Police cannot be held liable for how they enforce restraining orders, the Supreme Court ruled today. The 7-to-2-decision on the last day of the court’s 2004-5 term ended a lawsuit by a Colorado woman who argued that Castle Rock, Co., police did not do enough to prevent her estranged husband from killing her three young daughters, reports the Associated Press.
The court majority said that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to police enforcement of the court order against her husband. City officials had feared that a ruling in Gonzeles’s favor would have unleashed a flood of cases that could bankrupt municipal governments. Gonzales contended that police did not do enough to stop her estranged husband, who took the three daughters from the front yard of her home in June 1999 in violation of a restraining order.