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Criminal Jury Instructions

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6.6-4  Custodial Interference in the Second Degree -- § 53a-98 (a) (3)

Revised to December 1, 2007

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

a person is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree when knowing that (he/she) has no legal right to do so, (he/she) holds, keeps or otherwise refuses to return a child who is less than sixteen years old to such child's lawful custodian after a request by such custodian for the return of such child.

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

Element 1 - Kept child from lawful custodian
The first element is that the defendant held, kept or refused to return a child to the child's lawful custodian.1

Element 2 - Child under 16
The second element is that this occurred prior to the child's sixteenth birthday.

 Element 3 - Knowledge of no legal right
The third element is that the defendant knew at the time of the incident that (he/she) had no legal right to keep the child from (his/her) lawful custodian.  A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or to a circumstance when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstance exists.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Element 4 - Request for return
The fourth element is that the child's lawful custodian had requested the return of the child.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant held or kept a child or refused to return a child to (his/her) lawful custodian, 2) the child was under 16 years of age at the time, 3) the defendant knew that (he/she) had no legal right to  keep the child from (his/her) lawful custodian, and 4) the child's lawful custodian had requested the return of the child.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of custodial interference 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.
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1 If the legal custody of the child is an issue, the specific factual allegations may need to be explained and/or a definition of lawful custodian provided which may vary with the circumstances.

Commentary

A joint legal custodian may be guilty of custodial interference.  State v. Vakilzaden, 251 Conn. 656, 662-63 (1999) (overruling Marshak v. Marshak, 226 Conn. 652 (1993)).
 


 

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