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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Garcia v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County

Headnote

Should the government compensate individuals who rely upon the statements of government officials and are subsequently injured? While on parole, Napoleon Johnson—a convicted murderer—began a relationship and cohabiting with Grace Morales. After Morales moved out, the ex-convict repeatedly threatened her, attempted to stab her, sexually assaulted her at knife-point, and falsely imprisoned her. While Johnson was undergoing psychiatric treatment for threatening behavior, Johnson’s parole officer tried calling Morales to reconcile the relationship between the two. During the phone call, the parole officer insisted that Morales should not be worried about Johnson finding and hurting her. Soon after, Johnson kidnapped and killed Morales. Morales’ children sue on the theory that Morales would have taken safety measures to protect herself if it wasn’t for the statements of the parole officer.