Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 468

February Session, 2018

 

LCO No. 2045

 

*02045_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING SERVICE OF CIVIL PROCESS ON A MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR OR THE OWNER OF A MOTOR VEHICLE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 52-63 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) Any operator or owner of a motor vehicle at the time of issuance of his license or registration shall be deemed to have appointed the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles as his attorney and to have agreed that any process in any civil action against him on account of any claim for damages resulting from his alleged negligence or the alleged negligence of his servant or agent in the operation of any motor vehicle in this state may be served upon the commissioner as provided in this section and shall have the same validity as if served upon the owner or operator personally, even though the person sought to be served has left the state prior to commencement of the action or his present whereabouts is unknown.

(b) Service of civil process may be made on a motor vehicle operator [licensed under the provisions of chapter 246] by leaving a true and attested copy of the writ, summons and complaint at the office of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles at least twelve days before the return day and by sending such a true and attested copy at least twelve days before the return day, by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid and return receipt requested, to the defendant at his last address on file in the Department of Motor Vehicles if (1) it is impossible to make service of process at the operator's last address on file in the Department of Motor Vehicles, and (2) the operator has caused injury to the person or property of another.

(c) Service of civil process may be made on the owner of a motor vehicle [registered under the provisions of chapter 246] by leaving a true and attested copy of the writ, summons and complaint at the office of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles at least twelve days before the return day and by sending such a true and attested copy at least twelve days before the return day, by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid and return receipt requested, to the defendant at his last address on file in the Department of Motor Vehicles if (1) it is impossible to make service of process at the owner's last address on file in the Department of Motor Vehicles, (2) the owner has loaned or permitted his motor vehicle to be driven by another, and (3) the motor vehicle has caused injury to the person or property of another.

(d) If service of process is made at the office of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subsection (b) or subsection (c) of this section, the officer making such service shall certify on the process that he has made a diligent effort to obtain service at the address of the owner or operator on file in the Department of Motor Vehicles and has been unable to make such service.

(e) Service of process pursuant to this section shall be sufficient to confer jurisdiction of any such action upon the court to which the process is returnable. The court may proceed to determine the issues in the action and render final judgment but the court may, in its discretion, require further order of notice to the operator or owner.

(f) The officer serving such process upon the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall leave with the commissioner, at the time of service, a fee of fifty dollars, which fee shall be taxed in favor of the plaintiff in his costs if he prevails in the action. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall keep a record of each such process and the day and hour of service.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

52-63

Statement of Purpose:

To permit service of civil process to be made on the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in a matter involving (1) an unlicensed motor vehicle operator, or (2) a motor vehicle owner who has not registered the motor vehicle.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]