Town of Simsbury v. Hannon
Sanctions imposed for civil contempt shall be coercive and nonpunitive to ensure compliance and compensate the complainant for losses, pursuant to Practice Book §1-21A. In April 2011, the Town of Simsbury reached a stipulation with the defendants, Mary and Dennis Hannon, concerning the use of property located in a residential district for business. The municipality alleged that the Hannons violated the stipulation, and failed to properly store equipment, logs, wood and debris. A zoning officer submitted pictures taken as recently as August 2012. Neighbors credibly testified that they observed equipment and piles of logs on the defendants' property as recently as October 2012. The court found that the defendants willfully violated the stipulation and court order. Although the municipality claimed that the defendants were in contempt of court continuously, for 500 days, the court found that the town only proved 13 incidents of willful violations. The court fined the defendants $100 per day, or $1,300 and ordered the defendants to pay, on or before Feb. 28, 2013. If the defendants fail to remediate future violations within two days of receipt of notice, the court will increase the fine to $200 per day.