Rodriguez v. Swartz, No. 15-16410 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of qualified immunity to a border patrol agent who, while standing on American soil, shot and killed a teenage Mexican citizen, J.A., who was innocently walking down a street in Mexico. The panel held that the agent violated the Fourth Amendment and lacked qualified immunity where it was inconceivable that any reasonable officer could have thought that he or she could kill J.A. for no reason. The panel also held that J.A.'s mother had a cause of action against the agent for money damages pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 389 (1971). The panel noted its reluctance to extend Bivens, but did so because no other adequate remedy was available and there was no reason to infer that Congress deliberately chose to withhold a remedy.