Liebeskind v. City of Waterbury

Decision Date23 February 1955
Citation142 Conn. 155,112 A.2d 208
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesHarry LIEBESKIND et al. v. CITY OF WATERBURY. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

J. Warren Upson, Waterbury, with whom was Kenyon W. Greene, Waterbury, for plaintiffs.

George J. Crocicchia, Corp. Counsel, Waterbury, with whom, on the brief, was Philip N. Bernstein, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Waterbury, for defendant.

Before BALDWIN, O'SULLIVAN, and DALY, JJ., and BORDON and MOLLOY, Superior Court Judges.

O'SULLIVAN, Justice.

For the purposes of this reservation the parties have stipulated as follows: The plaintiffs are residents and taxpayers of the defendant city and operate stores in its central mercantile area. The defendant presently is, and for some time past has been, acting under powers conferred by Special Act No. 346, passed in 1947. 25 Spec. Laws 545. By virtue of that enactment, the city was authorized to plan, establish and maintain off-street parking facilities and to finance such projects in certain designated ways. In 1949 and again in 1953, the General Assembly authorized the city to issue parking lot bonds, in the aggregate amount of $100,000 in each instance. 25 Spec. Laws 1265, § 1; 26 Spec. Laws 804, § 1. The defendant has spent, in acquiring parking facilities, practically all of the moneys received from the sale of the first issue. The proceeds from the sale of the second, however, are on hand and intact. All of these bonds are general obligations of the defendant and are entitled to full faith and credit as such.

In 1953, the General Assembly enacted Public Act No. 157, which now appears as §§ 223c to 232c, inclusive, of the 1953 Cumulative Supplement to the General Statutes. This act empowers any municipality, through its own legislative body, to create a parking authority consisting of five individuals appointed by the chief executive officer of the municipality and vested with the powers and duties enumerated in the act. Provisions for the financing and management of parking facilities are also included.

The board of aldermen is the legislative body of the defendant city. On August 2, 1954, the board adopted a resolution empowering the mayor to appoint a parking authority for the city in accordance with the provisions of the 1953 public act. Subsequently, counsel for the city recommended rescission of the vote on the ground that the establishment and maintenance of off-street parking had already been authorized under the special act of 1947. The city is now preparing to act under that special act, although it has been advised by the plaintiffs that parking facilities should be created and maintained by a parking authority in conformity with the public act of 1953.

The complaint, after alleging the existence of substantial uncertainty in the legal relations between the plaintiffs and the city, propounds twelve questions, the answers to which follow upon the determination of three issues. 1

An action for a declaratory judgment, valuable as it has become in modern practice, is not a procedural panacea for use on all occasions. The pertinent part of the rule provides that the court will not render a declaratory judgment upon the complaint of a person 'unless he has an interest, legal or equitable, by reason of danger of loss or of uncertainty as to his rights or other jural relations; or * * * unless there is an actual bona fide and substantial question or issue in dispute or substantial uncertainty of legal relations which requires settlement between the parties.' Practice Book, § 277. These provisions are the equivalent of saying that an action for a declaratory judgment may be employed only in solving a justiciable controversy. Board of Education of Town of Stamford v. Board of Finance, 127 Conn. 345, 347, 16 A.2d 601; see Swiss Cleaners, Inc., v. Danaher, 129 Conn. 338, 346, 27 A.2d 806. There can be no such controversy if the interests of the parties are not adverse. Aetna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn. v. Haworth, 300 U.S. 227, 240, 57 S.Ct. 461, 81 L.Ed. 617. It necessarily follows that, upon the pleadings and the stipulated facts, there is no justiciable controversy in the present case, since the defendant's course of conduct, whatever it may turn out to be, will not place the plaintiffs' rights in jeopardy. Miller v. Stolinski, 149 Neb. 679, 684, 32 N.W.2d 199; 1...

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34 cases
  • United Oil Co. v. Urban Redevelopment Commission of City of Stamford
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 16, 1969
    ...is not a procedural panacea for use on all occasions. Gannon v. Sanders, 157 Conn. 1, 6, 244 A.2d 397; Liebeskind v. City of Waterbury, 142 Conn. 155, 158, 112 A.2d 208. The case arises out of problems in connection with urban redevelopment in Stamford. One plaintiff, Morton B. Kahn, has su......
  • Juvenile Appeal (85-BC), In re
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • February 26, 1985
    ...149 Conn. 734, 735, 181 A.2d 592 (1962); see State v. Malkowski, 189 Conn. 101, 104-105, 454 A.2d 275 (1983); Liebeskind v. Waterbury, 142 Conn. 155, 159, 112 A.2d 208 (1955). We address the mother's argument, but we do not agree with Since July 1, 1978, jurisdiction over juvenile matters i......
  • Karen v. Town of East Haddam
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • November 17, 1959
    ...rule relating to actions for declaratory judgments relieves the court of any such duty. Practice Book, § 277; Liebeskind v. City of Waterbury, 142 Conn. 155, 158, 112 A.2d 208, and cases cited. Whether or not the plaintiffs' method of procedure is responsible for the stipulation for the ent......
  • Cholewa v. Hill
    • United States
    • Connecticut Superior Court
    • October 25, 2017
    ... ... in solving a justiciable controversy." Liebeskind v ... Waterbury , 142 Conn. 155, 158, 112 A.2d 208 (1955) ... " Put differently, an ... ...
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