Friday, September 09, 2005

civil rights - domestic violence - sec. 1983 suit v. police

Starr v. Price - ED Pa. - Sept. 8, 2005

Estate of deceased victim of domestic violence sued various law enforcement officials for violations of deceased's constitutional rights involving the return of a firearm to deceased's husband, who subequently killed her and others.

Summary judgment granted to defendants based on analysis in Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzalez, 125 S.Ct. 2796 (2005). Claims for violations of substantive due process, procedural due process, and Brady Claim all denied.

"Section 1983 is not a 'font of tort law…but it does not mean that State are powerless to provide victims with personally enforceable remedies….Thus Plaintiff has no section 1983 remedy for her claims, although she may have an enforceable state law remedy. Absent a pendent federal claim, however, we have no jurisdiction over the state law claims."

Donald Marritz, staff attorney
MidPenn Legal Services - Gettysburg