In re Application of Clinton Oyster Ground Committee

In In re Application of Clinton Oyster Ground Committee, 52 Conn. 5 (1884), the oyster ground committee of the town of Clinton, pursuant to statute, filed an application in the court for the appointment of an independent committee to ascertain and describe the boundaries of the natural oyster, clam and mussel beds in the waters of the town. The appointed committee provided a report to the court designating substantially the entire Clinton harbor as a natural bed. Several persons who previously had acquired oyster grounds and who claimed to be affected by the committee's report appeared and objected to the court's acceptance of the report. The court subsequently rejected the report and referred the case to another committee. The applicants, the Clinton oyster ground committee, immediately appealed from the court's decision. The Court heard the appeal, stating that "in ordinary cases the rejection of the report of a committee is not a final judgment from which an appeal lies. This case however is exceptional. No judgment is to be rendered on the report. When accepted, the report itself becomes practically the final judgment. If rejected, there is no judgment, such as the proceedings contemplate, and the case goes to another committee. The judgment of the court on the remonstrance refusing to accept the report, is in the nature of a final judgment. It deprives the party of a report to which he may be entitled. If he is, it is better for all concerned that it should be determined before the expense is incurred of a trial before another committee. In that aspect of the case, and considering the peculiar character of the proceeding, it was deemed best to hear it on its merits . . . ." Id. at 6-7.