Perhaps the most illustrative example of the current legal landscape is Castle Rock v. Gonzales, a Supreme Court case from 2005.
Jessica Gonzales, the lawsuit’s plaintiff, had begged the police department in Castle Rock, Colorado, in 1999 to enforce a restraining order against her ex-husband after he absconded with their three daughters.
The officers made no efforts to locate or arrest him until her ex-husband showed up at the police station early the next morning and died in a shootout with the police.
Gonzales sued the police department under Section 1983, the federal tort that allows people to sue state and local officials in federal court for violating their federal constitutional rights.
A federal district court judge ruled against her, as did a three-judge panel in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Tenth Circuit then reinstated her lawsuit, after using a rare procedure to reconsider it with all judges taking part.
In a 7–2 decision in 2005, the court sided with the city and the police. »