Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals of City of New Haven

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtBefore BROWN; CORNELL
Citation140 Conn. 290,99 A.2d 149
PartiesPARSONS et al. v. BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS OF CITY OF NEW HAVEN et al. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut
Decision Date11 August 1953

Page 149

99 A.2d 149
140 Conn. 290
PARSONS et al.
v.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS OF CITY OF NEW HAVEN et al.
Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut.
Aug. 11, 1953.

[140 Conn. 291]

Page 150

Elmer W. Ryan, New Haven, for appellants-appellees (plaintiffs).

Frank E. Callahan, New Haven, with whom was Harrison F. Turnbull, New Haven, for the appellant-appellee (defendant Security Insurance Company of New Haven), and on the brief, John W. Barclay, New Haven, for the appellant-appellee (defendant board).

Before [140 Conn. 290] BROWN, C. J., and BALDWIN, INGLIS and O'SULLIVAN, JJ., and CORNELL, Superior Court Judge.

[140 Conn. 292] CORNELL, Judge.

On September 25, 1951, the board of zoning appeals of the city of New Haven granted the application of the estate of Bertha A. Watrous and the Security Insurance Company of New Haven, defendants in this action, for permission to use the basement and first and second floors of a single-family dwelling, known as the Watrous property, at 261 Bradley Street, New Haven, for offices for physicians, surgeons and dentists, but denied them permission to construct, maintain and use the driveway along the easterly boundary of the property as a passway between Bradley Street and other premises of the insurance company located at the rear of the property. The plaintiffs, comprising a number of residents of the city of New Haven, appealed to the Court of Common Pleas from the action of the board in allowing the variance. That court rendered judgment dismissing the appeal.

The plaintiffs take exception to several paragraphs of the finding which are to the effect that the board had before it certain facts concerning the number of doctors' offices already in the neighborhood. The basis of their exception is that the only evidence of these facts was an unsworn statement made at the hearing before the board by counsel for the defendants. Proceedings before an administrative board are informal. Saporiti v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 137 Conn. 478, 482, 78 A.2d 741. Such a board is not bound by the strict rules of evidence. Adam v. Connecticut Medical Examining Board, 137 Conn. 535, 540, 79 A.2d 350. It may act upon facts which are known to it even though they are not produced at the hearing. Jaffe v. State Department of Health, 135 Conn. 339, 349, 64 A.2d 330, 6 A.L.R.2d 664; Mrowka v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 134 Conn. 149, 154, 55 A.2d 909. The only requirement is that the conduct of the [140 Conn. 293] hearing shall not violate the fundamentals of natural justice. That is, there must be due notice of the hearing, and at the hearing no one may be deprived of the right to produce relevant evidence or to cross-examine witnesses produced by his adversary or to be fairly apprised of the facts upon which the board is asked to act. Wadell v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 136 Conn. 1, 8, 68 A.2d 152.

In the present case, the statement of facts was made at the hearing by counsel for the defendants in the presence of counsel for the plaintiffs and without objection. The latter had ample opportunity to refute it and in fact did contradict it in certain particulars. Under the circumstances, the board was entitled to accept the statement in lieu of sworn testimony and to give to it such credence and weight as, in their minds, it merited. The facts contained in the statement were properly before the board. The dictum in Celentano v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 135 Conn. 16, 18, 60 A.2d 510, that such statements are not evidence is...

To continue reading

Request your trial
59 practice notes
  • New England Rehabilitation Hosp. of Hartford, Inc. v. Commission on Hospitals and Health Care, Nos. 14586
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 22, 1993
    ...thereby an opportunity to rebut at an appropriate stage in the proceedings." [Emphasis added.]; Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 292-93, 99 A.2d 149 (1953); see also C. Tait & J. LaPlante, Connecticut Evidence (2d Ed.1988) § 1.2.5. Against this background, we will examine ......
  • Grimes v. Conservation Com'n of Town of Litchfield, Nos. 15573
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • November 25, 1997
    ...the right to produce relevant evidence or to cross-examine witnesses produced by his adversary...." Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 293, 99 A.2d 149 (1953), overruled on other Page 106 grounds, Ward v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 153 Conn. 141, 146-47, 215 A.2d 104 (1965). P......
  • White v. City of Twin Falls, No. 8711
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 27, 1959
    ...of the ordinance. Endara v. City of Culver City, [81 Idaho 188] 140 Cal.App.2d 33, 294 P.2d 1003; Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 99 A.2d 149; Wakefield v. Kraft, 202 Md. 136, 96 A.2d 27. Moreover the changing character of the neighborhood is evidenced by commercial devel......
  • Loring v. Planning and Zoning Com'n, No. 17886.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • July 15, 2008
    ...contrary.5 An unsworn statement of a party's counsel is competent evidence before a zoning body. See Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 293, 99 A.2d 149 (1953); Paige v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission, 287 Conn. 759 35 Conn.App. 646, 661, 646 A.2d 277 (1994), rev'd on other g......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
59 cases
  • New England Rehabilitation Hosp. of Hartford, Inc. v. Commission on Hospitals and Health Care, Nos. 14586
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 22, 1993
    ...thereby an opportunity to rebut at an appropriate stage in the proceedings." [Emphasis added.]; Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 292-93, 99 A.2d 149 (1953); see also C. Tait & J. LaPlante, Connecticut Evidence (2d Ed.1988) § 1.2.5. Against this background, we will examine ......
  • Grimes v. Conservation Com'n of Town of Litchfield, Nos. 15573
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • November 25, 1997
    ...the right to produce relevant evidence or to cross-examine witnesses produced by his adversary...." Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 293, 99 A.2d 149 (1953), overruled on other Page 106 grounds, Ward v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 153 Conn. 141, 146-47, 215 A.2d 104 (1965). P......
  • White v. City of Twin Falls, No. 8711
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 27, 1959
    ...of the ordinance. Endara v. City of Culver City, [81 Idaho 188] 140 Cal.App.2d 33, 294 P.2d 1003; Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 99 A.2d 149; Wakefield v. Kraft, 202 Md. 136, 96 A.2d 27. Moreover the changing character of the neighborhood is evidenced by commercial devel......
  • Loring v. Planning and Zoning Com'n, No. 17886.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • July 15, 2008
    ...contrary.5 An unsworn statement of a party's counsel is competent evidence before a zoning body. See Parsons v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 140 Conn. 290, 293, 99 A.2d 149 (1953); Paige v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission, 287 Conn. 759 35 Conn.App. 646, 661, 646 A.2d 277 (1994), rev'd on other g......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT