Bivens action | Definition

Bivens action

A Bivens action is a type of lawsuit that allows individuals to seek damages from federal officials for violations of their constitutional rights. The name “Bivens action” comes from a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1971 called Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

In Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the Court ruled that individuals have the right to bring a lawsuit against federal officials for violations of their Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court held that, in cases where there is no other effective legal remedy, individuals may be able to seek damages from federal officials for violations of their constitutional rights.

Bivens actions have been used to challenge a wide range of constitutional violations by federal officials, including excessive force, unlawful detention, and other abuses of power. These cases are often complex and can be difficult to win, as federal officials are entitled to certain legal protections and immunities. However, Bivens actions can provide an important avenue for individuals to seek justice and accountability for constitutional violations by federal officials.


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