Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics

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Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics
by the Supreme Court of the United States
Syllabus
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that an implied cause of action existed for an individual whose Fourth Amendment freedom from unreasonable search and seizures had been violated by federal agents. The victim of such a deprivation could sue for the violation of the Amendment itself, despite the lack of any federal statute authorizing such a suit. The existence of a remedy for the violation was implied from the importance of the right violated. — Excerpted from Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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United States Supreme Court

403 U.S. 388

BIVENS  v.  SIX UNKNOWN NAMED AGENTS OF FEDERAL BUREAU OF NARCOTICS

 Argued: Jan. 12, 1971. --- Decided: June 21, 1971

Syllabus

Petitioner's complaint alleged that respondent agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, acting under color of federal authority, made a warrantless entry of his apartment, searched the apartment, and arrested him on narcotics charges. All of the acts were alleged to have been done without probable cause. Petitioner's suit to recover damages from the agents was dismissed by the District Court on the alternative grounds (1) that it failed to state a federal cause of action and (2) that respondents were immune from suit by virtue of their official position. The Court of Appeals affirmed on the first ground alone. held:

1. Petitioner's complaint states a federal cause of action under the Fourth Amendment for which damages are recoverable upon proof of injuries resulting from the federal agents' violation of that Amendment. P. 2005.

2. The Court does not reach the immunity question, which was not passed on by the Court of Appeals. Pp. 397-398.

409 F.2d 718, reversed and remanded.

Stephen A. Grant, for petitioner.

Jerome Feit, Washington, D.C., for respondents.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

Notes[edit]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).