Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Raffone

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

March 1, 2016


Argued December 10, 2015

Appeal from Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, Devlin, J.

Pasquale Raffone, self-represented, the appellant (defendant).

James M. Ralls, assistant state’s attorney, with whom, on the brief, were John C. Smriga, state’s attorney, and Tatiana A. Messina, assistant state’s attorney, for the appellee (state).

DiPentima, C. J., and Gruendel and Harper, Js.



The defendant, Pasquale Raffone, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, following an in rem proceeding, ordering the forfeiture of his motor vehicle pursuant to General Statutes § 54-33g. On appeal he raises a number of claims, most of which are not reviewable. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The following facts and procedural history are relevant to this appeal. On May 19, 2012, the defendant was arrested and charged with larceny in the fifth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-125a and improper use of an operator’s license in violation of General Statutes § 14-147 (a).[1] The state commenced an in rem proceeding against the defendant.[2] The state sought to have the defendant’s motor vehicle, a red 2002 Ford F-250 pickup truck, adjudicated a nuisance and ordered forfeited. A hearing was held on August 6, 2014, and August 7, 2014, during which the following evidence was presented to the court.

On May 19, 2012, Luis Gonzalez, an employee of The Home Depot in Fairfield, stopped the defendant for leaving the store with two skylight windows without paying for them. During a conversation with Gonzalez, the defendant acknowledged that he possessed a red truck and admitted to a prior theft from the store involving ceiling grids. Gonzalez also recalled an incident in 2011 where the defendant had attempted, unsuccessfully, to return some windows. During that incident, Gonzalez had observed the defendant place the windows in a red truck before driving away.

The Fairfield Police Department arrived at the store and Gonzalez informed the responding officer that the defendant had stated that his identification was in his truck. Lance Newkirchen, a patrol officer with the Fair-field Police Department, testified that the defendant later admitted to stealing the skylight windows, but that this was the only time he had engaged in this type of conduct. Newkirchen further testified that the truck was searched to complete an inventory as a result of its being towed. During his search of the truck, Newkirchen found a black leather binder on the front seat that contained some ‘‘old receipts.’’ Newkirchen also stated that he was responsible for having the defendant’s truck towed because he believed it had been used in the commission of a crime.

Edward Weihe, a Fairfield police sergeant, testified he received permission from the defendant to enter the vehicle to retrieve the defendant’s identification. After opening the door, he detected a ‘‘strong odor of marijuana.’’ The truck was searched by Weihe and a police canine but no contraband was found aside from some leafy residue on the floor of the cab. Weihe testified he ‘‘deduced’’ that the defendant had planned to use the truck to transport the windows that the defendant had attempted to steal.

After hearing argument from the parties, the court issued an oral decision. It found that Gonzalez had observed the defendant take the skylight windows from the store, provide a fraudulent receipt to the cashier and proceed past the last point of sale. The court found that this conduct amounted to a larceny. It then concluded ‘‘some kind of vehicle’’ was necessary to remove the items from the store. Specifically, the court stated: ‘‘So, in terms of my conclusions of law, I find that the evidence does show that the defendant did commit the crime of larceny, that he was lawfully arrested by the Fairfield Police Department based on the complaint of [The] Home Depot and that the truck, the Ford F-250 pickup truck, red in color, was lawfully seized. I further find that the truck was intended [to be] use[d] to complete this crime of larceny. Larceny involves the permanent retention of the property from the owner [with the intent] to permanently retain it. You can’t leave it in the parking lot. You’ve got to take it someplace else to sell it or use it or whatever or [fraudulently] return it and I find that the truck would be an integral part of that scheme. And so I do find that the truck was a nuisance under the in rem statute.’’[3] The court ordered that the truck be turned over to the Fairfield Police Department. This appeal followed.

On appeal, the defendant claims that the state failed to comply with a discovery order from July or August, 2012. The state counters that the record is inadequate to review this claim because the defendant failed to file any transcripts from 2012, and the court file does not contain a motion filed in that time period. Additionally, the state argued that there is nothing in the record that such an order was entered by the court.

As the appellant, the self-represented defendant[4] bore the burden of providing this court with an adequate record. Diaz v.Manchester Memorial Hospital, 161 Conn.App. 787, 797 n.7, A.3d (2015); Practice Book § 61-10. He failed to sustain this burden. In the absence of an adequate record, we can engage only in speculation and conjecture, which have no place in appellate review. Passalugo v.Guida-Seibert Dairy Co., 149 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.