Attorney General: The Honorable M. Adela Eads, Senate Republican Leader, 1992-012 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut

Attorney General's Opinion

Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal

May 28, 1992

The Honorable M. Adela Eads
Senate Republican Leader
State Capitol
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Senator Eads:

In your letter of February 27, 1992, you posed the question whether the filing of an annual report by a trustee under mortgage may be waived by the Banking Commissioner.

For the reasons stated below, it is our opinion that the filing of an annual report, required of each trustee under mortgage by Conn.Gen.Stat. 36-250(2), may not be waived by the Banking Commissioner.

Our conclusion is based on the plain language of Conn.Gen.Stat.  36-250(2). The statute provides:

The commissioner or an authorized representative of the department of banking shall, annually or more often, make an examination of all such trustee accounts and shall require that each such trustee file an annual report of such accounts held in trust in such form as the commissioner may prescribe and such other reports relating to the administration of any such trust as he may require. Such annual report shall be as of the close of business on the thirty-first day of December and shall be filed with the commissioner on or before the thirtieth day of January in each year.

Conn.Gen.Stat. 36-250(2) (emphasis added).

When the language of a statute is plain and unambiguous, "it is unnecessary to resort to principles of statutory construction." Harris Data Communications, Inc. v. Heffernan, 183 Conn. 194, 198, 438 A.2d 1178 (1981). In such instances, the words used in the statute " 'shall be construed according to the commonly approved usage of the language.' " State v. Rogue, 190 Conn. 143, 151, 460 A.2d 26 (1983) (quoting Conn.Gen.Stat. 1-1(a)).

Generally speaking, the use of the verb "shall" in a statute "connotes that the requirement is mandatory rather than permissive." Monroe v. Horwitch, 215 Conn. 469, 474, 576 A.2d 1280 (1990) (citing Caulkius v. Petrillo, 200 Conn. 713, 717, 513 A.2d 43 (1986)); accord Hossan v. Hudiakoff, 178 Conn. 381, 383, 423 A.2d 108 (1979). Consequently, it is our opinion that the requirement in Conn.Gen.Stat. 36-250(2) that the Banking Commissioner "shall require" each trustee under mortgage to file an annual report is mandatory and is not within the discretion of the Banking Commissioner to waive.

Very truly yours,

Richard Blumenthal
Attorney General

John A. Brunjes
Assistant Attorney General


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