Bloom v. Zoning Board of Appeals
In Bloom v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 233 Conn. 198, 658 A.2d 559 (1995), the Supreme Court ruled that the trial court, in considering a zoning variance, improperly raised and decided the case sua sponte on the theory of equitable estoppel, even though that issue had not been argued, either before the board or before the court. Id., 205.
The Supreme Court held that the trial court should not have proceeded sua sponte. "Because the court held no evidentiary hearing on the subject, the plaintiffs never had an opportunity to present evidence to the trial court nor were they permitted the opportunity to present an argument on the legal applicability of the doctrine of equitable estoppel . . . . A fundamental premise of due process is that a court cannot adjudicate any matter unless the parties have been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on the issues involved . . . ." Id.