A Justice Site
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: January 30, 2000
Latest update: February 9, 2002
- If there is a special relationship, then the citizen may have the duty to come to the aid of the other.
- What constitutes a special relationship?
- A parent-child relationship.
- A teacher-student relationship.
- A relationship to someone who has relied upon your promise to help.
- Do the police have a duty to come to the aid of a stranded motorist?
- A general duty. But unless the police have entered a transaction with the individual which led the individual to rely on their protection specifically, they have no duty to an individual stranded motorist.
- What about individual protection from dangerous criminals?
- No duty to specific individuals unless the police entered into a transaction which led to the individual's reliance upon their specific protection.
There is a good development of this argument in the California case, Posey in which Posey sued the State of California because the highway patrol failed to protect her from harm by removing a stranded car from the freeway.