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TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO v. GONZALES, individually and a next best friend of her deceased minor children, GONZALES et al., 545 U.S. ---

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TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO v. GONZALES, individually and a next best friend of her deceased minor children, GONZALES et al.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

No. 04-278.Argued March 21, 2005--Decided June 27, 2005

Respondent filed this suit under 42 U. S. C. §1983 alleging that petitioner violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause when its police officers, acting pursuant to official policy or custom, failed to respond to her repeated reports over several hours that her estranged husband had taken their three children in violation of her restraining order against him. Ultimately, the husband murdered the children. The District Court granted the town's motion to dismiss, but an en banc majority of the Tenth Circuit reversed, finding that respondent had alleged a cognizable procedural due process claim because a Colorado statute established the state legislature's clear intent to require police to enforce retraining orders, and thus its intent that the order's recipient have an entitlement to its enforcement. The court therefore ruled, among other things, that respondent had a protected property interest in the enforcement of her restraining order.

Held: Respondent did not, for Due Process Clause purposes, have a property interest in police enforcement of the restraining order against her husband. Pp. 6-19.


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