A federal appeals court has ruled that a New Jersey man who was falsely imprisoned cannot sue the federal agency that held him in Africa for several months. The court made this decision based upon the fact that the situation occurred overseas during a time of active terrorist investigations.
Though the court did acknowledge that the claims made by the man against the federal agency were “quite troubling,” they stated that the man’s constitutional rights had not been violated. Therefore, he is without recourse to pursue his claims.
Homeland Security matters fall inside a rarely touched area of executive action.
The New Jersey man had traveled to Africa in 2006 with the hopes of learning more about Islam. He found himself in a country that was experiencing great violence. He fled to a neighboring country, where he was soon arrested by the United States agency.
The man claimed that he was secretly held prisoner and was accused of being trained by radical terrorist organizations. He also claimed that he was denied access to a lawyer and was subjected to extreme interrogations.
Courts are often hesitant to allow lawsuits against federal agencies, though local level departments are often sued.
The agency determined that the man was not a threat to U.S. national security and sent him home during 2007. There are many who believe that this man’s civil rights were violated, including his lawyer, who was “very disappointed” with the ruling.
Civil liberties are the basic rights of all citizens of the United States and those who fall under the protection of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When those rights are violated, civil action is often pursued. For those who have additional questions or would like more information, speaking with an experienced attorneycould be beneficial.
Source:The Boston Globe, “Appeals court says American can’t sue FBI over abuse claims,” Sam Hananel, Oct. 25, 2015