Friday, February 28, 2020

Supreme Court holds plaintiffs can't sue in American courts to recover damages caused by cross border shooting

In one of several cases related to cross-border shootings, a 5-4 majority of the justices of the Supreme Court recently held against the right of the plaintiffs to sue in American courts.

In 2010, an on-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent who was at the border in El Paso, Texas, shot a boy at least twice. At the time, the boy, a Mexican national, was on the southern side of the border in Ciudad Juarez.  The boy's parents, who are Mexican nationals, sued for damages raising the issue of whether the parents have a legal standing to sue for a death that occurred outside of U.S. territory.

The parents argued that the federal agent's unreasonable use of excessive force violated the teenager's Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, which protect a person from unreasonable search and seizure and assure due process protections.

On Tuesday the Supreme Court announced its decision holding that the plaintiffs do not have the right to sue.  You can read the opinion here.

The SCOTUS blog has analysis of the opinion here.

You can find articles and court documents on the case here.

NPR has some analysis of the opinion here.

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