Bond v. Atkinson

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Equal Protection
Case Number: 
Nos. 11-3275 & 11-3559 Cons.
Decision Date: 
August 26, 2013
Federal District: 
C.D. Ill.
Vacated and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in denying defendants-police officials’ motion to dismiss on grounds of qualified immunity plaintiff’s section 1983 action alleging that defendants violated her equal protection rights by not enforcing order of protection against her husband and by failing to confiscate her husband’s firearms after his state-law right to possess said firearms had been revoked, which in turn allowed husband to shoot plaintiff before killing himself. Plaintiff’s complaint failed to state valid cause of action, where plaintiff failed to allege intentional discrimination on part of defendants, i.e., that defendants preferred men (but not women) to be left at large so they can injure their domestic partners. Moreover, plaintiff’s theory of case, i.e., that defendant did not give appropriate priority to enforcement of domestic violence laws, could not support instant equal protection claim since: (1) defendant’s lack of enforcement of domestic violence laws established only disparate impact on women; and (2) under Washington, 426 US 229, harm based on disparate impact does not violate equal protection clause and cannot be redressed under section 1983.