Supreme Court Decision

By: AP
By: AP

Police can't be sued for how they enforce restraining orders, ending a Colorado woman's fight for justice.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-to-2 Monday morning that Jessica Gonzales had no constitutional right to police enforcement of a court order against her husband.

Gonzales claimed police didn't do enough to stop her estranged husband, Simon, from violating a restraining order in June 1999, and taking their three daughters from her front yard.

The man later killed the girls, ages seven, nine and ten. Police found the bodies inside Simon Gonzales' truck after he died in a gun fight with officers.

Jessica Gonzales claimed the restraining order was her 'property' under the 14th Amendment, and that it was taken from her when police failed to enforce it.

Gonzales attorney Brian Reichel says restraining orders are essentially worthless unless police officers are willing to enforce them. He says that if nothing else, his client's case shined the light on a very important issue.

Castle Rock police contend they did try to help the woman.

Officers twice went to the estranged husband's apartment, kept an eye out for his truck and called his cellular phone and home phone.

Jessica Gonzales reached him on his cell phone. He told her he'd taken their daughters to a Denver amusement park.

Gonzales says officers should've gone to that park, or contacted Denver police.


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