State v. Cooley

In State v. Cooley, 3 Conn. App. 410, 488 A.2d 1283, cert. denied, 196 Conn. 805, 492 A.2d 1241 (1985), the defendant was found guilty of breach of the peace. Id., 411. As a condition of her probation, the defendant was required to receive "some type of therapeutic or psychiatric counseling . . . if recommended by the probation officer." Id. The defendant subsequently was arrested for failure to comply with that condition of her probation. Id., 412. After being arrested, the defendant filed an application for a sentence modification, seeking to remove the condition of probation requiring her to receive counseling. Id. A hearing was then held on the violation of probation and the defendant's motion for sentence modification. Id. At the hearing, the defendant presented a psychological assessment by a psychologist with the court's diagnostic clinic, which concluded that there was nothing to suggest that the defendant "was psychiatrically disturbed or in need of psychiatric intervention. " Id. The court, Wagner, J., granted the defendant's motion for sentence modification "on an interim basis reserving my right to reinstate it." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Id. Subsequently, on a renewal by the state of its claim that the defendant had violated the condition of probation, the court, Klaczak, J., found that the defendant's probation should be revoked. Id., 413. On appeal, the defendant claimed that it was an abuse of discretion by the court to revoke her probation when "the only evidence as to the underlying need for the condition was that it was not necessary." Id. We held that even if the defendant violated the terms of her probation, the trial court "could not have reasonably concluded that the beneficial purpose of it retained any of its original efficacy" because the court had before it "evidence of the condition's lack of any rehabilitative value and it was aware of an interim trial court ruling which had . . . temporarily suspended the need for the defendant to adhere to the condition." Id., 414. In Cooley, the Court stated: "If a failure to comply with a condition of probation arises from sheer contumacy based upon a defendant's own assessment that a judicial condition of probation is meritless and the court's inquiry leads to no other conclusion, probation should be revoked. If, however, the condition serves no rehabilitative purpose and there is undisputed evidence that the condition was unnecessary at its inception, or was without any beneficial purpose as of the date of the hearing, reasonableness of a revocation of the probation is lacking." Id., 414-15.