Comm'r of Envtl. Prot. v. Farricielli, No. 18596.

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Citation59 A.3d 789,307 Conn. 787
Docket NumberNo. 18596.
Decision Date19 February 2013
PartiesCOMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION et al. v. Joseph J. FARRICIELLI et al.

307 Conn. 787
59 A.3d 789

COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION et al.
v.
Joseph J. FARRICIELLI et al.

No. 18596.

Supreme Court of Connecticut.

Argued Oct. 31, 2012.
Decided Feb. 19, 2013.


[59 A.3d 791]


Kenneth A. Votre, for the plaintiff in error (Modern Materials Corporation).

Kimberly P. Massicotte, assistant attorney general, with whom were Matthew I. Levine, assistant attorney general, and, on the brief, George Jepsen, attorney general, and Krista E. Trousdale, assistant attorney general, for the defendant in error (commissioner of environmental protection).


ROGERS, C.J., and NORCOTT, PALMER, ZARELLA, EVELEIGH and HARPER, Js.*

NORCOTT, J.

[307 Conn. 789]This is the latest chapter in the efforts of the plaintiffs, including the named plaintiff and defendant in error, the commissioner of environmental protection (commissioner),1 to close and remediate an area [307 Conn. 790]commonly known as the “tire pond,” a solid waste disposal area straddling the Hamden and North Haven town boundaries that is on land owned by the defendants, Joseph Farricielli and various corporate entities that he owns or controls (corporations).2 The nonparty plaintiff in error, Modern Materials Corporation (Modern), which conducts its business on land leased from State Five Industrial Park, Inc. (State Five), that contains a portion of the tire pond, brings this writ of

[59 A.3d 792]

error 3 from the judgment of the trial court ordering it to vacate that land in order to effectuate the environmental remediation that the trial court had ordered in the action underlying this writ of error (underlying action). Modern contends that the trial court improperly ordered it to vacate because: (1) the trial court lacked the authority to enforce the injunctions ordered in the underlying action against Modern because it has never been a party to that action or acted in privity with a party thereto; (2) such an order was not necessary to effectuate the remediation; and (3) the trial court violated Modern's due process rights under the federal and state constitutions when it enforced the orders in the underlying action without first giving Modern the opportunity to contest the validity of those orders at a hearing. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss the writ of error.

The record, as described in part by our previous opinions in various appeals concerning the tire pond, reveals the following background facts and procedural history. Farricielli “and his corporations own four contiguous parcels of property, three of which are located in the town of Hamden and one in the town of North Haven [307 Conn. 791][parcels]. The parcels are bordered by the Quinnipiac River on the east and by State Street on the west. Tidal marshes abut the properties to the north and south, and two of the parcels contain ponds. One of the ponds, which is known as the [‘tire pond’] because [Farricielli] and his corporations used it for the unauthorized disposal of approximately 15 million used tires, is separated from the Quinnipiac River and adjoining marshlands by a narrow dike. Since the 1970s, [Farricielli] and his corporations maintained various solid waste disposal operations on these properties, and, on occasion, leased the parcels to other businesses for similar uses. [Farricielli's] corporations and his various tenants used the land for, among other things, the sorting, recycling, reduction and disposal of construction and demolition waste, pumice, used tires and other refuse. One tenant operated a landfill on one of the parcels, and [Farricielli] and his corporations maintained offices and scales on another of the parcels.” Rocque v. Farricielli, 269 Conn. 187, 192, 848 A.2d 1206 (2004).

“Beginning as early as 1974, the plaintiffs in this case became concerned over the unauthorized and otherwise illegal activities of [Farricielli], his corporations and his tenants.4 Several attempts were made

[59 A.3d 793]

to bring [307 Conn. 792][Farricielli], his corporations and tenants into compliance with state statutes and town ordinances, which, among other things, required [Farricielli] and his corporations to secure the appropriate permits and to abide by their requirements. In December, 1995, [Hamden] obtained a temporary injunction against [Farricielli] and his corporations, and it was on this order that the stipulated judgment involved in this case was based. In March, 1999, [Hamden] obtained a cease and desist order, which it also requested the court to enforce in the present case.

“In February, 1998, the commissioner issued a consent order designed to go into effect on May 28, 1998, which was signed by [Farricielli] on behalf of himself individually and on behalf of his corporations [consent [307 Conn. 793]order]. Simply stated, the consent order required [Farricielli] and his corporations to cease the operation of all unpermitted solid waste facilities and to remediate the tire pond. Their subsequent failure to comply adequately, or, in some cases, at all, with the terms of the consent order, along with the violation of the stipulated judgment and the cease and desist order obtained by [Hamden], constitute the basis of [the underlying action].” Id., at 192–94, 848 A.2d 1206.

The commissioner commenced the underlying action on July 9, 1999, by filing “a complaint, which subsequently was amended four times, against [Farricielli] and his corporations alleging flagrant and persistent violations of General Statutes §§ 22a–44 (b), 22a–108, 22a–208a, 22a–208b, 22a–208c and 22a–430, concerning the operation of their unpermitted solid waste disposal areas. Specifically, the commissioner sought: an order from the trial court enforcing the terms of the commissioner's 1998 consent order with [Farricielli] and his corporations, which was designed to end ongoing statutory violations; a temporary and permanent injunction requiring [Farricielli] and his corporations to cease their illegal activities; and an order requiring [Farricielli] and his corporations to pay civil penalties for each day of each alleged violation. The town and its zoning enforcement officer subsequently intervened as party plaintiffs in the action, and the plaintiffs filed a joint amended complaint seeking, in addition to all of the

[59 A.3d 794]

aforementioned remedies, enforcement of an existing cease and desist order and the stipulated judgment in effect between [Hamden] and [Farricielli] and his corporations, which was designed to end ongoing violations of various zoning ordinances.” Id., at 191–92, 848 A.2d 1206.

“Following a lengthy court trial [before Hon. Robert Hale, judge trial referee] 5 and the filing of posthearing [307 Conn. 794]briefs, the trial court found for the plaintiffs on all counts and ordered [Farricielli] to comply with the terms of the consent order, the stipulated judgment, and the cease and desist order, and to pay civil penalties for his ongoing violations of state and local laws [2001 judgment]. [Farricielli] subsequently filed motions for reargument and for a stay of the injunctions ordered by the court pending an appeal, both of which were denied.” 6Id., at 194, 848 A.2d 1206. This court affirmed the underlying judgment in an opinion released on June 1, 2004. Id., at 190–91, 848 A.2d 1206.

With respect to the three specific parcels of the defendants' land at issue herein, known as parcels A, B and C, the tire pond is located on parcel B, which lies in both North Haven and Hamden, and which is bordered on the east by the Quinnipiac River and on the west by State Street. Parcel A lies south of parcel B and is entirely in Hamden. Parcel C, which is located between parcels A and B, is a narrow strip that lies entirely in Hamden. Parcel C is owned by State Five, who, in turn, received its interest in that parcel from its corporate predecessor, Look Investment Agency, Inc. (Look). In February, 2000, Farricielli, through one of his corporations, the defendant Tire Salvage, Inc. (Tire Salvage), conveyed a 6.8 acre strip of land in the southern portion of the tire pond on parcel B to Look, causing it to become part of parcel C. 7 Further, in June, 2003, Farricielli[307 Conn. 795]licensed a three acre portion of the tire pond in parcel B to Look for the sum of $1 (license agreement).

Modern became involved with this property in June, 2003, while the appeal to this court in the underlying action was pending. Specifically, on June 11, 2003, State Five leased the 6.8 acre strip on parcel C to Modern for an initial five year plus seven month term, ending on February 28, 2009. The lease also included a five year renewal option, which Modern since has exercised. Modern subsequently recorded this lease on the Hamden land records pursuant to General Statutes § 47–19.8

[59 A.3d 795]

State Five also assigned to Modern a portion of the license agreement, thus permitting Modern to occupy the three acre strip of land on parcel B as a sublicensee. Modern currently uses its leased premises on parcel C and this small portion of parcel B to recycle, screen and resell construction materials such as gravel, concrete, asphalt and earth materials.

Subsequent to the execution of Modern's lease, the commissioner filed a motion for contempt in 2004, alleging that the defendants had failed to complete the remediation of the tire pond as required by the 2001 judgment and that Farricielli had engaged in personal conduct [307 Conn. 796]that directly had interfered with the commissioner's efforts to complete the remediation. Although the trial court denied the commissioner's motion for contempt, despite “evidence that [Farricielli] engaged in serious harassment” of the commissioner and two of its contractors engaged in remediation, the court also determined that “further clarification, guidance and strengthening of its injunction [was] required” and issued numerous supplemental orders as an amendment to the underlying judgment. These supplemental orders, issued by memorandum of decision on October 7, 2004...

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19 practice notes
  • State v. Dickson, No. 19385.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 9 d2 Agosto d2 2016
    ...procedures. This is a question of law over which our review is plenary. Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 819, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) (“[w]hether [a party] was deprived of his due process rights is a question of law, to which we grant plenary review” [inter......
  • State v. Dickson, SC 19385
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 9 d2 Agosto d2 2016
    ...procedures. This is a question of law over which our review is plenary. Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 819, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) ("[w]hether [a party] was deprived of his due process rights is a question of law, to which we grant plenary review&qu......
  • State v. Buhl, No. 19412
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 21 d2 Junho d2 2016
    ...briefed claim constitutes an exercise of judicial discretion. See, e.g., Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 816 n. 22, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) (“we exercise our discretion to review these [allegedly inadequately briefed] claims”); Northeast Ct. Economic Allia......
  • State v. Buhl, SC 19412
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 14 d2 Junho d2 2016
    ...briefed claim constitutes an exercise of judicial discretion. See, e.g., Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 816 n.22, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) ("we exercise our discretion to review these [allegedly inadequately briefed] claims"); Northeast Ct. Econo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • State v. Dickson, SC 19385
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 9 d2 Agosto d2 2016
    ...procedures. This is a question of law over which our review is plenary. Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 819, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) ("[w]hether [a party] was deprived of his due process rights is a question of law, to which we grant plenary review" [inter......
  • State v. Dickson, No. 19385.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 9 d2 Agosto d2 2016
    ...procedures. This is a question of law over which our review is plenary. Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 819, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) (“[w]hether [a party] was deprived of his due process rights is a question of law, to which we grant plenary review” [inter......
  • State v. Buhl, No. 19412
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 21 d2 Junho d2 2016
    ...briefed claim constitutes an exercise of judicial discretion. See, e.g., Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 816 n. 22, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) (“we exercise our discretion to review these [allegedly inadequately briefed] claims”); Northeast Ct. Economic Allia......
  • State v. Buhl, SC 19412
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 14 d2 Junho d2 2016
    ...briefed claim constitutes an exercise of judicial discretion. See, e.g., Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. Farricielli, 307 Conn. 787, 816 n.22, 59 A.3d 789 (2013) ("we exercise our discretion to review these [allegedly inadequately briefed] claims"); Northeast Ct. Economic Allian......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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