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Thurman v. City of Torrington

595 F. Supp. 1521 (1984)

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Thurman v. City of Torrington

United States District Court for the District of Connecticut

595 F. Supp. 1521 (1984)

Facts

Tracey Thurman (plaintiff) was estranged from her husband, Charles Thurman. They had one child together. Tracey and the child were staying at a home away from Charles (the home). In October 1982, Charles attacked Tracey at the home. The homeowners made a formal complaint to the City of Torrington (defendant) police department to keep Charles off their property. The next month, Charles returned and forcibly removed his child from the home. The police department refused to accept a complaint about Charles’s conduct. A few days later, Charles broke Tracey’s windshield while she was in her car. Charles was arrested, convicted of breaching the peace, and ordered to stay away from Tracey and the home as a condition of his probation. City officers were aware of the court order. Within the next few months, Charles returned to the home and made numerous threats of violence against Tracey. Officers did nothing despite receiving reports of his conduct and Tracey’s pleas for Charles’s arrest. Tracey eventually obtained a restraining order against Charles. The police still refused to arrest or delayed in arresting Charles. Finally, in a June 1983 incident, Charles stabbed Tracey several times outside the home. Further, Charles assaulted and threatened Tracey in the presence of several police officers before he was finally arrested. Tracey sued the city, alleging that the city used an administrative classification, which failed to protect her as a victim of domestic violence in contravention of her constitutional rights. The city moved to dismiss the complaint.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Blumenfeld, J.)

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