The Fourth Amendment prohibits federal agents from wrongfully arresting you and searching your house without a warrant. But what if they do? What if they enter your house without permission, ransack your house without a warrant, wrongfully handcuff you in front of your wife and child, take you away and subject you to a strip search?

The Fourth Amendment says nothing about your remedies when your rights are violated by the federal government. Webster Bivens faced this very situation. He sued the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, but his case was dismissed because there was no explicit authorization in the Constitution and Congress had not provided it via statute. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court, in this 6-3 decision, said Bivens had an implied right to sue for money damages.


The case itself: Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics

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