Juvenile Matters at Middletown


Juveniles; Illegal Arrests; Whether Trial Court Properly Determined that Warrantless Arrest was not Effectuated on Speedy Information under General Statutes 54-1f; Whether Dismissal of Charges was a Proper Remedy. On June 4, 2008, the respondent was served with a juvenile summons directing him to appear and answer to misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident on May 14, 2008. The respondent moved to dismiss the charges, claiming that due to the gap in time between the incident in question and the service of the summons, his warrantless arrest was unlawful because it was not effectuated "on speedy information of others," as provided in General Statutes 54-1f (a). The trial court agreed and dismissed the charges without prejudice. It ruled that it had the authority to dismiss charges in a case, such as the one at hand, where the respondent was not arrested on speedy information. The court also granted permission for the state to appeal. On appeal, the state contends that the respondent was not subject to "arrest" for purposes of 54-1f (a). Specifically, the state claims that the term "arrest" under 54-1f (a) means a full custodial arrest and that, here, the respondent was merely directed by summons to appear in court at a future time. The state further asserts that even if serving the summons constituted an "arrest" under the statute and even if the arrest was unlawful for want of speedy information, the court lacked the authority to order a dismissal of the charges as a remedy for the illegality.