CHAPTER 922a
HEARING OF SMALL CLAIMS

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-549a. Application for hearing before a commissioner of the Superior Court.
Sec. 52-549b. Where hearing may be held.
Sec. 52-549c. Hearing before commissioner. Procedure. Counsel. Withdrawal. Award and judgment.
Sec. 52-549d. List of names of commissioners to conduct hearings. Compensation.
Secs. 52-549e to 52-549m.

      Sec. 52-549a. Application for hearing before a commissioner of the Superior Court. (a) In any small claims action, the parties may, by agreement, submit such matter to a commissioner of the Superior Court chosen on a rotating basis by the clerk of the court to which such small claim is returned, from a list of such commissioners approved by the Chief Court Administrator, in accordance with section 52-549d, and submitted to the parties by the clerk in the small claims area in which such matter is filed. If the parties fail to agree on the first commissioner so chosen, the clerk shall choose another upon whom the parties may agree on such rotating basis.

      (b) If the parties consent to a hearing before a commissioner of the Superior Court, they shall sign a statement, to be filed with the clerk of the superior court in which such action is filed, containing the following: (1) Consent to hearing before such commissioner, which shall contain the name of the commissioner; (2) a brief recital of the nature of the controversy to be determined; and (3) an agreement of the parties to abide by the decision of such commissioner.

      (P.A. 76-298, S. 2, 6; P.A. 77-452, S. 30, 68, 72; P.A. 00-191, S. 6.)

      History: P.A. 77-452 made chief court administrator rather than chief judge of court of common pleas responsible for approving list of superior court commissioners in Subsec. (a) and required that statement be filed by clerk of superior court rather than clerk of common pleas court in Subsec. (b), reflecting reorganization of judicial system, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 00-191 amended Subsec. (a) by changing "geographical area" to "small claims area".

      See Sec. 51-15 re procedure and jurisdictional limit for small claims matters.

      See Sec. 52-259 re court fees for entry and transfer of small claims cases.


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      Sec. 52-549b. Where hearing may be held. Upon the filing of the statement provided for in section 52-549a, the clerk of the court shall notify the commissioner so appointed, who shall forthwith proceed to hear such controversy. Such hearing shall be heard in a courtroom unless no courtroom is available, in which case it may be heard in a law office of the commissioner or at any other place upon which the commissioner and the parties may agree.

      (P.A. 76-298, S. 3, 6.)

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      Sec. 52-549c. Hearing before commissioner. Procedure. Counsel. Withdrawal. Award and judgment. (a) A commissioner of the Superior Court appointed to hear a small claim shall not be bound by the rules regarding the admissibility of evidence, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. Either party may be represented by counsel but no record of the proceeding before the commissioner shall be required to be kept. No expense may be incurred by the commissioner except upon the consent in writing of the parties.

      (b) After the commencement of the hearing neither party may withdraw from the hearing unless both parties consent to the withdrawal, or the commissioner directs a discontinuance of the proceeding.

      (c) The commissioner shall make his award in writing and file the award promptly, together with his opinion, if any, with the clerk of the superior court in which the action is filed within fifteen days of the conclusion of the hearing. Unless both parties file a request in writing not to enter judgment, the clerk shall, within two days after the filing of the award and opinion, if any, enter judgment in accordance with the award and mail notice of judgment and a copy of the opinion, if any, to the parties.

      (P.A. 76-298, S. 4, 6; P.A. 77-452, S. 69, 72; 77-604, S. 34, 84; P.A. 82-160, S. 216.)

      History: P.A. 77-452 required filing of award with clerk of superior court rather than clerk of common pleas court in subsec. (c), reflecting reorganization of judicial system, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-604 made technical grammatical correction in Subsec. (c); P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section.

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      Sec. 52-549d. List of names of commissioners to conduct hearings. Compensation. (a) Any commissioner of the Superior Court, admitted to practice in this state for at least two years, who is able and willing to hear small claims, may submit his or her name to the clerk of the superior court for any small claims area in which the commissioner may have a law office or in which such commissioner is convenient and available to the litigants and counsel of the small claims area. The name shall be submitted to the Chief Court Administrator for approval to be placed on a list of available commissioners in any small claims area for hearing of small claims. The approved name shall thereupon be returned to the clerk who shall maintain a list of all approved names.

      (b) Except as provided in section 52-549c, no commissioner may receive compensation or reimbursement for any expense incurred or for any services performed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and section 51-15.

      (P.A. 76-298, S. 5, 6; P.A. 77-452, S. 31, 72; P.A. 82-160, S. 217; P.A. 00-191, S. 7, 16; P.A. 01-195, S. 65, 181.)

      History: P.A. 77-452 required submission of name to superior court clerk and to chief court administrator rather than to common pleas court clerk and chief judge of common pleas court, reflecting reorganization of judicial system, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 82-160 deleted the "On or after June 4, 1976" at the beginning of the section, rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 00-191 amended Subsec. (a) by changing "geographical area" to "small claims area", effective September 1, 2000; P.A. 01-195 made technical changes in Subsec. (a) for purposes of gender neutrality, effective July 11, 2001.

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      Secs. 52-549e to 52-549m. Reserved for future use.

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