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Cooke Appeal Dismissed in New Haven Superior Court

Wayne Cooke’s long battle with the town regarding the declassification of one piece of his land on East Main Street (Red Hill Road) reaches a court decision today.

New Haven Superior Court Judge Brian T. Fischer has determined that NF&W Cooke Limited Partnership and Margaret C. Harrison have not met their burden of proof establishing that they have been over assessed by the town or that the town assessor acted illegally. The plaintiffs’ appeal in the case was dismissed today, according to court documents (see PDF attached).

“It is undisputed,” the court document states, “that as a result of the assessor's January 29, 2010 declassification of the property, the property’s assessment value increased from $3,400 on the October 1, 2008 grand list to $142,800 on the October 1, 2009 grand list.”

If the assessor’s declassification of the property for the October 2009 grand list was in error, the plaintiffs are entitled to relief, stated the judge. 

The questions raised:

  1. Did the assessor properly require the plaintiffs to submit a new Form M-29 application?
  2. Was the property part of a farm unit?
  3. Is declassification of the property a direct contradiction to the declaration of policy in Public Act 490?

In conclusion, the judge determined: “The plaintiffs have not met their burden of establishing that they have been over assessed pursuant to 12-117a or that the assessor acted illegally pursuant to 12-119. Accordingly the plaintiffs' appeal is hereby dismissed."

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