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Criminal Jury Instructions

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9.5-13  Criminal Trover in the Second Degree -- 53a-126b

Revised to December 1, 2007

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

a person is guilty of criminal trover in the second degree when, knowing that (he/she) is not licensed or privileged to do so, (he/she) uses the personal property of another without the consent of such owner, and such use results in damage to or diminishes the value of such property or subjects such owner to economic loss, fine or other penalty.

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

Element 1 - Used property of another
The first element is that the defendant used the personal property of another.  <Identify the property.>

Element 2 - Without consent
The second element is that (he/she) did not have the consent of the owner.  "Owner" means not only the true or lawful owner, but any person who has a superior right to that of the defendant.  A person does an act "without consent of another person" when (he/she) lacks such other person's agreement or assent to engage in the act.

Element 3 - With knowledge
The third element is that (he/she) knew that (he/she) was not licensed or privileged to do so.  To be "licensed or privileged," the defendant must either have consent from the person in possession of the property or have some right to use the property.  A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or circumstances when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstances exist.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Element 4 - Damage to property or other economic loss
The fourth element is that the defendant's use of the property without the owner's consent

  • resulted in damage to or diminished the value of the property.

  • subjected the owner of the property to economic loss, fine or other penalty.

"Economic loss" includes uncompensated economic loss that exceeds $500 suffered by an owner of personal property who is engaged in the business of renting or leasing personal property when a person to whom the owner has rented or leased the property pursuant to a written agreement providing for the return of the property at a specified time fails to return the property within 120 hours after the owner sends a written demand to the person for the return of the property by registered mail addressed to the person at the person's address as shown in the written agreement, unless a more recent address is known to the owner.  Acknowledgment of the receipt of such written demand by the person shall not be necessary to establish that 120 hours have passed since such written demand was sent.1  <Review evidence pertaining to demand letter.>


In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant used personal property of another, 2) (he/she) did not have the consent of the owner, 3) (he/she) knew that (he/she) was not licensed or privileged to use the property, and 4) <insert specific allegations regarding damages, loss, fine or penalty>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of criminal trover 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 General Statutes 53a-126b (b).  "The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to personal property that is rented or leased (1) for personal, family or household purposes, or (2) pursuant to chapter 743i [Consumer Rent-to-Own Agreements]."


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