Nizzardo v. State Traffic Commission

In Nizzardo v. State Traffic Commission, 259 Conn. 131, 788 A.2d 1158 (2002), the relationship between an agency appeal provision and the final decision requirement of 4-183 was examined. The appeal provision at issue in Nizzardo provided in relevant part: "Any person aggrieved by any decision of the State Traffic Commission hereunder may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183, except venue for such appeal shall be in the judicial district in which it is proposed to operate such establishment. . . ." General Statutes 14-311 (e). After first recognizing the general rule that for an administrative decision to qualify as a final decision, and therefore be appealable, there must be a hearing required by statute, the court nevertheless determined that an appeal could be brought pursuant to 14-311 even though that statute did not require a hearing. The court reasoned that if it construed 14-311 (e) as imposing that usual requirement, "the appeal provision would be meaningless, because the very statute to which it refers does not require a hearing. Thus, there would never be a permissible appeal thereunder." Nizzardo v. State Traffic Commission, supra, 259 Conn. 140 n.11. The Court determined that 22a-19 (a) permits a party to intervene in an administrative proceeding to raise environmental issues when two conditions are met. First, the Nizzardo court concluded that " 22a-19 grants standing to intervenors to raise only those environmental concerns that are within the jurisdiction of the particular administrative agency conducting the proceeding into which the party seeks to intervene." Nizzardo v. State Traffic Commission, supra, 259 Conn. at 148. Second, the Nizzardo court determined that to qualify as a "verified pleading" under 22a-19, a petition must "contain specific factual allegations setting forth the environmental issue that the intervenor intends to raise." Id., 164-65. The Supreme Court further stated that "the facts contained therein should be sufficient to allow the agency to determine from the face of the petition whether the intervention implicates an issue within the agency's jurisdiction." 259 Conn. at 165. "By requiring that intervention petitions under 22a-19 allege facts setting forth the environmental claim that the intervenor intends to raise, we ensure that the agency will have the ability to determine upon a review of the petition whether the agency properly has jurisdiction over that environmental issue." 259 Conn. at 164.