Kondratowicz v. Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park, Ruling on the commission's motion to amend, June 4, 2002
CHRO No. 0250051
Fed. No. 01-01-0455-8
Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ex rel. : Stephen Kondratowicz, Complainant
Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park, et al., Respondents
June 4, 2002
Ruling on the commission’s motion to amend and the respondents’ objection
By motion dated May 20, 2002, the commission moves to amend the complaint. The commission seeks (1) to add three additional respondents, Irvin Chipperini, Inge Chipperini and the Chipperini Family Trust; (2) change the designation of Gretchen Chipperini from owner to agent/manager; and (3) add an additional act of retaliation to those acts already alleged in the complaint. The respondents filed an objection dated May 28, 2002. The respondents contend that the motion impleads new parties to the action, raises an entirely new cause of action, and fails to state a cause of action within the jurisdiction of the commission. The complainant filed no response to the motion.
The commission’s motion is granted and the respondents’ objection overruled. The respondents shall file and serve their answer to the amended complaint on or before June 27, 2002.
General Statutes § 46a-84(g) provides in part that "[t]he presiding officer … shall permit reasonable amendment to the complaint or answer". Further, Section 46a-54-90(e) provides in part that "[t]he presiding officer shall permit reasonable amendment of any complaint or answer, and shall allow the parties a sufficient time to answer or reply and prepare their case in light of the new allegations." In determining the reasonableness of the amendment, "[f]actors to be considered include the timeliness of the application, the possibility of prejudice to the other party and whether the applicant’s presence will enable the court to make a complete determination of the issues." (Citation omitted.) A. Secondino and Son, Inc. v. Anthony LoRicco, 19 Conn. App. 8, 14 (1989); Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ex rel. Maria S. Rountree v. Seafood Peddler, CHRO No. 9830387, Memorandum of decision on motion to amend (May 14, 1999).
The commission’s proposed amendment is reasonable under the circumstances of this case. First, the motion is timely. The answer, identifying the owners of the park and Ms. Gretchen Chipperini’s correct status as agent/manager, is dated April 3, 2002 and the commission filed its motion to amend on May 20, 2002. Second, the respondents have failed to identify any prejudice as a result of the amendment. As Gretchen Chipperini is, according to the respondent’s answer, the agent/manager for the owners, her knowledge of the existence of the complaint can be imputed to the owners. Also, the respondents are being given three weeks to file their answers. Third, the presence of the additional respondents is necessary to determine the agency relationship and, if liability is found, order the appropriate relief. Finally, the alleged act of retaliation expands on the retaliatory cause of action already alleged in the complaint, which the complainant and commission are left to their proof to establish.
The prehearing and public hearing dates set forth in the hearing conference summary and order remain as ordered; that is,
Motions to compel: July 9, 2002
Witness and exhibit lists: August 20, 2002
Prehearing: September 23, 2002 at 10:00 AM.
Public hearing: October 29, 30, 31 and November 1, 2002 at 9:30 AM
Hon. Jon P. FitzGerald
Presiding Human Rights Referee
Enc: Conference Summary and Order C w/ enc:
Mr. S. Kondratowicz certified
Ms. G. Chipperini certified
Ms. I. Chipperini certified
Mr. I. Chipperini certified
Chipperini Family Trust certified
Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park certified
Atty. E. Cushman
Atty. C. Parker