CHAPTER 801

PROBATE COURT: ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Table of Contents

Sec. 45a-1. (Formerly Sec. 45-2a). “District” defined.

Sec. 45a-2. (Formerly Sec. 45-1). Probate districts.

Sec. 45a-2a. Probate district names. Designation. Publication.

Secs. 45a-3 to 45a-6. (Formerly Secs. 45-1d to 45-1g). Probate district of Griswold established. Probate district of West Hartford established. Probate district of Woodbridge established. Probate district of Bloomfield established.

Secs. 45a-6a to 45a-6k. Probate district of Eastford established. Probate district of Stafford established. Probate district of Mansfield established. Probate district of New Hartford established. Probate district of Woodbury established. Probate district of New Fairfield established. Probate district of Plainfield established. Probate district of Colchester established. Probate district of the Northwest Corner established. Probate district of Suffield-East Granby established. Probate district of Litchfield established.

Sec. 45a-7. (Formerly Sec. 45-3). Where court held.

Sec. 45a-7a. Probate court to remit income. Income credited to Probate Court Administration Fund.

Sec. 45a-8. (Formerly Sec. 45-12). Probate Court facilities. Allocation of expenses to towns. Minimum standards. Failure to provide suitable facilities. Consolidation, separation and creation of probate districts.

Sec. 45a-8a. Regional children’s probate courts.

Sec. 45a-8b. Extended family guardianship and assisted care pilot program. Regulations.

Sec. 45a-8c. Truancy clinic. Administration. Policies and procedures. Report.

Sec. 45a-8d. Assignment of certain functions of regional children’s probate court to probate court officer.

Sec. 45a-9. (Formerly Sec. 45-13). Indexes.

Sec. 45a-9a. Access to data processing system or information stored in data processing system. Fee schedule.

Sec. 45a-10. (Formerly Sec. 45-14). Fire-resistant safe or vault. Office space to be provided for records. Duties of Public Records Administrator and State Librarian re compliance.

Sec. 45a-11. (Formerly Sec. 45-15). Certification of records and files.

Sec. 45a-12. (Formerly Sec. 45-16). Copies of probate records required by Veterans’ Administration to be furnished.

Secs. 45a-13 to 45a-17. Reserved

Sec. 45a-18. (Formerly Sec. 45-5). Election of judges. Term of office. Clerks. Judges first elected or with break in service on or after January 5, 2011, to be members of state bar.

Sec. 45a-19. (Formerly Sec. 45-6). Electoral status of judges.

Sec. 45a-20. (Formerly Sec. 45-4k). Payment of three-judge court.

Sec. 45a-21. (Formerly Sec. 45-4c). Court employees to serve at pleasure of judge.

Sec. 45a-22. (Formerly Sec. 45-8). Disqualification of judge and of corporation of which he is director or officer.

Sec. 45a-23. (Formerly Sec. 45-8a). Use of office or confidential information for financial gain prohibited.

Sec. 45a-24. (Formerly Sec. 45-9). Validity of orders, judgments and decrees.

Sec. 45a-25. (Formerly Sec. 45-11b). Probate judge not to appear as attorney in contested matter in probate court.

Sec. 45a-26. (Formerly Sec. 45-11c). Partner or associate of probate judge not to practice law in judge’s court.

Sec. 45a-27. Training program required for judges. Curriculum established by Probate Court Administrator.

Sec. 45a-27a. Failure to complete training within required time. Request for extension. Referral to Council on Probate Judicial Conduct for failure to maintain professional competence.

Secs. 45a-28 to 45a-33. Reserved

Sec. 45a-34. (Formerly Sec. 45-29a). Definitions.

Sec. 45a-35. (Formerly Sec. 45-29b). Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund.

Sec. 45a-36. (Formerly Sec. 45-29c). Retirement qualifications.

Sec. 45a-36a. Retirement credit for judge in office on or after October 1, 1997, whose probate district is merged on or before January 5, 2011, and who is not reelected.

Sec. 45a-37. (Formerly Sec. 45-29d). Retirement date.

Sec. 45a-38. (Formerly Sec. 45-29e). Retirement of employee after ten years of service.

Sec. 45a-39. (Formerly Sec. 45-29f). Retirement of judge after ten years of service.

Sec. 45a-40. (Formerly Sec. 45-29g). Disability retirement.

Sec. 45a-41. (Formerly Sec. 45-29h). Retirement allowance. Annual adjustments in retirement allowances.

Sec. 45a-42. (Formerly Sec. 45-29i). Reemployment after retirement.

Sec. 45a-43. (Formerly Sec. 45-29j). Husband and wife retirement income option.

Sec. 45a-44. (Formerly Sec. 45-29k). Retirement contributions of employees.

Sec. 45a-45. (Formerly Sec. 45-29l). Retirement contributions of judges.

Sec. 45a-46. (Formerly Sec. 45-29m). Refund of contributions after death.

Sec. 45a-47. (Formerly Sec. 45-29n). Employment by more than one probate court.

Sec. 45a-48. (Formerly Sec. 45-29o). Benefits not assignable.

Sec. 45a-49. (Formerly Sec. 45-29p). Disposition of retirement contributions.

Sec. 45a-50. (Formerly Sec. 45-29q). Administration of retirement allowances.

Sec. 45a-51. (Formerly Sec. 45-29r). Liability of courts.

Sec. 45a-52. (Formerly Sec. 45-29s). Liability of retirement fund in event of statutory change.

Sec. 45a-53. (Formerly Sec. 45-29t). Service as judge and employee.

Sec. 45a-54. (Formerly Sec. 45-29w). Credit for military service and General Assembly service.

Sec. 45a-55. (Formerly Sec. 45-29x). Pension claims. Denial. Review.

Sec. 45a-56. (Formerly Sec. 45-29y). Hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance and dental insurance plan. Eligibility. Payment of premium. Election to participate in dental insurance plan.

Sec. 45a-57. Hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance plan. Eligibility. Payment of premium.

Secs. 45a-58 to 45a-61. Reserved

Sec. 45a-62. (Formerly Sec. 45-11d). Council on Probate Judicial Conduct.

Sec. 45a-63. (Formerly Sec. 45-11e). Duties and powers of council re complaints against probate judges.

Sec. 45a-63a. Limitation of complaint for judicial misconduct.

Sec. 45a-64. (Formerly Sec. 45-11f). Hearing.

Sec. 45a-65. (Formerly Sec. 45-11g). Report of council’s findings. Public admonishment; private admonishment; public censure; impeachment; exoneration.

Sec. 45a-66. (Formerly Sec. 45-11h). Witnesses before council.

Sec. 45a-67. (Formerly Sec. 45-11i). Expenses of council paid from probate fund.

Sec. 45a-68. (Formerly Sec. 45-11j). Judge to file statement of financial interests.

Secs. 45a-69 to 45a-73. Reserved

Sec. 45a-74. (Formerly Sec. 45-3a). Probate Court Administrator. Appointment and term. Service as a judge of probate.

Sec. 45a-75. (Formerly Sec. 45-29u). Probate Court Administrator, salary and benefits.

Sec. 45a-76. (Formerly Sec. 45-4e). Biennial report by Probate Court Administrator.

Sec. 45a-77. (Formerly Sec. 45-4d). Powers and duties of Probate Court Administrator. Regulations. Review of probate court procedures. Examination of probate court records and files.

Sec. 45a-78. (Formerly Sec. 45-4f). Rules for probate practice and procedure. Practice book.

Sec. 45a-79. (Formerly Sec. 45-4g). Probate judges and court employees to cooperate with administrator.

Sec. 45a-79a. Probate Court Administrator’s powers re deficiencies in court conduct or facilities. Hearings. Regulations. Appeals.

Sec. 45a-79b. Special assignment probate judges.

Sec. 45a-79c. Court of probate business hours.

Sec. 45a-80. (Formerly Sec. 45-4a). Office space.

Sec. 45a-81. (Formerly Sec. 45-4b). Assistants and clerical help for Probate Court Administrator.

Sec. 45a-82. (Formerly Sec. 45-4h). Probate Court Administration Fund. Transfers to retirement fund, General Fund and probate courts. Notice re sound actuarial basis of retirement fund. Annual accounting.

Sec. 45a-83. (Formerly Sec. 45-4i). Payment of expenses. Transfers from General Fund.

Sec. 45a-84. Probate Court Administrator to prepare proposed budget annually. Review by Probate Assembly. Proposed final budget transmitted to Chief Court Administrator for approval. Requests and authorization re additional expenditures. Report re emergency expenditures.

Sec. 45a-85. Probate Court Budget Committee. Duties. Reports.

Secs. 45a-86 to 45a-89. Reserved

Sec. 45a-90. (Formerly Sec. 45-24). Connecticut Probate Assembly. Meetings. Powers and duties.

Sec. 45a-91. (Formerly Sec. 45-25). Officers and committees.

Sec. 45a-92. (Formerly Sec. 45-26). Payments to State Treasurer.

Sec. 45a-93. (Formerly Sec. 45-25a). Payments to probate judges who leave office or die while in office. Exceptions.

Sec. 45a-94. (Formerly Sec. 45-25b). Temporary funding of probate court. Conditions. Term of loan. Interest.

Sec. 45a-95. Compensation of probate judges on and after January 5, 2011: Definitions.

Sec. 45a-95a. Compensation of probate judges on and after January 5, 2011.

Secs. 45a-96 and 45a-97. Reserved


PART I

PROBATE COURTS IN GENERAL

Sec. 45a-1. (Formerly Sec. 45-2a). “District” defined. As used in sections 45a-1 to 45a-12, inclusive, 45a-18 to 45a-26, inclusive, 45a-34 to 45a-56, inclusive, 45a-62 to 45a-68, inclusive, 45a-74 to 45a-83, inclusive, 45a-90 to 45a-93, inclusive, 45a-98, 45a-99, 45a-105, 45a-119 to 45a-123, inclusive, 45a-128, 45a-130, 45a-131, 45a-133, 45a-199 and 45a-202, “district” means probate district.

(P.A. 80-476, S. 1; P.A. 10-32, S. 129; 10-34, S. 11.)

History: Sec. 45-2a transferred to Sec. 45a-1 in 1991; P.A. 10-32 and P.A. 10-34 both replaced reference to Sec. 45a-94 with reference to Sec. 45a-93, effective January 5, 2011.

Sec. 45a-2. (Formerly Sec. 45-1). Probate districts. There shall be fifty-four probate districts in this state, for all purposes for which they are constituted, that shall comprise the towns that are set forth as follows:

(1) The town of Hartford.

(2) The town of West Hartford.

(3) The towns of Bloomfield, East Granby, Suffield and Windsor Locks.

(4) The towns of East Windsor, South Windsor and Windsor.

(5) The town of East Hartford.

(6) The towns of Glastonbury and Hebron.

(7) The towns of Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield.

(8) The towns of Berlin and New Britain.

(9) The towns of Avon, Canton, Granby and Simsbury.

(10) The towns of Burlington and Farmington.

(11) The towns of Enfield, Somers, Stafford and Union.

(12) The towns of Ellington and Vernon.

(13) The towns of Andover, Bolton, Columbia and Manchester.

(14) The towns of East Haddam, East Hampton, Marlborough and Portland.

(15) The towns of Cromwell, Durham, Middlefield and Middletown.

(16) The town of Meriden.

(17) The town of Wallingford.

(18) The towns of Cheshire and Southington.

(19) The towns of Bristol, Plainville and Plymouth.

(20) The towns of Waterbury and Wolcott.

(21) The towns of Beacon Falls, Middlebury, Naugatuck and Prospect.

(22) The towns of Bethlehem, Oxford, Roxbury, Southbury, Washington, Watertown and Woodbury.

(23) The towns of Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Goshen, Hartland, New Hartford, Torrington and Winchester.

(24) The towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Thomaston and Warren.

(25) The towns of Coventry, Mansfield, Tolland and Willington.

(26) The towns of Ashford, Brooklyn, Eastford, Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson and Woodstock.

(27) The towns of Canterbury, Killingly, Plainfield and Sterling.

(28) The towns of Chaplin, Colchester, Hampton, Lebanon, Scotland and Windham.

(29) The towns of Bozrah, Franklin, Griswold, Lisbon, Norwich, Preston, Sprague and Voluntown.

(30) The towns of Groton, Ledyard, North Stonington and Stonington.

(31) The towns of New London and Waterford.

(32) The towns of East Lyme, Montville, Old Lyme and Salem.

(33) The towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

(34) The towns of Guilford and Madison.

(35) The towns of Branford and North Branford.

(36) The towns of East Haven and North Haven.

(37) The towns of Bethany and Hamden.

(38) The town of New Haven.

(39) The town of West Haven.

(40) The towns of Milford and Orange.

(41) The towns of Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Woodbridge.

(42) The town of Shelton.

(43) The town of Danbury.

(44) The towns of Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman.

(45) The towns of Bethel, Newtown, Ridgefield and Redding.

(46) The towns of Easton, Monroe and Trumbull.

(47) The town of Stratford.

(48) The town of Bridgeport.

(49) The town of Fairfield.

(50) The towns of Weston and Westport.

(51) The towns of Norwalk and Wilton.

(52) The towns of Darien and New Canaan.

(53) The town of Stamford.

(54) The town of Greenwich.

(1949 Rev., S. 6810; 1953, S. 2892d; 1957, P.A. 8; 1959, P.A. 336, S. 1, 2; February, 1965, P.A. 483, S. 1, 2; P.A. 75-567, S. 24, 80; P.A. 78-247, S. 2, 3; P.A. 80-476, S. 3; P.A. 82-4, S. 1, 3; P.A. 85-186, S. 1; P.A. 87-581, S. 1, 3; P.A. 96-60, S. 1, 3; P.A. 98-1, S. 1, 4; P.A. 02-2, S. 1; 02-5, S. 1; P.A. 04-19, S. 1; P.A. 06-2, S. 1; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1, S. 1; P.A. 10-121, S. 1.)

History: 1959 act created probate district of Windsor Locks, amending probate district of Hartford accordingly; 1965 act created probate district of Southbury, amending probate district of Woodbury accordingly; P.A. 75-567 created probate districts of Glastonbury and Newington, amending probate district of Hartford accordingly, created probate district of Orange, amending probate district of New Haven accordingly, and created district of New Fairfield; P.A. 78-247 created probate district of Griswold, amending probate district of Norwich accordingly; P.A. 80-476 added Subsec. indicators; P.A. 82-4 amended Subsec. (a) to establish the probate district of West Hartford, consisting of West Hartford and Bloomfield (previously in probate district of Hartford); P.A. 85-186 created probate district of Woodbridge, amending probate district of New Haven accordingly; P.A. 87-581 added the probate district of Bloomfield, consisting of the town of Bloomfield and eliminated the town of Bloomfield from the probate district of West Hartford, effective January 9, 1991; Sec. 45-1 transferred to Sec. 45a-2 in 1991; P.A. 96-60 amended Subsec. (e) by eliminating the probate district of Chaplin and including the town of Chaplin in the probate district of Eastford, effective January 6, 1999; P.A. 98-1 amended Subsec. (h) merging the probate district of Coventry into the probate district of Mansfield and merging the probate district of Somers into the probate district of Stafford, effective January 6, 1999; P.A. 02-2 amended Subsecs. (a) and (f) and added Subsec. (i) merging the probate districts of Barkhamsted and Hartland into the probate district of New Hartford, effective January 8, 2003; P.A. 02-5 amended Subsec. (c) merging the probate district of Lebanon into the probate district of Colchester, amended Subsec. (d) merging the probate district of Sherman into the probate district of New Fairfield, amended Subsec. (e) merging the probate districts of Canterbury and Sterling into the probate district of Plainfield and amended Subsec. (f) merging the probate district of Watertown into the probate district of Woodbury, effective January 8, 2003; P.A. 04-19 amended Subsec. (f) by merging the probate districts of Canaan, Cornwall, Salisbury and Sharon into the probate district of the Northwest Corner, effective January 3, 2007; P.A. 06-2 amended Subsec. (a) by merging the probate districts of Suffield and East Granby into the probate district of Suffield-East Granby and amended Subsec. (f) by merging the probate district of Kent into the probate district of Litchfield and merging the probate district of Norfolk into the probate district of the Northwest Corner, effective January 3, 2007; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1 replaced former provisions with provisions re 54 probate districts, effective January 5, 2011; P.A. 10-121 moved provision re town of Union from Subdiv. (26) to Subdiv. (11), effective January 5, 2011.

Sec. 45a-2a. Probate district names. Designation. Publication. Not later than March 31, 2010, the Probate Court Administrator shall designate a name for each probate district established in section 45a-2. Prior to designating such names, the Probate Court Administrator may consult with affected probate judges and chief elected officials, and with members of the General Assembly with respect to the districts they represent. Not later than December 31, 2010, the Probate Court Administrator shall publish the district names in the Probate Court’s Directory of Judges and Districts. On and after the date that such district names are published, the probate districts shall be referred to by such names.

(Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1, S. 2.)

History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1 effective September 25, 2009.

Secs. 45a-3 to 45a-6. (Formerly Secs. 45-1d to 45-1g). Probate district of Griswold established. Probate district of West Hartford established. Probate district of Woodbridge established. Probate district of Bloomfield established. Sections 45a-3 to 45a-6, inclusive, are repealed, effective January 5, 2011.

(P.A. 78-247, S. 1, 3; P.A. 82-4, S. 2, 3; P.A. 85-186, S. 2; P.A. 87-581, S. 2; P.A. 03-19, S. 90–93; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1, S. 4.)

Secs. 45a-6a to 45a-6k. Probate district of Eastford established. Probate district of Stafford established. Probate district of Mansfield established. Probate district of New Hartford established. Probate district of Woodbury established. Probate district of New Fairfield established. Probate district of Plainfield established. Probate district of Colchester established. Probate district of the Northwest Corner established. Probate district of Suffield-East Granby established. Probate district of Litchfield established. Sections 45a-6a to 45a-6k, inclusive, are repealed, effective January 5, 2011.

(P.A. 96-60, S. 2; P.A. 98-1, S. 2–4; P.A. 02-2, S. 2; 02-5, S. 2–5; P.A. 03-19, S. 94–97; P.A. 04-19, S. 2; P.A. 06-2, S. 2–4; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1, S. 4.)

Sec. 45a-7. (Formerly Sec. 45-3). Where court held. A court of probate may be held in any town in the district or in any other location within the state if necessary to facilitate attendance by a party.

(1949 Rev., S. 6812; P.A. 10-34, S. 2.)

History: Sec. 45-3 transferred to Sec. 45a-7 in 1991; P.A. 10-34 provided that court may be held in any other location in state if necessary to facilitate attendance by a party.

Sec. 45a-7a. Probate court to remit income. Income credited to Probate Court Administration Fund. Each court of probate shall remit all fees, costs and other income received, including, but not limited to, moneys received under sections 45a-105 to 45a-112, inclusive, to the State Treasurer to be credited to the Probate Court Administration Fund under section 45a-82. Expenses paid by a town pursuant to section 45a-8 shall not be remitted to the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(P.A. 09-114, S. 10.)

History: P.A. 09-114 effective January 1, 2011.

Sec. 45a-8. (Formerly Sec. 45-12). Probate Court facilities. Allocation of expenses to towns. Minimum standards. Failure to provide suitable facilities. Consolidation, separation and creation of probate districts. (a) The town or towns comprising each probate district shall provide court facilities meeting the minimum standards required by this section. If a probate district consists of more than one town, the expense shall be allocated to the towns in such proportion as the towns may determine by agreement or, in the absence of such agreement, in proportion to their grand lists last perfected. Such court facilities shall include: (1) Office space appropriate for the conduct of judicial business, including (A) a room for the judge of probate sufficient in size for ordinary matters in which judicial proceedings may be conducted in private, (B) a separate room for the court staff, and (C) on a prearranged basis, access to a larger hearing room for the conduct of unusually large court hearings; (2) furniture and furnishings appropriate to a court facility; (3) use and maintenance of a copying machine and the necessary supplies; (4) use and maintenance of court record systems and equipment, including such record books and electronic, digital, microfilming or similar systems required to maintain, provide access to and produce court records, and the necessary supplies for such systems, equipment and records; (5) the necessary stationery, postage and other related supplies in order that the court may properly carry out its duties; (6) typing equipment with which to complete the necessary records; (7) basic telephone service, which shall include all local calls; (8) if a court is computerized, a dedicated telephone line and maintenance of the computer equipment; and (9) adequate liability, fire, loss, theft and replacement insurance on the furniture, furnishings, equipment, court facilities and the records of the court.

(b) If a town or towns comprising a probate district and the responsible municipal official or officials within such probate district fail to provide the court facilities required by subsection (a) of this section, the Probate Court Administrator shall offer in writing to meet with the judge of probate of the district and the responsible official or officials to discuss such court facilities. After discussion and consideration of the circumstances of the court operations, the Probate Court Administrator may waive or modify the application of a particular requirement of subsection (a) of this section for court facilities.

(c) If suitable court facilities are not provided in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) of this section: (1) The Probate Court Administrator shall provide written notice, by first class mail, to the judge of probate of the district and the chief executive officer of the town in which the court is located, on or before October first of any year in which suitable court facilities are not so provided. Such notice shall specify the requirements of subsection (a) or (b) of this section that are not met and shall direct the submission of a plan as required by this subdivision. Not later than January first of the year following the year in which such notice is provided, such chief executive officer, or his or her representative, shall file with the Probate Court Administrator a plan and time frame for meeting such requirements and providing suitable court facilities; (2) not later than February first of the year following the year in which notice is provided under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Probate Court Administrator shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary concerning the failure of the probate district to provide the required court facilities; or (3) if, in the opinion of the Probate Court Administrator, judicial action is necessary to enforce the provision of suitable court facilities, the Probate Court Administrator shall bring an action in the Superior Court to enforce the requirements for the provision of suitable court facilities.

(d) Any town located in a probate district that desires to (1) consolidate such probate district with one or more districts, (2) be removed from such probate district to a separate district established for any such town, or (3) be located in another probate district, may, by resolution of its legislative body, petition the General Assembly for such consolidation, separation and creation of a new probate district or relocation. The Probate Court Administrator shall provide such assistance in the preparation of the petition as the officials of the town or towns may request. At the time of submission of a petition to the General Assembly, a copy of the petition shall be sent to the judges of probate in the probate districts to be affected. No probate district may be consolidated with another district until the expiration of the term of office of any probate judge in an affected probate district.

(e) Each judge of probate shall provide suitable records and supplies, in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, for the court in the judge’s district. The judge of probate shall cause a complete record to be made of all orders passed by such court and of all wills, inventories, distributions, accounts, bonds and returns made to or lodged with such court. The expense of records, microfilming or the equipment to produce records, and of supplies which the judge deems necessary, shall be paid, upon the order of the judge, by the town or towns composing the district in such proportion as the towns may determine by agreement or, in the absence of such agreement, in proportion to their grand lists last perfected.

(f) When the Probate Court Administrator, by regulation, requires that the courts of probate use specified forms, education materials, supplies or equipment not otherwise required by this section, they shall be furnished by the Probate Court Administrator and the expense paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund established under section 45a-82.

(1949 Rev., S. 6820; 1969, P.A. 519, S. 1; P.A. 80-476, S. 4; P.A. 93-279, S. 1; P.A. 03-278, S. 96; P.A. 04-257, S. 66; P.A. 07-184, S. 10; P.A. 10-32, S. 130; 10-34, S. 3.)

History: 1969 act added provision re required use of certain record books, forms, etc., stating that such record books, etc. shall be supplied by probate court administrator and paid for from fund established under Sec. 45-4h; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and reworded provisions; Sec. 45-12 transferred to Sec. 45a-8 in 1991; P.A. 93-279 revised section by adding provisions re minimum standards for probate court facilities, failure to provide required court facilities and consolidation, separation and creation of probate districts as Subsecs. (a) to (d), inclusive, relettering prior Subsecs. as (e) and (f) and making technical changes; P.A. 03-278 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subsecs. (c) and (d), effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 07-184 amended Subsec. (a)(4) to replace “microfilming equipment and the necessary supplies, including record books or the equipment to produce records” with provision re court record systems and equipment required to maintain, provide access to and produce court records, and necessary supplies, added new Subsec. (c)(1) to require Probate Court Administrator to provide written notice to judge of probate of the district and chief executive officer of the town where court is located, on or before October first, if requirements of Subsec. (a) or (b) are not met, and require plan and time frame for meeting requirements to be filed, redesignated existing Subsec. (c)(1) and (2) as Subsec. (c)(2) and (3), amended Subsec. (c)(2) to require report not later than February first of year following the year in which notice was provided under Subdiv. (1), and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 10-32 made a technical change in Subsec. (c)(2), effective May 10, 2010; P.A. 10-34 amended Subsecs. (a) and (e) to allow towns to allocate expenses by agreement, or in absence of agreement, in proportion to grand lists last perfected, and amended Subsec. (c) to make a technical change and delete provisions re recommendation and opinion re abolition of probate district.

See Sec. 1-16 re photographic reproduction of documents.

See Sec. 1-18 re disposition of original documents.

See Sec. 7-24 re record and index of instruments kept by town clerk.

See Sec. 45a-754 re maintenance of papers concerning guardianship, parent-child relationships and adoptions in locked files and re disclosure of such records for health or medical reasons.

Annotations to former section 45-12:

Record imports verity. 64 C. 491. Effect of record of probating of will. 67 C. 90. Court permitted and even compelled to correct record to make it truthful. 72 C. 616; 81 C. 127. Order cannot be proved by parol. 76 C. 558; 77 C. 70. Jurisdictional facts must appear of record. 86 C. 351. Cited. 142 C. 383.

Sec. 45a-8a. Regional children’s probate courts. (a) For the purposes of this section, “children’s matters” means: (1) Guardianship matters under sections 45a-603 to 45a-625, inclusive; (2) termination of parental rights matters under sections 45a-706 to 45a-719, inclusive; (3) adoption matters under sections 45a-724 to 45a-733, inclusive, and sections 45a-736 and 45a-737; (4) claims for paternity under section 46b-172a; (5) emancipation of minor matters under sections 46b-150 to 46b-150e, inclusive; and (6) voluntary admission matters under section 17a-11.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator may establish seven regional children’s probate courts in regions designated by the Probate Court Administrator. In establishing such courts, the Probate Court Administrator shall consult with the probate judges of the districts located in each designated region, each of whom may participate on a voluntary basis.

(c) The Probate Court Administrator may establish a regional children’s probate court under this section in (1) any existing probate court facility within a district located in a region, or (2) a separate facility located in a region as may be designated by the Probate Court Administrator. Each regional children’s probate court shall be established and operated with the advice of the participating probate judges of such districts and the administrative judge appointed under subsection (f) of this section. Such participating probate judges and administrative judge shall serve as the judges of the regional children’s probate court, except as provided in subdivision (1) of subsection (f) of this section. Such judges shall hear and determine all children’s matters as may come before them on a docket separate from other probate matters.

(d) (1) For the purposes of this section, the Probate Court Administrator may, subject to the provisions of section 45a-84, expend from the Probate Court Administration Fund established under section 45a-82 such amounts as the Probate Court Administrator may deem reasonable and necessary for the establishment, improvement, maintenance and operations of court facilities located in each such designated region.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve any town of its obligation to provide and maintain court facilities pursuant to section 45a-8.

(e) The Probate Court Administrator may, subject to the provisions of section 45a-84, expend moneys from the Probate Court Administration Fund to pay for necessary improvements of a facility designated as a regional children’s probate court under this section, to pay operating expenses of a regional children’s probate court and to reimburse participating towns or cities for any costs of leasing office space for a regional children’s probate court, and any necessary improvements thereto, and for expenses under subsection (f) of this section.

(f) (1) The Probate Court Administrator, with the advice of the participating probate judges of the districts located in the designated region, shall appoint an administrative judge for each regional children’s probate court. The administrative judge shall be a probate judge at the time of such appointment. If the administrative judge ceases to serve as a probate judge after such appointment, the administrative judge may continue to serve as administrative judge at the pleasure of the Probate Court Administrator, but shall not have the powers granted to an elected probate judge and shall not hear and determine children’s matters before such regional children’s probate court. Subject to the approval of the Chief Court Administrator, the Probate Court Administrator shall fix the compensation of the administrative judge and such compensation shall be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund. Such compensation, together with the administrative judge’s compensation as a probate judge of the district to which he or she was elected, shall not exceed the compensation provided for a judge of probate under subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 45a-95a. The administrative judge shall have such benefits as may inure to him or her as a probate judge and shall receive no additional benefits, except for compensation provided under this section and retirement benefits calculated in accordance with sections 45a-34 to 45a-54, inclusive.

(2) Each administrative judge shall be responsible for the management of cases, coordination of social services, staff, financial management and record keeping for the regional children’s probate court for which the administrative judge is appointed. The administrative judge may, with the approval of the Probate Court Administrator, purchase furniture, office supplies, computers and other equipment and contract for services that the administrative judge may deem necessary or advisable for the expeditious conduct of the business of the regional children’s probate court. Such expenses shall be paid for pursuant to section 45a-8. If a separate facility for a regional children’s probate court is established pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section, the participating town or city shall be reimbursed for such expenses from the Probate Court Administration Fund upon presentation of vouchers to the Probate Court Administrator.

(g) Each administrative judge for a regional children’s probate court may, with the approval of the Probate Court Administrator, employ such persons as may be required for the efficient operation of the regional children’s probate court. Such employees shall be employees of the regional children’s probate court and shall be entitled to the benefits of probate court employees under this chapter. Such employees shall not be deemed to be state employees.

(h) Any probate court within a region designated under subsection (b) of this section may transfer children’s matters to the regional children’s probate court for such region. Any regional children’s probate court may accept transfers and referrals of children’s matters from probate courts within its region.

(i) Each regional children’s probate court shall be considered a probate court for the purposes of this chapter.

(j) The Probate Court Administrator shall establish policies and procedures to implement the provisions of this section.

(P.A. 04-159, S. 1; P.A. 05-225, S. 1; P.A. 10-41, S. 1; P.A. 11-128, S. 1; P.A. 12-66, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 04-159 effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 05-225 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provisions re pilot program in a single region and making conforming changes, added new Subsec. (c) re establishment of six additional regional courts, redesignated portion of Subsec. (b) as new Subsec. (d) and amended same by deleting provision re designated region and making conforming changes, added new Subsec. (e) re expenditures for establishment, improvement, maintenance and operations of regional court facilities, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (h) as new Subsecs. (f) to (k) and made conforming and technical changes therein, amended Subsec. (i) by deleting provisions prohibiting transfer of new children’s matters on or after July 1, 2007, and amended Subsec. (k) by deleting provisions re pilot program; P.A. 10-41 amended Subsec. (g)(1) to substitute compensation for judge of probate under Sec. 45a-95a(a)(4) for compensation under Sec. 45a-92(k), effective January 5, 2011; P.A. 11-128 deleted former Subsec. (b) re regional children’s probate court established within available resources in a region consisting of specified probate districts, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (k) as Subsecs. (b) to (j), amended Subsec. (b) to substitute “seven” for “six additional” re regional children’s probate courts, amended Subsec. (j) to delete provision re report, and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (f)(1) to add provision re retirement benefits calculated under Secs. 45a-34 to 45a-54, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 45a-8b. Extended family guardianship and assisted care pilot program. Regulations. (a) The Probate Court Administrator shall establish, within available appropriations, an extended family guardianship and assisted care pilot program in the regional children’s probate court for the district of New Haven, established pursuant to section 45a-8a, for the purpose of reducing the number of children who are placed out of their communities and in foster care due to abuse and neglect. The program shall be designed to (1) provide outreach to extended family members and nonrelative caregivers in the community and appoint such family members or nonrelative caregivers as guardians, (2) seek volunteers to act as assisted care providers to assist guardians in caring for children, and (3) provide and pay for needed services to assist guardians in meeting the needs of such children. Under the program, each guardian appointed by the court shall be eligible to receive a maximum grant of one thousand dollars per child.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator shall adopt regulations, in accordance with subsection (d) of section 45a-77, to implement the provisions of this section. The regulations shall establish the criteria for (1) becoming a guardian or an assisted care provider under the program, (2) the awarding of grants pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, (3) the provision of services pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, and (4) obtaining and paying for studies from private child-placing agencies in connection with guardianship proceedings.

(June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-4, S. 6; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 38; P.A. 12-66, S. 24.)

History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 amended Subsec. (a) to include nonrelative caregivers in Subdiv. (1), add Subdiv. (3) re provision and payment of needed services to assist guardians in meeting needs of children and increase maximum grant amount from $500 to $1,000, amended Subsec. (b) to require regulations to be adopted in accordance with Sec. 45a-77(c) rather than chapter 54 and establish criteria rather than “eligibility” criteria, add Subdiv. (3) re provision of services pursuant to Subsec. (a) and add Subdiv. (4) re obtaining and paying for studies from private child-placing agencies in connection with guardianship proceedings and deleted former Subsec. (c) re report on status and effectiveness of pilot program, effective October 5, 2009; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (b) to substitute reference to Sec. 45a-77(d) for reference to Sec. 45a-77(c).

Sec. 45a-8c. Truancy clinic. Administration. Policies and procedures. Report. (a) The Probate Court Administrator may, within available appropriations, establish a pilot truancy clinic within the regional children’s probate court for the district of Waterbury. The administrative judge of the regional children’s probate court for the district of Waterbury shall administer the truancy clinic.

(b) The principal of any elementary or middle school in the Waterbury school district, or the principal’s designee, may refer to the truancy clinic a parent or guardian with a child enrolled in such school who is a truant, as defined in section 10-198a, or at risk of becoming a truant. Upon receiving such referral, the truancy clinic shall prepare a citation and summons for the parent or guardian of the child to appear at the clinic. An attendance officer authorized pursuant to section 10-199, or an officer authorized pursuant to section 10-200, shall deliver the citation, summons and a copy of the referral to the parent or guardian.

(c) The administrative judge of the regional children’s probate court for the district of Waterbury may refer any matter referred to the truancy clinic to a probate magistrate or attorney probate referee assigned by the Probate Court Administrator pursuant to section 45a-123a to hear the matter.

(d) The truancy clinic shall operate for the purpose of identifying and resolving the cause of a child’s truancy using nonpunitive procedures. After the initial appearance made pursuant to the summons described in subsection (b) of this section, the participation of a parent or guardian in the truancy clinic shall be voluntary. The truancy clinic shall establish protocols for clinic participation and shall establish programs and relationships with schools, individuals, public and private agencies, and other organizations to provide services and support for parents, guardians and children participating in the clinic.

(e) The Probate Court Administrator shall establish policies and procedures to implement the truancy clinic and measure the clinic’s effectiveness.

(f) Not later than September 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, the administrative judge of the regional children’s probate court for the district of Waterbury shall file a report with the Probate Court Administrator assessing the truancy clinic’s effectiveness.

(g) Not later than January 1, 2015, the Probate Court Administrator shall submit, in accordance with section 11-4a, a report assessing the effectiveness of the truancy clinic to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and education.

(P.A. 11-177, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 11-177 effective July 13, 2011.

Sec. 45a-8d. Assignment of certain functions of regional children’s probate court to probate court officer. (a) A matter being heard at a regional children’s probate court may be assigned to a probate court officer to perform any of the following functions:

(1) Conduct conferences with interested parties, attorneys for interested parties, representatives from the Department of Children and Families and social service providers, when appropriate;

(2) Facilitate the development of the family’s plan for the care of the minor;

(3) Facilitate the development of a visitation plan;

(4) Coordinate with the Department of Children and Families to facilitate a thorough review of the matter being heard;

(5) Assess whether the family’s plan for the care of the minor, if any, is in the minor’s best interests;

(6) Assist the family in accessing community services; and

(7) Conduct follow-up regarding orders of the court.

(b) The probate court officer may file with the court a report that may include:

(1) An assessment of the minor’s and family’s history;

(2) An assessment of the parent’s and any proposed guardian’s involvement with the minor;

(3) Information regarding the physical, social and emotional status of the interested parties;

(4) An assessment of the family’s plan for the care of the minor; and

(5) Any other information or data that is relevant to determine if the proposed court action is in the best interests of the minor.

(c) Any report filed by a probate court officer pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be admissible in evidence. If a party or an attorney for a party notifies the court prior to a scheduled hearing that such party or attorney wishes to examine the probate court officer who filed the report, the court shall order such probate court officer to appear at the hearing.

(P.A. 12-66, S. 11.)

Sec. 45a-9. (Formerly Sec. 45-13). Indexes. A general index shall be kept in each probate court of the records of all estates which have been or are pending, in which shall be entered the name of each such estate and the date and character of each proceeding in the court.

(1949 Rev., S. 6821; P.A. 80-476, S. 5.)

History: P.A. 80-476 changed wording slightly; Sec. 45-13 transferred to Sec. 45a-9 in 1991.

See Sec. 45a-754 re maintenance of Probate Court records concerning guardianship, parent-child relationships and adoption in locked files.

Sec. 45a-9a. Access to data processing system or information stored in data processing system. Fee schedule. Any person seeking on-line access to any data processing system operated by the Office of the Probate Court Administrator, or seeking, in any other medium, information stored in such data processing system, may be required to pay to the Office of the Probate Court Administrator an amount, as established in a fee schedule determined by the Probate Court Administrator, for deposit in the Probate Court Administration Fund established in section 45a-82. Such fee schedule may include reasonable charges for personal services, fringe benefits, supplies and any other expenses related to maintaining, improving and providing such data processing services including, but not limited to, program modifications, training expenses, central processor user time and the rental and maintenance of equipment.

(P.A. 11-128, S. 10.)

Sec. 45a-10. (Formerly Sec. 45-14). Fire-resistant safe or vault. Office space to be provided for records. Duties of Public Records Administrator and State Librarian re compliance. (a) Each judge of probate shall keep the records and files of the court of probate for the district in a fire-resistant safe or vault, in office space provided for that purpose by the town or towns comprising the district in which the judge serves, except when the records and files are in actual use for the purpose of examination, recording, copying or entry, or when the records and files, after being recorded or copied, are placed in storage as records and files not in current use. If such safe or vault or office space is not provided for such purpose, the chief administrative officers of the town or towns comprising the district shall provide the safe or vault or office space. The expense of providing such safe or vault or office space shall be paid by the town or towns comprising the district in such proportion as the towns may determine by agreement, or, in the absence of such agreement, in proportion to their grand lists last perfected.

(b) If the proper authorities in any probate district fail to provide such safe or vault or office space, the Public Records Administrator may order the proper authorities in the probate district to provide such safe or vault or office space. If such provision is not made within a reasonable time thereafter, the Public Records Administrator shall so advise the State Librarian, who may seek enforcement of compliance with the order. The State Librarian shall send a copy of such order to the chief administrative officers of the town or towns comprising the district, the Probate Court Administrator and the judge of the probate district. The order shall specify the time within which the order shall be complied with. In setting such time for compliance, the State Librarian shall take into consideration the availability of facilities or equipment or the need for the construction or purchase thereof. The State Librarian may cause the enforcement of any such order by application to the Superior Court, or to any judge thereof if said court is not then sitting, to issue an appropriate decree or process, which application shall be brought and the proceedings thereon conducted by the Attorney General.

(c) All fire-resistant rooms or vaults and all safes for the safekeeping of any such public records shall conform to regulations adopted by the Public Records Administrator, in accordance with chapter 54, and shall be furnished with fittings of a noncombustible nature.

(1949 Rev., S. 552, 6822; 1967, P.A. 495, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 746; P.A. 77-614, S. 131, 610; P.A. 80-338, S. 5; 80-476, S. 6; P.A. 81-472, S. 77, 159; P.A. 12-66, S. 22.)

History: 1967 act required that records be kept in “fire-resistive”, rather than “fire-proof” safe or vault, deleted references to fire-proof buildings, substituted “chief administrative officers” for “selectmen”, “public records administrator” for “examiner of public records” and “records management committee” for “state library committee”, deleted provisions re provision of safe or vault by district probate judge when town officers fail to do so, required that records management committee seek enforcement of compliance with order to provide for safe or vault, replacing detailed procedure for supplying safe or vault, and required that storage facilities conform to standards of public records administrator; 1969 act added references to office space provided for record-keeping purposes, included in exception reference to “recording or copying” of records and added exception re stored records not in current use; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of administrative services for records management committee; P.A. 80-338 replaced commissioner of administrative services with state librarian, required conformity with regulations “in accordance with chapter 54” rather than with “standards” and made other technical changes; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions but made no substantive changes; P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; Sec. 45-14 transferred to Sec. 45a-10 in 1991; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (a) to add provision re allocation of expense of providing safe, vault or office space by agreement or, in absence of agreement, in proportion to grand lists last perfected, amended Subsec. (b) to replace reference to Sec. 11-8 with provisions re State Librarian to send copy of order, specify time for compliance with order, and cause enforcement of order by application to Superior Court, and made technical changes.

Sec. 45a-11. (Formerly Sec. 45-15). Certification of records and files. The records and files of any court of probate may be certified by the judge, clerk or assistant clerk of the court, any one of whom is authorized to use and affix the seal of the court. All such certified copies of records and files, with or without the seal of the court, shall be legal evidence.

(1949 Rev., S. 6823; P.A. 80-476, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 80-476 rephrased provisions but made no substantive change; Sec. 45-15 transferred to Sec. 45a-11 in 1991.

Annotations to former section 45-15:

Formerly clerk alone could certify. 26 C. 425. Judge certifying copies acts as his own clerk 52 C. 218.

Sec. 45a-12. (Formerly Sec. 45-16). Copies of probate records required by Veterans’ Administration to be furnished. When a copy of any probate record is required by the Veterans’ Administration to be used in determining the eligibility of any person to participate in benefits made available by the Veterans’ Administration, the official charged with the custody of such public record shall, without charge, provide the applicant for such benefits, or any person acting on his behalf, or the authorized representative of the Veterans’ Administration, with a certified copy of such record.

(1949 Rev., S. 6824.)

History: Sec. 45-16 transferred to Sec. 45a-12 in 1991.

Secs. 45a-13 to 45a-17. Reserved for future use.

PART II

PROBATE JUDGES

Sec. 45a-18. (Formerly Sec. 45-5). Election of judges. Term of office. Clerks. Judges first elected or with break in service on or after January 5, 2011, to be members of state bar. (a) There shall be a court of probate in each probate district held by one judge elected by the electors residing in such district at the state election in 1974, and every four years thereafter.

(b) Each judge of probate shall hold office for four years beginning on the Wednesday after the first Monday in January next following his or her election.

(c) Each judge of probate, before entering upon his or her duties as a judge of probate, shall be sworn and shall record his or her certificate of election upon the records of his or her court of probate.

(d) Each judge of probate shall appoint a clerk and may appoint one or more assistant clerks, each of whom shall be sworn to a faithful performance of such clerk’s duties and shall, when required, give whatever bond the judge deems necessary. Each such clerk shall continue in office until such clerk resigns, is removed or is superseded.

(e) Each judge of probate elected for a term that begins on or after January 5, 2011, shall be a member of the bar of the state of Connecticut, except that the requirements of this subsection shall not apply to any judge of probate who was in office on January 4, 2011, for the period such judge of probate continues to serve as a judge of probate on and after January 5, 2011, without a break in service.

(1949 Rev., S. 6811; 1953, S. 2895d; P.A. 80-476, S. 8; P.A. 09-114, S. 15.)

History: P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and reworded provisions but made no substantive change; Sec. 45-5 transferred to Sec. 45a-18 in 1991; P.A. 09-114 added Subsec. (e) re judges elected on or after January 5, 2011, to be member of bar, except for judges in office on January 4, 2011, who continue without a break in service, and made technical changes.

Annotations to former section 45-5:

In the earliest period of our government, powers of a judge of probate were vested in the “particular court”. In May, 1666, they were transferred to the several county courts, and in October, 1698, to the respective judge with two justices of the quorum. In May, 1716, courts of probate were required to be holden by one judge, with a clerk in each county. The first probate districts less than a county were formed in October, 1719. Clerk retains his office until he resigns, is removed, or superseded. 26 C. 425. Disbarment of judge as attorney does not disqualify him. 88 C. 447.

Sec. 45a-19. (Formerly Sec. 45-6). Electoral status of judges. Each judge of probate shall be an elector of a town within the district in which he is elected to serve. If for any reason he ceases to be an elector of a town within such district, he shall thereupon cease to hold office in such district, and such office shall be deemed vacant.

(1949 Rev., S. 6815; 1953, S. 2897d; P.A. 80-476, S. 9.)

History: P.A. 80-476 made minor wording changes; Sec. 45-6 transferred to Sec. 45a-19 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-20. (Formerly Sec. 45-4k). Payment of three-judge court. When a three-judge court is appointed by the Probate Court Administrator, the administrator may pay from the fund authorized under section 45a-82 a per diem rate not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for each judge that has been cited in, other than the judge in whose district the matter is being heard, provided such payment under this section, when combined with the compensation that the judge receives as a judge of probate of the district to which the judge was elected, does not exceed the compensation provided for a judge of probate under subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 45a-95a. Such payment shall be made in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Probate Court Administrator.

(P.A. 82-187; P.A. 98-219, S. 2; P.A. 10-41, S. 2.)

History: Sec. 45-4k transferred to Sec. 45a-20 in 1991; P.A. 98-219 increased per diem rate from $100 to $250; P.A. 10-41 added requirement that payment, when combined with compensation as judge of probate in district where elected, shall not exceed compensation for a judge of probate under Sec. 45a-95a(a)(4), deleted requirement that payment be included as income under Sec. 45a-92 and made a technical change, effective January 5, 2011.

Sec. 45a-21. (Formerly Sec. 45-4c). Court employees to serve at pleasure of judge. Probate Court employees shall not be deemed state employees and shall serve at the pleasure of the judge of the court of probate in which they are employed.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 7; 1969, P.A. 308.)

History: 1969 act deleted provision whereby probate court administrator “from time to time” prescribed a compensation plan for all positions in probate court other than judges; Sec. 45-4c transferred to Sec. 45a-21 in 1991.

Annotation to former section 45-4c:

Cited. 157 C. 160.

Sec. 45a-22. (Formerly Sec. 45-8). Disqualification of judge and of corporation of which he is director or officer. When there is so near a relationship between any deceased person or any legatee, devisee, heir, spouse or creditor of such deceased person, and a judge of probate, as between husband and wife, parent and child, brothers and sisters, by nature or marriage, or when any such judge is interested in any matter brought to or pending in his court, he or she shall be disqualified to act as judge in relation to the estate of such deceased person or in hearing such matter; and he or she may decline to act as such judge in any matter if in his or her opinion it would be improper for him or her so to act. No judge of probate shall appoint as a fiduciary any corporation of which he or she is a director or salaried officer unless such corporation has been nominated as such fiduciary by a testator or trustor.

(1949 Rev., S. 6816; 1957, P.A. 371; 1967, P.A. 558, S. 14; 1971, P.A. 78, S. 3; P.A. 74-67; P.A. 87-260, S. 4.)

History: 1967 act added as ground for disqualification of judge “when the powers and duties of any such judge have been suspended in relation to any matter by the chief court administrator ...” and made disqualification absolute rather than contingent upon objection made by “anyone interested”; 1971 act deleted as ground for disqualification “when any such judge or his partner or associate has been retained as attorney or counsel in any matter”; P.A. 74-67 substituted “spouse” for “wife” and added feminine personal pronouns as necessary; P.A. 87-260 deleted provision requiring disqualification of a judge who has had his powers and duties suspended in relation to any matter by the chief court administrator as provided in Sec. 45-11a to reflect repeal of said Sec. 45-11a; Sec. 45-8 transferred to Sec. 45a-22 in 1991.

See Sec. 51-39 re judges’ disqualification by relationship or interest.

Annotations to former section 45-8:

Uncle of husband of devisee, etc., not disqualified. 17 C. 545. Judge who is an inhabitant of a town which is a creditor is disqualified. 19 C. 585. Type of interest which will disqualify judge. 26 C. 7. Judge previously retained or consulted not disqualified. Id., 577. Judge who is also selectman disqualified to act on application for appointment of conservator. 28 C 268. Cited. 134 C. 606. Cited. 215 C. 553.

Sec. 45a-23. (Formerly Sec. 45-8a). Use of office or confidential information for financial gain prohibited. No judge of probate shall use his public office or any confidential information received through his holding public office to obtain financial gain for himself, his spouse, child, child’s spouse, parent, brother or sister, grandchild or a business with which he is or was associated. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the employment of a relative by a judge of probate except as an employee as defined in subdivision (3) of section 45a-34.

(P.A. 84-435, S. 2, 6; P.A. 86-402, S. 8, 13.)

History: P.A. 84-435 effective July 1, 1985; P.A. 86-402 applied provisions to judges’ grandchildren and to businesses with which they were associated in the past; Sec. 45-8a transferred to Sec. 45a-23 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-24. (Formerly Sec. 45-9). Validity of orders, judgments and decrees. Every order, judgment or decree of a court of probate made by a judge who is disqualified shall be valid unless an appeal is taken as hereinafter specified. All orders, judgments and decrees of courts of probate, rendered after notice and from which no appeal is taken, shall be conclusive and shall be entitled to full faith, credit and validity and shall not be subject to collateral attack, except for fraud.

(1949 Rev., S. 6817; P.A. 80-476, S. 11.)

History: P.A. 80-476 made technical corrections for consistency; Sec. 45-9 transferred to Sec. 45a-24 in 1991.

Annotations to former section 45-9:

Generally as to collateral attack. 2 C. 388; 26 C. 273; 39 C. 523; 45 C. 196; 48 C. 165; 50 C. 330; 59 C. 361; 62 C. 221; 63 C. 338; 66 C. 140; 67 C. 7; Id., 184; 69 C. 78; 70 C. 378; 75 C. 308; 86 C 470. Order by disqualified judge unappealed from held valid. 39 C. 257. Effect of fraud on provision. 66 C. 140; 91 C. 521. Court cannot ordinarily revoke its own decrees. 76 C. 420; 81 C. 688. Failure to conform to law in preliminary matter may not be ground to set aside decree. Id., 681; 86 C. 281. Foreign judgment of probate court entitled to full credit. 81 C. 686. Where an estate is administered as intestate because of mistaken belief that there was no will, equity can enjoin any use of probate decrees to hamper or defeat proceedings to secure probate of will later discovered. 135 C. 489. Action in equity to set aside a decree admitting a will to probate held a direct attack and not within prohibition of this section. 146 C. 188. Cited. 152 C. 530, 532; 153 C. 545; Id., 603. Cited. 165 C. 478, 487. Fraudulent assertion of death concerned jurisdictional fact, and decree was subject to collateral attack and to being declared null and void, but a void decree may form basis for adverse possession. 171 C. 149.

Cited. 22 CA 490. Cited. 23 CA 174.

Where estate was administered and distributed as intestate and will was discovered four years later, court permitted proceedings in probate though there was no fraud. 15 CS 316. Where tax commissioner appealed probate court decree holding two of three antemortem transfers by decedent nontaxable, executor who had failed to appeal finding of third transfer as taxable could not raise the issue by affirmative claim in his answer and plea in abatement was granted on grounds of lack of jurisdiction. 28 CS 210.

Sec. 45a-25. (Formerly Sec. 45-11b). Probate judge not to appear as attorney in contested matter in probate court. (a) A judge of probate shall not appear as attorney in any contested matter in any court of probate.

(b) For the purposes of subsection (a) of this section, a matter before a court of probate is a contested matter when any party to such matter informs the court, orally or in writing, of any objection or opposition in such matter, without regard to the apparent merit or lack of merit of such objection or opposition.

(1971, P.A. 78, S. 2; P.A. 80-476, S. 12; P.A. 04-142, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reworded provision but made no substantive change; Sec. 45-11b transferred to Sec. 45a-25 in 1991; P.A. 04-142 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (b) re when matter before court is a contested matter.

Sec. 45a-26. (Formerly Sec. 45-11c). Partner or associate of probate judge not to practice law in judge’s court. A partner or associate of a judge of probate shall not engage in the practice of law in the court of probate in which such judge holds office. For the purposes of this section, any person who acts in a fiduciary capacity with respect to his spouse, child, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew shall not be construed to be engaged in the practice of law.

(1971, P.A. 78, S. 1; P.A. 73-487; P.A. 80-476, S. 13.)

History: P.A. 73-487 specified that persons acting as fiduciaries for relatives shall not be construed as practicing law; P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions but made no substantive change; Sec. 45-11c transferred to Sec. 45a-26 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-27. Training program required for judges. Curriculum established by Probate Court Administrator. (a) Each person who is elected to a first term as a judge of probate after October 1, 1993, shall complete the training program established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator shall establish, supervise and fund a program of training for newly-elected probate judges that shall include: (1) A course to be taken between the date of election and the date of assuming office concerning the rules of judicial conduct for a judge of probate, the ethical considerations arising in that office, the operation of a probate court, and the availability of assistance for a judge in the operation of a probate court; and (2) courses to be taken within six months after the date of assuming office that provide fundamental training in (A) civil procedure, including constitutional issues, due process, and evidentiary considerations, (B) property law, including conveyancing and title considerations, (C) the law of wills and trusts, and (D) family law in the context of the probate courts.

(c) The curriculum for the courses required by subsection (b) of this section shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and shall be designed to establish a minimum level of proficiency by judges of probate. The courses shall be given by qualified instructors approved by the Probate Court Administrator. The Probate Court Administrator may waive completion of a course required by subdivision (2) of subsection (b) on demonstration by a probate judge of proficiency in the subject matter. The Probate Court Administrator may, for good cause, allow a probate judge to satisfy a requirement of subsection (b) of this section by auditing, at the office of the Probate Court Administrator or at such other place as the Probate Court Administrator may designate, instructional tapes approved by the Probate Court Administrator. The Probate Court Administrator shall adopt appropriate time requirements for training of a probate judge elected in a special election and may modify other requirements of this section as circumstances may require.

(P.A. 93-279, S. 15.)

Sec. 45a-27a. Failure to complete training within required time. Request for extension. Referral to Council on Probate Judicial Conduct for failure to maintain professional competence. (a) If a probate judge is unable to complete training required pursuant to section 45a-27 within the time required, such judge may request an extension of time for completion of training from the continuing education committee of the Probate Assembly. The committee may, for cause shown, grant the requested extension of time.

(b) If a probate judge fails to complete training within the time required, or within any extension of time granted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Probate Court Administrator may refer the judge to the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct for failure to maintain professional competence as a judge of probate by failing to complete the training program pursuant to section 45a-27.

(P.A. 93-279, S. 16.)

Secs. 45a-28 to 45a-33. Reserved for future use.

PART III

RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Sec. 45a-34. (Formerly Sec. 45-29a). Definitions. The following words and phrases as used in sections 45a-34 to 45a-54, inclusive, and section 45a-75 except as otherwise provided, shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Average final compensation” means, (A) in the case of a judge of probate, the average annual compensation for the three highest paid years of service while serving in the probate court to which the judge was elected or by citation to any other court or courts, including any compensation received for service (i) on or after June 1, 2004, as an administrative judge for a regional children’s probate court under section 45a-8a, or (ii) on or after July 1, 2007, as a special assignment probate judge under section 45a-79b, provided, for the purposes of this section, the compensation for any one year shall not exceed the maximum net annual income currently allowed by law, and, (B) in the case of an employee, the average annual rate of pay during the employee’s three highest paid years of employment;

(2) “Credited service” means (A) all periods during which a person held the office of judge of probate and (i) any period of service elected by a judge pursuant to section 45a-36a, and (ii) any period of service as an administrative judge for a regional children’s probate court after such judge ceases to serve as a probate judge, provided such administrative judge works as an administrative judge at least one thousand hours per year, or (B) all periods during which a person served as an employee of any probate court, or (C) subject to the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of section 45a-54, a period of not more than three years for service as a member of the General Assembly and military service, or (D) the aggregate of any periods of service provided for in subparagraphs (A), (B) and (C) of this subdivision;

(3) “Employee” means (A) with respect to a person employed or who serves prior to January 1, 2011, a person employed by any probate court for more than four hundred thirty hours per year or a person who served for more than four hundred thirty hours per year performing under any contract of employment with any court of probate, and (B) with respect to a person first employed or who first serves on or after January 1, 2011, a person employed by any probate court for at least one thousand hours per year or a person who serves at least one thousand hours per year performing under any contract of employment with any court of probate;

(4) “Fund” means the retirement fund established by section 45a-35;

(5) “Judge” means a judge of probate, except that, with respect to a judge first elected for a term beginning on or after January 5, 2011, judge means a person who holds the office of judge of probate and works in such judge’s capacity as a judge of probate for at least one thousand hours per year as determined pursuant to information filed by the judge of probate with the Probate Court Administrator pursuant to subsection (h) of section 5-259;

(6) “Member” means any judge of probate or employee who is or may become eligible for retirement benefits under sections 45a-34 to 45a-54, inclusive, and 45a-75;

(7) “Normal retirement age” means the age of sixty-two for any judge of probate or any employee;

(8) “Old Age and Survivors System” means the system established under Title II of the Social Security Act, as amended;

(9) “Pay” means the salary, wages or earnings of an employee, but does not include any fees or allowances for expenses;

(10) “Retirement Commission” means the State Retirement Commission; and

(11) “Social Security Act” means the Act of Congress, approved August 14, 1935, Chapter 531, 49 Stat. 620, officially cited as the Social Security Act, including regulations issued pursuant thereto, as such act has been and may from time to time be amended.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 26; 1969, P.A. 160, S. 2; 1971, P.A. 583; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 2; P.A. 77-40, S. 1; 77-363; P.A. 80-176, S. 2; 80-476, S. 37; P.A. 81-472, S. 78, 159; P.A. 86-242, S. 1; P.A. 88-155, S. 1; P.A. 93-379, S. 1, 8; P.A. 94-98, S. 1; P.A. 97-87, S. 2; P.A. 09-114, S. 8; P.A. 12-66, S. 1.)

History: 1969 act removed employees in the office of the probate court administrator from definitions of “employee”; 1971 act redefined “average final compensation” re probate judges as average annual compensation for three consecutive highest paid years rather than as average annual compensation during initial four years; 1972 act redefined “employee” to specify that judge is full-time employee whether serving in court to which elected or by citation in another court, redefined “credited service” to apply to acting judges of probate and redefined “average final compensation” to clarify applicability re judges serving in court to which elected or by citation in another court or as court employee and to base compensation for employees on three highest paid consecutive years rather than on the final five years of employment; P.A. 77-40 divided section into Subdivs., extended applicability to Sec. 45-29t and rephrased definition of “credited service”; P.A. 77-363 redefined “employee” to include persons performing under contract of employment; P.A. 80-176 redefined “credited service” to delete reference to acting judge of probate; P.A. 80-476 reordered Subdivs. to place terms in alphabetical order, replaced alphabetic indicators with numeric indicators, and restored reference to acting judge of probate in definition of “credited service”; P.A. 81-472 removed from the definition of “credited service” any period of holding the office of acting judge of probate; P.A. 86-242 amended definition of “credited service” to include a period of not more than three years of service as member of general assembly and military service, subject to requirements of section 45-29w, and amended definition of “normal retirement age” to mean age of 62 for judge of probate and 65 for employee; P.A. 88-155 redefined “employee” by changing basis of calculation from 20 hours per week and more than five months per year to 430 hours per year; Sec. 45-29a transferred to Sec. 45a-34 in 1991; P.A. 93-379 redefined “normal retirement age” to change the age to 62 for probate court employees, effective June 30, 1993; P.A. 94-98 amended definition of “average final compensation” in Subdiv. (1) by deleting requirement that basis of calculation be “consecutive” highest paid years of service and deleting reference to service as an employee of any probate court; P.A. 97-87 redefined “credited service” in Subdiv. (2) include service elected by judge pursuant to Sec. 45a-36a and in Subpara. (D) changed “subdivisions” to “subparagraphs” (A), (B) and (C); P.A. 09-114 redefined “employee” in Subdiv. (3), inserted new Subdiv. (5) to define “judge” and redesignated existing Subdivs. (5) to (10) as Subdivs. (6) to (11), effective January 1, 2011; P.A. 12-66 redefined “average final compensation” in Subdiv. (1), redefined “credited service” in Subdiv. (2) and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 45a-35. (Formerly Sec. 45-29b). Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund. The Connecticut Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund is established, and shall consist of amounts transferred from the fund as provided by section 45a-82 and contributions under sections 45a-44 and 45a-45.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 27.)

History: Sec. 45-29b transferred to Sec. 45a-35 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-36. (Formerly Sec. 45-29c). Retirement qualifications. (a) Judges of probate courts in office on or after December 31, 1966, and employees of such courts, who have completed at least ten years of credited service shall be eligible to retire and thereupon to receive normal retirement benefits on the first day of the month after attaining the age of sixty-five or after termination of service as a judge of probate or employee, whichever occurs later; provided any judge or employee who has at least ten years of credited service but less than twelve years in the case of a judge, and less than fifteen years in the case of an employee, and whose credited service terminated before July 1, 1979, shall become eligible to retire and to receive retirement benefits retroactive to January 1, 1979, or to the first day of the month after such termination, whichever is later. Judges of probate courts in office on or after October 1, 1986, and employees of such courts, who have completed at least ten years of credited service shall be eligible to retire and thereupon to receive normal retirement benefits on the first day of any month after attaining the age of sixty-two.

(b) Employees and judges whose credited service began at or after the age of sixty shall be eligible on the first day of the month after attaining the age of seventy, regardless of length of service, provided in the case of a judge of probate, such judge shall have served at least one full term.

(c) Employees who attained the age of seventy before establishment of the retirement fund shall be eligible on January 1, 1968.

(d) Employees of probate courts serving on or after October 1, 1993, who have completed at least ten years of credited service shall be eligible to retire and thereupon to receive normal retirement benefits on the first day of any month after attaining the age of sixty-two.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 28; 1969, P.A. 160, S. 3; P.A. 77-40, S. 2; P.A. 79-454, S. 1, 12; P.A. 80-176, S. 1; 80-476, S. 38; P.A. 86-242, S. 4; P.A. 93-379, S. 2, 8; P.A. 94-98, S. 2; P.A. 97-87, S. 3.)

History: 1969 act deleted reference to eligibility of employees of probate court administrator’s office; P.A. 77-40 applied provisions to judges “who have completed at least twelve years of credited service” rather than to those “who have held office for at least twelve years”; P.A. 79-454 included employees under retirement terms applying to judges, reducing years of required credited service to 10 and adding proviso re judges with more than 10 but less than 12 years’ service, deleted former provision which required employees to be at least 65 or to have completed 15 years of credited service, “whichever occurs later” and allowed retirement at seventy for employees whose credited service began at or after age of 60, rather than 55, as was previously the case; P.A. 80-176 included employees with more than 10 but less than 15, rather than 12, years of service in proviso; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; P.A. 86-242 amended Subsec. (a) by providing that judges of probate in office on or after October 1, 1986, who have completed at least 10 years of credited service shall be eligible to retire on first day of any month after attaining age 62; Sec. 45-29c transferred to Sec. 45a-36 in 1991; P.A. 93-379 added Subsec. (d) permitting employees of probate courts serving on or after October 1, 1993, who have completed at least 10 years of credited service to retire and receive normal retirement benefits after reaching age 62, effective June 30, 1993; P.A. 94-98 amended Subsec. (a) by permitting employees of probate courts on or after October 1, 1986, who have completed at least 10 years of credited service to be eligible for normal retirement at age of 62; P.A. 97-87 amended Subsec. (b) to apply to judges and to require that judges shall have served at least one full term.

Annotation to former section 45-29c:

Where beneficiaries of retirement fund were not made parties to action for declaratory judgment on constitutionality of section, court would not pass on issue of constitutionality. 157 C. 150.

Sec. 45a-36a. Retirement credit for judge in office on or after October 1, 1997, whose probate district is merged on or before January 5, 2011, and who is not reelected. Any judge of probate in office on or after October 1, 1997, whose probate district is merged with another district on or before January 5, 2011, and who has not been elected to a term which begins at the time of, or subsequent to, such merger, (1) may elect to receive four years of credited service, as defined in subdivision (2) of section 45a-34, (2) may elect to receive a reduction of his or her retirement age of not more than four years pursuant to subsection (a) of section 45a-36, or (3) may elect any combination of credited service and reduction of retirement age under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section, provided such combination shall not exceed four years in total. A judge of probate may elect to receive credited service or a reduction of retirement age in accordance with this section at any time once the judge becomes eligible to retire and receive retirement benefits.

(P.A. 97-87, S. 1; P.A. 98-219, S. 3; P.A. 09-114, S. 9.)

History: P.A. 98-219 deleted phrase “after such consolidation” and inserted “to a term which begins at the time of, or subsequent to, such consolidation”; P.A. 09-114 inserted “on or before January 5, 2011” re district merger, provided that judge may elect to receive credited service or reduction of retirement age at any time once judge is eligible to retire and receive benefits, and made technical changes.

Sec. 45a-37. (Formerly Sec. 45-29d). Retirement date. (a) Any employee of a court of probate shall be retired on the first day of any month after he has become eligible for retirement, on the recommendation of the judge of the probate court by which he is employed.

(b) Any employee who has attained the age of seventy years shall be retired on the first day of the month following the attainment of that age, except that any employee, at his request and with the approval of the judge of the probate court, may be retained in the employ of the probate court without further assessment for pension benefits under section 45a-44; provided such person shall receive no pension payments during the period in which he is so retained and his credited service shall not be increased by such employment beyond the age of seventy.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 29; P.A. 80-476, S. 39.)

History: P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and revised wording slightly; Sec. 45-29d transferred to Sec. 45a-37 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-38. (Formerly Sec. 45-29e). Retirement of employee after ten years of service. (a) If any employee of a court of probate is separated on or after January 1, 1972, from the service of the court by which he is employed, and after completing at least ten years of credited service but before reaching the normal retirement age, he shall be entitled to a retirement allowance on the first day of the month after reaching the normal retirement age.

(b) At the option of the employee, the retirement allowance may commence on the first day of any month after the date of the separation described in subsection (a) of this section and shall be payable in an amount determined by the Retirement Commission to be the actuarial equivalent of the retirement allowance that would have been payable except for the election of such option, except that for any such employee separated on or after October 1, 1994, who has attained the age of sixty, the reduction of the allowance which would have been payable shall be one quarter of one per cent for each month the employee’s retirement precedes the attainment of age sixty-two. Any such employee who was separated from the service of the court before July 1, 1979, with at least ten but less than twenty years of credited service may elect a retirement allowance retroactive to January 1, 1979, or the first day of the month after such separation, whichever is later.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 30; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 4; P.A. 79-454, S. 2, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 40; P.A. 86-242, S. 5; P.A. 94-98, S. 3.)

History: 1972 act changed applicable date from January 1, 1968, to January 1, 1972, and required completion of 20 rather than 30 years of continuous service; P.A. 79-454 reduced requirement to 10 years, substituted “credited” for “continuous service” and added provision re employees with more than 10, but less than the previously required 20, years of service; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; P.A. 86-242 amended Subsec. (b) by substituting “any” for “the” before “month”; Sec. 45-29e transferred to Sec. 45a-38 in 1991; P.A. 94-98 amended Subsec. (b) by providing that for employee separated on or after October 1, 1994, who has attained the age of 60, the reduction allowance which would have been payable shall be 0.25% for each month the employee’s retirement precedes the attainment of age 62.

Sec. 45a-39. (Formerly Sec. 45-29f). Retirement of judge after ten years of service. If any judge of probate is separated after January 1, 1972, from the service of his court after having completed ten years of credited service as judge of probate, he may elect to take a retirement allowance to commence on the first day of any month following the date of separation. The allowance shall be payable in an amount determined by the Retirement Commission to be the actuarial equivalent of the retirement allowance that would have been payable except for the election of such option, except that for any such judge separated on or after October 1, 1986, who has attained the age of sixty, the reduction of the allowance which would have been payable shall be one-quarter of one per cent for each month his retirement precedes his attainment of age sixty-two. Any such judge of probate, who was separated from the service of his court before July 1, 1979, with at least ten years but less than twelve years of credited service may elect a retirement allowance retroactive to January 1, 1979, or the first day of the month after such separation, whichever is later.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 31; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 5; P.A, 79-454, S. 3, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 41; P.A. 86-242, S. 6.)

History: 1972 act changed applicable date from January 1, 1968, to January 1, 1972, and service requirement from 16 to 12 years; P.A. 79-454 reduced required years of service to 10 and added provision re judges with more than 10 but less than the previously required 12 years of service; P.A. 80-476 rephrased provisions but made no substantive change; P.A. 86-242 added exception that for any judge separated on or after October 1, 1986, who is 60, the reduction of allowance which would have been payable shall be 0.25% for each month his retirement precedes 62; Sec. 45-29f transferred to Sec. 45a-39 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-40. (Formerly Sec. 45-29g). Disability retirement. (a) Any employee or judge of probate who has completed at least ten years of credited service shall be eligible for retirement and for a retirement allowance if he becomes permanently and totally disabled from engaging in any gainful employment in the service of the Court of Probate or in the office of judge, as the case may be. Such retirement allowance shall continue during the period of such disability. The existence and continuance of disability shall be determined by the Retirement Commission upon such medical evidence and other investigation as it requires.

(b) In order to obtain a retirement allowance under this section an employee or judge shall apply in writing for the allowance to the Retirement Commission within one year after incurring the disability, or by January 1, 1980, as to an employee or a judge becoming eligible on January 1, 1979. The allowance may be made retroactive to the first day of the month following the date on which the compensation of the disabled employee ceased or the disability of the judge commenced, except that for a judge or an employee who has completed at least ten years but less than twelve years of credited service and whose disability commenced before July 1, 1979, the allowance shall be retroactive to January 1, 1979, or the first day of the month after the commencement of such disability, whichever is later.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 32; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 6; P.A. 79-454, S. 4, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 42.)

History: 1972 act reduced required years of service from 16 to 12; P.A. 79-454 reduced required years of service to 10, required application be made by January 1, 1980, for those becoming eligible on January 1, 1979, and added exception re those with more than 10 but less than 12 years of service whose disability commenced before July 1, 1979; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; Sec. 45-29g transferred to Sec. 45a-40 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-41. (Formerly Sec. 45-29h). Retirement allowance. Annual adjustments in retirement allowances. (a) After retirement in accordance with the provisions of sections 45a-34 to 45a-53, inclusive, each member of the retirement fund who is not entitled to benefits under the Old Age and Survivors Insurance System as provided for in sections 7-452 to 7-459, inclusive, as a result of service in a court of probate in this state shall receive a retirement allowance during his lifetime, payable monthly, equal to one-twelfth of two per cent of his average final compensation for each year of credited service.

(b) Each member who is entitled to benefits under the Old Age and Survivors Insurance System as provided for in sections 7-452 to 7-459, inclusive, as a result of service in a court of probate in this state shall receive a retirement allowance during his lifetime, payable monthly, equal to one-twelfth of the sum of (1) and (2) following: (1) One per cent of average final compensation up to and including four thousand eight hundred dollars for each year of credited service; (2) two per cent of average final compensation in excess of four thousand eight hundred dollars for each year of credited service.

(c) The retirement allowance for any member shall not be less than three hundred sixty dollars annually.

(d) On July 1, 1980, and on July first of each subsequent year, the State Retirement Commission shall determine the percentage of increase or decrease in the average monthly nation-wide Consumer Price Index for the most recent fiscal year compiled and published by the federal government from the average monthly nation-wide Consumer Price Index compiled and published by the federal government for the next preceding fiscal year. Subject to the further limitations of this subsection, the percentage of increase or decrease so determined on July first of each year shall be applied to increase or decrease by such percentage the amount of the retirement allowance in effect on July first of the next preceding year for each member who was a retired member on said July first and was then receiving a retirement allowance under this section, and for the spouse of each deceased member who had elected the husband and wife retirement income option, or any other spouse or contingent annuitant receiving a continuing reduced retirement allowance or retirement income payments under section 45a-43 on said July first; and the amount of retirement allowance or retirement income payable during the twelve-month period commencing on each July first adjustment date shall be the amount so in effect and being received on said July first increased or decreased as above. No adjustment shall be made on any July first if the increase or decrease in such index determined as above is less than one per cent, and adjustments for increases in excess of three per cent shall be limited to three per cent. In no event shall the amount of monthly retirement allowance or retirement income payment for a member or spouse receiving such an allowance or payment on June 30, 1979, be reduced by any adjustment under this subsection below the amount of such monthly retirement allowance or retirement income in effect on June 30, 1979, nor shall the amount of monthly retirement allowance or payment of a member or spouse whose initial amount of such allowance or payment becomes payable after June 30, 1979, be reduced by any adjustment under this subsection below such initial amount of monthly retirement allowance for such member or such initial amount of allowance or payment to such spouse.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 33; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 7; P.A. 75-184, S. 1; P.A. 79-454, S. 5, 7, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 43; P.A. 82-170; P.A. 86-242, S. 7; P.A. 88-155, S. 2; P.A. 94-98, S. 4.)

History: 1972 act raised percentages of average final compensation used as basis for benefits from 1.66%, 0.833% and 1.66% to 2%, 1% and 2%, respectively, and raised minimum retirement allowance from $120 to $360 annually; P.A. 75-184 clarified references to old age and survivors insurance system by specifying applicable section numbers; P.A. 79-454 referred to Secs. 45-29a to 45-29t rather than to Secs. 45-29k to 45-29s, changed maximum retirement allowance from 66% to 80% of average final compensation and added new Subsec. re increases and decreases based on variations in consumer price index; P.A. 80-476 reorganized Subsecs. and rephrased Subsecs. (a) to (c); P.A. 82-170 amended Subsec. (d) to apply annual adjustment to amount of retirement allowance in effect on July first, rather than June thirtieth, of the next preceding year; P.A. 86-242 amended Subsec. (c) by adding provision re maximum retirement allowance for employee member equal to 100% of average final compensation; P.A. 88-155 amended Subsec. (d) by adding reference to contingent annuitants; Sec. 45-29h transferred to Sec. 45a-41 in 1991; P.A. 94-98 amended Subsec. (c) by deleting provision re limit on retirement allowance of judge or employee under the Old Age and Survivors Insurance System.

Sec. 45a-42. (Formerly Sec. 45-29i). Reemployment after retirement. An employee who is retired under sections 45a-34 to 45a-53, inclusive, and who again accepts appointment as an employee of a court of probate to render services for more than ninety working days in any year, shall receive no retirement allowance while so employed.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 34; P.A. 79-454, S. 6, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 44.)

History: P.A. 79-454 substituted Secs. 45-29a to 45-29t for Secs. 45-29k to 45-29s; P.A. 80-476 rephrased provisions; Sec. 45-29i transferred to Sec. 45a-42 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-43. (Formerly Sec. 45-29j). Husband and wife retirement income option. (a) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section and subdivision (5) of this subsection, each married member shall, subject to regulations issued by the Retirement Commission, make an election in accordance with subsections (d) and (e) of this section to receive a reduced retirement allowance with the provision that the reduced retirement allowance, or such part which is specified by such person in his notice of election, shall be continued after his death to his spouse named in the election for as long as his spouse lives. The reduced retirement allowance shall be in an amount which the Retirement Commission determines to be the actuarial equivalent of the retirement allowance that would have been payable had not the election been made. A member may elect to receive his retirement allowance in accordance with any of the following options: (1) A reduced amount payable to the member for his lifetime with the provision that after his death his spouse, if surviving, shall be entitled to receive a lifetime income equal to fifty per cent of the reduced monthly amount payable to the member; (2) a reduced amount payable to the member for his lifetime with the provision that after his death his contingent annuitant shall be entitled to receive a lifetime income equal to either fifty or one hundred per cent of the reduced amount payable to the member; (3) a reduced amount payable to the member for his lifetime with the provision that if he shall die within either a ten or twenty-year period following the date his retirement income commences, whichever is selected by the member, the reduced amount continues to his contingent annuitant for the balance of the ten or twenty-year period; (4) an amount payable to the member for his lifetime with no payments continuing after the member’s death, except for a lump sum death benefit equal to the member’s retirement contributions plus interest reduced by the federal tax exclusion ratio times the income payments made to the member from the fund; or (5) for judges eligible for retirement benefits under section 45a-36a, an unreduced amount payable to the member for his lifetime with the provision that after his death his spouse, if surviving, shall be entitled to receive a lifetime income equal to fifty per cent of the unreduced monthly amount payable to the member. If a member who has been married for one year dies before retirement but after completion of the age and service requirements that would permit him to retire upon his own application, the retirement allowance shall be payable to his spouse commencing at his death, in accordance with regulations to be established by the Retirement Commission.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, if any member who has not exercised his option under subsection (a) of this section dies after January 1, 1968, and before having elected retirement or before his retirement income payments begin, but after satisfying the requirements of sections 45a-36 to 45a-39, inclusive, that would permit him to retire on his own application, and such member is survived by a spouse, a retirement income shall be paid monthly to his spouse, commencing at his death and ending upon the death of the spouse. The amount payable shall be the average of (1) fifty per cent of the retirement allowance payable to the member for his lifetime if no payments were to continue after the member’s death, and (2) fifty per cent of the reduced retirement allowance that such member would have received if he had retired on the date of his death with the provision that after his death his spouse would receive one-half of the amount payable to the member.

(c) The surviving spouse of (1) a judge or employee whose separation from service occurred before July 1, 1979, but after December 31, 1966, and (2) whose years of credited service at separation totalled, in the case of a judge, ten or more but less than twelve years, and in the case of an employee, ten or more but less than twenty years, (3) who has not elected or who did not have in effect at his death the option provided for in subsection (a) of this section, and (4) who died after January 1, 1968, and on or before July 1, 1979, and before his retirement income payments began, shall receive a retirement income, retroactive to the date of his death or January 1, 1979, whichever is later. Such payments shall be paid monthly in accordance with the regulations of the State Retirement Commission to such spouse, as if such judge or employee had exercised an option under subsection (a) to provide an amount equal to one-third of the retirement allowance that such judge or employee would have received if he had retired on the date of his death. Such payment shall continue until such spouse remarries or dies.

(d) Each married member shall be presumed to have made the election provided for in subsection (a) of this section for continuation to his surviving spouse of an amount equal to fifty per cent of his reduced retirement allowance provided (1) each such member may elect at any time prior to retirement to waive the retirement income option provided by subsection (a) of this section or may revoke any such election at any time prior to retirement, and (2) the election meets the requirements of subsection (e) of this section.

(e) The election under subsection (d) of this section to waive the retirement income option provided by subsection (a) of this section shall not take effect unless (1) the spouse of the member consents, in writing, to such election, and the spouse’s consent acknowledges the effect of such election and is witnessed by a plan representative or a notary public, or (2) it is established to the satisfaction of the Retirement Commission that the consent required under subdivision (1) of this subsection may not be obtained because there is no spouse, because the spouse cannot be located, or because of such other circumstances as the commission may by regulations prescribe. Any consent by a spouse, or establishment that the consent of a spouse may not be obtained under this subdivision, shall be effective only with respect to such spouse.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 35; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 8; P.A. 79-454, S. 8, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 45; P.A. 88-155, S. 3; 88-364, S. 114, 123; P.A. 97-87, S. 4; P.A. 12-66, S. 5.)

History: 1972 act added Subsec. (b) re payment of benefits to surviving spouse; P.A. 79-454 added Subsec. (c); P.A. 80-476 rephrased provisions; P.A. 88-155 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that each married member shall make an election in accordance with Subsecs. (d) and (e) and added provision re election of retirement options and benefits to spouse of member who has been married for one year who dies before retirement, amended Subsec. (b) to provide that benefits to surviving spouse shall be the average of 50% of retirement allowance payable to member and 50% of reduced retirement allowance, and added Subsecs. (d) and (e) re election of married member and prerequisites of waiver of election; P.A. 88-364 changed calculation of lump sum death benefit under Subsec. (a)(4) by deleting reference to provisions of Sec. 5-168 and substituting benefit equal to the member’s retirement contributions plus interest reduced by the federal tax exclusion ratio times the income payments made to the member from the fund; Sec. 45-29j transferred to Sec. 45a-43 in 1991; P.A. 97-87 amended Subsec. (a) by adding exception of Subdiv. (5) and added new Subdiv. (5) re unreduced amount payable to member and lifetime income of 50% of such amount to surviving spouse for judges eligible for retirement benefits under Sec. 45a-36a; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (b) to add “before having elected retirement”, substitute “but after satisfying the requirements of sections 45a-36 to 45a-39” for “but after completion of the age and service requirements”, and make technical changes, effective May 31, 2012.

Annotation to former section 45-29j:

Primary standards relating to duties of retirement commission are adequate. 157 C. 150.

Sec. 45a-44. (Formerly Sec. 45-29k). Retirement contributions of employees. (a) Each employee shall contribute to the fund three and three-quarters per cent of that portion of the employee’s pay from which contributions are not to be deducted under the Federal Old Age and Survivors Insurance System as provided for in sections 7-452 to 7-459, inclusive, and one per cent of that portion of pay from which contributions are to be deducted. The Probate Court Administrator shall deduct the employee’s contributions from the employee’s pay and shall forward such contributions to the Retirement Commission to be credited to the retirement fund on the employee’s account.

(b) (1) Any employee who leaves the employment of the court before becoming eligible for retirement may, on request to the Retirement Commission, withdraw the total of all contributions made by the employee, without interest, provided, if the employee makes no such request within ten years after leaving, the employee’s contributions shall revert to the fund.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, if such employee’s departure from probate service or withdrawal of contributions is on or after October 1, 1986, the withdrawal of contributions shall include interest credited from the later of (A) January 1, 1986, or (B) the first day of the calendar year following the date of actual contribution, to the first day of the calendar year coincident with or preceding the date the employee leaves probate service. Such interest shall be credited at the rate of five per cent per year. In addition, for the partial calendar year during which the employee leaves probate service or withdraws contributions, provided such date is after January 1, 1986, interest shall be credited at the rate of five-twelfths of one per cent multiplied by the full number of months completed during such calendar year, such interest rate to be applied to the value of contributions, including any prior interest credits, as of the first day of such calendar year.

(3) Any employee who withdraws the employee’s contributions from the fund and is subsequently reinstated shall not receive credited service for such prior employment in the computation of any benefit with respect to the employee under the retirement plan unless the withdrawn contributions have been repaid with interest at a rate to be determined by the commission. Any employee who was ineligible for retirement benefits at the time of the employee’s employment and who has not made contributions under this section, who becomes eligible, or whose spouse becomes eligible, for any benefit under the retirement plan, shall receive credited service for any employment, provided such employee makes such contributions with interest at a rate to be determined by the commission.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 36; P.A. 75-184, S. 2; P.A. 79-454, S. 9, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 46; 80-483, S. 117, 186; P.A. 82-309, S. 1; P.A. 86-242, S. 8; P.A. 94-98, S. 5; P.A. 10-41, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 75-184 added reference to Secs. 7-452 to 7-459 in Subsec. (a); P.A. 79-454 added provisions in Subsec. (b) re eligibility of persons previously ineligible and receipt of credited service for employment upon employees’ making contributions with interest determined by commission; P.A. 80-476 rephrased provisions; P.A. 80-483 made technical correction in Subsec. (b); P.A. 82-309 amended Subsec. (a) to require payment of contributions in four payments, on or before the last day of March, June, September and December of applicable year, where previously requirement was for payment “not less frequently than quarterly”, and to impose payment of 20% interest on delinquent contributions; P.A. 86-242 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision for payment of interest on contributions withdrawn on or after October 1, 1986; Sec. 45-29k transferred to Sec. 45a-44 in 1991; P.A. 94-98 amended Subsec. (a) by decreasing contribution to fund by employee from 5% to 3.75% of pay and decreasing contribution from 2.25% to 1% of pay from which contributions under Federal Old Age and Survivors Insurance System are deducted and deleting provision re deduction of contributions by probate court administrator for employees and deleted provision re interest incurred by probate court or administrator for nonpayment of contributions within 30 days of due date; P.A. 10-41 amended Subsec. (a) to replace requirement that contributions be deducted by employing court and forwarded to Retirement Commission in 4 payments in applicable year with requirement that Probate Court Administrator deduct employee’s contributions from employee’s pay and forward to Retirement Commission to be credited on employee’s account and to delete provision re interest on contributions not paid within 30 days, and made technical changes, effective January 1, 2011.

Sec. 45a-45. (Formerly Sec. 45-29l). Retirement contributions of judges. (a) Each judge of probate shall contribute to the fund three and three-quarters per cent of that portion of the judge’s annual compensation, including any compensation received as an administrative judge for a regional children’s probate court under section 45a-8a, or as a special assignment probate judge under section 45a-79b, with respect to which contributions are not made to the Federal Old Age and Survivors System as provided for in sections 7-452 to 7-459, inclusive, and one per cent of that portion from which such contributions are made. The Probate Court Administrator shall deduct the judge’s contributions from the judge’s compensation and shall forward such contributions to the Retirement Commission to be credited to the retirement fund on the judge’s account.

(b) (1) Any judge who leaves office before becoming eligible for a retirement allowance may, on request to the Retirement Commission, withdraw the total of all contributions made by the judge, without interest, provided, if the judge makes no such request within ten years after leaving office, the judge’s contributions shall revert to the fund.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, if such judge’s departure from office or withdrawal of contributions is on or after October 1, 1986, the withdrawal of contributions shall include interest credited from the later of (A) January 1, 1986, or (B) the first day of the calendar year following the date of actual contribution, to the first day of the calendar year coincident with or preceding the date the judge leaves office. Such interest shall be credited at the rate of five per cent per year. In addition, for the partial calendar year during which the judge leaves office or withdraws contributions, provided such date is after January 1, 1986, interest shall be credited at the rate of five-twelfths of one per cent multiplied by the full number of months completed during such calendar year, such interest rate to be applied to the value of contributions, including any prior interest credits, as of the first day of such calendar year.

(3) Any judge who withdraws the judge’s contributions from the fund and is subsequently reinstated shall not receive credited service for such prior time in office in the computation of any benefit under the retirement plan unless the withdrawn contributions have been repaid with interest at a rate to be determined by the commission. Any judge who was ineligible for retirement benefits at the time he or she became a judge and who has not made contributions under this section, who becomes eligible, or whose spouse becomes eligible, for any benefit under the retirement plan, shall receive credited service for any time in office, provided such judge makes such contributions with interest at a rate to be determined by the commission.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 37; P.A. 75-184, S. 3; P.A. 79-454, S. 10, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 47; 80-483, S. 118, 186; P.A. 82-309, S. 2; P.A. 86-242, S. 9; P.A. 94-98, S. 6; P.A. 10-41, S. 5; P.A. 12-66, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 75-184 added reference to Secs. 7-452 to 7-459; P.A. 79-454 added provision re credited service for time in office contingent upon payment of contributions and interest determined by commission; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; P.A. 80-483 made technical correction in Subsec. (d); P.A. 82-309 required payment in four installments payable on or before last day of March, June, September and December of applicable year, except that if the amount is less than $100, remittance shall be made in one payment on or before December thirty-first, and delinquent contributions shall incur interest at the rate of 20%; P.A. 86-242 amended Subsec. (d) by adding provision for payment of interest on contributions withdrawn on or after October 1, 1986; Sec. 45-29l transferred to Sec. 45a-45 in 1991; P.A. 94-98 amended Subsec. (a) by decreasing contribution to fund by judge from 5% to 3.75% of annual compensation and decreasing contribution from 1.25% to 1% of portion of pay from which contributions to Federal Old Age and Survivors System are made; P.A. 10-41 amended Subsec. (a) to replace requirement that contributions be forwarded by judge to Retirement Commission with requirement that Probate Court Administrator deduct judge’s contributions from judge’s compensation and forward to Retirement Commission, deleted former Subsec. (b) re installment payments and former Subsec. (c) re deficiency payments, excess contributions, reports to Retirement Commission and interest on unpaid contributions, redesignated existing Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (b) and made technical changes therein, effective January 1, 2011; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (a) to add provision re compensation received as administrative judge for a regional children’s probate court or as special assignment probate judge, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 45a-46. (Formerly Sec. 45-29m). Refund of contributions after death. (a) A member’s contributions to the fund, without interest and less any retirement allowance paid to him or his spouse, shall be paid from the fund on the order of the Retirement Commission to the beneficiary or beneficiaries, if any, named by the member, in the following cases: (1) The death before retirement of a member who has not elected an option under the provisions of section 45a-43, or whose election of that option has not become effective, or whose election of that option has become effective, but who has not completed the age and service requirements that would permit him to retire on his own application; or (2) the death of both a member whose election of that option has become effective and his spouse after a retirement allowance has become payable.

(b) If no named beneficiary survives the member, or the survivor of the member and his spouse, payment shall be made to the executors or administrators of the estate of the member or his spouse, as the case may be, except that, if the amount is less than one thousand dollars, the refund may be made in accordance with the terms of section 45a-273 at the option of the Retirement Commission.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 38; P.A. 80-476, S. 48.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reordered and rephrased provisions, dividing section into Subsecs., but made no substantive changes; Sec. 45-29m transferred to Sec. 45a-46 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-47. (Formerly Sec. 45-29n). Employment by more than one probate court. (a) Any employee of a court of probate who accepts employment with another court of probate shall be credited for retirement purposes with the entire period of his service with all courts of probate and his contributions shall not be refunded to him as provided in section 45a-44.

(b) The Retirement Commission shall make regulations regarding all matters relating to such transfers of employment and service as the commission finds necessary for the uniform and equitable administration of this section, giving consideration to the welfare of transferees and the interests of the courts.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 39; P.A. 80-476, S. 49.)

History: P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; Sec. 45-29n transferred to Sec. 45a-47 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-48. (Formerly Sec. 45-29o). Benefits not assignable. Any assignment by a member or beneficiary of any allowance or benefit payable under the terms of sections 45a-34 to 45a-52, inclusive, shall be null and void. Each such allowance and benefit shall be for the support of the member or beneficiary entitled to it and shall be exempt from the claims of that person’s creditors, provided, if the provisions of this section are contrary to the laws governing a particular set of circumstances, as to that set of circumstances, any allowance or benefit hereunder shall be exempt to the maximum extent permitted by law.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 40; P.A. 80-476, S. 50.)

History: P.A. 80-476 made minor changes in wording; Sec. 45-29o transferred to Sec. 45a-48 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-49. (Formerly Sec. 45-29p). Disposition of retirement contributions. All contributions received pursuant to sections 45a-34 to 45a-52, inclusive, shall be paid over by the Retirement Commission to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the fund with power to invest and reinvest as much of the fund as is not required for current disbursements in accordance with the provisions of part I of chapter 32. All benefits, allowances, and other payments authorized by said sections shall be made from the fund upon vouchers approved by the Retirement Commission.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 41; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 9; P.A. 80-476, S. 51; P.A. 81-343, S. 6, 7.)

History: 1972 act authorized investments “when deemed prudent, in accordance with the law governing the investment of trust funds”; P.A. 80-476 made slight change in wording; P.A. 81-343 substituted investments in accordance with Ch. 32, Pt. I for investments in accordance with laws governing savings banks and trust funds investments; Sec. 45-29p transferred to Sec. 45a-49 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-50. (Formerly Sec. 45-29q). Administration of retirement allowances. (a) The administration of the system of retirement allowances herein established, except as the administration relates to the custody and investment of the fund, shall be entrusted to the Retirement Commission. The commission may employ actuarial, clerical and other assistance necessary for its purposes and may make reasonable regulations for carrying out the provisions of sections 45a-34 to 45a-52, inclusive, including designation of the times and manner in which the courts of probate shall make the payments required by said sections.

(b) Each court of probate shall furnish, at the times and in the manner which the Retirement Commission directs, information concerning the names, ages, length of service and compensation of employees and judges of the probate courts and any other data which the Retirement Commission determines to be necessary for implementing said sections and give prompt notice of all appointments, removals, deaths, resignations, leaves of absence and changes in compensation of employees and judges.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 42; P.A. 80-476, S. 52.)

History: P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions but made no substantive changes; Sec. 45-29q transferred to Sec. 45a-50 in 1991.

Annotation to former section 45-29q:

Primary standards relating to duties of retirement commission held adequate. 157 C. 150.

Sec. 45a-51. (Formerly Sec. 45-29r). Liability of courts. (a) Each court of probate shall be liable to the fund for the cost of maintaining for its employees the retirement system herein provided for, including all contributions collected from amounts otherwise payable to employees and judges.

(b) The liability of a court under this section shall be enforceable by the Retirement Commission through appropriate action in the Superior Court.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 43; P.A. 80-476, S. 53.)

History: P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs.; Sec. 45-29r transferred to Sec. 45a-51 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-52. (Formerly Sec. 45-29s). Liability of retirement fund in event of statutory change. If any of sections 45a-34 to 45a-52, inclusive, are amended or repealed, the liability of the retirement fund to a member or person claiming through that member shall be limited to the contributions made by such member, with interest. All future retirement allowances vested by the retirement of members shall be paid in full in accordance with the terms of said sections. The rights of the Retirement Commission to compel the payment by the courts of probate of the sum or sums necessary to provide the retirement allowances granted to eligible employees and judges formerly employed by the courts of probate shall not be affected by such repeal or amendment.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 44; P.A. 80-476, S. 54; P.A. 88-155, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 80-476 rephrased provisions but made no substantive changes; P.A. 88-155 specified that, in the event of amendment to or repeal of Secs. 45-29a to 45-29s, liability of fund to members or others person is the amount of contributions “with” interest, rather than “without” interest as was previously the case; Sec. 45-29s transferred to Sec. 45a-52 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-53. (Formerly Sec. 45-29t). Service as judge and employee. If a person has served as a judge of probate, or acting judge of probate, or both, and also as an employee, and has completed at least ten years of credited service as defined in subsection (2) of section 45a-34, the average final compensation will be the three highest paid years of service.

(1972, P.A. 244, S. 3; P.A. 77-40, S. 3; P.A. 79-454, S. 11, 12; P.A. 80-476, S. 55; P.A. 82-472, S. 125, 183; P.A. 84-546, S. 100, 173; P.A. 94-98, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 77-40 required completion of 12 years’ credited service and based compensation on both service as judge and service as employee, where previously compensation based on service as employee only and on 3 consecutive highest paid years as an employee; P.A. 79-454 reduced required years of service to 10; P.A. 80-476 made slight change in wording; P.A. 82-472 made technical change; P.A. 84-546 made technical change; Sec. 45-29t transferred to Sec. 45a-53 in 1991; P.A. 94-98 deleted reference to “subdivision (c)” of Sec. 45a-34(2) and deleted former provision re determination of average final compensation and provided that such compensation shall be the 3 highest paid years of service.

Sec. 45a-54. (Formerly Sec. 45-29w). Credit for military service and General Assembly service. (a) Any judge or employee who is not yet receiving a retirement allowance may apply to the Retirement Commission for credit for service as a member of the General Assembly and for military service, consisting of war service, as defined in section 27-103 and subdivision (29) of section 5-196, and national emergency service as defined by law, provided credit for such military and General Assembly service shall not exceed three years in the aggregate. Any such application for credit for service as a member of the General Assembly must be filed within one year of the date upon which the judge or employee first becomes a member or within one year of October 1, 1986, whichever is later. Any such application for credit for military service must be filed within one year of the date upon which the judge or employee first becomes a member or within one year of October 1, 1994, whichever is later.

(b) Upon receiving an application, the Retirement Commission shall grant credit for General Assembly and military service, provided: (1) The member who has performed such service has not received and will not receive a pension from any source other than the probate retirement system as a result of such service; (2) the member makes retirement contributions in an amount determined by the Retirement Commission to be sufficient to pay both the retirement contribution of the member as an employee or judge and the current service cost to the Probate Court Administration Fund for financing the pension credit for such period or periods; and (3) such contributions are paid during the twelve months following the member’s application in the manner and subject to the requirements and penalties provided by section 45a-44 for employee members or section 45a-45 for judges.

(c) For an employee member, the commission shall determine the amount of the contribution required, for the purposes of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, based on his annual rate of pay at the date of application. For a judge member, the commission shall determine said amount based on the average of the annual actual net income for the judge of his court, as determined from the income reports filed under section 45a-92, for the three calendar years prior to the date of application, except that if the judge applying for such credit has taken office in a probate district which has not been in existence for three years, the Probate Court Administrator initially shall estimate said annual net income; thereafter, such judge shall make or receive an adjustment in contributions, during the fourth calendar year of his service as a judge of probate, such that his retirement contributions for his purchased service credit shall be computed on the basis of the average of his annual actual net income for the first three calendar years of his service as a judge of probate.

(P.A. 86-242, S. 2, 3; P.A. 93-279, S. 17; P.A. 96-168, S. 26, 34.)

History: Sec. 45-29w transferred to Sec. 45a-54 in 1991; P.A. 93-279 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision requiring application for credit for military service to be filed within one year of date when judge or employee first becomes a member or within one year of October 1, 1994, whichever is later; P.A. 96-168 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical change which changed the reference to “subsection (bb)” to “subdivision (29)”, effective July 1, 1996.

Sec. 45a-55. (Formerly Sec. 45-29x). Pension claims. Denial. Review. (a) Any claim for a pension which may become available in accordance with the provisions of sections 45a-1 to 45a-12, inclusive, 45a-18 to 45a-26, inclusive, 45a-34 to 45a-56, inclusive, 45a-62 to 45a-68, inclusive, 45a-74 to 45a-83, inclusive, 45a-90 to 45a-93, inclusive, 45a-98, 45a-99, 45a-105, 45a-119 to 45a-123, inclusive, 45a-128, 45a-130, 45a-131, 45a-133, 45a-199 and 45a-202, may be submitted in writing to the commission. Any such claim will be reviewed and decided by the commission. The claimant shall be advised of the processing status of the claim upon reasonable request.

(b) If any claim is denied, a claimant may request that the decision be reviewed and reconsidered by the commission. Thereafter, any contested case shall be heard and decided in accordance with chapter 54.

(P.A. 88-155, S. 5, 6; P.A. 09-114, S. 23; P.A. 12-66, S. 6.)

History: Sec. 45-29x transferred to Sec. 45a-55 in 1991; P.A. 09-114 substituted “45a-93” for “45a-94” in Subsec. (a), effective January 5, 2011; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (a) to delete “or any other benefit” re claim submitted and make a technical change.

Sec. 45a-56. (Formerly Sec. 45-29y). Hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance and dental insurance plan. Eligibility. Payment of premium. Election to participate in dental insurance plan. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 5-259, the Comptroller, with the approval of the Attorney General and the Insurance Commissioner, shall arrange and procure a group hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance and dental insurance plan for the probate judges and employees retirement system with coverage equal to that available under section 5-259, or otherwise available, to retired state employees and their spouses and surviving spouses.

(b) Any member of the probate judges and employees retirement system who is retired and receiving benefits from such system, and the spouse of any such member, and upon the death of any such member, such member’s surviving spouse, while receiving benefits from such system, may elect to participate in the group insurance plan procured by the Comptroller under subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The premium charged for any such member and spouse or surviving spouse who elects to participate in the group hospitalization and medical and surgical portion of such coverage shall be paid from funds appropriated to the State Comptroller, for Fringe Benefits, for Retired State Employees Health Service Cost. Twenty per cent of the premium charged for any such member and spouse or surviving spouse who elects to participate in the group dental portion of such coverage shall be paid from said funds, and the remainder of the premium for such coverage shall be paid by the participant. On July 1, 2011, and monthly thereafter, the State Treasurer shall transfer from the General Fund to the State Comptroller the amount of premium due for the month pursuant to this subsection, as certified by the State Comptroller.

(d) Any such member and spouse or surviving spouse who is a participant in the group insurance plan in effect prior to October 1, 1994, may elect to participate in the plan set forth in subsection (a) of this section at the premiums set forth in subsection (c) of this section, provided such election is made within sixty days of October 1, 1994.

(P.A. 88-155, S. 7; P.A. 94-98, S. 8; P.A. 05-288, S. 148, 149; P.A. 09-114, S. 6; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 37.)

History: Sec. 45-29y transferred to Sec. 45a-56 in 1991; P.A. 94-98 amended Subsec. (a) to require comptroller to procure dental insurance plan for probate judges and employees retirement system, amended Subsec. (c) by eliminating provision re payment of 50% of premium for group hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance and requiring payment of 20% of premium charged for dental insurance from the retirement fund, and added Subsec. (d) re participation in dental insurance plan, requiring election to participate within 60 days of October 1, 1994; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsecs. (b) and (d), effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 09-114 amended Subsec. (c) to replace provision re payment from retirement fund with provision re payment from funds appropriated to Comptroller, and to provide that on July 1, 2011, and monthly thereafter, State Treasurer shall transfer from the General Fund to Comptroller the amount of premium due for the month, effective January 1, 2011, and applicable to premiums paid on or after January 1, 2011; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 changed effective date of P.A. 09-114, S. 6, from effective January 1, 2011, and applicable to premiums paid on or after January 1, 2011, to effective July 1, 2011, and applicable to premiums paid on or after that date, effective October 5, 2009.

Sec. 45a-57. Hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance plan. Eligibility. Payment of premium. Section 45a-57 is repealed, effective January 1, 1997.

(P.A. 93-232, S. 1; P.A. 96-110, S. 3, 4.)

Secs. 45a-58 to 45a-61. Reserved for future use.

PART IV

COUNCIL ON PROBATE JUDICIAL CONDUCT

Sec. 45a-62. (Formerly Sec. 45-11d). Council on Probate Judicial Conduct. (a) There shall be a Council on Probate Judicial Conduct to consist of one judge of probate elected by the judges of probate, one referee appointed by the Chief Justice from among the state referees who have retired from the Supreme Court or Superior Court, one person appointed by the Governor who shall be an attorney-at-law, admitted to practice in this state and actively engaged in the practice of law in this state for at least five years, and two persons appointed by the Governor who are not attorneys-at-law. Such appointments shall be made on October 1, 1975, and every four years thereafter.

(b) The members of the council shall serve for terms of four years and if for any reason they fail to complete their terms, a successor shall be appointed for the remainder of such terms by the same appointing authority as was the member who was succeeded. The council shall elect a chairman from among its members to serve for a term of two years from the date of his election. Members of the council, except the referee appointed by the Chief Justice, shall receive compensation for their services not to exceed one hundred dollars per diem. The referee appointed by the Chief Justice shall be compensated as provided in section 52-434. All members shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties from the budget of the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(P.A. 75-592, S. 1; P.A. 80-476, S. 20; P.A. 82-338, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and specified that appointments be made every four years; P.A. 82-338 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that all members receive compensation not to exceed $100 per diem, except that the referee appointed by the chief justice be compensated as provided in Sec. 52-434 where previously members received no compensation other than expenses; Sec. 45-11d transferred to Sec. 45a-62 in 1991.

See Sec. 45a-68 re requirement that judges file statements of financial interest with council.

Annotations to former section 45-11d:

Cited. 192 C. 704. Cited. 193 C. 180. Cited. 215 C. 553.

Sec. 45a-63. (Formerly Sec. 45-11e). Duties and powers of council re complaints against probate judges. (a) The Council on Probate Judicial Conduct shall investigate every written complaint brought before it alleging conduct of judges of probate which may violate any law or canon of ethics applicable to judges of probate, or failure to perform properly the duties of the office, or conduct prejudicial to the impartial and effective administration of justice which brings the judicial office in disrepute, or final conviction of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or disbarment or suspension as an attorney-at-law, or the wilful failure to file a financial statement or the filing of a fraudulent financial statement required under section 45a-68. In making any such investigation, the council may use the services of the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, or any chief inspector, inspector or investigator in the Division of Criminal Justice, or may engage the services of private investigators if it deems such services necessary.

(b) If (1) the complaint filed involves the judge of probate who is a member of the council, the judge shall be disqualified from acting in his capacity as a council member in the investigation and hearing on the matter, or (2) a judge of probate who is a member of the council is unable to act for any other reason, a judge of probate shall be appointed to act in his stead by the president-judge of the Connecticut Probate Assembly. If a council member appointed by the Chief Justice disqualifies himself with regard to a matter before the council, or is unable to act for any other reason, the Chief Justice shall appoint a substitute member to act in connection with such matter. If a council member appointed by the Governor disqualifies himself with regard to a matter before the council, or is unable to act for any other reason, the Governor shall appoint a substitute member to act in connection with such matter. Any substitute shall satisfy the same criteria for selection as the disqualified member.

(c) The council may engage the services of legal counsel who shall direct any investigation ordered by the council. Such counsel may conduct the examination of witnesses, present any evidence deemed relevant, cross-examine witnesses presented by any person and perform such other duties as the council deems necessary for the conduct of its business.

(d) The council shall not later than five days after receipt of such complaint or motion of the council notify by registered or certified mail any judge against whom such complaint is filed or motion is made and a copy of such complaint or motion shall accompany such notice. The council shall also notify the complainant of its receipt of such complaint not later than five days thereafter. Any investigation to determine whether or not there is probable cause that judicial misconduct under subsection (a) of this section has been committed shall be confidential and any individual called by the council for the purpose of providing information shall not disclose his knowledge of such investigation to a third party unless the judge requests that such investigation and disclosure be open. The judge shall have the right to appear and be heard and to offer any information which may tend to clear him of probable cause to believe that he has committed an act of judicial misconduct under subsection (a) of this section. The judge shall also have the right to be represented by legal counsel and examine and cross-examine witnesses.

(e) The council shall, not later than seven business days after the termination of such investigation, notify the complainant and the judge that the investigation has been terminated and whether probable cause has been found that judicial misconduct under subsection (a) of this section has been committed. If the council finds that judicial misconduct under subsection (a) of this section has not been committed, but the judge has acted in a manner which gives the appearance of impropriety or constitutes an unfavorable judicial practice, the council may issue a private admonishment to the judge recommending a change in judicial conduct or practice.

(P.A. 75-592, S. 2; P.A. 77-604, S. 27, 84; 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 78-281, S. 4; P.A. 80-476, S. 21; P.A. 82-338, S. 2; P.A. 83-379, S. 1; P.A. 85-114; P.A. 90-35, S. 1; P.A. 07-115, S. 2; 07-217, S. 161; P.A. 11-51, S. 134.)

History: P.A. 77-604 replaced reference to detectives with reference to chief inspectors and inspectors; P.A. 77-614 made state police department a division within the department of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-281 authorized investigation of wilful failure to file or filing of fraudulent financial statement; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and reworded provisions; P.A. 82-338 amended Subsec. (b) to permit council to hire private investigators if it deems such services necessary and added Subsec. (d) permitting employment of legal counsel to direct investigation ordered by council; P.A. 83-379 deleted former Subsec. (a), relettering former Subsecs. (b) to (d) accordingly, adding provision requiring council to investigate every written complaint and adding “conduct prejudicial to the impartial and effective administration of justice”, “final conviction of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude” and “disbarment or suspension as an attorney at law” as grounds for complaint, and added Subsecs. (d) and (e) re notification of judge against whom complaint is filed and of complainant, confidentiality of investigation to determine probable cause, right to a hearing and counsel and issuance of an admonishment; P.A. 85-114 amended Subsec. (e) to require notification re probable cause; P.A. 90-35 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re appointment of substitute members of the council if member disqualifies himself or is unable to act for any other reason and amended Subsecs. (d) and (e) by changing “conduct” to “misconduct” and adding “private” before “admonishment”; Sec. 45-11e transferred to Sec. 45a-63 in 1991; P.A. 07-115 amended Subsec. (e) to substitute “seven business days” for “three business days” and make a technical change; P.A. 07-217 made a technical change in Subsec. (e), effective July 12, 2007; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Department of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection” in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 2011.

Annotations to former section 45-11e:

Cited. 193 C. 180. Cited. 215 C. 553. Cited. 240 C. 157.

Subsec. (b):

Cited. 192 C. 704.

Annotation to present section:

Cited. 240 C. 157.

Sec. 45a-63a. Limitation of complaint for judicial misconduct. No complaint for judicial misconduct against a judge of probate shall be brought under section 45a-63 but within eight years from the date the alleged judicial misconduct was committed.

(P.A. 90-35, S. 4.)

Sec. 45a-64. (Formerly Sec. 45-11f). Hearing. If a preliminary investigation indicates that probable cause exists that the judge has committed an act of judicial misconduct under section 45a-63, the council shall hold a hearing concerning the misconduct or complaint. All hearings held pursuant to this section shall be open. The council shall make a record of all proceedings pursuant to this section. The council shall, not later than fifteen days after the close of such hearing, publish its findings together with a memorandum of its reasons therefor. Any judge of probate who is under investigation and who appears before the hearing shall be entitled to counsel, shall be entitled to present evidence, and shall have the right to cross-examine witnesses.

(P.A. 75-592, S. 3; P.A. 80-476, S. 22; P.A. 82-338, S. 3; P.A. 83-379, S. 2; P.A. 90-35, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions but made no substantive change; P.A. 82-338 specified that decisions of council are not public records, “except as provided in subsection (f) of section 45-11g”; P.A. 83-379 revised provisions re hearing after a determination of probable cause, requiring that all hearings be open, that the council publish its findings together with a memorandum not later than 15 days after the close of the hearing and that judge under investigation is entitled to present evidence; P.A. 90-35 changed “is guilty of judicial conduct” to “has committed judicial misconduct” and changed “conduct” to “misconduct”; Sec. 45-11f transferred to Sec. 45a-64 in 1991.

Annotations to former section 45-11f:

Cited. 193 C. 180. Cited. 215 C. 553.

Annotation to present section:

Cited. 224 C 29.

Sec. 45a-65. (Formerly Sec. 45-11g). Report of council’s findings. Public admonishment; private admonishment; public censure; impeachment; exoneration. (a) The council shall, after the hearing provided under section 45a-64, prepare a report of its investigation and a recommendation as to whether the judge of probate investigated should be publicly admonished, publicly censured or exonerated of the allegations of the complaint. If the council finds that judicial misconduct under subsection (a) of section 45a-63, has not been committed, but the judge has acted in a manner which gives the appearance of impropriety or constitutes an unfavorable judicial practice, the council may issue a private admonishment to the judge recommending a change in judicial conduct or practice.

(b) If public admonishment or public censure is recommended, the chairman shall prepare and forward the admonishment or censure in writing to the judge of probate being admonished or censured, signing the admonishment or censure as chairman of the council. A judge may, within twenty days after receiving notice of public admonishment or censure by the council, appeal to the Supreme Court of Connecticut. A judge filing an appeal shall give notice of its filing to the council before the expiration of time for filing of an appeal. The council shall, within two weeks following receipt of notice of an appeal, file a finding of fact and conclusions therefrom. A copy of the admonishment or censure shall be furnished the Chief Justice, the Chief Court Administrator, the Probate Court Administrator, the president-judge of the Connecticut Probate Assembly, the town clerk or clerk in each town in the district served by such judge of probate and the complainant.

(c) If, in the judgment of the council, the facts so warrant, it may recommend to the House of Representatives the institution of impeachment proceedings.

(d) If the council exonerates a judge of probate, a copy of the proceedings and report of the council shall be furnished to the judge, the Probate Court Administrator and the complainant.

(e) Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of section 45a-63, all decisions of the council shall be public record and shall be available for inspection at the office of the Probate Court Administrator.

(P.A. 75-592, S. 4; P.A. 80-476, S. 23; P.A. 82-338, S. 4; P.A. 83-379, S. 3; P.A. 90-35, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 80-476 redesignated Subsecs. and reworded provisions but made no substantive change; P.A. 82-338 added provisions re public reprimand of judges, required copy of reprimand to be furnished to town clerk and complainant, required copy of censure to be furnished complainant, required copy of proceedings and report of exoneration to be furnished to the probate court administrator and complainant and provided all decisions of council shall be public record, except as provided in Subsecs. (b) and (c); P.A. 83-379 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions re admonishment, amended Subsec. (b) by adding “or censure” and deleting provision re stay of publication of censure during pendency of appeal and deleted provisions of Subsec. (c) re public censure; P.A. 90-35 changed “public reprimand” to “public admonishment”, added “private” before “admonishment” and changed “conduct” to “misconduct”; Sec. 45-11g transferred to Sec. 45a-65 in 1991.

Annotations to former section 45-11g:

Cited. 192 C. 704. Cited. 193 C. 180. Cited. 215 C. 553.

Sec. 45a-66. (Formerly Sec. 45-11h). Witnesses before council. Any person may be compelled, by subpoena signed by competent authority, to appear before the council to testify regarding any complaint brought to or by the council under section 45a-63, and also to produce before the council, for examination, any books or papers, which in the judgment of the council or any judges of probate under investigation, are relevant to the inquiry, investigation or hearing. While engaged in the discharge of its duties, the council shall have the same authority over witnesses as is provided in section 51-35 and may commit for contempt for a period of no longer than thirty days.

(P.A. 75-592, S. 5; P.A. 80-476, S. 24.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions but made no substantive change; Sec. 45-11h transferred to Sec. 45a-66 in 1991.

Annotation to former section 45-11h:

Cited. 193 C. 180.

Annotation to present section:

Cited. 222 C. 799.

Sec. 45a-67. (Formerly Sec. 45-11i). Expenses of council paid from probate fund. Any sums expended to implement the provisions of sections 45a-62 to 45a-66, inclusive, shall be appropriated from the Probate Court Administration Fund established in accordance with section 45a-82.

(P.A. 75-592, S. 6; P.A. 80-476, S. 25.)

History: P.A. 80-476 made no change; Sec. 45-11i transferred to Sec. 45a-67 in 1991.

Annotation to former section 45-11i:

Cited. 193 C. 180.

Sec. 45a-68. (Formerly Sec. 45-11j). Judge to file statement of financial interests. (a) Each judge of a court of probate shall file under penalty of false statement, a statement of financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct established in section 45a-62, on or before April fifteenth next following for any year in which the judge holds such position.

(b) The statement shall be on a form provided by the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct and shall include the following information for the preceding calendar year regarding the judge, his or her spouse and the dependent children living in his or her household: (1) The name of all businesses with which the judge, his or her spouse or any such child is associated; (2) the category or type of all sources of his or her income and that of his or her spouse or each child, in excess of one thousand dollars, but amounts of income need not be specified, and the names and addresses of specific clients and customers who provide more than five thousand dollars of income, but amounts of income need not be specified; (3) the name of each security in excess of five thousand dollars at fair market value owned by the judge or spouse or any such child or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of the judge, his or her spouse or any such child except in the case of a trust established by the judge, spouse or child for the purpose of divesting the judge or his or her spouse or any such child of all control and knowledge of the judge’s, spouse’s or child’s assets in order to avoid a conflict of interest during the judge’s term of office, but only the existence of such trust and the name of the trustee shall be included, and the value need not be specified; (4) all real property and its location, whether owned by the judge, his or her spouse or any such child or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of the judge, spouse or child. Each such judge shall file a disclosure of any fees or honorariums received for his or her own or his or her spouse’s or child’s appearance or the delivery of an address to any meeting of any organization within thirty days after receipt of the fee or honorarium.

(c) The statement or disclosure filed pursuant to this section shall be a matter of public information, except that the list of names filed in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section shall be sealed and confidential and for the use of the council only if an investigation has been initiated or a hearing is held under section 45a-63 and the council is of the opinion that disclosure of such list is germane to its investigation or hearing, or both. The list may also be subject to a subpoena in any criminal prosecution or impeachment proceedings.

(d) The financial statement and disclosure, except as otherwise provided in this section, shall be open to inspection at the office of the Probate Court Administrator.

(P.A. 78-281, S. 2; P.A. 80-476, S. 17.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions and added reference to “disclosure” in Subsecs. (c) and (d); Sec. 45-11j transferred to Sec. 45a-68 in 1991.

Annotation to former section 45-11j:

Cited. 192 C. 704.

Secs. 45a-69 to 45a-73. Reserved for future use.

PART V

PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR

Sec. 45a-74. (Formerly Sec. 45-3a). Probate Court Administrator. Appointment and term. Service as a judge of probate. (a) There shall be a Probate Court Administrator who shall be appointed from among the judges of the several courts of probate by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to serve at his pleasure. If the Probate Court Administrator is unable by reason of sickness, absence or other disability to perform the duties of his office, or if there is a vacancy in the office of Probate Court Administrator, the Chief Justice shall designate another judge of a court of probate to act in his stead until he resumes his duties or until a new Probate Court Administrator is appointed.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator shall devote full time to the duties of his office except that he may serve as a judge of probate but shall not engage in the private practice of law. Any Probate Court Administrator who continues to serve as a judge of probate shall not receive compensation as a judge of probate or benefits that would ordinarily inure to him as a judge of probate while he is serving as Probate Court Administrator. Any Probate Court Administrator who ceases to serve as a judge of probate may continue to serve as Probate Court Administrator at the pleasure of the Chief Justice.

(P.A. 73-365, S. 1; P.A. 74-94, S. 1, 5; P.A. 80-476, S. 26; P.A. 10-41, S. 6.)

History: P.A. 74-94 specified that administrator shall devote full time to duties, that he may be a judge of probate but not engage in private practice of law and that if he ceases to be a probate judge he may continue to hold office as administrator at chief justice’s pleasure; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and made minor wording changes; Sec. 45-3a transferred to Sec. 45a-74 in 1991; P.A. 10-41 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that any Probate Court Administrator who continues to serve as judge of probate shall not receive compensation or benefits as a judge of probate while serving as Probate Court Administrator, effective May 18, 2010.

Sec. 45a-75. (Formerly Sec. 45-29u). Probate Court Administrator, salary and benefits. (a) The Probate Court Administrator shall be paid by the Judicial Department and shall be compensated in the same manner and amount as a Superior Court judge as provided in section 51-47. For the purposes of computing longevity payments under the provisions of section 51-47, the date of appointment as Probate Court Administrator shall be used to determine years of service.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator shall receive: (1) Retirement benefits provided in sections 51-49 to 51-50b, inclusive, and section 51-51; (2) life insurance benefits provided in section 5-257; (3) medical insurance benefits as provided in section 5-259; and (4) any other benefits which may be established for Superior Court judges by the General Assembly or by the Judicial Department.

(c) The Judicial Department shall be reimbursed for such salary and benefits by transfer from the fund established in section 45a-82. Any Probate Court Administrator, who upon his retirement is not eligible to participate in the retirement benefits provided in sections 51-50 and 51-50a, may elect to participate in the benefits of sections 45a-34 to 45a-53, inclusive. Any contributions paid to the General Fund in accordance with section 51-50b shall be transferred to the fund established under section 45a-82. Any Probate Court Administrator who has elected retirement under the provisions of section 51-50 shall not be eligible for retirement benefits under sections 45a-34 to 45a-53, inclusive. All sums which have been paid into the retirement fund for judges of probate by a probate judge who becomes Probate Court Administrator shall be transferred to the General Fund as specified in section 51-50b. For the purposes of fulfilling the time requirements for retirement set forth in sections 51-49 to 51-50b, inclusive, service by the Probate Court Administrator as a judge of probate before his appointment as administrator shall be included.

(d) If a Probate Court Administrator ceases to be Probate Court Administrator for any reason other than retirement, he may participate in the benefits established in sections 45a-34 to 45a-53, inclusive, and any contributions paid to the General Fund in accordance with section 51-50b shall be transferred to the fund established under section 45a-82. For the purposes of fulfilling the time requirements of section 45a-38, 45a-39 or 45a-40, service as Probate Court Administrator shall be credited as service as a judge of probate.

(P.A. 74-94, S. 4, 5; P.A. 76-436, S. 639, 681; P.A. 80-194; 80-476, S. 27; P.A. 85-137, S. 1, 2.)

History: P.A. 76-436 specified compensation of administrator is same as for a superior court judge “who has served the maximum number of years for the highest salary provided in section 51-47” rather than as for a superior court judge “including the salary provided in section 51-47”, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 80-194 substituted reference to Secs. 51-49 to 51-50b for reference to Secs. 51-50 and 51-50a; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; P.A. 85-137 added provision re computation of longevity payments payable under Sec. 51-47 on or after July 1, 1984; Sec. 45-29u transferred to Sec. 45a-75 in 1991.

Annotations to former section 45-29u:

Cited. 213 C. 54. Cited. 214 C. 552.

Sec. 45a-76. (Formerly Sec. 45-4e). Biennial report by Probate Court Administrator. The Probate Court Administrator shall file with the Chief Court Administrator, on or before the first day of April of each even-numbered year, a report of the business of the office of the Probate Court Administrator during the biennium ending on the preceding June thirtieth, together with any information that the Chief Court Administrator may request.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 9; P.A. 80-476, S. 28; P.A. 93-279, S. 2; P.A. 12-66, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions but made no substantive changes; Sec. 45-4e transferred to Sec. 45a-76 in 1991; P.A. 93-279 deleted provisions re duties of administrator to attend to matters necessary for efficient operation of courts and expeditious dispatch and proper conduct of business of courts and to make recommendations to general assembly re statutory changes to improve administration of courts; P.A. 12-66 substituted provisions re report filed in each even-numbered year re business during biennium ending the preceding June thirtieth for provisions re annual report for the prior calendar year and made a technical change.

Annotation to former section 45-4e:

Cited. 157 C. 159.

Sec. 45a-77. (Formerly Sec. 45-4d). Powers and duties of Probate Court Administrator. Regulations. Review of probate court procedures. Examination of probate court records and files. (a) The Probate Court Administrator may attend to any matters that the Probate Court Administrator considers necessary for the efficient operation of the courts of probate and for the expeditious dispatch and proper conduct of the business of such courts. The Probate Court Administrator shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and the regulations issued under this section, and shall ensure performance of the duties of judges of probate and clerks of the courts of probate in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and such regulations. The Probate Court Administrator may make recommendations to the General Assembly for legislation for the improvement of the administration of the courts of probate.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator may issue and shall enforce regulations, provided such regulations are approved in accordance with subsection (d) of this section. Such regulations shall be binding on all courts of probate and shall concern the following matters for the administration of the probate court system: (1) Auditing, accounting, statistical, billing, recording, filing, records management and other court procedures; (2) reassignment and transfer of cases; (3) training of court personnel and continuing education programs for judges of probate, probate magistrates, attorney probate referees and court personnel; (4) remitting funds received by the courts of probate under section 45a-7a to the Probate Court Administration Fund; (5) administering the compensation plan established under section 45a-85 for employees of the courts of probate; (6) establishing criteria for staffing levels for the courts of probate for the purposes of subsection (b) of section 45a-85; (7) establishing criteria for the development and approval of miscellaneous office budgets for the courts of probate for the purposes of subsection (b) of section 45a-85; (8) expending funds from the Probate Court Administration Fund for the purposes set forth in the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivisions (4) to (7), inclusive, of this subsection; and (9) the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and the regulations issued pursuant to this section, including, but not limited to, recovery of expenses associated with any such enforcement, as permitted by such regulations.

(c) The Probate Court Administrator may, in consultation with the Public Records Administrator, issue and enforce regulations under subsection (b) of this section, or establish policies or retention schedules, for the management, preservation and disposition of judicial records, papers and documents and administrative records maintained by the courts of probate.

(d) (1) Either the Probate Court Administrator or the executive committee of the Connecticut Probate Assembly may propose regulations authorized under subsection (b) of this section. Any regulation proposed by the Probate Court Administrator shall be submitted to the executive committee of the Connecticut Probate Assembly for approval. Any regulation proposed by the executive committee of the Connecticut Probate Assembly shall be submitted to the Probate Court Administrator for approval. If either the Probate Court Administrator or the executive committee of the Connecticut Probate Assembly fails to approve a proposed regulation, such proposed regulation may be submitted to a panel of three Superior Court judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The panel of judges, after consideration of the positions of the Probate Court Administrator and the executive committee of the Connecticut Probate Assembly, shall either approve the proposed regulation or reject the proposed regulation.

(2) Any proposed new regulation and any change in an existing regulation issued under this section on or after July 1, 2007, shall be submitted to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary for approval or disapproval in its entirety, provided, if more than one proposed new regulation or change in an existing regulation is submitted at the same time, said committee shall approve or disapprove all such proposed new regulations and changes in existing regulations together in their entirety. Unless disapproved by said committee within ninety days of the date of such submittal, each such regulation shall become effective on the date specified in such regulation, but not in any event until ninety days after promulgation.

(e) The Probate Court Administrator shall regularly review the auditing, accounting, statistical, billing, recording, filing, records management, administrative and other procedures of the courts of probate.

(f) The Probate Court Administrator shall, personally, or by an authorized designee of the Probate Court Administrator who has been admitted to the practice of law in this state for at least five years, visit each court of probate at least once during each two-year period to examine the records and files of such court in the presence of the judge of the court or the judge’s authorized designee. The Probate Court Administrator shall make any additional inquiries that the Probate Court Administrator considers appropriate to ascertain whether the business of the court, including the charging of costs and payments to the State Treasurer, has been conducted in accordance with law, rules of the courts of probate, regulations issued under this section and the canons of judicial ethics, and to obtain information concerning the business of the courts of probate which is necessary for the Probate Court Administrator to perform properly the duties of the office.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 8; 1971, P.A. 109; P.A. 80-476, S. 29; P.A. 81-472, S. 76, 159; P.A. 91-26; P.A. 93-279, S. 3; 93-435, S. 87; P.A. 07-184, S. 11; P.A. 09-114, S. 1; P.A. 10-34, S. 1; P.A. 12-66, S. 23.)

History: 1971 act required that designee have been practicing in state for at least five years and required examination of each courts’ records, etc. biennially (during even-numbered years) rather than annually; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and reordered and reworded provisions; P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; Sec. 45-4d transferred to Sec. 45a-77 in 1991; P.A. 91-26 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting “even-numbered year” and inserting “two-year period” in lieu thereof; P.A. 93-279 inserted new Subsec. (a) re duties of probate court administrator re matters necessary for efficient operation of probate court and recommendations to general assembly re legislation for improvement of probate courts and Subsec. (b) re regulations and procedures for adoption and approval, relettering prior Subsecs. as (c) and (d) and making technical changes; P.A. 93-435 amended the section by dividing Subsec. (b) into Subdivs. and making minor technical changes; P.A. 07-184 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that Probate Court Administrator shall administer and enforce provisions of chapter and regulations and ensure performance of duties of probate judges and clerks, amended Subsec. (b)(1) to insert “shall enforce” re regulations, insert Subpara. designators (A) to (D), and insert new provisions as Subparas. (B), (C) and (D) re reassignment and transfer of cases, training, and enforcement of chapter and regulations, redesignated existing Subsec. (b)(3) as Subsec. (c)(1), inserted new Subsec. (c)(2) re submission of proposed new regulations, on or after July 1, 2007, to General Assembly’s committee on the judiciary and approval or disapproval by the committee, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) and (d) as Subsecs. (d) and (e), and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 09-114 amended Subsec. (b)(1) to add training re probate magistrates and attorney probate referees in Subpara. (C), add new Subparas. (D) to (H) re remitting funds, administering compensation plan, establishing criteria for staffing levels and office budgets and expending funds from Probate Court Administration Fund and redesignate existing Subpara. (D) as Subpara. (I), and amended Subsec. (b)(2) to insert “subdivision (1)” re Subsec. (c), delete former Subpara. (C) re hours of court operation and redesignate existing Subpara. (D) as Subpara. (C), effective June 9, 2009; P.A. 10-34 amended Subsec. (b) to remove former Subdiv. (1) designator and delete former Subdiv. (2) re regulations adopted in accordance with Ch. 54, redesignate existing Subparas. (A) to (I) of former Subdiv. (1) as new Subdivs. (1) to (9), add “record maintenance” in redesignated Subdiv. (1) and make technical changes in redesignated Subdiv. (8), and amended Subsec. (d) to add “record maintenance”; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (b)(1) to substitute “records management” for “record maintenance”, added new Subsec. (c) re authority of Probate Court Administrator, in consultation with Public Records Administrator, to issue and enforce regulations or establish policies or retention schedules re records, papers and documents maintained by courts of probate, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (e) as Subsecs. (d) to (f), and made conforming changes.

Annotation to former section 45-4d:

Standards established by section 51-5 and this section held adequate for delegation of these powers to probate court administrator by general assembly. 157 C. 150.

Sec. 45a-78. (Formerly Sec. 45-4f). Rules for probate practice and procedure. Practice book. (a) The Probate Court Administrator shall, from time to time, recommend to the judges of the Supreme Court, for adoption and promulgation pursuant to the provisions of section 51-14, uniform rules for practice and procedure in the courts of probate. Any rules for practice and procedure so adopted and promulgated shall be mandatory upon all courts of probate. To assist him in formulating such recommendations, the Probate Court Administrator shall meet with the Probate Assembly at least annually, and may meet with members of the bar of this state and with the general public.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator shall, from time to time, compile into a probate practice book all rules regarding practice and procedure in the courts of probate and all forms prescribed for use in probate courts. The Probate Court Administrator shall cause the probate practice book to be published, shall pay for the probate practice book from the fund established under section 45a-82 and shall sell the probate practice book, at a price determined by the Probate Court Administrator. The proceeds from the sales shall be added to and shall become a part of said fund.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 10, 11; P.A. 80-476, S. 30; P.A. 04-257, S. 67.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions but made no substantive changes; Sec. 45-4f transferred to Sec. 45a-78 in 1991; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective June 14, 2004.

Annotations to former section 45-4f:

Cited. 192 C. 234.

Subsec. (a):

General assembly may delegate its rule-making power for lower courts. 157 C. 150.

Sec. 45a-79. (Formerly Sec. 45-4g). Probate judges and court employees to cooperate with administrator. The judges and employees of the various courts of probate, and the officers and employees of the Probate Assembly, shall cooperate with the Probate Court Administrator and shall provide the administrator or his assistants with information and statistical data bearing on the business of the probate courts which he requests, except for information which is deemed confidential under the laws of this state.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 12; 1969, P.A. 323, S. 1; P.A. 80-476, S. 31.)

History: 1969 act removed information concerning commitments to mental institutions from exception to disclosure provision; P.A. 80-476 excepted information deemed confidential under state law rather than “confidential information involving adoptions” and reworded provision; Sec. 45-4g transferred to Sec. 45a-79 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-79a. Probate Court Administrator’s powers re deficiencies in court conduct or facilities. Hearings. Regulations. Appeals. (a) If the Probate Court Administrator determines that the business of a court of probate has not been conducted in accordance with law or the regulations issued pursuant to section 45a-77, or that the business of a court of probate is not being conducted properly or with expeditious dispatch, or that suitable court facilities are not being provided for a court of probate in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) of section 45a-8, the Probate Court Administrator may meet with the judge of such court in an effort to correct any such deficiencies. If the Probate Court Administrator determines that action under this section is warranted, the Probate Court Administrator shall give written notice of his or her determinations made under this subsection, and the reasons therefor, to the judge of such court. The Probate Court Administrator shall include with such notice the Probate Court Administrator’s proposed disposition of the matter, which may include one or more of the following actions: (1) Reassignment of any case pending before such court to a special assignment probate judge or to another judge of probate by means of a citation in the manner provided in section 45a-120; (2) designation of a special assignment probate judge to assist the judge of such court in conducting the business of such court; or (3) recovery of expenses associated with any of such actions, as permitted by regulations issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77.

(b) (1) Not later than ten business days after receiving written notice as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a judge of probate who is the subject of an action of the Probate Court Administrator under this section may file with the Probate Court Administrator a request for a hearing before a review panel. The review panel shall consist of (A) a judge of probate selected by the Probate Court Administrator, (B) a judge of probate selected by the judge who is the subject of the action, and (C) a judge of probate jointly selected by the judges who have been selected under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this subdivision, except that if such judges are unable to make a joint selection, the judge of probate required under this subparagraph shall be selected by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

(2) Not later than fifteen business days after the filing of a request for a hearing under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the review panel shall hold a hearing on the Probate Court Administrator’s determination and proposed disposition of the matter. The Probate Court Administrator and the judge who is the subject of the action shall have a right to be heard and present evidence at the hearing. The Probate Court Administrator shall have the burden of proving that such judge received written notice as required by subsection (a) of this section. After the hearing, a majority of the members of the review panel may affirm, dismiss or modify the Probate Court Administrator’s determination and proposed disposition of the matter under subsection (a) of this section. Either the Probate Court Administrator or such judge may request that the matter be heard on the record under sections 51-72 and 51-73.

(c) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, if a timely request for a hearing is not filed under subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section by the judge who is the subject of the action, the Probate Court Administrator’s proposed disposition of the matter under subsection (a) of this section shall take effect immediately upon the expiration of the ten-business-day period set forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section.

(2) If the Probate Court Administrator, in consultation with the Chief Court Administrator, determines that, with respect to a pending case, an emergency exists due to the fact that a probate matter has not been conducted with expeditious dispatch within the proper time frames prescribed by law, rules of the courts of probate or regulations issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77, the Probate Court Administrator’s proposed disposition of the matter under subsection (a) of this section shall take effect when the judge who is the subject of the action receives notice as provided in subsection (a) of this section. Such proposed disposition shall be subject to such judge’s right to a hearing and the decision of the review panel under subsection (b) of this section, provided the validity of any order or decree made, proceeding held or other action taken by a special assignment probate judge or another judge of probate pursuant to such proposed disposition when an emergency exists due to the fact that a matter has not been conducted with expeditious dispatch, as provided in this subdivision, shall not be affected by any subsequent decision of the review panel under subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Probate Court Administrator shall issue regulations pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77 concerning rules of procedure for the conduct of any hearing before a review panel under this section. Such rules of procedure shall address: (1) The notice of the Probate Court Administrator’s determination and reasons therefor under subsection (a) of this section; (2) the content of a request for a hearing and any notice of hearing; (3) hearing procedures; (4) evidence; (5) subpoenas; (6) the production of documents; (7) continuances; (8) intervenors; (9) the hearing record; and (10) the right to cross-examine, present arguments and inspect and copy relevant materials.

(e) Any judge of probate who is aggrieved by any decision under this section may appeal such decision to the superior court for the judicial district in which the probate district of such judge is located. An appeal under this subsection shall be taken within thirty days of such decision. Appeals from any such decision rendered in any case after a record is made under sections 51-72 and 51-73 shall be on the record and shall not be a trial de novo. In any such appeal, the court may grant such relief as the court determines to be appropriate.

(P.A. 07-184, S. 12; P.A. 10-34, S. 6.)

History: P.A. 07-184 effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 10-34 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a), (c)(2) and (d).

Sec. 45a-79b. Special assignment probate judges. (a) There shall be special assignment probate judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, on nomination by the Probate Court Administrator, from among the judges of probate elected as provided in section 45a-18. A nominee of the Probate Court Administrator shall have demonstrated the special skill, experience or expertise necessary to serve as a special assignment probate judge. The Probate Court Administrator shall issue regulations pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77 to establish requirements concerning the responsibilities of special assignment probate judges and the number, geographic distribution and expertise of such judges. A special assignment probate judge shall serve at the pleasure of the Chief Justice.

(b) Subject to the approval of the Chief Court Administrator, the Probate Court Administrator shall fix the compensation of special assignment probate judges appointed pursuant to this section. Such compensation shall, on the order of the Probate Court Administrator, be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund established under section 45a-82. Such compensation, including compensation that a special assignment probate judge receives as a judge of probate of the district to which the judge was elected, shall not exceed the compensation provided for a judge of probate under subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 45a-95a. A special assignment probate judge shall have such benefits as may inure to him or her as a judge of probate and shall receive no additional benefits, except compensation provided under this subsection and retirement benefits calculated in accordance with sections 45a-34 to 45a-54, inclusive.

(P.A. 07-184, S. 13; P.A. 10-34, S. 7; 10-41, S. 3; P.A. 12-66, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 07-184 effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 10-34 made a technical change in Subsec. (a); P.A. 10-41 amended Subsec. (b) to substitute compensation for judge of probate under Sec. 45a-95a(a)(4) for compensation under Sec. 45a-92(k) and make a technical change, effective January 5, 2011; P.A. 12-66 amended Subsec. (b) to add provision re retirement benefits calculated under Secs. 45a-34 to 45a-54, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 45a-79c. Court of probate business hours. (a) A court of probate shall be open to the public for the conduct of court business not less than forty hours each week, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, on a regular schedule between the hours of eight o’clock a.m. and five o’clock p.m. The judge of probate of a probate district may close a court temporarily owing to inclement weather, an emergency or other good cause. Such judge shall immediately give notice of a temporary closing to the Probate Court Administrator, together with the reason for such closing and the date and time when the court will reopen.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator may, for good cause shown, modify the requirements of this section.

(P.A. 07-184, S. 14; P.A. 09-114, S. 16.)

History: P.A. 07-184 effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 09-114 substituted “forty hours” for “twenty hours” in Subsec. (a), effective January 1, 2011.

Sec. 45a-80. (Formerly Sec. 45-4a). Office space. (a) The Commissioner of Administrative Services shall provide such office space for the conduct of the duties of the office of the Probate Court Administrator as the Probate Court Administrator approves. The expenses of the office space shall be paid from the fund established under section 45a-82.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator shall purchase furniture, stationery, office supplies, typewriters, filing cabinets and such other equipment, apparatus and supplies, contractual services and other services as the Probate Court Administrator deems necessary or advisable for the expeditious conduct of the duties of the office and shall pay for them from the fund established under section 45a-82, subject to the provisions of section 45a-83.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 5; P.A. 77-258, S. 1; 77-614, S. 73, 610; P.A. 80-476, S. 32; P.A. 81-472, S. 74, 159; P.A. 87-496, S. 102, 110; P.A. 93-279, S. 4; P.A. 04-257, S. 68; P.A. 11-51, S. 44.)

History: P.A. 77-258 authorized purchase of “contractual services and such other services” as the administrator deems necessary and added proviso limiting expenditures made without chief court administrator’s approval; P.A. 77-614 replaced public works commissioner with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 80-476 substituted “office space” for “quarters” and reworded provisions; P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; P.A. 87-496 substituted “public works” for “administrative services” commissioner in Subsec. (a); Sec. 45-4a transferred to Sec. 45a-80 in 1991; P.A. 93-279 deleted provision in Subsec. (b) that probate court administrator shall make no expenditure exceeding $100 without approval of chief court administrator; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes, effective June 14, 2004; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Commissioner of Public Works” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Administrative Services” in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 45a-81. (Formerly Sec. 45-4b). Assistants and clerical help for Probate Court Administrator. (a) Subject to the approval of the Chief Court Administrator, the Probate Court Administrator shall appoint and fix the compensation of assistants and clerical help necessary to enable him to perform the duties of the office.

(b) Any such assistants who are attorneys-at-law shall be admitted to the practice of law in this state and shall not engage, directly or indirectly, in the practice of law before any court of probate.

(c) The assistants and clerical help so appointed may be employed by the Probate Court Administrator as employees of the Judicial Department.

(d) The executive secretary of the Judicial Department shall, on notice from the Probate Court Administrator, include the assistants and clerical help on the payroll of the Judicial Department. On presentation of vouchers by the executive secretary of the Judicial Department to the Probate Court Administrator, he shall reimburse the Judicial Department, from the fund established under section 45a-82, for the salary and benefits paid by the Judicial Department to or for the assistants and clerical help included on the Judicial Department payroll.

(e) The assistants and clerical help shall be members of the state employees retirement system and, on presentation of vouchers by the chief of the Retirement Division to the Probate Court Administrator, the administrator shall reimburse the State Employees Retirement Fund from the fund established under section 45a-82 for retirement benefits paid to the assistants and clerical help which exceed the contribution to the State Employees Retirement Fund by the assistants and clerical help.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 6; 1969, P.A. 160, S. 1; P.A. 77-258, S. 2; P.A. 80-476, S. 33; P.A. 81-472, S. 75, 159.)

History: 1969 act amplified provisions re employment of assistants and clerical help as to their inclusion as judicial department employees, reimbursement to judicial department of salaries and benefits amounts, inclusion in retirement system, etc. and deleted provision which had required that employees’ and assistants’ compensation be paid from trust fund established under Sec. 45-4h; P.A. 77-258 specified assistants who are attorneys at law; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and reworded provisions; P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; Sec. 45-4b transferred to Sec. 45a-81 in 1991.

Sec. 45a-82. (Formerly Sec. 45-4h). Probate Court Administration Fund. Transfers to retirement fund, General Fund and probate courts. Notice re sound actuarial basis of retirement fund. Annual accounting. (a) The Probate Court Administration Fund is established, to consist of the amounts provided in this section, to be paid over to the State Treasurer as provided in this section.

(b) The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the fund established by this section, with power to administer it, and to invest and reinvest as much of the fund as is not required for current disbursements in accordance with the provisions of the general statutes regarding the investment of savings banks.

(c) All payments from the fund established by this section that are authorized by sections 5-259, 17a-77, 17a-274, 17a-498, 17a-510, 19a-131b, 19a-131e, 19a-221, 45a-1 to 45a-12, inclusive, 45a-18 to 45a-26, inclusive, 45a-34 to 45a-56, inclusive, 45a-62 to 45a-68, inclusive, 45a-74 to 45a-83, inclusive, 45a-85, 45a-90 to 45a-93, inclusive, 45a-98, 45a-99, 45a-105, 45a-119 to 45a-123a, inclusive, 45a-128, 45a-130, 45a-131, 45a-133, 45a-152, 45a-175 to 45a-180, inclusive, 45a-199 and 45a-202, shall be made upon vouchers approved by the Probate Court Administrator.

(d) Monthly there shall be transferred from the fund established by this section to the retirement fund established by section 45a-35 not less than sufficient moneys, taking into account receipts by said retirement fund under the provisions of sections 45a-44 and 45a-45, to enable said retirement fund to meet its obligations as estimated by the Retirement Commission, until the Retirement Commission certifies that the retirement fund is on a sound actuarial basis.

(e) On or before July first annually, the Retirement Commission shall certify to the State Treasurer, on the basis of an actuarial determination, the amount to be transferred to the retirement fund to maintain the actuarial funding program adopted by the Retirement Commission.

(f) In addition to the payments authorized in subsections (a) to (e), inclusive, of this section, there shall be transferred from time to time from the fund established by this section to the retirement fund established by section 45a-35 such amounts as are determined by the Probate Court Administrator not to be required for other purposes of sections 45a-20 and 45a-76 to 45a-83, inclusive, until the Retirement Commission certifies that the retirement fund is on a sound actuarial basis. Thereafter there shall be transferred from time to time from the fund established by this section to the General Fund such amounts as are determined by the Probate Court Administrator not to be required for the purposes of said sections.

(g) If at any time thereafter the Retirement Commission certifies that the retirement fund established by section 45a-35 is no longer on a sound actuarial basis, the Retirement Commission shall provide notice to the General Assembly and the Governor, and transfers from the fund established by this section to the retirement fund shall be resumed until the Retirement Commission again certifies that said retirement fund is on a sound actuarial basis, at which time the Retirement Commission shall provide notice to the General Assembly and the Governor, and transfers from the fund established by this section to the General Fund shall be resumed.

(h) All payments of assessments imposed by section 45a-92 with respect to income received by any judge of probate on or after January 1, 1968, shall be paid in accordance with the schedule set forth in section 45a-92.

(i) The State Treasurer shall, on or before October first, annually, give an accounting of the Probate Court Administration Fund, showing the receipts and disbursements and the balance or condition thereof, as of the preceding June thirtieth, to the Connecticut Probate Assembly, the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary.

(j) There shall be transferred from time to time from the Probate Court Administration Fund such budgeted amounts as are established in accordance with section 45a-85 or such expenditures as are authorized pursuant to subsection (c) of section 45a-84 for the proper administration of each court of probate. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, on June 30, 2011, and annually thereafter, any surplus funds in the Probate Court Administration Fund shall be transferred to the General Fund.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 20; 1972, P.A. 244, S. 1; P.A. 73-301, S. 1, 2; P.A. 80-476, S. 34; P.A. 87-333, S. 2; P.A. 89-326, S. 1, 7; P.A. 92-118, S. 2; P.A. 93-232, S. 2; P.A. 96-110, S. 2, 4; 96-170, S. 1, 23; P.A. 97-90, S. 5, 6; P.A. 01-127, S. 3; P.A. 03-236, S. 14; P.A. 04-257, S. 69; P.A. 05-288, S. 150; P.A. 09-114, S. 2; P.A. 10-34, S. 8.)

History: 1972 act deleted obsolete provisions re transfer of moneys of probate assembly to state treasurer and of moneys to retirement fund sufficient to meet obligations for three months and added provision re annual certification of amount to be transferred to retirement fund to maintain the actuarial funding program; P.A. 73-301 deleted reference to payments from fund authorized by Sec. 45-12a and reference to July 1, 1972, as date for initial annual certification of amount to be transferred to retirement fund and added provision re treasurer’s annual accounting of fund status to probate assembly and judiciary committee; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and made minor changes in wording; P.A. 87-333 amended Subsec. (c) by deleting reference to “sections 45-4a to 45-4i, inclusive” and inserting reference to chapters 774 and 794 in lieu thereof; P.A. 89-326 amended Subsec. (c) to include payments authorized by Secs. 17-178, 17-192, 17-205d and 19a-448; Sec. 45-4h transferred to Sec. 45a-82 in 1991; P.A. 92-118 amended Subsec. (f) by changing “45a-21” to “45a-20”; P.A. 93-232 added reference to Sec. 45a-57; P.A. 96-110 amended Subsec. (c) by adding reference to Sec. 5-259 and changing reference to Sec. 45a-57 to 45a-56, effective January 1, 1997; P.A. 96-170 added Subsecs. (j), (k) and (l) re transfer of funds from private administration fund when income of court of probate insufficient to meet financial needs, requiring probate judge requesting financial assistance to file sworn statement re gross receipts and expenses of court and amount requested and allowing Probate Court Administrator to issue regulations re financial assistance to probate courts, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 97-90 changed effective date of P.A. 96-170, S. 1 from July 1, 1998, to July 1, 1997; P.A. 01-127 amended Subsec. (j) by adding alternative method of computation of maximum salary by product of multiplication of $15 by annual weighted-workload of court, whichever is greater, but not to exceed annual compensation in Sec. 45a-92(k); P.A. 03-236 amended Subsec. (c) by adding references to Secs. 19a-131b and 19a-131e, effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subsec. (i), effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 05-288 made a technical change in Subsec. (c), effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 09-114 amended Subsec. (c) to reference Secs. 45a-85 and 45a-123a, amended Subsec. (g) to require Retirement Commission to provide notice to General Assembly and Governor re sound actuarial basis of fund, amended Subsec. (i) to add Governor to list of those receiving accounting, substantially revised Subsec. (j) and deleted former Subsecs. (k) and (l) to replace provisions re financial assistance for probate courts with provisions re budgeted amounts to be transferred to each court for proper administration of such court and surplus funds to be transferred to General Fund, and made technical changes, effective January 1, 2011; P.A. 10-34 made a technical change in former Subsec. (1).

Sec. 45a-83. (Formerly Sec. 45-4i). Payment of expenses. Transfers from General Fund. If at any time the fund established under section 45a-82 is insufficient to pay the several charges to be paid from it, the Comptroller shall draw his order on the Treasurer for payment, from the General Fund, of such sums as are necessary to pay such charges. When the amount in the fund established under said section is more than sufficient to meet the requirements imposed upon it by law, other than amounts which are required to make the retirement fund established under section 45a-35 actuarially sound, all as certified by the Probate Court Administrator, there shall be paid over to the General Fund from the fund established under section 45a-82 any moneys paid from the General Fund under this section.

(1967, P.A. 558, S. 55; P.A. 80-476, S. 35; P.A. 04-257, S. 70.)

History: P.A. 80-476 reworded provisions but made no substantive changes; Sec. 45-4i transferred to Sec. 45a-83 in 1991; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes, effective June 14, 2004.

Sec. 45a-84. Probate Court Administrator to prepare proposed budget annually. Review by Probate Assembly. Proposed final budget transmitted to Chief Court Administrator for approval. Requests and authorization re additional expenditures. Report re emergency expenditures. (a)(1) On or before April first of each year, the Probate Court Administrator shall prepare a proposed budget for the next succeeding fiscal year beginning July first, for the appropriate expenditures of funds from the Probate Court Administration Fund to carry out the statutory duties of the Probate Court Administrator. The proposed budget shall reflect all costs related to the office of the Probate Court Administrator and the operation of the courts of probate, including, but not limited to, compensation, group hospitalization and medical and surgical insurance plans and retirement benefits for probate judges and employees. Expenditures in the proposed budget shall not exceed anticipated available funds.

(2) The Probate Court Administrator shall submit the proposed budget to the executive committee of the Connecticut Probate Assembly for review. The executive committee shall return the proposed budget to the Probate Court Administrator not later than May first, together with its comments and recommendations concerning the proposed expenditures. The Probate Court Administrator shall thereafter prepare a proposed final budget, including such changes recommended by the executive committee as the Probate Court Administrator deems appropriate. On or before May fifteenth, the Probate Court Administrator shall transmit the proposed final budget to the Chief Court Administrator for approval, together with the comments and recommendations of the executive committee of the Probate Assembly. On or before June fifteenth of that year, the Chief Court Administrator shall take such action on the budget, or any portion thereof, as the Chief Court Administrator deems appropriate. If the Chief Court Administrator fails to act on the proposed budget on or before June fifteenth, the budget shall be deemed approved as proposed.

(b) The Probate Court Administrator may, from time to time, request authority from the Chief Court Administrator to expend additional money from the Probate Court Administration Fund to respond to any matter that could not have been reasonably anticipated in the regular budget process. A copy of all such requests shall be sent to the president-judge of the Connecticut Probate Assembly. If the Chief Court Administrator fails to act on the request within twenty-one calendar days of receipt of the request, the request shall be deemed approved.

(c) The Probate Court Administrator may authorize such expenditures from the Probate Court Administration Fund for emergency purposes as from time to time may be necessary. If an expenditure under this subsection exceeds ten thousand dollars, the Probate Court Administrator shall send a report on the expenditure to the Chief Court Administrator and the president-judge of the Connecticut Probate Assembly within ten days after the expenditure is made.

(P.A. 93-279, S. 5; P.A. 09-114, S. 3.)

History: (Revisor’s note: In 1995 references to “Probate Administration Fund” were changed editorially by the Revisors to “Probate Court Administration Fund” to conform section to Sec. 45a-82); P.A. 09-114 inserted Subdiv. designators (1) and (2) in Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (a)(1) to require proposed budget to reflect all costs related to office of administrator and operation of courts of probate, including compensation, insurance and retirement benefits, and provide that expenditures in proposed budget not exceed anticipated available funds, amended Subsec. (c) to replace provision re $5,000 limit on emergency expenditures with requirement that administrator send report on expenditures that exceed $10,000, and made technical changes, effective January 1, 2011.

Sec. 45a-85. Probate Court Budget Committee. Duties. Reports. (a) The Probate Court Administrator shall establish a Probate Court Budget Committee consisting of the Probate Court Administrator and two judges of probate appointed by the Connecticut Probate Assembly. The Probate Court Administrator shall serve as chairperson of the committee.

(b) Not later than June 30, 2010, and annually thereafter, the committee shall establish, in accordance with the criteria established in regulations issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77: (1) A compensation plan, which plan shall include employee benefits, for employees of the courts of probate, (2) staffing levels for each court of probate, and (3) a miscellaneous office budget for each court of probate. Such compensation plan, staffing levels and office budgets shall be established within the expenditures and anticipated available funds in the proposed budget established pursuant to section 45a-84.

(c) Not later than June 30, 2010, and annually thereafter, the Probate Court Budget Committee shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly, after consultation with the Office of the Chief Court Administrator and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, on the committee’s efforts to reduce costs and any potential cost saving measures resulting from probate court mergers effective on or after June 9, 2009. Such report shall be submitted in accordance with section 11-4a.

(P.A. 09-114, S. 11.)

History: P.A. 09-114 effective June 9, 2009.

Secs. 45a-86 to 45a-89. Reserved for future use.

PART VI

PROBATE ASSEMBLY

Sec. 45a-90. (Formerly Sec. 45-24). Connecticut Probate Assembly. Meetings. Powers and duties. (a) There shall be an assembly of the elected and qualified acting judges of the courts of probate, to be known as the Connecticut Probate Assembly, of which all judges of probate shall be members. The annual meeting of the assembly shall be held on any day in April in the Supreme Court room at Hartford. Other stated or special meetings of the assembly shall be held as provided in its bylaws.

(b) The assembly shall transact any business which may properly come before its meetings and which pertains to the probate courts, the improvement of and uniformity in their procedure and practice, the administration of justice in the courts of probate and the administration of the assembly. The assembly may make such recommendations to the Probate Court Administrator as it sees fit regarding any or all of these matters. The assembly may adopt bylaws to govern it and its meetings.

(c) Any probate magistrate or attorney probate referee appointed pursuant to section 45a-123a may attend any annual or special meeting of the assembly or any educational program of the assembly, but shall have no vote in any decision of the assembly.

(1949 Rev., S. 6831; 1957, P.A. 651, S. 19; 1967, P.A. 558, S. 21; P.A. 79-286; P.A. 80-476, S. 18; P.A. 09-114, S. 20.)

History: 1967 act authorized assembly to transact business pertaining to “administration of justice in the courts of probate and ... of the assembly” and to make recommendations to probate court administrator and deleted provisions re assembly’s powers to establish uniform rules, practice and procedure, to clarify and revise state probate laws and to prepare schedule of probate fees; P.A. 79-286 changed annual meeting from “the third Wednesday in January” to “any day in April”; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; Sec. 45-24 transferred to Sec. 45a-90 in 1991; P.A. 09-114 added Subsec. (c) re attendance of probate magistrates and attorney probate referees at meetings of assembly.

Sec. 45a-91. (Formerly Sec. 45-25). Officers and committees. The officers and committees of said assembly and their duties shall be such as may be provided for in its bylaws. Any vacancy occurring in any office shall be filled according to the provisions of the bylaws of said assembly.

(1949 Rev., S. 6832; 1957, P.A. 651, S. 20; March, 1958, P.A. 27, S. 17; 1967, P.A. 558, S. 22.)

History: 1967 act deleted provision which made assembly’s presiding officer “the chief judge appointed as provided in section 51-4” and further deleted provisions re appointment and compensation of executive secretary and treasurer, appointment and compensation of employees and treasurer’s required posting of bond; Sec. 45-25 transferred to Sec. 45a-91 in 1991.

PART VII

PAYMENTS BY OR TO PROBATE JUDGES.
TEMPORARY FUNDING OF PROBATE COURT

Sec. 45a-92. (Formerly Sec. 45-26). Payments to State Treasurer. (a) Payments to State Treasurer established. Each person who is a judge of probate at any time during any calendar year shall file with the Probate Court Administrator on or before April first of the succeeding year a statement signed under penalty of false statement showing the actual gross receipts and itemized costs of his or her office and the net income for each such calendar year. If such person ceases to hold office, he or she shall also file with the Probate Court Administrator, on or before April first of the second and third years next following, a statement signed under penalty of false statement showing his or her net income from his or her former office for the first and second calendar years next following the calendar year in which he or she ceased to hold office. At the time of filing, each such person shall pay to the State Treasurer as hereinafter provided the sum required by this section, less sums previously paid to the State Treasurer on account. Payment shall be credited by the State Treasurer to the fund established by section 45a-82. The requirement to file a statement under this subsection shall not apply with respect to any calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

(b) Payments on behalf of deceased judge of probate. The personal representative of each person who holds the office of judge of probate, at any time during any calendar year, and dies while in office, or within twenty-four months after ceasing to hold office, shall file with the Probate Court Administrator, on or before March first next following such death, a statement signed under penalty of false statement showing the actual gross receipts and itemized costs of the decedent’s office for the preceding calendar year and the decedent’s net income from that office for such calendar year. The personal representative shall file with the Probate Court Administrator on or before March first of the second year following said death a statement signed under penalty of false statement showing the net income to the decedent’s estate from such office for the preceding calendar year. The requirement to file a statement under this subsection shall not apply with respect to any calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

(c) Amounts to be paid to State Treasurer. Each judge of probate or personal representative, except a judge of probate who is the Probate Court Administrator, shall at the time of filing such returns pay to the State Treasurer to be credited to the fund established by section 45a-82, a percentage of the annual net income from such office based on the following table in which the percentage appearing in the left column shall first be multiplied by the minimum annual compensation of a high volume court as provided in subsection (k) of this section, as in effect on the first day of July of the calendar year for which an assessment is due pursuant to this section, the product of which shall then be multiplied by the applicable percentage appearing in the right column:

First 20% of the compensation assessment rate of a high volume court

$1 nominal

Next 6.67%

5%

Next 6.66%

10%

Next 6.67%

15%

Next 6.67%

25%

Next 6.66%

35%

Next 13.34%

50%

Next 33.33%

75%

Next 33.67%

80%

Next 66.67%

85%

Next 133.33%

95%

Excess over 333.67%, up to the maximum amount computed at 97.5% by the Probate Court Administrator

All over the maximum amount computed at 100% by the Probate Court Administrator.

As used in this subsection, “maximum amount” means the amount of annual net income from such office which, when applying the percentage payments set forth above, shall result in the judge of probate retaining as net compensation, after the payment of the above amounts, no more than the product resulting from the multiplication of seventy-two dollars by the annual weighted-workload of the court, as defined in regulations issued by the Probate Court Administrator pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77, but not to exceed the compensation of a high volume court as set forth in subsection (k) of this section, provided this limitation shall not apply to those courts described in subsection (k) of this section. Such payment shall be deemed to be a necessary expense of such office, but shall not be deductible from the gross income for the purpose of determining net income of such office under this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the annual minimum compensation of a judge of probate shall be no less than the product resulting from the multiplication of fifteen dollars by the annual weighted-workload of the court, as defined in regulations issued by the Probate Court Administrator pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77, or no less than the judge’s average compensation for the three-year period from January 1, 1996, to December 31, 1998, but, in no event shall that minimum compensation exceed that provided pursuant to subsection (k) of this section.

(d) Payments by Probate Court Administrator. (1) Any judge of probate who is the Probate Court Administrator shall pay to the State Treasurer, to be credited to said fund, one hundred per cent of the annual net income from his office during the period of time he serves as Probate Court Administrator. (2) For the purposes of this assessment, fees received after but earned before his appointment as Probate Court Administrator shall be subject to the assessment set forth in the table in subsection (c) of this section. Fees received after such judge of probate ceases to be the Probate Court Administrator but earned during his term as Probate Court Administrator shall be paid in full to the State Treasurer after the deduction of the expenses of his office. (3) The books and records of any judge of probate acting as Probate Court Administrator shall be audited by the Auditors of Public Accounts at the beginning of his term as Probate Court Administrator and thereafter at least annually during his term as Probate Court Administrator and upon completion of his term as Probate Court Administrator or as judge of probate whichever occurs first. (4) A judge of probate who is Probate Court Administrator shall make no expenditure in his court for salaries, equipment, or any other expenditure exceeding the sum of one hundred dollars in the aggregate, annually, without first having obtained the approval of the Chief Court Administrator.

(e) Estimate of annual net income. (1) On or before January thirty-first of each year, each person required to make payment under this section shall estimate such annual net income and shall advise the Probate Court Administrator thereof, upon such forms and pursuant to such regulations as said administrator shall promulgate. (2) Each person who takes office as a judge of probate after February first of any calendar year, as the result of death, retirement, resignation or removal of the immediately previous incumbent of that office, shall file his estimate of annual net income with the Probate Court Administrator and shall make the necessary payment to the State Treasurer in accordance therewith not later than sixty days after taking office. (3) The requirement to estimate such annual net income and advise the Probate Court Administrator thereof under subdivision (1) of this subsection, and the requirement to file an estimate with the Probate Court Administrator under subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall not apply with respect to any calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

(f) Payments to State Treasurer. If, based upon such estimate, the amount payable shall be less than one hundred dollars, the payment thereof shall be made in one payment on or before December thirty-first of the applicable year. Otherwise, the amount payable shall be made in four substantially equal installments payable on or before the last day of March, June, September and December of the applicable year, except that in the case of an estimate filed pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of this section, the amount payable under such estimate shall be made in substantially equal installments on such installment payment dates next following the timely filing of such estimate in such year. The estimated payment may be amended and changed at any time during the year in which it is payable by increasing or decreasing the amount. The amount of such increase or decrease shall be paid for or adjusted in the installment or payment due at the time the estimated assessment is next payable after such amendment. The Probate Court Administrator may issue regulations pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77 to implement this subsection.

(g) Report of income. Upon the completion of each calendar year, and in any event on or before the first day of April of the succeeding calendar year, each person required to make payment under this section shall make a report signed under penalty of false statement to the Probate Court Administrator, upon forms prescribed by and subject to regulations promulgated by the administrator, of the following: (1) The gross income received by virtue of such office; (2) actual expenses incurred in connection with the office; (3) the net income of such office prior to the payment of the assessment installments hereinbefore provided; (4) the amount paid during the preceding calendar year to the State Treasurer on account of the foregoing estimate; and (5) the amount of the difference, if any, between the amount so paid and the amount actually due. Such report shall be open to public inspection. The requirement to make a report under this subsection shall not apply with respect to any calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

(h) Deficiency and overpayment. If the amount already paid was less than the amount due, such person shall, on or before March first of the succeeding calendar year, pay to the State Treasurer the entire deficiency. If the amount already paid was more than the amount due, such person shall either, at such person’s election and pursuant to regulations promulgated by the State Treasurer, be entitled to a refund of such excess payment to be paid from the fund provided by section 45a-82, or a credit in the amount of the overpayment to be charged against the future obligations of such person to said fund.

(i) Penalty for deficiency. (1) If any estimated quarterly payments required to be paid pursuant to subsection (f) of this section are less than one-fourth of seventy per cent of the total assessment due for that year or less than one-fourth of ninety-five per cent of the assessment paid for the prior year, such person shall be obligated to pay to such fund a penalty of ten per cent of the amount of the deficiency, except that the Probate Court Administrator may waive such penalty for cause in accordance with regulations issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77. Any such penalty shall become payable upon demand by the Probate Court Administrator, and be due within thirty days after such demand, in accordance with regulations issued by the Probate Court Administrator, and shall be subject to interest under subdivision (2) of this subsection in the event of default in such payment. (2) Any payments required under subsection (f) or (h) of this section which are not paid at the applicable times prescribed in said subsections, and any penalty payment required under subdivision (1) of this subsection which is not timely paid, shall incur simple interest at the rate applicable under section 12-376 for delinquent payment of succession and transfer taxes where no extension has been granted, to be payable to the State Treasurer and to be added to the Probate Court Administration Fund established under section 45a-82. Any alleged delinquency of a judge of probate in making payments as required under this section shall be referred by the State Treasurer to the Attorney General for such action as the Attorney General deems necessary.

(j) Calculation of expenses; net operating loss. (1) As used in this subsection and subsections (c) to (i), inclusive, of this section, for any calendar year, the term “actual expenses incurred in connection therewith” may include as an allowable deduction the amount of any net operating loss for a prior calendar year as provided in this section. (2) The term “net operating loss” means the excess of itemized costs and expenses of office allowed by this section over the gross income. A net operating loss may be deducted in the calendar year following the year in which the net operating loss occurred, but (A) if the net income of such subsequent year is not sufficient to pay all of such net operating loss, then the balance of such net operating loss may be deducted in the second calendar year following such net operating loss; and (B) if the net income of such second calendar year is not sufficient to pay all of the remaining net operating loss, then the balance of such net operating loss may be deducted in the third calendar year following such net operating loss. In no event shall any such net operating loss or part thereof be deductible for any report beyond the third calendar year in which it occurred.

(k) Compensation of judges in high volume courts. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section concerning percentage payments, a judge of probate who is the judge in a court of probate designated as a high volume court shall be permitted to retain as net compensation, before the payment of any amounts due under sections 45a-34 to 45a-54, inclusive, and section 45a-75, the sum which shall be the greater of (1) the net compensation resulting from the application of the percentages in subsection (c) of this section or (2) the compensation earned after payment of actual expenses of the office not to exceed seventy-five per cent of the amount of the salary of a Superior Court judge as determined in accordance with subsection (a) of section 51-47 as determined on July first of the calendar year for which the assessments are being paid pursuant to this section. If a judge of probate of a high volume court leaves office during a calendar year, or if a judge of probate of a high volume court assumes office and serves during a portion of the calendar year, the minimum net compensation provided in this section shall be prorated in accordance with the number of days served during the calendar year as the numerator, and three hundred sixty-five as the denominator. For the purposes of this subsection, “high volume court” means a court of probate which serves a district having an estimated population of seventy thousand or more persons as reported in the State Register and Manual for the calendar year immediately preceding (A) the year for which the judge was elected, (B) the year in which such judge was elected, or (C) any year of the term of office of such judge. The amount of assessment payable to the State Treasurer under this section shall be reduced by the amount necessary to provide to the judge the minimum compensation to which such judge is entitled under this section, and the estimates of annual net income required in subsections (e) and (f) of this section may be reduced accordingly. Minimum compensation as provided in this section shall only be payable if all ordinary and necessary expenses of the court are paid.

(l) Applicability. This section applies only to income received by the courts of probate prior to January 5, 2011, except that payments made under section 45a-93 to a judge who leaves office or dies while in office shall be subject to the assessment under subsection (c) of this section regardless of when such payments are made.

(m) Compensation from January 1, 2011, to January 4, 2011. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the compensation of each probate judge in office during the period from January 1, 2011 to January 4, 2011, inclusive, shall be calculated by multiplying the judge’s allowable compensation for calendar year 2010, as determined under the provisions of this section, by a fraction with the number of days served during such period as the numerator, and three hundred sixty-five as the denominator.

(1949 Rev., S. 6833; 1967, P.A. 558, S. 23; 1969, P.A. 528, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 278, S. 1; 1972, P.A. 281, S. 41; P.A. 73-365, S. 4; P.A. 74-94, S. 3, 5; P.A. 75-229; P.A. 77-576, S. 64, 65; P.A. 80-418, S. 1, 2; 80-476, S. 19; P.A. 81-472, S. 146, 147, 159; P.A. 84-24; 84-51, S. 1, 2; 84-546, S. 162, 173; P.A. 85-196; 85-613, S. 133, 154; P.A. 87-503, S. 1, 2; P.A. 88-215; P.A. 92-118, S. 3; P.A. 97-90, S. 2; P.A. 98-219, S. 1, 34; P.A. 99-84, S. 11, 12; P.A. 00-76, S. 2; 00-196, S. 26; P.A. 07-184, S. 9, 15–17; P.A. 09-114, S. 4; P.A. 10-34, S. 9; 10-41, S. 7.)

History: 1967 act amended provisions to distinguish between payments made on or before March 1, 1968, and those made each year after that date and revised table, adding 78% level and revising 100% level accordingly; 1969 act divided section into Subsecs., clarified provisions with regard to required filings and payments made in first and second years after judge ceases to hold office and required filings and payments made by representative of deceased judge, added provision re successor’s filing of annual net income estimate and raised penalty for underestimated payments from 9% to 10% of amount of deficiency and interest on late payments from 6% to 9% per annum; 1971 act deleted provision for monthly installments where amount payable exceeds $1,200, added exception re amendment of estimated payments and corresponding adjustment in installments, and changed basis for ineligibility for renomination or election from failure to make payments within 30 days of due date to April deadline or 60 days after any objection to report has been resolved and allowed exception to ineligibility rule if majority of chief court administrator, probate court administrator and attorney general concur; 1972 act changed basis for 68% and 78% levels in Subsec. (c) table, revising 100% level accordingly; P.A. 73-365 deleted former provisions re ineligibility for renomination or election and inserted provision which required that alleged delinquency be referred to attorney general for action; P.A. 74-94 added provisions in Subsec. (c) specifically applicable to probate court administrator’s payments, audits of his books and records and expenditures; P.A. 75-229 added Subsec. (d); P.A. 77-576 changed 78% level, revising 100% level accordingly; P.A. 80-418 revised table in Subsec. (c) re “maximum amount”, defined in that Subsec.; P.A. 80-476 reorganized Subsecs. and rephrased provisions but made no substantive changes; P.A. 81-472 added Subsec. (e)(2), containing language removed from Subsec. (f) and placed in (e); P.A. 84-24 amended Subsec. (i) increasing rate of interest on delinquent payments from 9% to 18%; P.A. 84-51 amended Subsec. (c) by revising table and percentage levels and made technical changes in provisions re salary of superior court judge, including deleting obsolete provisions; P.A. 84-546 changed effective date of P.A. 84-51 from January 1, 1984, to April 25, 1984, with applicability to income received during calendar years commencing on or after January 1, 1984; P.A. 85-196 amended Subsec. (f) adding exception for payments under estimates filed pursuant to Subsec. (e)(2) of this section; and amended Subsec. (i) adding provision re payment of penalty and interest in event of default of payment; P.A. 85-613 made technical change; P.A. 87-503 added Subsec. (k) re minimum compensation of judge of probate who is judge of probate court designated as a high volume court; P.A. 88-215 amended Subsec. (k) by changing population figure used in determination of high volume court from 100,000 to 70,000 people; Sec. 45-26 transferred to Sec. 45a-92 in 1991; P.A. 92-118 amended Subsec. (k) by adding phrase “or if a judge of probate of a high volume court assumes office and serves during a portion of the calendar year” in provision re prorating compensation; P.A. 97-90 amended Subsec. (f) re authority of Probate Court Administrator to adopt regulations to carry out intent of Subsec. (f), amended Subsec. (i) re estimated payments required to be paid and added provision re waiver of penalty by Probate Court Administrator and amended Subsec. (k) re year for determining “high volume court”; P.A. 98-219 amended Subsec. (c) by revising method of computation of percentage of annual net income payable to State Treasurer by probate judge, effective January 1, 1999; P.A. 99-84 amended Subsecs. (a), (b) and (g) by deleting “sworn” and inserting “signed under penalty of false statement”; P.A. 00-76 amended Subsec. (g) by deleting “March” and inserting “April”; P.A. 00-196 amended Subsec. (c) by changing “333.33%” to “333.67%” and making technical changes; P.A. 07-184 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute “April first” for “March first” and, effective July 1, 2007, made technical changes in Subsecs. (c), (f) and (i); P.A. 09-114 added Subsec. (l) re applicability to income received prior to January 5, 2011, effective June 9, 2009; P.A. 10-34 made technical changes in Subsecs. (c), (f) and (i); P.A. 10-41 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) to provide that requirement to file statement shall not apply to any calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011, added Subsec. (e)(3) to provide that requirement to estimate annual net income and file estimate shall not apply to any calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011, amended Subsec. (g) to provide that requirement to make report shall not apply to any calendar year beginning on or after January 1, 2011, amended Subsec. (k)(2) to eliminate provision precluding extension of payments to subsequent calendar years if business of court in a calendar year does not produce sufficient income to pay minimum net compensation, amended Subsec. (l) to add exception for payments under Sec. 45a-93 to judge who leaves office or dies while in office, added Subsec. (m) re compensation of judge from January 1, 2011, to January 4, 2011, and made technical changes, effective May 18, 2010.

Annotation to former section 45-26:

Provision concerning ineligibility for renomination or election is not an infraction of Article VI, section 10 of the state constitution and is valid. 157 C. 150.

Sec. 45a-93. (Formerly Sec. 45-25a). Payments to probate judges who leave office or die while in office. Exceptions. (a)(1) If a judge of probate leaves office or dies while in office, the successor to such judge in said office shall pay to such judge or the personal representative of a deceased judge a sum representing the accounts receivable for payments due the court in accordance with section 45a-107, as of the date of separation from said office or the date of death in the case of a judge who dies while holding such office. Determination of the basis for such accounts receivable including computation for work in process shall be made in accordance with regulations issued by the Probate Court Administrator. Any payments made to such judge or the personal representative of a deceased judge shall be subject to the provisions of section 45a-92, and no such payments shall be made unless and until the accounts receivable are collected, and no such payments shall be made after December thirty-first of the second calendar year following the year in which the judge leaves office or dies while in office. Prior to January 5, 2011, there may be deducted from any such amounts by a successor judge the cost of collection thereof, and any expenses directly attributable to the outgoing judge’s or deceased judge’s term of office paid by the successor judge.

(2) On and after January 5, 2011, such payments shall include only a sum representing accounts receivable for costs, charges and fees assessed on the estates of decedents arising in a town within the judge’s district as such district existed on January 4, 2011. Such payments shall be made in annual installments, payable on or before April first of the year immediately following the year in which such accounts receivable are collected. There shall be deducted from any such payment (A) any assessment, penalty or interest due pursuant to section 45a-92 and applicable regulations, (B) the cost of collection of such accounts receivable, and (C) any expenses directly attributable to the outgoing judge’s or deceased judge’s term of office.

(3) In no event shall any such payments exceed the maximums allowable under the provisions of section 45a-92 in any one calendar year, and in the aggregate in no event shall the total payments payable under this section exceed one hundred per cent of the average final compensation for such judge as defined in subdivision (1) of section 45a-34, except that such allowable maximum payment shall not include any amounts of money due and payable to the judge at the time of separation from the court or at the time of such judge’s death for amounts advanced by such judge to the court for operating expenses and not previously repaid, which amounts may be paid to such judge or personal representative upon receipt of satisfactory proof of the existence of balances due.

(b) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply to any judge in office on or before January 4, 2011.

(2) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a judge who is elected to a term that begins on or after January 5, 2011.

(c) On and after January 5, 2011, any payments due a judge under subsection (a) of this section shall be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(P.A. 87-187, S. 1, 3; P.A. 99-84, S. 13; P.A. 09-114, S. 5; P.A. 10-41, S. 8.)

History: Sec. 45-25a transferred to Sec. 45a-93 in 1991; P.A. 99-84 deleted “sworn” and inserted “signed under penalty of false statement”; P.A. 09-114 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a), made technical changes therein, added Subsec. (b) re applicability of Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (c) re payments to be paid from Probate Court Administration Fund on and after January 5, 2011, effective June 9, 2009; P.A. 10-41 amended Subsec. (a) to designate existing provisions as Subdivs. (1) and (3), to substitute reference to Sec. 45a-107 for reference to Sec. 45a-105, delete “by the successor judge” re accounts receivable collected, substitute payment deadline of December thirty-first of second calendar year for time for filing a statement under Sec. 45a-92 and insert “Prior to January 5, 2011” re deduction for cost of collection and expenses in Subdiv. (1), and to add Subdiv. (2) re payments on and after January 5, 2011, and amended Subsec. (b)(2) to make Subsec. (a) applicable to judge elected to a term that begins on or after January 5, 2011, rather than a judge first elected or who resumes service on or after January 5, 2011, effective May 18, 2010.

Sec. 45a-94. (Formerly Sec. 45-25b). Temporary funding of probate court. Conditions. Term of loan. Interest. Section 45a-94 is repealed, effective January 5, 2011.

(P.A. 87-187, S. 2, 3; P.A. 09-114, S. 25.)

Sec. 45a-95. Compensation of probate judges on and after January 5, 2011: Definitions. As used in this section and section 45a-95a:

(1) “Band 1 probate district” means a probate district that has a population of less than forty thousand, except a probate district that has a population of less than forty thousand with an annual weighted-workload of at least three thousand, but less than four thousand one hundred, which constitutes a band 2 probate district.

(2) “Band 2 probate district” means a probate district that has a population of at least forty thousand but less than fifty thousand, except that a probate district with less than forty thousand with an annual weighted-workload of at least three thousand, but less than four thousand one hundred, shall be a band 2 probate district.

(3) “Band 3 probate district” means a probate district that has a population of at least fifty thousand but less than sixty thousand, except that a probate district with less than fifty thousand with an annual weighted-workload of at least four thousand one hundred, but less than four thousand nine hundred, shall be a band 3 probate district.

(4) “Band 4 probate district” means a probate district that has a population of sixty thousand or more, except that a probate district with less than sixty thousand with an annual weighted-workload of at least four thousand nine hundred, shall be a band 4 probate district.

(5) “Population” means the annual population estimate by the Department of Public Health for each city or town as of October first of the immediately preceding calendar year.

(6) “Annual weighted-workload” means the annual weighted-workload for the immediately preceding fiscal year as defined in regulations issued by the Probate Court Administrator pursuant to subsection (b) of section 45a-77.

(P.A. 09-114, S. 12; P.A. 10-34, S. 10.)

History: P.A. 09-114 effective January 5, 2011; P.A. 10-34 made a technical change in Subdiv. (6), effective January 5, 2011.

Sec. 45a-95a. Compensation of probate judges on and after January 5, 2011. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of this title concerning compensation for judges of probate, and subject to the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, for any calendar year, compensation for judges of probate shall be determined as follows:

(1) A judge of probate who serves a band 1 probate district shall receive annual compensation equal to forty-five per cent of the compensation of a judge of the Superior Court as set forth in subsection (a) of section 51-47.

(2) A judge of probate who serves a band 2 probate district shall receive annual compensation equal to fifty-five per cent of the compensation of a judge of the Superior Court as set forth in subsection (a) of section 51-47.

(3) A judge of probate who serves a band 3 probate district shall receive annual compensation equal to sixty-five per cent of the compensation of a judge of the Superior Court as set forth in subsection (a) of section 51-47.

(4) A judge of probate who serves a band 4 probate district shall receive annual compensation equal to seventy-five per cent of the compensation of a judge of the Superior Court as set forth in subsection (a) of section 51-47.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, no judge of probate in office on January 4, 2011, may, for the term of office beginning January 5, 2011, and ending January 6, 2015, receive compensation under subsection (a) of this section that is less than eighty per cent of the average annual compensation for the judge of probate during the three-year period from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010, inclusive. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the compensation of a judge of probate whose district results from a merger that becomes effective on January 5, 2011, or to any person first elected to serve as a judge of probate for a term beginning on or after January 5, 2011.

(c) For any calendar year, compensation of any judge of probate who assumes office or ceases to hold office during such calendar year shall be determined by multiplying the judge’s annual compensation determined in accordance with subsections (a) and (b) of this section by a fraction with the number of days served during the calendar year as the numerator of the fraction and three hundred sixty-five as the denominator of the fraction.

(P.A. 09-114, S. 13.)

History: P.A. 09-114 effective January 5, 2011.

Secs. 45a-96 and 45a-97. Reserved for future use.