The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that the mother of a teenager shot and killed in Mexico by a Border Patrol agent standing in Arizona can sue for damages, and that the agent does not have immunity.
According to the 5th Circuit, the Bivens decision broke new ground by authorizing such a suit for Fourth Amendment violations by federal law enforcement officers who handcuffed and arrested an individual in his own home without probable cause.
The case, Rodriguez vs. Swartz, heard by a panel of judges in the 9th Circuit, alleged agent Lonnie Swartz shot and killed a teen, identified only as J.A., without warning or provocation.
The 5th Circuit heard its case, Hernandez vs. Mesa, by all judges on the court after the Supreme Court sent it back to them for reconsideration.
“To date, the Supreme Court has refused to extend the protection of the Fourth Amendment to a foreign citizen residing in the United States against American law enforcement agents’ search of his premises in Mexico.”