Schober v. Somers Board of Education
An appeal of an earlier decision about the location of a school bus stop can become moot, if the board of education issues an updated policy and reconsiders the earlier decision. Allegedly, the plaintiff requested that the defendant, the Somers Board of Education, designate a location for a school bus stop near his residence, and the board chose a location that was 1,400 feet away. The plaintiff appealed to the defendant state Board of Education and to the Superior Court. In 2011, the Somers Board of Education adopted a new transportation policy, and it moved to dismiss the plaintiff's appeal as moot, because the earlier decision about the location of the school bus stop was based on the 2009 policy. The Somers Board of Education claimed that in October 2012 it reviewed the plaintiff's request for a location near his residence and concluded that the school bus stop should remain in the same location, 1,400 feet away. "A claim of mootness implicates the well established rule that an actual controversy must exist not only at the time the appeal is taken, but also throughout the pendency of the appeal," pursuant to Williams v. Ragaglia, a 2002 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. The Superior Court found that the Somers Board of Education issued an updated policy and reconsidered its earlier decision based on the updated policy. "Any ruling by this court based on findings of fact from the now-replaced 2009 policy," wrote the court, "will not lead to practical relief." The Somers Board of Education failed to timely inform the plaintiff that the board reconsidered the school bus stop in October 2012, and the court ordered the board to hold another hearing, so that the plaintiff possesses the opportunity to file another appeal.