AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability
of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel


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Sex Discrimination

     California state programs that provided benefits for women and their children who were the victims of domestic violence, while denying such programs to men and their children who are the victims of domestic violence violated the equal protection guarantees of the state Constitution. Even if fewer men than women were affected by domestic violence, this did not mean that they were not similarly situated to women or provide a compelling governmental interest justifying a gender-based classification. Woods v. Shewry, #C056072, 2008 Cal. App. Lexis 1588 167 Cal. App. 4th 658; 84 Cal. Rptr. 3d 332 (3rd Dist. Cal. App.).
     A man was allegedly observed and videotaped on a store's security surveillance camera masturbating in front of his girlfriend in a car outside the store. The man subsequently claimed that his right to equal protection of law was violated because he was cited for public indecency while his girlfriend was not. The appeals court rejected this claim, noting that the girlfriend cooperated with the police, and rewarding her for doing so was not improper. Sides v. City of Champaign, No. 06-1039, 496 F.3d 820 (7th Cir. 2007), rehearing denied 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 22322 (7th Cir.).
     Claim that U.S. Marshals at D.C. Superior Court were subjecting all female arrestees to strip searches and/or visual body cavity searches without any individualized reasonable suspicion that they were concealing contraband or weapons, but that similarly situated male arrestees were not strip searched, if true, stated a claim for violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. Further, it would have been clear to a reasonable officer that such a policy was unconstitutional. Johnson v. D.C., Civil Action No. 02-2364, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 82930 (D.D.C.). [N/R]
     Father of children was not deprived of equal protection of law, nor were his due process rights as a parent violated when police officers and prosecutors failed to find probable cause to arrest his child's biological mother for kidnapping, but prosecuted him for alleged domestic violence. There was no evidence that the defendants were motivated by gender bias. Burrell v. Anderson, No. CIV.04-43, 353 F. Supp. 2d 55 (D. Me. 2005). [N/R]
     A female former police officer failed to establish a claim for violation of her equal protection rights when there was no evidence of this other than her "conclusory allegation" that her arrest for disorderly conduct following a fight with her husband, combined with the failure to arrest her husband showed differing treatment due to gender. Additionally, arguable probable cause existed to arrest her and her arrest was carried out under an arrest warrant. Zandhri v. Dortenzio, 228 F. Supp. 2d 167 (D. Conn. 2002). [N/R]
     268:59 Allegation that officer declined to break into apartment to rescue minor girl from intruder who was raping her, despite her mother's pleas to do so, because he did not want to be liable for property damage stated claim against officer for willful and wanton negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gender discrimination Doe v. Calumet City, 161 Ill 2d 374, 641 N.E.2d 498 (1994).

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