2011 Connecticut Code
Sec. 52-182. Presumption of family car or motorboat in operation by certain person. Proof that the operator of a motor vehicle or a motorboat, as defined in section 15-127, was the husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter of the owner shall raise a presumption that such motor vehicle or motorboat was being operated as a family car or boat within the scope of a general authority from the owner, and shall impose upon the defendant the burden of rebutting such presumption.
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 899 Evidence
Sec. 52-182. Presumption of family car or motorboat in operation by certain person.
(1949 Rev., S. 7904; 1967, P.A. 310.)
History: 1967 act added motorboats to scope of section.
Complaint must allege relationship, but not necessary to allege agency. 117 C. 101. Statute procedural, not substantive. Id., 545. Presumption avails plaintiff until trier finds proven the circumstances re use of car and authority to drive it, whereupon burden is on plaintiff to establish that the car was being operated at the time of accident as a family car. 118 C. 58. Cited. 118 C. 656. Cited. 123 C. 462. Cited. 126 C. 587. Presumption compared with those under sections 52-114 and 52-183. 130 C. 187, 188. Cited. 132 C. 464. Mere production of evidence by defendant will not suffice to remove presumption created by statute for the court might disbelieve it. It is only when the facts are found that the presumption disappears. 135 C. 428. Conclusion of court that necessary conditions prevailed upheld. 138 C. 506. Doctrine held applicable. Id., 551. Cited. 142 C. 80. Wife can recover from husband because of delict of son who was agent of husband. 145 C. 663. Court below correct in applying family car doctrine, holding defendant liable, although decision in another case held defendant not an owner of the car causing accident. Doctrine of collateral estoppel did not apply as plaintiff and defendant were not adversaries in prior case. 154 C. 328. Cited. 155 C. 218, 221. Cited. 157 C. 260. Married son living outside family not within scope of family car doctrine. 163 C. 89. Burden on defendant to rebut presumption of family car doctrine. Id., 91. Cited. 176 C. 285. Cited. 190 C. 774. Cited. 211 C. 555.
Cited. 9 CA 221. Cited. 38 CA 852.
Defendant must prove facts sufficient to rebut the presumption, not merely introduce evidence. 5 CS 97. In-law relationship does not come within section. Id., 16 CS 195. Doctrine not applicable to serviceman who, while overseas, loaned car to brother. 14 CS 236. Where father lived in Massachusetts and son in Connecticut, car not regarded as family car. 15 CS 146. Presumption avails plaintiff even where defendant driver was operating wife's vehicle on company business for which company was paying for gas and oil. 17 CS 64. Failure of plaintiff to allege agency under family car doctrine not demurrable. Id., 75. Presumption does not arise where driver is son of owner's employee. 25 CS 35. Father and son relationship must be shown between driver and owner. Id. Contributory negligence of operator of family car is imputable to plaintiff-owner so as to bar recovery by him for damage to it. 26 CS 387. Negligence of driver of family car is not imputed to owner-occupant and demurrer to defense of imputed negligence should be sustained. 28 CS 90. The purpose of this section is to govern procedure, not to affect or create substantive rights. 32 CS 158. Cited. 42 CS 114.
Applies only to cases where plaintiff invokes statute to assist recovery against defendant and not to cases where defendant invokes statute to prevent recovery by plaintiff. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 654. Statute evidences no legislative intent to create a universally applicable vicarious responsibility. Id., 659. An indispensable requisite of the family purpose doctrine is that the person on whom it is sought to impose liability exercise some degree of control over the automobile's use. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 591, 594.
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