Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California Case Brief

The case of Tarasoff v Regents of the University of California, 1976 is still being studied by American students in law schools. In this case, the Supreme Court of California considered that mental health professionals are required to protect their patients who are really threatened with bodily harm to the patient. In a similar decision of 1974, a warning was issued to the person who was threatened. However, in 1976, the Supreme Court of California reconsidered the Tarasoff v Regents case and called for “duty to protect” the alleged victim. The court stated that a professional can perform this duty in several ways. The first is to notify the police and prevent the alleged victim or take other reasonable measures to protect a person who is in real danger.

Tarasoff v Regents case brief facts: In the Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California case the plaintiffs are the parents of Tatyana Tarasoff. Tatyana Tarasoff was a student at the University of California at Berkeley under the guidance of the Regents of the University of California. The Regents are the defendant. Prosenjit Poddar was a student from India, he entered the university as a graduate student in September 1967 and lived in the International House. They met with Tatyana in the autumn of 1968 during the lessons of folk dance in the International House.

In 1968, on the New Year Eve, Tatyana and her classmate Prosenjit Poddar shared a romantic interaction. Actually, they had absolutely different ideas about the relationship. Poddar believed that they had a serious relationship, but Tatyana stated that she did not intend to enter into a close relationship with him. Also, she was connected with other men and she was not interested in the relationship with Poddar. After that, Tatyana Tarasoff did not react and did not budge back to Poddar and continued to go on dates with other men. This fact quite upset the young man and caused a feeling of resentment and psychological upset and soon he began to pursue her.

Moreover, Poddar periodically met Tarasov during this period, and he recorded on the tape their conversations in order to find out why she did not like him. Poddar was depressed and he went to Dr. Lawrence Moore, who worked as a psychologist in the medical center of the university. It was then that Poddar confessed to the psychologist Moore that he intended to kill Tatyana. After this stunning statement of the patient, Dr. Moore demanded that the campus police detain Poddar. He wrote the conclusion that Poddar suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, acute and cruel. The doctor recommended to the police that the accused be recognized as a dangerous person. The police detained Poddar, but soon he was released, as he did not seem dangerous.

After this, Moore received instructions from the boss that he did not have further involvement in this matter. After that Poddar ceases to visit his psychologist. He had a plan, he made friends with Tatyana's brother and even stayed the nights. Poddar made friends with Tarasov's brother, even moved to him. In consequence, none of those who were associated with the regents warn Tatyana Tarasoff or her parents about a possible threat to her life. Soon, on October 27, 1969, Poddar killed Tayana at her home. Poddar was found guilty of second-degree murder. However, the conviction was refuted and the second time the court was not held. Quickly, Poddar was released on the condition that he returns to India.

In consequence, the parents of Tatiana Tarasoff sued the Regents. Their lawsuit was based on the fact that they deliberately did not warn about the danger of Tatyana's life and were careless. The court of law was examined by the Regents, and the Tarasoffs appealed this decision.