In re Adalberto S

In In re Adalberto S., 27 Conn. App. 49, 604 A.2d 822, cert. denied, 222 Conn. 903, 606 A.2d 1328 (1992), the respondent was observed by a police officer in a parked car with three other people. All the occupants fled when the officer approached the car. The respondent exited from the backseat and was apprehended a short time later. The vehicle's steering column was damaged, and the engine was running without a key in the ignition. Following a trial to the court, the respondent was adjudicated delinquent by virtue of having used a motor vehicle without the owner's permission. The Court reversed the judgment of the trial court because the state failed to prove that none of the occupants had the owner's permission to use the car and that the respondent knew that this was the case. In In re Adalberto S., a critical aspect of the case was the fact that the respondent was a passenger in the backseat. Taking into account his position in the car, the state could not prove that he was using the car without the owner's permission. Rather, the state had to prove that he knew that none of the other people had the requisite permission.