PLASTIC DIST.

3338

5 Conn. App. 219 (1985) | Cited 15 times | Connecticut Appellate Court | September 10, 1985

This is an appeal from the judgment ofthe trial court dismissing the plaintiff's petition forreview of the decision of the defendant commissionerof transportation. The commissioner's decision haddenied the plaintiff certain payments which the plaintiffhad claimed under the Uniform Relocation AssistanceAct (URAA). General Statutes 8-266 through8-282.

The administrative record, as reviewed by the trialcourt, revealed the following facts: The plaintiff wasa wholesale distributor of household items. It conductedits business from a site in Hartford and had two feederwarehouses. The defendant instituted eminent domainproceedings against the Hartford site in connectionwith a highway project, forcing the plaintiff to relocateto a new facility in East Windsor. At the time of themove, the plaintiff's inventory, consisting of thousandsof items, was contained in over 200,000 separate corrugatedcartons. Various other property, such as desks,chairs, typewriters and other business machines, alsohad to be relocated.

The plaintiff's business, which involved the acceptanceof goods from manufacturers, the storage of thosegoods, the assembling of orders and the delivery of

[5 Conn. App. 221]

     ordered goods, required that the goods be organizedin a certain way so that the plaintiff's employees couldreadily find them.

When it relocated to the East Windsor facility, theplaintiff consolidated all three of its warehouses intoone. It also installed a new computer system and reorganizedits inventory. The plaintiff implemented themove itself so that its employees, who knew the operationof the business, could move the inventory. Themove took place between April 14, 1980, and May 30,1980, and the plaintiff's business was completely closedfor business due to the move from May 9, 1980, throughMay 30, 1980.

The plaintiff applied for reimbursement under theURAA; General Statutes 8-268(a);1 for movingexpenses, including rental payments at the Hartfordand the East Windsor sites for the entire six-week movingperiod, and payments for the utilities at both sitesfor the period from May 9, 1980, through May 30, 1980.The department paid some of the claimed expenses butdenied others, including the claim for the rent and utilitieswhich is at issue here. The plaintiff appealed thedenial of those claims to the relocation advisory appealsboard. The board allowed payment for some of theclaims, but agreed with the denial of others, including

[5 Conn. App. 222]

     the rent and utility expenses. The decision of theappeals board was adopted by the commissioner oftransportation.

The plaintiff thereupon appealed to the court, whichdetermined that the basis of "the decision of theAppeals Board . . . concerning the utility and rentalexpenses was vague, ambiguous and confusing," andremanded the action to the appeals board for clarification.After a hearing, the appeals board issued a"Response to Order for Remand," adopted by the commissioner,which stated summarily that the claim forreimbursement of the rental and utility expenses wasdenied. It cited 8-273-11(a) of the agency's regulations,2which excludes reimbursement for additional livingexpenses incurred due to moving to a new location,as the basis of its denial.

The plaintiff again appealed to the court. This appealinvolved only the claim for the rent and utility expenses,which the parties stipulated were in the amounts of$20,000 and $3556, respectively. The court upheld thedecision of the commissioner and the appeals board onthe basis that the claimed expenses were livingexpenses under 8-273-11(a) of the regulations andwere, therefore, not reimbursable. The court alsooffered two alternative bases on which the claims couldhave been denied, although neither basis was mentionedin either of the board's decisions. The court stated thatthe record showed that these expenses were relatedto improvements made to the East Windsor site andto modifications to property moved to that site, bothof which are excluded from reimbursement under theagency's regulations. Regs., Conn. State Agencies8-273-11(c), (j).

[5 Conn. App. 223]

On appeal to this court, the plaintiff essentially claimsthat the trial court erred (1) by affirming the board'sdecision and by not holding that the claimed expenseswere reimbursable as actual reasonable movingexpenses under General Statutes 8-268, and (2) byupholding the decision on alternative grounds not mentionedby the board in its decision. We find error.

We treat initially the claim of error that the trial courterred by addressing alternative grounds for upholdingthe appeal. The trial court was acting in an appellateposture when this case came before it. As such, thecourt was limited to the administrative record beforeit and could not try the case de novo. Connecticut NaturalGas Corporation v. PUCA, 183 Conn. 128, 133-34,439 A.2d 282 (1981); Pelletier v. White, 33 Conn. Sup. 769,770, 371 A.2d 1068 (1976). The two alternativegrounds found by the trial court to uphold the decisionwere 8-273-11(c) and 8-273-11(j) of the regulations.These regulations exclude reimbursement for the costsof improvements to the replacement site and modificationof personal property to adapt it to the replacementsite, respectively. Both were alluded to at theadministrative hearings but neither the original decisionby the board nor the decision currently beingappealed mentions these exclusions. The board clearlydid not rely on these exclusions when it denied the plaintiff'sclaim and the court's reliance on them is improper.The court, in effect, adjudicated facts and issues on itsown and therefore, "engage[d] in surmise and conjecture"to uphold the decision. Lee v. Board of Education,181 Conn. 69, 82, 434 A.2d 333 (1980); see Kaplanv. Administrator, 4 Conn. App. 152, 493 A.2d 248(1985).

Moreover, we note that the plaintiff excised from itsclaim the expenditures it made for improvements tothe replacement site and for modifications which itdeemed necessary to make its equipment efficient in

[5 Conn. App. 224]

     the replacement building. There was no showing thatthere was any connection between the expenses claimedand the expenditures for improvements and modifications.The use of these exclusions as additional justificationsfor denying the plaintiff's claims, therefore, wasmisplaced.

Turning now to the plaintiff's principal claim, namely,that the court erred by not finding the rent and utilitiesreimbursable as actual reasonable moving expensesunder the URAA, we first address the issue of ourscope of review. The plaintiff circumscribes our scopeof review to that of determining whether the board'sdecision was arbitrary, capricious or characterized byan abuse of discretion, or whether the decision wasclearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative andsubstantial evidence on the whole record. See GeneralStatutes 4-183(g)(5), (6). The defendant seeminglyconcurs in this enunciation of our scope of review inits brief.

The parties are correct in grounding our scope ofreview on the provisions of General Statutes 4-183of the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA),under which judicial review of the commissioner's decisionis authorized. That act, however, provides fourother bases on which a reviewing court may reverseor modify an agency decision. General Statutes4-183(g).3 Those bases include reviewing the agency's

[5 Conn. App. 225]

     decision to see if it is in violation of statutory provisions,in excess of the statutory authority of the agencyor affected by other error of law. General Statutes4-183(g)(1), (2), (4). Although we recognize that"`the factual and discretionary determinations ofadministrative agencies are to be given considerableweight by the courts> . . . it is for the courts>, and notfor administrative agencies, to expound and applygoverning principles of law.'" (Citations omitted.)Wilson v. Freedom of Information Commission,181 Conn. 324, 342-43, 435 A.2d 353 (1980). We, therefore,consider our scope of review to be broader than enunciatedby the parties and to encompass a review of thelegal questions involved.

The question of whether a particular statute or regulationapplies to a given state of facts is a question ofstatutory interpretation, which, upon review under theUAPA, ordinarily presents a question of law. See ConnecticutLife & Health Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Jackson,173 Conn. 352, 356-57, 377 A.2d 1099 (1977). Thus,whether General Statutes 8-268(a) or 8-273-11(a)of the regulations apply to these facts is a question oflaw. Our review of this question leads us to concludethat the commissioner, and the trial court in affirmingthe commissioner's decision, made an error of lawand exceeded the statutory provisions governing relocationassistance when they determined that theexpenses claimed by the plaintiff were nonreimbursableliving expenses.

"The power of an administrative agency to prescriberules and regulations under a statute is not the powerto make law, but only the power to adopt regulationsto carry into effect the will of the legislature asexpressed by the statute." Salmon Brook ConvalescentHome v. Commission on Hospitals & Health Care,177 Conn. 356, 363, 417 A.2d 358 (1979). The departmentof transportation promulgated regulations pursuant to

[5 Conn. App. 226]

     General Statutes 8-273(b) of the URAA, which permitsregulations to be established "to assure . . . thatthe payments and assistance authorized by this chaptershall be administered in a manner which is fair andreasonable and as uniform as practicable." Id. Regulationsunder this statute, however, must conform tothe purpose of the act. Salmon Brook ConvalescentHome v. Commission on Hospitals & Health Care,supra. That purpose, as described in General Statutes8-266, is "to establish a uniform policy for the fairand equitable treatment of persons displaced by theacquisition of real property by state and local landacquisition programs, by building code enforcementactivities, or by a program of voluntary rehabilitationof buildings or other improvements conducted pursuantto governmental supervision." The act was designedto compensate, within specified limits, those displacedby a state agency for the actual and reasonable costsof relocating. See General Statutes 8-266, 8-268; seealso Dukes v. Durante, 192 Conn. 207, 216,471 A.2d 1368 (1984).

There is no dispute that the plaintiff was requiredto move due to displacement by a state agency. Thecircumstances of this case, given the type and extentof the inventory and the need to move it in an organizedfashion, however, required that the plaintiff'smove from the taken site be done in an unusual manner.4`[W]e note that the phrase `moving expenses'need not be given any unreasonably broad interpretationto encompass, under proper circumstances and ashowing of necessity, reasonably required extra leaseexpenses." Rotter v. Milwaukee County Expressway &Transportation Commission, 72 Wis.2d 553, 561,241 N.W.2d 440 (1976). In this case, the reasonable andactual moving expenses included the rental payments

[5 Conn. App. 227]

     for the six weeks the plaintiff needed to occupy the twosites and the utilities for the three weeks the plaintiffhad to shut down business to implement fully the movebetween the two sites. While these expenses might beconsidered living expenses in another context, theywere plainly incurred here solely due to the plaintiff'smove which was imposed upon it by the defendant; theplaintiff's unusual needs did not transform them intoliving expenses. The terms and intent of the URAA,therefore, entitled the plaintiff to be reimbursed forthe claimed expenses.

Furthermore, we do not believe that 8-273-11(a)of the regulations was intended to exclude the typesof expenses at issue here. That regulation states thata displaced person is not entitled to payment for "additionalexpenses incurred because of living in a new location."We construe this language, in its commonlyapproved usage; Citerella v. United Illuminating Co.,158 Conn. 600, 608, 266 A.2d 382 (1969); as embracingextra costs incurred due to a higher level of livingin the area to which one has relocated, but not extendingto the costs of moving to that area.5 This interpretationis reinforced by the use of the phrase"additional expenses" in 8-273-11(a) (emphasisadded) and by 8-273-13(a)(2) of the regulations. Section8-273-13(a)(2) refers back to the exclusions of8-273-11 but provides that costs entitled to be paidto a displaced business include "actual reasonableexpenses for . . . [p]acking, crating, and, if the agencyconcerned finds it necessary, storing his personal propertyfor not more than six months. . . ."6 The regulations,

[5 Conn. App. 228]

     therefore, on their face, emphasize that movingexpenses are to be reimbursed under the act, butliving expenses beyond that are not.

The plaintiff's claim seeks reimbursement only forthe rent for the six weeks during which it was in theprocess of transferring goods from the Hartford facilityto the East Windsor facility, and for the utilitiesfor the three weeks during which it had to shut downbusiness to accomplish the move. No claim was madehere for increased rent or an increase in the averagemonthly utility bill. The plaintiff did not make a claimfor the costs of modifying its equipment to the newproperty or of making needed improvements. In sum,no expenses incurred due to "living" in the new locationwere claimed, even if we equate "living" to doingbusiness. The plaintiffs only claimed expenses incurredincident to the move which they were required to make.

Although the commissioner was given broad authorityto establish regulations to implement the URAA;General Statutes 8-273; the regulations cannot begiven a tortured construction which would prevent theplaintiff from being reimbursed for these expenses, andwhich would contravene the purposes of the act. SeeRoy v. Centennial Ins. Co., 171 Conn. 463, 476,370 A.2d 1011 (1976). The regulations, like the statute,must be construed with common sense and to reach arational result. Citerella v. United Illuminating Co.,supra, 609. The defendant's construction would renderwithout meaning in this case the statutory mandateof paying a displaced person for actual reasonablemoving expenses and would give too broad a scope tothe living expenses exclusion of 8-273-11(a) of the

[5 Conn. App. 229]

     regulations. We conclude, therefore, on the basis of thehistory and purpose of the URAA as well as the termsof the regulation in question, that the plaintiff wasentitled to be reimbursed for the claimed expenses.

Although in some circumstances we grant deferenceto an agency's interpretation of its own regulations;Roy v. Centennial Ins. Co., supra, 473; the deferencewhich we give to the board's decision in this case islimited. First, as previously mentioned, the agency'sinterpretation of the regulation runs contrary to thepurpose of the act under which it was promulgated.

Second, the reasons underlying our policy of grantingdeference to an agency's interpretations of regulationsare not present here. Where an agency hasexpertise in a given area and a history of determiningfactual and legal questions similar to those at issue, itsinterpretation is granted deference by the courts>. SeeAnderson v. Ludgin, 175 Conn. 545, 555-56,400 A.2d 712 (1978); New Haven v. United Illuminating Co.,168 Conn. 478, 493, 362 A.2d 785 (1975); Breen v. Departmentof Liquor Control, 2 Conn. App. 628, 634,481 A.2d 755, cert. granted, 194 Conn. 808, 483 A.2d 1098(1984). This case involves a novel and apparentlyunprecedented question of whether rent and utilitiesat both the taken site and the replacement site are movingexpenses reimbursable under the URAA where, dueto the nature of its inventory, the claimant moves itself,requires six weeks to move during which rent and utilitiesare incurred at both sites and closes down its businessfor three of those six weeks solely to complete themove. There is no administrative history showing thatthis agency has determined this type of question underthe regulation in issue here. It, therefore, has no specialexpertise in determining if that regulation appliesto these facts. We therefore do not consider it inappropriate,in a case such as this, to limit our deferenceto the agency's decision.

[5 Conn. App. 230]

Nor do we find it inappropriate to construe the statutesand regulations in question here. In an appealbrought under the UAPA, a reviewing court sustainingan appeal usually remands the action to the agencyfor further action, unless there is no other course theagency may legally follow, in which case the court maydirect the agency action to be taken on the remand.See General Statutes 4-183(g) (court may reverse ormodify agency action if error of law made); see, e.g.,Feinson v. Conservation Commission, 180 Conn. 421,430, 429 A.2d 910 (1980). We conclude that this is sucha case. Our review of the URAA and the regulationspromulgated under it indicates that, as a matter of lawthe claimed expenses were not living expenses under8-273-11(a) of the regulations, but were, rather, thetype of moving expenses intended to be reimbursedunder the act. The agency could not legally concludeotherwise. We therefore do not remand the case to theagency for further proceedings, but remand it withdirection to pay the claimed expenses to which the partieshave stipulated.

There is error, the judgment is set aside and the caseis remanded with direction to render judgment inaccordance with this opinion.

In this opinion the other judges concurred.

1. General Statutes 8-268(a) provides in pertinent part: "Whenevera program or project undertaken by a state agency or under the supervisionof a state agency will result in the displacement of any person on or afterJuly 6, 1971, the head of such state agency shall make payment to anydisplaced person, upon proper application as approved by such agency head,for (1) actual reasonable expenses in moving himself, his family, business,farm operation or other personal property; (2) actual direct losses oftangible personal property as a result of moving or discontinuing a businessor farm operation, but not to exceed an amount equal to the reasonableexpenses that would have been required to relocate such property, asdetermined by the state agency, and (3) actual reasonable expenses insearching for a replacement business or farm . . .

2. Section 8-273-11 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agenciesprovides in pertinent part: "A displaced person is not entitled to be paidfor (a) Additional expenses incurred because of living in a newlocation. . . .

3. General Statutes 4-183(g) provides: "The court shall notsubstitute its judgment for that of the agency as to the weight of theevidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision of theagency or remand the case for further proceedings. The

4. It should be noted that no one argues that the move was done inan unreasonable manner.

5. This regulation, for example, would exclude reimbursement for thedifference between the higher rent in the replacement location, which ingeneral has higher costs of living, and the lower rent in the takenlocation.

6. Because the board did not specifically find that it was necessaryfor the plaintiff to store its inventory for the purposes of this move, wedo not address this regulation as a basis for payment. We note, however,that it would be anomalous for a displaced person to be reimbursed formoving his personal property to a storage site and then to the replacementsite under 8-273-13(a)(2), but for the plaintiff to be precluded frompayment, as a living expense, for choosing not to expend money to transportits goods to a storage site but to "store" its goods at the taken siteuntil they could be moved, in the proper order, to the replacement site.

This is an appeal from the judgment ofthe trial court dismissing the plaintiff's petition forreview of the decision of the defendant commissionerof transportation. The commissioner's decision haddenied the plaintiff certain payments which the plaintiffhad claimed under the Uniform Relocation AssistanceAct (URAA). General Statutes 8-266 through8-282.

The administrative record, as reviewed by the trialcourt, revealed the following facts: The plaintiff wasa wholesale distributor of household items. It conductedits business from a site in Hartford and had two feederwarehouses. The defendant instituted eminent domainproceedings against the Hartford site in connectionwith a highway project, forcing the plaintiff to relocateto a new facility in East Windsor. At the time of themove, the plaintiff's inventory, consisting of thousandsof items, was contained in over 200,000 separate corrugatedcartons. Various other property, such as desks,chairs, typewriters and other business machines, alsohad to be relocated.

The plaintiff's business, which involved the acceptanceof goods from manufacturers, the storage of thosegoods, the assembling of orders and the delivery of

[5 Conn. App. 221]

     ordered goods, required that the goods be organizedin a certain way so that the plaintiff's employees couldreadily find them.

When it relocated to the East Windsor facility, theplaintiff consolidated all three of its warehouses intoone. It also installed a new computer system and reorganizedits inventory. The plaintiff implemented themove itself so that its employees, who knew the operationof the business, could move the inventory. Themove took place between April 14, 1980, and May 30,1980, and the plaintiff's business was completely closedfor business due to the move from May 9, 1980, throughMay 30, 1980.

The plaintiff applied for reimbursement under theURAA; General Statutes 8-268(a);1 for movingexpenses, including rental payments at the Hartfordand the East Windsor sites for the entire six-week movingperiod, and payments for the utilities at both sitesfor the period from May 9, 1980, through May 30, 1980.The department paid some of the claimed expenses butdenied others, including the claim for the rent and utilitieswhich is at issue here. The plaintiff appealed thedenial of those claims to the relocation advisory appealsboard. The board allowed payment for some of theclaims, but agreed with the denial of others, including

[5 Conn. App. 222]

     the rent and utility expenses. The decision of theappeals board was adopted by the commissioner oftransportation.

The plaintiff thereupon appealed to the court, whichdetermined that the basis of "the decision of theAppeals Board . . . concerning the utility and rentalexpenses was vague, ambiguous and confusing," andremanded the action to the appeals board for clarification.After a hearing, the appeals board issued a"Response to Order for Remand," adopted by the commissioner,which stated summarily that the claim forreimbursement of the rental and utility expenses wasdenied. It cited 8-273-11(a) of the agency's regulations,2which excludes reimbursement for additional livingexpenses incurred due to moving to a new location,as the basis of its denial.

The plaintiff again appealed to the court. This appealinvolved only the claim for the rent and utility expenses,which the parties stipulated were in the amounts of$20,000 and $3556, respectively. The court upheld thedecision of the commissioner and the appeals board onthe basis that the claimed expenses were livingexpenses under 8-273-11(a) of the regulations andwere, therefore, not reimbursable. The court alsooffered two alternative bases on which the claims couldhave been denied, although neither basis was mentionedin either of the board's decisions. The court stated thatthe record showed that these expenses were relatedto improvements made to the East Windsor site andto modifications to property moved to that site, bothof which are excluded from reimbursement under theagency's regulations. Regs., Conn. State Agencies8-273-11(c), (j).

[5 Conn. App. 223]

On appeal to this court, the plaintiff essentially claimsthat the trial court erred (1) by affirming the board'sdecision and by not holding that the claimed expenseswere reimbursable as actual reasonable movingexpenses under General Statutes 8-268, and (2) byupholding the decision on alternative grounds not mentionedby the board in its decision. We find error.

We treat initially the claim of error that the trial courterred by addressing alternative grounds for upholdingthe appeal. The trial court was acting in an appellateposture when this case came before it. As such, thecourt was limited to the administrative record beforeit and could not try the case de novo. Connecticut NaturalGas Corporation v. PUCA, 183 Conn. 128, 133-34,439 A.2d 282 (1981); Pelletier v. White, 33 Conn. Sup. 769,770, 371 A.2d 1068 (1976). The two alternativegrounds found by the trial court to uphold the decisionwere 8-273-11(c) and 8-273-11(j) of the regulations.These regulations exclude reimbursement for the costsof improvements to the replacement site and modificationof personal property to adapt it to the replacementsite, respectively. Both were alluded to at theadministrative hearings but neither the original decisionby the board nor the decision currently beingappealed mentions these exclusions. The board clearlydid not rely on these exclusions when it denied the plaintiff'sclaim and the court's reliance on them is improper.The court, in effect, adjudicated facts and issues on itsown and therefore, "engage[d] in surmise and conjecture"to uphold the decision. Lee v. Board of Education,181 Conn. 69, 82, 434 A.2d 333 (1980); see Kaplanv. Administrator, 4 Conn. App. 152, 493 A.2d 248(1985).

Moreover, we note that the plaintiff excised from itsclaim the expenditures it made for improvements tothe replacement site and for modifications which itdeemed necessary to make its equipment efficient in

[5 Conn. App. 224]

     the replacement building. There was no showing thatthere was any connection between the expenses claimedand the expenditures for improvements and modifications.The use of these exclusions as additional justificationsfor denying the plaintiff's claims, therefore, wasmisplaced.

Turning now to the plaintiff's principal claim, namely,that the court erred by not finding the rent and utilitiesreimbursable as actual reasonable moving expensesunder the URAA, we first address the issue of ourscope of review. The plaintiff circumscribes our scopeof review to that of determining whether the board'sdecision was arbitrary, capricious or characterized byan abuse of discretion, or whether the decision wasclearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative andsubstantial evidence on the whole record. See GeneralStatutes 4-183(g)(5), (6). The defendant seeminglyconcurs in this enunciation of our scope of review inits brief.

The parties are correct in grounding our scope ofreview on the provisions of General Statutes 4-183of the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA),under which judicial review of the commissioner's decisionis authorized. That act, however, provides fourother bases on which a reviewing court may reverseor modify an agency decision. General Statutes4-183(g).3 Those bases include reviewing the agency's

[5 Conn. App. 225]

     decision to see if it is in violation of statutory provisions,in excess of the statutory authority of the agencyor affected by other error of law. General Statutes4-183(g)(1), (2), (4). Although we recognize that"`the factual and discretionary determinations ofadministrative agencies are to be given considerableweight by the courts> . . . it is for the courts>, and notfor administrative agencies, to expound and applygoverning principles of law.'" (Citations omitted.)Wilson v. Freedom of Information Commission,181 Conn. 324, 342-43, 435 A.2d 353 (1980). We, therefore,consider our scope of review to be broader than enunciatedby the parties and to encompass a review of thelegal questions involved.

The question of whether a particular statute or regulationapplies to a given state of facts is a question ofstatutory interpretation, which, upon review under theUAPA, ordinarily presents a question of law. See ConnecticutLife & Health Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Jackson,173 Conn. 352, 356-57, 377 A.2d 1099 (1977). Thus,whether General Statutes 8-268(a) or 8-273-11(a)of the regulations apply to these facts is a question oflaw. Our review of this question leads us to concludethat the commissioner, and the trial court in affirmingthe commissioner's decision, made an error of lawand exceeded the statutory provisions governing relocationassistance when they determined that theexpenses claimed by the plaintiff were nonreimbursableliving expenses.

"The power of an administrative agency to prescriberules and regulations under a statute is not the powerto make law, but only the power to adopt regulationsto carry into effect the will of the legislature asexpressed by the statute." Salmon Brook ConvalescentHome v. Commission on Hospitals & Health Care,177 Conn. 356, 363, 417 A.2d 358 (1979). The departmentof transportation promulgated regulations pursuant to

[5 Conn. App. 226]

     General Statutes 8-273(b) of the URAA, which permitsregulations to be established "to assure . . . thatthe payments and assistance authorized by this chaptershall be administered in a manner which is fair andreasonable and as uniform as practicable." Id. Regulationsunder this statute, however, must conform tothe purpose of the act. Salmon Brook ConvalescentHome v. Commission on Hospitals & Health Care,supra. That purpose, as described in General Statutes8-266, is "to establish a uniform policy for the fairand equitable treatment of persons displaced by theacquisition of real property by state and local landacquisition programs, by building code enforcementactivities, or by a program of voluntary rehabilitationof buildings or other improvements conducted pursuantto governmental supervision." The act was designedto compensate, within specified limits, those displacedby a state agency for the actual and reasonable costsof relocating. See General Statutes 8-266, 8-268; seealso Dukes v. Durante, 192 Conn. 207, 216,471 A.2d 1368 (1984).

There is no dispute that the plaintiff was requiredto move due to displacement by a state agency. Thecircumstances of this case, given the type and extentof the inventory and the need to move it in an organizedfashion, however, required that the plaintiff'smove from the taken site be done in an unusual manner.4`[W]e note that the phrase `moving expenses'need not be given any unreasonably broad interpretationto encompass, under proper circumstances and ashowing of necessity, reasonably required extra leaseexpenses." Rotter v. Milwaukee County Expressway &Transportation Commission, 72 Wis.2d 553, 561,241 N.W.2d 440 (1976). In this case, the reasonable andactual moving expenses included the rental payments

[5 Conn. App. 227]

     for the six weeks the plaintiff needed to occupy the twosites and the utilities for the three weeks the plaintiffhad to shut down business to implement fully the movebetween the two sites. While these expenses might beconsidered living expenses in another context, theywere plainly incurred here solely due to the plaintiff'smove which was imposed upon it by the defendant; theplaintiff's unusual needs did not transform them intoliving expenses. The terms and intent of the URAA,therefore, entitled the plaintiff to be reimbursed forthe claimed expenses.

Furthermore, we do not believe that 8-273-11(a)of the regulations was intended to exclude the typesof expenses at issue here. That regulation states thata displaced person is not entitled to payment for "additionalexpenses incurred because of living in a new location."We construe this language, in its commonlyapproved usage; Citerella v. United Illuminating Co.,158 Conn. 600, 608, 266 A.2d 382 (1969); as embracingextra costs incurred due to a higher level of livingin the area to which one has relocated, but not extendingto the costs of moving to that area.5 This interpretationis reinforced by the use of the phrase"additional expenses" in 8-273-11(a) (emphasisadded) and by 8-273-13(a)(2) of the regulations. Section8-273-13(a)(2) refers back to the exclusions of8-273-11 but provides that costs entitled to be paidto a displaced business include "actual reasonableexpenses for . . . [p]acking, crating, and, if the agencyconcerned finds it necessary, storing his personal propertyfor not more than six months. . . ."6 The regulations,

[5 Conn. App. 228]

     therefore, on their face, emphasize that movingexpenses are to be reimbursed under the act, butliving expenses beyond that are not.

The plaintiff's claim seeks reimbursement only forthe rent for the six weeks during which it was in theprocess of transferring goods from the Hartford facilityto the East Windsor facility, and for the utilitiesfor the three weeks during which it had to shut downbusiness to accomplish the move. No claim was madehere for increased rent or an increase in the averagemonthly utility bill. The plaintiff did not make a claimfor the costs of modifying its equipment to the newproperty or of making needed improvements. In sum,no expenses incurred due to "living" in the new locationwere claimed, even if we equate "living" to doingbusiness. The plaintiffs only claimed expenses incurredincident to the move which they were required to make.

Although the commissioner was given broad authorityto establish regulations to implement the URAA;General Statutes 8-273; the regulations cannot begiven a tortured construction which would prevent theplaintiff from being reimbursed for these expenses, andwhich would contravene the purposes of the act. SeeRoy v. Centennial Ins. Co., 171 Conn. 463, 476,370 A.2d 1011 (1976). The regulations, like the statute,must be construed with common sense and to reach arational result. Citerella v. United Illuminating Co.,supra, 609. The defendant's construction would renderwithout meaning in this case the statutory mandateof paying a displaced person for actual reasonablemoving expenses and would give too broad a scope tothe living expenses exclusion of 8-273-11(a) of the

[5 Conn. App. 229]

     regulations. We conclude, therefore, on the basis of thehistory and purpose of the URAA as well as the termsof the regulation in question, that the plaintiff wasentitled to be reimbursed for the claimed expenses.

Although in some circumstances we grant deferenceto an agency's interpretation of its own regulations;Roy v. Centennial Ins. Co., supra, 473; the deferencewhich we give to the board's decision in this case islimited. First, as previously mentioned, the agency'sinterpretation of the regulation runs contrary to thepurpose of the act under which it was promulgated.

Second, the reasons underlying our policy of grantingdeference to an agency's interpretations of regulationsare not present here. Where an agency hasexpertise in a given area and a history of determiningfactual and legal questions similar to those at issue, itsinterpretation is granted deference by the courts>. SeeAnderson v. Ludgin, 175 Conn. 545, 555-56,400 A.2d 712 (1978); New Haven v. United Illuminating Co.,168 Conn. 478, 493, 362 A.2d 785 (1975); Breen v. Departmentof Liquor Control, 2 Conn. App. 628, 634,481 A.2d 755, cert. granted, 194 Conn. 808, 483 A.2d 1098(1984). This case involves a novel and apparentlyunprecedented question of whether rent and utilitiesat both the taken site and the replacement site are movingexpenses reimbursable under the URAA where, dueto the nature of its inventory, the claimant moves itself,requires six weeks to move during which rent and utilitiesare incurred at both sites and closes down its businessfor three of those six weeks solely to complete themove. There is no administrative history showing thatthis agency has determined this type of question underthe regulation in issue here. It, therefore, has no specialexpertise in determining if that regulation appliesto these facts. We therefore do not consider it inappropriate,in a case such as this, to limit our deferenceto the agency's decision.

[5 Conn. App. 230]

Nor do we find it inappropriate to construe the statutesand regulations in question here. In an appealbrought under the UAPA, a reviewing court sustainingan appeal usually remands the action to the agencyfor further action, unless there is no other course theagency may legally follow, in which case the court maydirect the agency action to be taken on the remand.See General Statutes 4-183(g) (court may reverse ormodify agency action if error of law made); see, e.g.,Feinson v. Conservation Commission, 180 Conn. 421,430, 429 A.2d 910 (1980). We conclude that this is sucha case. Our review of the URAA and the regulationspromulgated under it indicates that, as a matter of lawthe claimed expenses were not living expenses under8-273-11(a) of the regulations, but were, rather, thetype of moving expenses intended to be reimbursedunder the act. The agency could not legally concludeotherwise. We therefore do not remand the case to theagency for further proceedings, but remand it withdirection to pay the claimed expenses to which the partieshave stipulated.

There is error, the judgment is set aside and the caseis remanded with direction to render judgment inaccordance with this opinion.

In this opinion the other judges concurred.

1. General Statutes 8-268(a) provides in pertinent part: "Whenevera program or project undertaken by a state agency or under the supervisionof a state agency will result in the displacement of any person on or afterJuly 6, 1971, the head of such state agency shall make payment to anydisplaced person, upon proper application as approved by such agency head,for (1) actual reasonable expenses in moving himself, his family, business,farm operation or other personal property; (2) actual direct losses oftangible personal property as a result of moving or discontinuing a businessor farm operation, but not to exceed an amount equal to the reasonableexpenses that would have been required to relocate such property, asdetermined by the state agency, and (3) actual reasonable expenses insearching for a replacement business or farm . . .

2. Section 8-273-11 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agenciesprovides in pertinent part: "A displaced person is not entitled to be paidfor (a) Additional expenses incurred because of living in a newlocation. . . .

3. General Statutes 4-183(g) provides: "The court shall notsubstitute its judgment for that of the agency as to the weight of theevidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision of theagency or remand the case for further proceedings. The

4. It should be noted that no one argues that the move was done inan unreasonable manner.

5. This regulation, for example, would exclude reimbursement for thedifference between the higher rent in the replacement location, which ingeneral has higher costs of living, and the lower rent in the takenlocation.

6. Because the board did not specifically find that it was necessaryfor the plaintiff to store its inventory for the purposes of this move, wedo not address this regulation as a basis for payment. We note, however,that it would be anomalous for a displaced person to be reimbursed formoving his personal property to a storage site and then to the replacementsite under 8-273-13(a)(2), but for the plaintiff to be precluded frompayment, as a living expense, for choosing not to expend money to transportits goods to a storage site but to "store" its goods at the taken siteuntil they could be moved, in the proper order, to the replacement site.

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