Stanley v. City of Hartford

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Citation140 Conn. 643,103 A.2d 147
Decision Date09 February 1954
PartiesSTANLEY v. CITY OF HARTFORD. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

Page 147

103 A.2d 147
140 Conn. 643

Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut.
Feb. 9, 1954.

[140 Conn. 644]

Page 148

Milton Krevolin, Hartford, with whom, on the brief, were Morton E. Cole, Cyril Cole and A. Arthur Giddon, Hartford, for appellant (plaintiff).

C. Duane Blinn, Hartford, with whom, on the brief, was Ralph C. Dixon, Hartford, for appellee (defendant).

Before [140 Conn. 643] INGLIS, C. J., and BALDWIN, O'SULLIVAN, WYNNE and DALY *, JJ.

[140 Conn. 644] O'SULLIVAN, Associate Justice.

The record discloses the following: On March 15, 1947, the plaintiff instituted this action against the city of Hartford. The writ was returned to the Superior Court on the first Tuesday of April, 1947. The complaint sounded in nuisance. The plaintiff sought to recover damages for injuries alleged to have been inflicted upon him when he was struck by a fire hose coupling during the preceding April. On May 14, 1947, the defendant filed its answer, which incorporated two special defenses. A demurrer addressed to one of them was overruled, and on August 24, 1949, the plaintiff filed his reply. There is nothing to explain why he failed to try his case within the almost four years which then followed.

The next matter appearing in sequence in the record is an order of court, under the caption 'Pretrial memo and order' and dated May 19, 1953, stating[140 Conn. 645] the following: 'Enter non-suit * * * for not properly being prepared for pre-trial.' On the same date, a judgment of nonsuit 1 was entered in compliance with the order. On May 29, 1953, the plaintiff appealed from the judgment and at the same time filed an assignment of errors which was subsequently amended on June 12, 1953. The assignment as thus amended raises many questions, but only two of them have been briefed. The others must be treated as abandoned. Freund v. Burns, 131 Conn. 380, 386, 40 A.2d 754; Maltbie, Conn.App.Proc., § 165. The first question challenges the legality of the nonsuit. In other words, the plaintiff maintains that the court had no authority to enter the judgment of nonsuit.

In 1939, the judges of the Superior Court adopted a rule to establish procedure for what had come to be known as pretrial. The rule became effective on January 1, 1940, and has remained in unamended form. Practice Book § 144. 2 Pretrial has been a

Page 149

[140 Conn. 646] juridical development of modern times. 3 Clark, Code Pleading (2d Ed.) p. 572 et seq.; Vanderbilt, Minimum Standards of Judicial Administration, p. 206 et seq. It was devised largely as a frontal assault upon a docket which, in recent years, has become more and more overloaded with untried cases. The procedure has been subjected to criticism in the past, although, we add, the criticism appears to have been more audible than substantial. Section 144 cannot be validated, however, either by the desirability of its objective or by a show of hands, as in a popularity contest. Its validity must be determined on other grounds.

It is not necessary for us to determine whether the judges of the Superior Court, as members of an independent branch of government, had inherent power to set up rules to govern procedure in the judicial system. The General Assembly specifically empowered them to do so. General Statutes § 7655, as amended Cum.Supp.1953, § 2361c. 4 We recently [140 Conn. 647] held that the statutes now give the judges authority, if needed, to make rules not only to carry out the terms of the Practice Act but also to provide for other proceedings in the Superior Court. In re Appeal of Dattilo, 136 Conn. 488, 492, 72 A.2d 50.

The plaintiff does not challenge the power of the judges to adopt the rule in question, save in one particular. He maintains that, while they could...

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27 cases
  • State v. Clemente
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • July 2, 1974 that case implied, that the General Assembly is without power to enact procedural statutes. See for confirmation, Stanley v. Hartford, 140 Conn. 643, 646-648, 103 A.2d 147. That the courts have inherent power to make rules of procedure, including discovery, does not imply that the Genera......
  • Ruddock v. Burrowes, 15584
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 27, 1998
    ...Thode v. Thode, 190 Conn. 694, 698, 462 A.2d 4 (1983); [243 Conn. 576] In re Mongillo, supra, at 692, 461 A.2d 1387; Stanley v. Hartford, 140 Conn. 643, 648, 103 A.2d 147 This case requires us, for the first time, to find the proper accommodation between these competing principles. In the a......
  • Rosado v. Bridgeport Roman Catholic, 17807.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 2, 2009
    ...or if it can be shown that information is included in bad faith, parties or the trial court may seek sanctions. Stanley v. Hartford, 140 Conn. 643, 648, 103 A.2d 147 (1954) ("the court has inherent power to provide for the imposition of reasonable sanctions to compel the observance of its 3......
  • Silverman v. Browning, Civ. No. B-259.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • December 14, 1972
    ...Bar Association v. Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., 145 Conn. 222, 231-233, 140 A.2d 863, 868 (1958). See also Stanley v. City of Hartford, 140 Conn. 643, 646, 103 A. 2d 147 (1954); In re Appeal of Dattilo, 136 Conn. 488, 492, 72 A.2d 50 (1950). Public Act (1957 Session) No. 651, § 7, also rec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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