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State v. Stuart

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford, Manchester, Geographical Area 12

October 22, 2015

State of Connecticut
v.
Mark Stuart

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE MOTION TO REARGUE AND TO DISMISS

Cesar A. Noble, Judge.

This matter comes before the court on the defendant's motion to reargue the issue of probable cause or, in the alternative, to dismiss the charges due to insufficient evidence or because the charges are unconstitutional as applied. For the following reasons, the motion is denied in its entirety.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The facts pertinent to the defendant's arrest are as follows. The defendant was sentenced on May 18, 2006, to a total effective sentence of twenty years, execution suspended after ten years, five years probation, by the complainant, the Honorable E. Curtissa R. Cofield, following a jury trial and convictions of, inter alia, two counts of larceny one and one count of forgery in the second degree. The defendant was released from the Department of Corrections on parole in August of 2011. On December 26, 2014, the defendant appeared uninvited and unannounced at Judge Cofield's private residence, parked in her driveway, and then knocked on her front door. When Judge Cofield answered the door, the defendant asked if " Curtissa" was there. Judge Cofield told him no and asked who he was. The defendant identified himself as Mark Stuart and informed her that he was a friend of hers. He asked that she " tell her I said hi." The defendant then returned to his car where he let his two lab dogs out of the vehicle, letting one of them run around on her lawn for a short time. Judge Cofield informed the Glastonbury Police that she feared for her safety. She had never given the defendant her address and had never invited him over, and felt that he may have been there to retaliate. When asked by the police what the purpose of his visit was, the defendant stated that he wanted to work with the judge as an activist for innocent people in prison. The defendant further informed the police that he had previously seen Judge Cofield at the market and that they had waved to each other, so he did not think she would mind him visiting her home.

The defendant was arraigned on December 30, 2014, before this court on charges of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182, breach of peace in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181, and stalking in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-181. At that time, the court heard argument on the issue of probable cause from both the state's attorney and counsel for the defendant. The court determined that probable cause existed for all charges.

DISCUSSION

A

Reargument

The defendant now moves to reargue the issue of probable cause, citing Chapman Lumber, Inc. v. Tager, 288 Conn. 69, 94 n.28, 952 A.2d 1 (2008), and Chartouni v. DeJesus, 107 Conn.App. 127, 944 A.2d 393, cert. denied, 288 Conn. 902, 952 A.2d 809 (2008). These cases are, of course, civil cases. The defendant has cited no authority affording him the opportunity to reargue the issue of probable cause. The court finds that the defendant has advanced no good cause for a reconsideration of its decision. The defendant, through counsel, had the opportunity to make any arguments he thought appropriate; there has been no showing that his opportunity to address the issue of probable cause was in any way curtailed, and the defendant does not intimate in any way that there is new evidence or a change in circumstances. The defendant is essentially seeking another opportunity to argue the issue of probable cause without showing or identifying any rights that may have been infringed at his first hearing. The Supreme Court's decision in Chapman Lumber makes clear that a motion to reargue is not to be used as an opportunity to have a second bite of the apple. Chapman Lumber, Inc. v. Tager, supra, 288 Conn. 94 fn. 28. The motion to reargue is denied.

B

Dismissal Due to Insufficient Evidence

I

General Statutes § § 53a-181(a)(1) and 53a-182(a)(1)

The defendant next moves to dismiss the informations charging those subsections of breach of peace in the second degree[1] and disorderly conduct[2] which contain the common element of engaging in " fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior." The two statutes differ only in that the ...


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