Maria S. v. Doe
Opinion Date: January 4, 2019
Judge: Edith H. Jones
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law
After Laura S. was killed shortly after returning to Mexico, her representatives filed suit under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S. Ct. 1999 (1971), against a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent and his supervisor. In this case, Laura entered the country illegally, was detained in CBP custody, and subsequently signed a form indicating her decision to repatriate voluntarily. Plaintiffs alleged that Laura was coerced into signing the voluntary removal form and was denied her due process rights, causing her death. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants, holding that special factors precluded the extension of a Bivens remedy to this new context. The court also held that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity where the agent's conduct was not objectively unreasonable.
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