Connecticut’s Odd Snow Removal Law

Nemo!

Digging out from Storm Nemo? Is your road plowed?

One of the things you may consider doing is writing a letter to your selectman.  Connecticut is the land of arcane laws. Perhaps none as arcane as Conn. Gen. Stat. § 13a-107 which reads as follows:

Whenever any highway becomes blocked with snow to an extent that renders the same impassable for public travel, the selectmen of the town in which such highway is located shall cause such highway to be opened for public travel at the expense of such town within a reasonable time thereafter, if they find the same to be required for public convenience and necessity. Any selectman who fails to open any highway so blocked, when requested in writing so to do by six taxpayers residing on or near such highway, shall be fined ten dollarsConn. Gen. Stat. § 13a-107.

The law was enacted in June of 1963 and the penalty of a $10 fine remains in place. As does the requirement that six or more taxpayers request in writing that snow be removed from their road. Which is strange. The law was enacted before email. If a road is impassable, how is a person to write to his selectman?

If your road is impassable consider finding six of your neighbors to write to your selectman asking him to clear the road. I’m sure he’ll be motivated to avoid a whopping $10 fine.

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Ryan McKeen

Ryan McKeen is an attorney at McKeen Law Firm in Glastonbury, Connecticut and devotes a significant portion of his practice to litigation including representing injured pedestrians, runners, and cyclists.