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Criminal Jury Instructions

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6.7-7  Harassment in the Second Degree (Telephone) -- 53a-183 (a) (3)

Revised to November 6, 2014

The defendant is charged [in count __] with harassment in the second degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, (he/she) makes a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensues, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Intent
The first element is that the defendant intended to harass, annoy or alarm another person.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

"Harass" means "to trouble, worry or torment."  "Annoy" means to "irritate, vex, bother, as by repeated action."  "Alarm" means "to make suddenly afraid, anxious, frightened." 

Element 2 - Telephone call
<If the allegations rely on the content of the call:>1

The second element is that the defendant made a telephone call during which (he/she) made a threat to commit an act of violence.  A threat can only be punishable when it is a true threat, that is, a threat that a reasonable person would understand as a serious expression of an intent to harm or assault, and not as mere puffery, bluster, jest or hyperbole.  In determining whether the threat is a true threat, consider the particular factual context in which the allegedly threatening conduct occurred which could include the reaction of the person allegedly being threatened and the defendant's conduct before and after the allegedly threatening conduct.


<If the allegations rely on the making of the call:>

The second element is that the defendant made a telephone call in a manner that was likely to cause annoyance or alarm.  It does not matter whether the defendant had a conversation with <insert name of person>.  It only matters that (he/she) made the telephone call in a manner that was likely to cause annoyance or alarm.  <Describe specific allegations.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant intended to harass, annoy or alarm <insert name of person>, and 2) made a telephone call to <insert name of person> (during which (he/she) made a threat to commit an act of violence / in a manner that was likely to cause annoyance or alarm).

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of harassment in the second degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty. On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
_______________________________________________________

1 If the allegations rely on the content of the call, the content must qualify as a true threat.  State v. Moulton, 310 Conn. 337, 360 (2014).


 


 

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