Home Menu ↓
Clicking on our sponsor links helps insure continued free access to this website.
Please support our efforts by visiting our sponsors:

 

Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain

Docket No.: 03-339
Argued: March 30, 2004
Decided: June 29, 2004
Consolidated with: United States v. Humberto Alvarez-Machain, No. 03-485

Topics:

Federal Tort Claims, or Alien Tort Statute, Economic Activity, Nongovernmental Liability, Alien Tort Statute, Article I, Federal Tort Claims, Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, Fourth Amendment, Supremacy Clause, Title VII, Torture Victim Protection Act, antitrust, federal district courts jurisdiction, murder, patent, privacy, property rights, separation of powers, sovereign immunity

PartyNames: Jose Francisco Sosa v. Humberto Alvarez-Machain, et al.
Petitioner: Jose Francisco Sosa
Respondent: Humberto Alvarez-Machain, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Citation: CA 9, 331 F.3d 604 QUESTIONS PRESENTED: 1. Whether federal law enforcement officers, and agents of the DrugEnforcement Administration in particular, have authority to enforce a federal criminal statute that applies to ac ts perpetrated against a United States official in a foreign country by arresting an indicted criminal suspect onprobable cause in a foreign country.
Supreme Court Docket

Jose Francisco Sosa
v.
Humberto Alvarez-Machain, et al.
542 U.S. 692 (2004)
Background:

1. Whether the ATA, is simply a grant of jurisdiction, or whether, in additionto granting jurisdiction, it provides a cause of action upon which aliens may sue for torts in violation of the law of nations or treaties of the United States. 2. If the ATA provides a cause of action, whether the actions it authorizes arelimited to suits for violations of jus cogens norms of international law. 3. Whether a detention that lasts less than 24 hours, results in no physicalharm to the detainee, and is under taken by a private individual under instructions from senior United States law enforcement officials, constitutes a tort in violation of the law of nations actionable under the ATA. 03-485 UNITED STATES v. ALVAREZ-MACHAIN . CA 9, 331 F.3d 604 QUESTIONS PRESENTED:

Question Presented:

1. Whether the ATA, is simply a grant of jurisdiction, or whether, in additionto granting jurisdiction, it provides a cause of action upon which aliens may sue for torts in violation of the law of nations or treaties of the United States. 2. If the ATA provides a cause of action, whether the actions it authorizes arelimited to suits for violations of jus cogens norms of international law. 3. Whether a detention that lasts less than 24 hours, results in no physicalharm to the detainee, and is under taken by a private individual under instructions from senior United States law enforcement officials, constitutes a tort in violation of the law of nations actionable under the ATA. 03-485 UNITED STATES v. ALVAREZ-MACHAIN 2. Whether an individual arrested in a foreign country may bring an actionunder the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTC A), 28 U .S.C. 1346(b), 2671 et seq., for false arrest, notwithstanding the FTCA 's exclusion of "[ a]ny claim arising in a foreign country ," 28 U.S.C. 2680(k), because the arrest was planned in the United States. CERT. GRANTED: 12/1/03 Consolidated for one hour oral argument.

Question:

Does the Alien Tort Statute permit private individuals to bring suit against foreign citizens for crimes committed in other countries in violation of the law of nations or treaties of the United States? May an individual bring suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act for a false arrest that was planned in the United States but carried out in a foreign country?

Note:

. CA 9, 331 F.3d 604

Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain
ORAL ARGUMENT

March 30, 2004

Holding: reversed
Decision: Decision: 6 votes for Sosa, 3 vote(s) against
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By:

Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain
Case Documents

1Opinion in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain
2Slip Opinion in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain (Opinion by )
3Opinion in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain
Additional documents for this case are pending review.