High Court Bars Bivens Suit Against Private Prison Workers

Law360, New York (January 10, 2012, 5:06 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a federal prisoner could not bring an Eighth Amendment suit against the employees of a privately run federal prison, finding the prisoner had a cause of action under state tort law and therefore could not bring a case under the Bivens doctrine.

The Bivens doctrine, stemming from the 1971 Supreme Court decision in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, allows plaintiffs to sue individual federal officials for monetary damages when there is no other remedy available to protect a constitutional right.

In an 8-1 opinion issued Tuesday, the court found that Bivens does...

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