2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 19a-206. (Formerly Sec. 19-79). Duties of municipal directors of health. Nuisances and sources of filth. Injunctions. Civil penalties. Authority of town director within city or borough.

      Sec. 19a-206. (Formerly Sec. 19-79). Duties of municipal directors of health. Nuisances and sources of filth. Injunctions. Civil penalties. Authority of town director within city or borough. (a) Town, city and borough directors of health or their authorized agents shall, within their respective jurisdictions, examine all nuisances and sources of filth injurious to the public health, cause such nuisances to be abated and cause to be removed all filth which in their judgment may endanger the health of the inhabitants. Any owner or occupant of any property who maintains such property, whether real or personal, or any part thereof, in a manner which violates the provisions of the Public Health Code enacted pursuant to the authority of sections 19a-36 and 19a-37 shall be deemed to be maintaining a nuisance or source of filth injurious to the public health. Any local director of health or his authorized agent or a sanitarian authorized by such director may enter all places within his jurisdiction where there is just cause to suspect any nuisance or source of filth exists, and abate or cause to be abated such nuisance and remove or cause to be removed such filth.

      (b) When any such nuisance or source of filth is found on private property, such director of health shall order the owner or occupant of such property, or both, to remove or abate the same within such time as the director directs. If such order is not complied with, within the time fixed by such director: (1) Such director, or any official of such town, city or borough authorized to institute actions on behalf of such town, city or borough, may institute and maintain a civil action for injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction to require the abatement of such nuisance, the removal of such filth and the restraining and prohibiting of acts which caused such nuisance or filth, and such court shall have power to grant such injunctive relief upon notice and hearing; (2) the owner or occupant of such property, or both, shall be subject to a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars per day for each day such nuisance is maintained or such filth allowed to remain after the time fixed by the director in his order has expired, except that the owner or occupant of such property or any part thereof on which a public eating place is conducted shall not be subject to the provisions of this subdivision, but shall be subject to the provisions of subdivision (3). Such civil penalty may be collected in a civil proceeding by the director of health or any official of such town, city or borough authorized to institute civil actions and shall be payable to the treasurer of such city, town or borough, and (3) the owner or occupant of such property, or both, shall be subject to the provisions of sections 19a-36, 19a-220 and 19a-230.

      (c) If the director institutes an action for injunctive relief seeking the abatement of a nuisance or the removal of filth, the maintenance of which is of so serious a nature as to constitute an immediate hazard to the health of persons other than the persons maintaining such nuisance or filth, he may, upon a verified complaint stating the facts which show such immediate hazard, apply for an ex parte injunction requiring the abatement of such nuisance or the removal of such filth and restraining and prohibiting the acts which caused such nuisance or filth to occur, and for a hearing on an order to show cause why such ex parte injunction should not be continued pending final determination on the merits of such action. If the court finds that an immediate hazard to the health of persons other than those persons maintaining such nuisance or source of filth exists, such ex parte injunction shall be issued, provided a hearing on its continuance pending final judgment is ordered held within seven days thereafter and provided further that any persons so enjoined may make a written request to the court or judge issuing such injunction for a hearing to vacate such injunction, in which event such hearing shall be held within three days after such request is filed.

      (d) In each town, except in a town having a city or borough within its limits, the town director of health shall have and exercise all the power for preserving the public health and preventing the spread of diseases; and, in any town within which there exists a city or borough, the limits of which are not coterminous with the limits of such town, such town director of health shall exercise the powers and duties of his office only in such part of such town as is outside the limits of such city or borough, except that when such city or borough has not appointed a director of health, the town director of health shall, for the purposes of this section, exercise the powers and duties of his office throughout the town, including such city or borough, until such city or borough appoints a director of health.

      (e) When such nuisance is abated or source of filth is removed from private property, such abatement or removal shall be at the expense of the owner or occupant of such property, or both, and damages for such abatement or removal may be recovered against them by the town, city or borough in a civil action as provided in subsection (b) or in a separate civil action brought by the director of health or any official of such city, town or borough authorized to institute civil actions.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3850; 1959, P.A. 445; P.A. 77-465; P.A. 87-521, S. 2.)

      History: 1959 act added provision for director of health authorizing qualified person to act; P.A. 77-465 placed previous provisions in Subsecs. (a) and (d) and added new provisions in Subsecs. (b), (c) and (e) clarifying general provisions re maintaining nuisance or source of filth injurious to public health stated in Subsec. (a) and added exception in Subsec. (d) re town health director's jurisdiction in cities or boroughs lacking health directors of their own; Sec. 19-79 transferred to Sec. 19a-206 in 1983; P.A. 87-521 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for the delegation of duties to an authorized agent and a sanitarian and to make technical changes.

      See Sec. 21a-62 re power of local health authority to order analyses of foods and medicines or other articles for human consumption.

      See Sec. 26-192g re duties of local directors of health with regard to unauthorized taking of shellfish in contaminated or posted areas.

      Annotations to former section 19-79:

      Towns not liable for acts of health officers, acting in good faith, and doing no unnecessary damage. 51 C. 93-102. No distinction between nuisances and filth as to power of health officer. 51 C. 98, 99. Health officer is not liable for error of judgment when acting in good faith. 51 C. 93-102. Filth and nuisances may be removed although not endangering health at time of removal. 51 C. 102. Duty to prevent spread of disease. 86 C. 677. A person cannot be charged with a crime under this section until the time allowed in an order for compliance with its terms has expired. 148 C. 439. Cited. 170 C. 387, 389, 390. Cited. Id., 675, 678.

      First selectmen of towns have never possessed any authority concerning matters affecting the public health. 8 CS 431. History and purpose discussed; the nuisances referred to are confined to those injurious to public health. 24 CS 242.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 42 CA 631.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 42 CA 631.

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