OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5401

AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXCLUSION OF A CHILD'S NAME IN DOCUMENTS RELATING TO A SUMMARY PROCESS ACTION.

SUMMARY:

This bill prohibits a landlord from including a child under age 18 (minor) in certain eviction actions or a minor's name in related court forms (i.e., summary process) (see BACKGROUND).

The bill expressly prohibits landlords and their legal representatives and attorneys from serving a minor with an eviction notice (i.e., a notice to quit). Current law is silent on this as to minors.

The bill also prohibits the court from issuing an eviction-related writ, summons, or complaint that includes the name of a tenant or occupant who is a minor. (Such documents inform the tenant that legal action has been brought against him or her.)

By law a summary process judgment (i.e., eviction order) binds the named defendants and their minor children. This means that minors are also required to adhere to the court order. The bill requires the court to remove such minor's name from the records the Judicial Branch maintains on its Internet website if (1) the minor's name was included in the complaint and (2) the court orders it at the request of any party or on its own motion.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

SUMMARY PROCESS

Notice to Quit

As a first step in the eviction process, the landlord must have each occupant and tenant served with a notice to quit. The notice to quit tells the tenant and occupants the reason for the eviction and the date by which they must vacate the premises. Current law is silent on whether such notice can be served on occupants who are minors. (Instructions on the Judicial Branch's "Notice to Quit Possession" form, JD-HM-7, require the landlord to have copies served only to adult occupants and tenants (see related court cases in BACKGROUND)). The bill expressly prohibits landlords and their legal representatives and attorneys from serving a person under age 18 with a notice to quit.

Writ, Summons, and Complaint

By law, if a tenant does not voluntarily move out by the legally required date, the court may issue a writ, summons, or complaint that (1) makes the landlord's claim for immediate possession or occupancy of the premises and (2) specifies facts justifying such a judgment. The bill prohibits the court from including the name of a tenant or occupant who is a minor in such a writ, summons, or complaint.

BACKGROUND

Summary Process

Summary process is an eviction action in which the tenant (defendant) is sued by the landlord (plaintiff) for possession of the premises the defendant occupies. The defendant is the person who signs the rental agreement (the contract). The action may be brought for several reasons, including lapse of time, nonpayment of rent, or contract violation.

Related Court Cases

The Connecticut Appellate Court has ruled that it is not necessary to include a minor's name in the notice to quit possession (see Pollansky v Pollansky, 144 Conn. App. 188 (2013) and Sullivan v. Lazzari, 135 Conn. App. 831 (2012)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

42

Nay

0

(03/16/2016)