On May 12, 2023, the ACLU of Kansas joined an amicus brief filed with the ACLU of Oklahoma, the ACLU, the ACLU of Colorado, the ACLU of New Mexico, the ACLU of Wyoming, and the ACLU of Utah in Logsdon v. United States Marshal Service before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit challenging the district court's decision that could undermine Fourth Amendment protections against use of force by federal officers.
In the case, the plaintiff sued three United States Marshals Service officers for damages after a particularly brutal use of excessive force at his arrest, which he did not resist, in which the defendant officers knocked him unconscious and took turns stomping on him for two full minutes. Initially, the district court had concluded that Mr. Logsdon's complaint was similar to that in Bivens, the Supreme Court decision that authorizes a damages remedy for a Fourth Amendment violation by a federal law enforcement officer with nearly identical circumstances to this case. However, the district court later granted defendants motion for reconsideration, using distinctions that it previously had rejected as not meaningful.
The district court's reversal on reconsideration could, if left standing, effectively eliminate the ability of people who experience excessive use of force by federal officers to bring a Fourth Amendment claim -- and would undermine over a half century of constitutional standards and mechanisms to deter officer misconduct.
The parties signing the amicus brief call on the Court to reverse the district court's error.