278 A.2d 827 (Conn.Cir.Ct. 1971), State v. Anonymous (1971-15)

Citation:278 A.2d 827, 6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 549
Opinion Judge:JACOBS, Judge.
Party Name:STATE of Connecticut v. ANONYMOUS (1971-15) (two cases).
Judge Panel:In this opinion DEARINGTON and KINMONTH, JJ., concurred. JACOBS,
Court:Circuit Court of Connecticut

Page 827

278 A.2d 827 (Conn.Cir.Ct. 1971)

6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 549

STATE of Connecticut


ANONYMOUS (1971-15) (two cases).

Circuit Court of Connecticut.


[6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 550] JACOBS, Judge.

These defendants stand convicted, after a jury trial, on the first count of substituted informations charging them with the crime of breach of the peace in violation of § 53-174 of the General Statutes. 1

In the view we take of these cases, it is necessary for us to consider only the defendants' contention that the trial court failed to limit its instructions to the jury to the specific acts alleged in the substituted informations.

In one case, the state charged that the defendant 'moved herself bodily against members of the * * * Police Department and/or Welfare agents in an aggressive fashion and/or used offensive language against members of the * * * Police Department and/or made threats towards members of the * * * Police Department. This offense took place in the hallway and/or within the office of the Welfare Department * * *.' In the other case, the state alleged that the defendant 'hurled himself bodily against members of the * * * Police Department and/or pushed with force the person of * * * a member of the * * * Police Department and/or struggled with members of the * * * Police Department. This offense took place outside the offices of the State Welfare Department * * *.' 2

Page 828

[6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 551] 'The term 'breach of the peace' has never had a precise meaning in relation to specific conduct.' United States v. Woodward, 7 Civ., 376 F.2d 136, 141. 'The offense known as breach of the peace embraces a great variety of conduct destroying or menacing public order and tranquility. It includes not only violent acts but acts and words likely to produce violence in others.' Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 308, 60 S.Ct. 900, 905, 84 L.Ed. 1213. Our breach of the peace statute is not 'narrowly drawn to define and punish specific conduct'; id., 311, 60 S.Ct. 906; our statute is a long, difficult and involved sentence containing 110 words. Ordinarily, it would have been sufficient had the state charged the offense in the language of the statute; see Practice Book § 493; State v. Criscuolo, 159 Conn. 175, 177, 268 A.2d 374; but the state chose to particularize the manner in which the offense was committed. In so doing the state limited itself to the proof of the violation...

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