September 2, 2005, 11:59 AM
IIRC, there are two or three SOCTUS cases that say, in essence, (1) LEOs have no legal duty to protect citizens, and/or (2) LEOs have no legal duty to prevent crime.
Before I spend an hour on Westlaw does anyone have names and/or case cites available?
Steve in PA
September 2, 2005, 02:19 PM
Don't have the links but I have quite a bit of insight and have read the cases.
1) This ruling is based upon the fact that LEOs can't be held liable for not "protecting" you, when they are across town dealing with another situation. The only way to avoid this is to tell your town to hire a LEO to sit outside every residence in town 24/7. Hope you have a big wallet.
2) Same thing. How are you going to be held liable for crime on the south side of town when your dealing with other areas????
Doesn't take much common sense to figure these things out, but they had to make the rulings to prevent scum lawyers from wasting time and the towns money with frivilous lawsuits.
September 2, 2005, 03:04 PM
If you do a Google search, you should come up with several articles that will quote specific cases.
I too am interested in finding specific court cases involving this issue.
September 2, 2005, 05:11 PM
Spent the afternoon on Westlaw. Seminal case out of U.S. Supreme Court is
DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dept. of Social Services. 109 S.Ct. 998 (1989). Most relevant sections to this post are:
"But nothing in the language of the Due Process Clause itself requires the State to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens against invasion by private actors. The Clause is phrased as a limitation on the State's power to act, not as a guarantee of certain minimal levels of safety and security. It forbids the State itself to deprive individuals of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law,” but its language cannot fairly be extended to impose an affirmative obligation on the State to ensure that those interests do not come to harm through other means." 109 S. Ct. at 1003.
"Consistent with these principles, our cases have recognized that the Due Process Clauses generally confer no affirmative right to governmental aid, even where such aid may be necessary to secure life, liberty, or property interests of which the government itself may not deprive the individual." 109 S. Ct. at 1003.
"As a general matter, then, we conclude that a State's failure to protect an individual against private violence simply does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause." 109 S. Ct. at 1004.
For general reference by states and Circuit Courts of Appeal, see also:
Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of App., 1981); Riss v. City of New York, 240 N.E.2d 860 (N.Y. Ct. of App. 1958); Keane v. City of Chicago, 240 N.E.2d 321 (1968); Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C. Ct. of App. 1983); Calogrides v. City of Mobile, 475 So.2d 560 (Ala. 1985); Morris v. Musser, 478 A.2d 937 (1984); Davidson v. City of Westminster, 649 P.2d 894 (S.Ct. Cal. 1982); Chapman v. City of Philadelphia, 434 A.2d 753 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1981); Weutrich v. Delia, 382 A.2d 929 (1978); Sapp v. City of Tallahassee, 348 So.2d 363 (Fla.Ct. of App. 1977); Simpson's Food Fair v. Evansville, 272 N.E. 2d 871 (Ind.Ct. of App.); Silver v. City of Minneapolis, 170 N.W.2d 206 (S.Ct. Minn. 1969); Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 61 (7th Cir. 1982); Riss v. City of New York, 240 N.E.2d 860 (N.Y. Ct. of App. 1958); Freeeman v. Ferguson 911 F.2d 52 (8th Cir. 1990); Thurman v. City of Torrington, 595 F.Supp.1521 (D. Conn. 1984); and McKee v. City of Rockwall, Texas, 877 F.2d 409 (5th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 110 S.Ct. 727 (1990).
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