State v. Curtis

Decision Date28 April 1959
Citation146 Conn. 365,151 A.2d 336
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesSTATE of Connecticut v. Henry CURTIS. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

Edward G. Burstein, Bridgeport, with whom, on the brief, were George C. Cravatas and Hyman G. Etkind, Bridgeport, for appellant (defendant).

Lorin W. Willis, State's Attorney, Bridgeport, for appellee (state).

Before BALDWIN, KING, MURPHY, MELLITZ and SHEA *, JJ.

KING, Associate Justice.

The defendant was tried on an information in two counts, each charging a violation of what is now § 53-226 of the 1958 Revision of the General Statutes. He was acquitted on the second count. In this appeal from his conviction on the first count, he has pursued in his brief two basic claims of error. The first count charged 'that between the 1st day of April 1957 and the 5th day of September the said Henry Curtis did receive and take into a building occupied by him at 391 Coleman Street in * * * Bridgeport * * * [a named woman] and did permit her to remain upon said premises for the purpose of lewdness.'

The defendant's first basic claim of error is the denial of his motion to make the information more specific by setting forth (a) what specific acts constituted the lewdness alleged, (b) on whom it was practiced, (c) the day when it was practiced, and (d) the time of day when it was practiced. During the argument on the motion, the state's attorney orally disclosed that the acts alleged were perverted and that they were practiced with the named woman. The court denied the motion on the ground that the information sought was '[s]ufficiently set out in [the] information or disclosed by [the] State's Attorney in open court.' The defendant makes no claim that his request for items (a) and (b) was not adequately complied with. His complaint is limited to the refusal of the court to order compliance with his request for items (c) and (d). The finding that the defendant was not in fact prejudiced in his defense by the court's ruling is attacked as unwarranted.

The information, on its face, adequately charged the offense. Practice Book, §§ 343, 349(a, b). The burden of showing that additional particulars were necessary to ensure a fair trial was on the defendant. State v. Lockbaum, 38 Conn. 400, 403; State v. Moran, 99 Conn. 115, 117, 121 A. 277, 36 A.L.R. 862; 4 Wharton, Criminal Law & Procedure § 1797, p. 629. He could show that the information failed sufficiently to inform him of the particulars of the offense charged to enable him to prepare his defense. Practice Book, § 345(a). Or he could show that it was otherwise in the interest of justice that the facts sought should be furnished him. Practice Book, § 345(b). In determining whether and to what extent the motion should be granted, the court had to consider the whole record of the case and the entire course of the proceedings. Practice Book, § 345(b). In the motion itself, the defendant set forth no reasons why the information sought was needed, and the finding discloses no reasons as having been given the court. Indeed, the only real reasons advanced were in this court and were that the defendant 'was confronted with the possibility of surprise' and that he 'was unable to prepare to establish an alibi.' Since the defendant chose not to take the stand himself and not to offer any evidence, nothing occurred during the trial to support his claim that the information sought was needed, although the finding makes it clear that the state made out a prima facie case. State v. DelVecchio, 145 Conn. 549, 551, 145 A.2d 199. There is nothing to substantiate the claim that the court incorrectly found that the defendant was not prejudiced. Under these circumstances, he failed to show that the action of the court in denying the motion was erroneous, although in view of the span of time covered by the charge in the first count of the information the court might properly have granted the motion.

The second basic claim of the defendant is that to constitute the crime of lewdness the indecent or obscene conduct had to be open. This claim was raised in various requests to charge. The finding discloses that the state offered evidence to prove and claimed to have proved, that the defendant took or received the woman into his building and then arranged...

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16 cases
  • State v. Saraceno, 5289
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • July 19, 1988
    ...for a bill of particulars can be premised only upon a clear and specific showing of prejudice to the defense; State v. Curtis, [146 Conn. 365, 368, 151 A.2d 336 (1959) ]; see United States v. Addonizio, 451 F.2d 49, 64 (3d Cir.) [cert. denied, 405 U.S. 936, 92 S.Ct. 949, 30 L.Ed.2d 812, reh......
  • State v. Nita, 9820
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • April 22, 1992
    ... ... Spigarolo, supra, 210 Conn. at 385, 556 A.2d 112. The defendant bears the burden of establishing why additional particulars were necessary to the proper preparation of her defense. State v. DiBella, 157 Conn. 330, 339, 254 A.2d 477 (1968); State v. Curtis, 146 Conn. 365, 367, 151 A.2d 336 (1959) ...         The defendant has failed to persuade us that she was prejudiced by the trial court's denial of her motion for a bill of particulars as to the interfering with an officer charge. The information stated that the acts that formed the ... ...
  • State v. Stepney
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • August 30, 1983
    ...bill of particulars can be premised only upon a clear and specific showing of prejudice to the defense; State v. Curtis ... [146 Conn. 365, 368, 151 A.2d 336 (1959) ]; see United States v. Addonizio, 451 F.2d 49, 64 (3d Cir.) [cert. denied, 405 U.S. 936, 92 S.Ct. 949, 30 L.Ed.2d 812, reh. d......
  • State v. Hauck
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • December 28, 1976
    ...by him were necessary to the preparation of his defense. State v. DiBella, supra, 157 Conn. 339, 254 A.2d 477; State v. Curtis, 146 Conn. 365, 367, 151 A.2d 336. It has been stated that an abuse of discretion in the denial of a motion for a bill of particulars can be premised only upon a cl......
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