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Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Vaughn v. Ruoff
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Plaintiffs Margaret and Kevin Vaughn are married with children and Margaret has been diagnosed as mildly retarded. In August 1993 they gave birth to their first child, Leta. In October 1993, the Missouri Division of Family Services (MDFS) took custody of Leta, finding that the Vaughns failed to maintain a sanitary home and could not demonstrate an ability to rear her properly. In August 1994, Margaret gave birth to their second child Kevin Jr. but the MDFS took custody of him one week after his birth, again finding unsanitary home conditions and an inability to rear him properly. The same day as Kevin Jr.’s birth, Ruoff, the MDFS social worker who was assigned to the Vaughn’s case, told Margaret that if she got her tubes tied she would have her kids back in two to three weeks. Margaret agreed and her tubal ligation procedure occurred in October 1994. However, in December 1994, MDFS informed the Vaughns that it would recommend termination of their parental rights to Leta and Kevin Jr. They sued Ruoff for fourteenth amendment violations. Ruoff argued that she was entitled to qualified immunity, a theory that was rejected by the trial court. The Vaughns won summary judgment and the court of appeals affirmed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.