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State v. Varszegi

Appellate Court of Connecticut
635 A.2d 816 (1993)


Facts

Varszegi (defendant) was the landlord of a commercial property where Executive Decisions Support, Inc. (the company) was a tenant. Catherine Topp, the company’s president, signed the lease on behalf of the company. The lease contained a provision that purportedly allowed Varszegi to enter the leased premises and seize the tenant’s personal property for sale in the event of a default. In May 1990, when Topp was three months behind on rent payments, Varszegi entered the leased premises over a weekend by picking the lock on Topp’s office door. Varszegi took two computers and printers from the office. When Topp discovered the missing property the following Monday, she notified local police and Varszegi. Varszegi admitted that he took the property and claimed he was authorized to do so under the lease. At three points over the following month, police officers expressed doubt to Varszegi that his actions were legal. Varszegi continued to assert that his conduct was authorized under the lease and eventually sold the property in late May 1990. Varszegi was charged with larceny in the first degree and criminal coercion, but was ultimately convicted of the lesser-included offense of larceny in the third degree and acquitted on the coercion charge. Varszegi appealed on the ground that the evidence did not support the intent element of a larceny conviction.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (O’Connell, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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