Tolly v. Dept. of Human Resources

Tolly v. Dept. of Human Resources, 225 Conn. 13, 621 A.2d 719 (1993), was a case in which service, although timely and properly served, was defective in that the appeal papers did not include a citation. "A proper citation . . . requires not only the signature of a competent authority, such as a commissioner of the Superior Court, but the direction to a competent authority, such as a sheriff, constable or indifferent person, to summon the defendant to appear in court." Tolly v. Dept. of Human Resources, supra, 225 Conn. at 19. Tolly held that this defect did not implicate the jurisdiction of the Superior Court unless the agency was prejudiced by the less-than-perfect manner of service. Id. at 28-29. In the absence of a showing of prejudice, Tolly overturned a Superior Court dismissal of the appeal because the absence of a citation was not the equivalent of a "failure to make service at all within the applicable time period . . . ." Id. at 28. Although 4-183 (c) does not address prejudice, the court invoked the prejudice provision contained in 4-183 (d).