Logourl black
From our private database of 14,200+ case briefs...

Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales

United States Supreme Court
545 U.S. 748 (2005)


Facts

Jessica Gonzales (plaintiff) filed a complaint against the Town of Castle Rock (defendant) in district court alleging that the town violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution when its police officers, acting pursuant to official policy or custom, failed to respond properly to her repeated reports that her estranged husband was violating the terms of a restraining order. On June 22, 1999, Gonzales noticed her three children were missing. Suspecting that her husband took them, she called the police. Gonzales was previously issued a restraining order stating that the police department must enforce it. It granted limited rights to Gonzales’ husband to visit their three young daughters with notice and pursuant to a court-arranged schedule. She told the police about the restraining order, but the police made no effort to enforce it or search for her children. Gonzales’ husband arrived at the police department and began firing a handgun. The police killed him. Inside the cab of his pickup truck, the police found the bodies of all three daughters, whom he had already murdered. Gonzales’ suit alleged that the department violated the Due Process Clause because it had “an official policy or custom of failing to respond properly to complaints of restraining order violations” and “tolerated the non-enforcement of restraining orders by its police officers.” The complaint also alleged that the town’s actions “were taken either willfully, recklessly or with such gross negligence as to indicate wanton disregard and deliberate indifference to” Gonzales’ civil rights. The district court dismissed the complaint. The court of appeals reversed in part, holding that Gonzales failed to state a substantive due process claim, but adequately stated a procedural due process claim. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

Concurrence (Souter, J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 241,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.