Ethics: How to Request a Declaratory Ruling
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Who May Request a Declaratory Ruling?

 

Any person who is not eligible to receive an Advisory Opinion (i.e., any person who is not subject to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officials or the Code of Ethics for Lobbyists).

 

How to Request a Declaratory Ruling?

 

There are two ways to request a declaratory ruling:

  1. Fill out the Request for Declaratory Ruling FormThe Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies require that this form be signed; and mailed or delivered.  It cannot be accepted electronically or without a signature; or,
  2. Draft your own petition for a declaratory ruling.

Either type of request must be addressed to the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board and sent by mail or delivered in person during normal business hours to:

    

Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board

Office of State Ethics

18-20 Trinity Street, Suite 205

Hartford, CT 06106-1660

    
     Your own petition must:
  • Be signed;
  • Provide your name and address;
  • Be in writing and include the factual background of the issue; 
  • Be signed by petitioner and include his or her address for purpose of reply;
  • Be sent by certified mail to any person the petitioner has reason to believe may not otherwise have knowledge thereof and may fairly have an interest therein;
  • State clearly the question upon which it seeks a ruling;
  • State petitioner’s position with respect to the question;
  • Include argument (if any) in support of petitioner’s position, with such legal citations as are considered appropriate.

 

How is the Request Processed?

 

If the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board grants a request for a declaratory ruling, it has 60 days to (1) issue the opinion, (2) agree to issue the opinion by a specific date, or (3) order the matter set for a hearing.

    

If a request is granted, the legal division of the Office of State Ethics will draft a declaratory ruling and provide a copy to petitioner before the meeting at which it will be considered by the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board (giving petitioner time to respond to it, if necessary).

     

Petitioner will be advised of the date, time, and place of the meeting at which the draft declaratory ruling will be considered by the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board, and notified that he or she may attend the meeting and make a presentation.

    

If the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board denies a request for a declaratory ruling (e.g., if the facts presented in a petition are similar to those already addressed in a prior declaratory ruling), it has 60 days from the request’s filing to either state the reasons for its denial or initiate regulation-making proceedings on the subject.

 

Who will be Notified of the Request?

    

The Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board may notify any person of such a request, and may receive and consider facts, arguments and opinions from persons other than petitioner.

    

Within 30 days, the Office of State Ethics legal division will notify the subject of the request, if the subject is not the petitioner (e.g., when a member of the public requests a declaratory ruling regarding a state official), and any other person to whom notice is required by law.

     

Whenever the subject of the request is a public official or state employee, the Office of State Ethics legal division will, within 30 days, give notice of the petition to the official’s or employee’s department, agency, board, or commission.

     

Will the Declaratory Ruling be Public?

 

Yes. Declaratory rulings are published in the Connecticut Law Journal and on the Office of State Ethics website.

 

What is the Effect of a Declaratory Ruling?

    

Declaratory rulings are “final decisions” of the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board for purposes of appeal to the superior court, in accordance with the provisions of General Statutes §§ 4-175 or 4-183.



Content Last Modified on 10/15/2013 2:29:21 PM