The written consent of parties provided for in statute not applicable to cases referred to referee under Sec. 46b-9. Id., 225. Cited. Id., 492. Cited. 186 C. 211. Cited. 199 C. 496. Consent to referral to referee implicit with failure to object to referral in timely fashion. 203 C. 246. Cited. Id., 364. Cited. 222 C. 799. Cited. 229 C. 627, see also 36 CA 270. Cited. 238 C. 839. Cited. 241 C. 423.

      Cited. 2 CA 351. Cited. 7 CA 136. Cited. 15 CA 150. Cited. 20 CA 148. Cited. 31 CA 723. Cited. 43 CA 397. At the time of jury selection, the senior judge had retired from full-time service but had not attained the age of seventy. He continued to have the power to preside over jury selection as well as every other power of a Superior Court judge. He did not need to obtain consent of the parties. 108 CA 156.

      Superior court has no power to refer any matter to a state referee unless all parties consent. 16 CS 460. Cited. 30 CS 354. Cited. 31 CS 392. Cited. 33 CS 560.

      Subsec. (a):

      Subdiv. (4): Not in conflict with sections 2 and 6 of article V of the Connecticut Constitution; not in violation of due process. 199 C. 496. Subdiv. (4): Statute not void for vagueness under due process. Id., 518. Cited. 200 C. 38. Subdiv. (4) cited. 210 C. 705. Cited. 241 C. 423.

      Subdiv. (4) cited. 5 CA 104; 9 CA 87; 11 CA 1; 12 CA 190. Subdiv. (4): Limitation under Sec. 52-549n is not applicable to references made pursuant to this section. Id., 348. Subdiv. (4) cited. Id., 527; 15 CA 696; Id., 817; 17 CA 294. Subdiv. (1) cited. 20 CA 425. Subdiv. (4) cited. Id. Cited. 21 CA 359; 25 CA 308; 31 CA 728; judgment reversed in part, see 229 C. 817; 32 CA 133; 34 CA 584; 35 CA 353; 38 CA 491; 41 CA 594.

      Subsec. (g):

      Cited. 226 C. 475. P.A. 93-108 cited. Id.


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      Sec. 52-434a. Powers of referees. (a) In addition to the powers and jurisdiction granted to state referees under the provisions of section 52-434, a Chief Justice or judge of the Supreme Court, a judge of the Appellate Court, a judge of the Superior Court or a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, who has ceased to hold office as justice or judge because of having retired and who has become a state referee and has been designated as a trial referee by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall have and may exercise, with respect to any civil matter referred by the Chief Court Administrator, the same powers and jurisdiction as does a judge of the court from which the proceedings were referred.

      (b) In condemnation proceedings in which the assessment fixed by the condemning authority exceeds the sum of two hundred thousand dollars the court may, at the request of either party, or on its own motion, refer the proceedings to the Chief Court Administrator for referral to a committee of three such referees who, sitting together, shall hear and decide the matter. In such matters in which the fees payable to a referee are to be paid by the state, each such referee shall be reimbursed as provided in section 52-434.

      (c) The power conferred by this section may be exercised by any such state referee, whether acting in his capacity as a state referee, or as an auditor, or as a committee of one, or by any committee composed of not more than three such state referees, with respect to any civil matter referred to him or to it, the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary notwithstanding.

      (1967, P.A. 772; P.A. 74-309, S. 9, 17; P.A. 76-436, S. 10a, 408, 681; P.A. 82-160, S. 168; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29, S. 58, 82.)

      History: P.A. 74-309 amended Subsec. (a) to specify applicability to matters referred by chief court administrator rather than by superior court or court of common pleas and amended Subsec. (b) to make chief court administrator rather than court responsible for referral to committee of referees; P.A. 76-436 made no change, provisions of Sec. 10a cancelling amendment called for by Sec. 408 of the act; P.A. 82-160 made minor technical changes; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-29 included reference to judge of the appellate court in Subsec. (a).

      Cited. 158 C. 16; Id., 291. Cited. 162 C. 79. Cited. 163 C. 15; Id., 259. Cited. 164 C. 360. Cited. 172 C. 341; Id., 362. Cited. 173 C. 161. Cited. 176 C. 391. Cited. 182 C. 193. Cited. 203 C. 364. Cited. 221 C. 736. Procedural provisions of statutes that are inconsistent with this section are superseded by it insofar as such statutes limit authority of judge trial referee to render judgment on his or his own findings. 263 C. 155.

      Cited. 7 CA 136. Cited. 31 CA 723. Cited. 35 CA 9. Cited. 43 CA 397.

      Cited. 30 CS 354.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 20 CA 148. Cited. 21 CA 359.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 172 C. 234. Judgment of a majority of a committee composed of three state referees is not invalid for lack of unanimity. 176 C. 391. Cited. 181 C. 217. Cited. 192 C. 377.

      Cited. 21 CA 359.

      Subsec. (c):

      In enacting subsec., legislature made clear its intention to vest judge trial referees with all powers of Superior Court judges in civil matters referred to them. 263 C. 155.

      Cited. 21 CA 359.


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      Sec. 52-434b. Referrals to senior judges; their powers and compensation. (a) In each case, matter or proceeding which may be referred to a state referee or a committee of three state referees, or to a committee of one, or to a committee of three, or to an auditor, the Chief Court Administrator may refer the same to any senior judge or to a committee of three consisting of one or more constitutional state referees and one or more such senior judges, who shall have the powers of the referring court, the provisions of any general statute or special act to the contrary notwithstanding.

      (b) In each case, matter or proceeding where a state referee may by law perform any action or any services of any kind without a specific reference to him, any senior judge shall have and exercise the power and authority of such a state referee prescribed by law.

      (c) Each such senior judge shall receive for his services in respect to any matter referred to him or handled by him under the provisions of this section or for performing duties assigned by the Chief Court Administrator, in addition to his retirement salary the compensation provided by law for a state referee.

      (P.A. 74-309, S. 7, 17; P.A. 76-436, S. 10a, 497, 681; P.A. 84-37, S. 2, 3.)

      History: P.A. 76-436 made no change, Sec. 10a cancelling amendment called for by Sec. 497 of the act; P.A. 84-37 amended Subsec. (c) to permit compensation for performing duties assigned by the chief court administrator.

      Cited. 31 CA 723.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 21 CA 359.


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      Sec. 52-434c. Certain referees assigned to Appellate Court. Eligibility. Powers and jurisdiction. In addition to the powers and jurisdiction granted to state referees under sections 52-434 and 52-434a, a Chief Justice or a judge of the Supreme Court or Appellate Court, who has ceased to hold office as justice or judge because of having retired and who has become a state referee, may be designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to be eligible to be assigned by the Chief Judge of the Appellate Court to perform such duties of the office of judge of the Appellate Court as may be requested by the Chief Judge. The Chief Judge may assign no more than one state referee to sit on any one panel. No such designation may be for a term of more than one year. In performing the duties assigned, such retired Chief Justice or retired judge of the Supreme Court or Appellate Court shall exercise the same powers and jurisdiction as does a judge of the Superior Court who is qualified to serve as a judge on the Appellate Court.

      (P.A. 95-80, S. 1, 3; P.A. 97-178, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 95-80 effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 97-178 eliminated requirement for prior written consent of parties or attorneys before referral of appeal to panel with state referee.

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      Sec. 52-434d. Special education administrative contested cases pilot program. (a) The Chief Court Administrator may establish a pilot program for the resolution of special education administrative contested cases. If the Chief Court Administrator establishes a pilot program, the Department of Education may refer up to twenty special education administrative contested cases which shall not be jury trials and shall be heard by judge trial referees or senior judges. The entry fee established by section 52-259 shall not apply to such cases. Any case certified by the Department of Education as being part of the pilot program shall be heard as a de novo case in the Superior Court and shall be appealable directly to the Appellate Court.

      (b) The Department of Education shall provide necessary funding for the pilot program to the Judicial Branch.

      (P.A. 00-204, S. 6, 13; P.A. 01-173, S. 47, 67.)

      History: P.A. 00-204 effective June 1, 2000; P.A. 01-173 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 2001.

      See Sec. 10-76h re special education hearing and review procedure, generally.

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