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Criminal Jury Instructions  

Criminal Jury Instructions

 

BUILDING

"Building," in addition to its ordinary meaning, includes any watercraft, aircraft, trailer, sleeping car, railroad car or other structure or vehicle or any building with a valid certificate of occupancy. Where a building consists of separate units, such as, but not limited to separate apartments, offices or rented rooms, any unit not occupied by the actor is, in addition to being a part of such building, a separate building. 

Source:  General Statutes § 53a-100 (a) (1) (applies to Part VIII:  Burglary, Criminal Trespass, Arson, Criminal Mischief, §§ 53a-101 -- 53a-117m).

Commentary:  The statutory definition of "building" encompasses the ordinary meaning of the word "building."  "A 'building,' according to Black's Law Dictionary, is a 'structure designed for habitation, shelter, storage, trade, manufacture, religion, business, education, and the like.'"  State v. Perez, 78 Conn. App. 610, 636 (2003), cert. denied, 271 Conn. 901 (2004); State v. Domian, 35 Conn. App. 714, 724-25 (1994), aff'd on other grounds, 235 Conn. 679 (1996) (an empty, vandalized or abandoned building is still a building within the statutory definition).  It is also expansive, including more than the ordinary meaning of the word encompasses.  State v. Baker, 195 Conn. 598, 600-603 (1985) (statutory definition clearly includes an automobile).

Whether an area of a building that is open to the public is a separate "building" depends on whether the public would be invited into that area or not.  State v. Hafford, 252 Conn. 274, 311-14, cert. denied, 531 U.S. 855, 121 S.Ct. 136, 148 L.Ed.2d 89 (2000) (a utility room behind a gas station was a separate building); State v. Russell, 218 Conn. 273, 280 (1991) (area of grocery store containing merchandise of a high value enclosed by a tall metal folding gate from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. when the store was open 24 hours was not a separate building from the store); State v. Thomas, 210 Conn. 199, 205-206 (1989) (area behind the counter at a convenience store was not a separate building); State v. Stagnitta, 74 Conn. App. 607, 615-17, cert. denied, 263 Conn. 902 (2003) (manager's office in restaurant was a separate building); see also State v. Cochran, 191 Conn. 180, 184-88 (1983) (although defendant was invited into the residence, the locked bedrooms of other tenants were separate buildings). 

Glossary      

 


 

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