Rubenstein v. Vacation Smart International Inc.
A commissioner's application to enforce an investigatory subpoena may not constitute a civil action that requires a writ of summons that complies with Practice Book §8-1 and Connecticut General Statutes §52-45a. William Rubenstein, the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection, issued a subpoena to Vacation Smart International Inc., as part of an investigation into the marketing and sales of travel club memberships. Vacation Smart objected, and Rubenstein moved to enforce the subpoena, pursuant to C.G.S. §42-110k. Vacation Smart moved to dismiss and argued that Rubenstein did not arrange to serve a writ of summons that complies with Practice Book §8-1 and C.G.S. §52-45a, because the summons does not include a return date or the parties' full descriptions. Allegedly, the commissioner served a summons that identified the parties as "William M. Rubenstein, Commissioner of Superior Court, petitioner" and "Vacation Smart International, Inc., defendant." The order to show cause summoned Vacation Smart to appear in court and show cause why the relief requested should not be ordered. C.G.S. §42-110k permits a state agency to apply for the enforcement of a subpoena. The statute that authorizes enforcement of the investigatory subpoena, wrote the court, creates its own special procedure. The formalities of a writ of summons are not required. The court denied the motion to dismiss.