Castle Rock v. Gonzales
, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States
, in which the court ruled, 7-2, that a town and its police department could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983
for failing to enforce a restraining order
, which had led to the murder of a woman's three children by her estranged husband.
Background of the case
Restraining order and police inaction
During divorce proceedings, Jessica Gonzales, a resident of Castle Rock, Colorado
, obtained a restraining order against her husband on June 4, 1999, requiring him to remain at least 100 yards from her and their three daughters except during specified visitation
time. On June 22, at approximately 5:15 pm, her husband took possession of the three children in violation of the order. Gonzales called the police at approximately 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 10:10 pm, and 12:15 am on June 23, and visited the police station in person at 12:40 am on June 23, 1999. However, the police took no action, despite the husband's having called Gonzales prior to her second call to the police and informing her that he had the children with him at an amusement park in Denver, Colorado
. At approximately 3:20 am on June 23, 1999, the husband appeared at the Castle Rock police station and instigated a fatal shoot-out with the police. A search of his vehicle revealed the corpses of the three daughters, whom the husband had killed prior to his arrival.
Lower court proceedings
Gonzales filed suit in... Read More