With the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the ACLU of Oklahoma, the ACLU of Colorado, the ACLU of Kansas, the ACLU of Wyoming, and the ACLU of New Mexico, we filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff in the Tenth Circuit on May 12, 2023, in Logsdon v. U.S. Marshal Service.

The plaintiff in this case sued three United States Marshals Service officers for violations of his constitutional rights. In doing so, he relied on Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), which allowed plaintiffs to bring damages suits against federal officers for violations of constitutional rights. Over time, the Supreme Court has sharply limited the reach of Bivens, and has refused to recognize constitutional damages claims that arise in “new contexts.”

In Logsdon, the plaintiff claimed a particularly brutal use of excessive force by law enforcement. The district court initially concluded that plaintiff’s complaint alleged facts that were not meaningfully different than the circumstances in Bivens, and that his claim could proceed. However, the court later reversed itself, holding on reconsideration that the plaintiff’s case presented a “new context” distinct enough from Bivens itself to make a damages claim unavailable.

Our amicus brief argues that the plaintiff’s complaint alleges facts that were not meaningfully different from the circumstances in Bivens itself, and that the district court had it right the first time around. We assert that in light of Bivens and subsequent Supreme Court cases, federal circuit court cases, and Congress’s own endorsement of the scope of Bivens liability, the plaintiff’s case should go forward.



ACLU, ACLU of Oklahoma, ACLU of Colorado, ACLU of Kansas, ACLU of New Mexico, ACLU of Utah, and ACLU of Wyoming

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)


Date filed

May 12, 2023


In the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit




Amicus Curiae

Case number