Supreme Court Rules in Colorado Restraining Order Case

June 27 2005, 10:13 AM

Last March, we wrote about the case of Gonzales vs. Castle Rock, in which Jessica Gonzales sued the Castle Rock Police Department for not doing enough to enforce a restraining order she had obtained against her estranged husband. After the order was issued, her husband took their three daughters from her yard and later killed them. The Supreme Court ruled against Gonzales today.

Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to police enforcement of the court order against her husband, the court said in a 7-2 opinion. City governments had feared that if the court ruled the other way, it would unleash a potentially devastating flood of cases that could bankrupt municipal governments.

The ruling is not much of a surprise given the skepticism the Justices expressed during oral argument. The text of the opinion is here (pdf.) More details on the case are here.