October 30, 2020

Torres v. Madrid

Janice Madrid and Richard Williamson, two New Mexico State Police officers, shot and wounded Roxanne Torres to restrain her during an investigation. Torres escaped, however, and was not arrested until the next day at a hospital. Torres sued the officers in federal court for using unlawful deadly force under the Fourth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment for the officers, finding that they did not “seize” Torres when they shot her because she eluded police custody. Torres appealed, and the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed. Torres asked the Supreme Court to reverse and hold that whenever the police use deadly force to restrain someone, the police seize that person under the Fourth Amendment, even if the person eludes police custody. 

Voting-rights organizations and individual voters sued North Carolina, arguing that the state’s map was an impermissible political gerrymander. The three-judge panel at the district court ruled that the plaintiffs had standing to sue, the case was justiciable, and the plaintiffs prevailed on the merits. The state’s Republican legislators appealed to the Supreme Court.

Classroom Case Study

This classroom case study provides:

  • background on the legal issues in the case;
  • facts of the case;
  • key legal definitions;
  • argument summaries for the appellants and the appellees; and
  • focus questions for fostering classroom discussion

Download Case Summary >>

Download full ABA Supreme Court Preview Article on Torres v. Madrid >>

The classroom case study was modified from PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases. It can be used for teacher reference and provides a more detailed look at the case.