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