• Superior Court
  • Hartford J.D., at Hartford
  • CV12-6029861, CV12-6030709 and CV12-6030710
  • Nov 12 2012 (Date Decided)
  • Graham, J.

If the legislature enacts legislation that effectively supercedes a governor's executive orders, complaints alleging that the executive orders are unconstitutional will become moot. In September 2011, Governor Dannel Malloy issued an executive order, to elect a majority representative to meet with representatives of the Department of Social Services, to discuss recruitment of qualified family child care providers, compensation, grants, and training of care providers for families in the Care 4 Kids program. The governor also sought collective bargaining for the family child care providers. The governor issued a similar executive order for the personal care attendants who help disabled and elderly residents. Child care and personal care attendants selected S.E.I.U., the Service Employees International Union, as their union representative. The plaintiffs sued the governor, alleging that his executive orders violated the separation of powers in the Connecticut Constitution and that the executive orders are pre-empted by federal and state labor laws. The plaintiffs requested a writ of mandamus, ordering the governor to rescind the executive orders.  The defendants moved to dismiss. Justiciability requires: 1.) an actual controversy between or among the parties to the dispute; 2.) that the interests of the parties be adverse; 3.) that the matter in controversy be capable of being adjudicated by the judiciary; and 4.) that the decision will result in practical relief to the complainant. After the plaintiffs filed their complaints, the legislature enacted Public Act 12-33, "An Act Creating A Process for Family Child Care Providers and Personal Care Attendants to Collectively Bargain with the State." The act provides, "Family child care providers shall have the right to bargain collectively." It adds, "Personal care attendants shall have the right to bargain collectively and shall have such other rights and obligations incident thereto." The Superior Court found that P.A. 12-33 effectively supercedes the governor's executive orders. Even if the court granted a writ of mandamus, to rescind the executive orders, the plaintiffs would not receive any practical relief. The governor's September 2011 executive orders no longer carry any legal effect. The plaintiffs' complaints are moot, and the court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss.