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Thread: The police have no obligation to protect individuals

  1. #1
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    Aug 2006
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    A few examples:

    Ladies, do not bother to obtain a useless piece of paper that some folks call "restraining order". Police officers are exempt from legal action, even if their refusal to enforce a valid restraining order results in death.

    TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO v. GONZALES, individually and a next best friend of her deceased minor children, GONZALES et al.
    No. 04—278.Argued March 21, 2005–Decided June 27, 2005

    Ladies and gentlemen, can it be stated clearer than in the case of California?

    California Government Code
    845. Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to establish a police department or otherwise to provide police protection service or, if police protection service is provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection service. (...)

    There are other court decisions declaring no obligation on behalf of the police to protect individuals:

    Riss v. City of New York, 293 N.Y. 2d 897 (1968)
    Warren v. District of Columbia, D.C. App., 444 A.2d 1 (1981)

    Bowers v. DeVito, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 686 F.2d 616 (1882)
    Cal. Govt. Code Sections 821,845,846
    Calogrides v. City of Mobile, 475 So. 2d 560 (S.Ct. Ala. 1985)
    Chapman v. City of Philadelphia, 434 A.2d 753 (Sup. Ct. Penn. 1981)
    Davidson v. City of Westminster, 32 C.3d 197,185 P.2d 894 (S.Ct. Cal. 1982)
    Hartzler v. City of San Jose, App., 120 Cal. Rptr 5 (1975)
    Keane v. City of Chicago, 98 Ill App 2d 460 (1968)
    Keane v. Chicago, 48 Ill. App. 567 (1977)
    Lynch v. N.C. Dept. of Justice, 376 S.E. 2nd 247 (N.C. App. 1989)
    Marshall v. Winston, 389 S.E. 2nd 902 (Va. 1990)
    Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C. App. 1983)
    Morris v. Musser, 478 A.2d 937 (1984)
    Reiff v. City of Philadelphia, 477F. Supp. 1262 (E.D.Pa. 1979)
    Sapp v. Tallahassee, 348 So.2d 363 (Fla. App. 1977)
    Silver v. Minneapolis 170 N.W.2d 206 (Minn, 1969)
    Simpson's Food Fair v. Evansvill, 272 N.E.2d 871 (Ind. App.)
    Stone v. State 106 Cal.App.3d 924, 165 Cal. Rep 339 (1980)
    Weutrich v. Delia, 155 N.J. Super. 324, 326, 382 A.2d 929, 930 (1978)
    Barillari v. City of Milwaukee, 533 N.W.2d 759 (Wis. 1995)
    DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189 (1989)
    Ford v. Town of Grafton, 693 N.E.2d 1047 (Mass. App. 1998)

  2. #2
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    May 2006
    , Tennessee, USA

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    I am very familiar with the case law that you have mentioned, and I share your opinion that restraining orders are just pieces of paper with no physical power to stop a threat. However, I don't think that we should totally give up on them, yet. They could be important pieces of evidence down the road. If for some reason, the party uses force to defend himself/herself from the other party, violation of the restraining order could be used in addition to other evidence to support a reasonable fear of one's life. Because of this, I think that restraining orders should still be sought, but I agree they cannot stand alone. One mustsupplement them with additional means such as a bodyguard or even better: defensive weapons (such as firearms).


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