Lovell v. United States of America, No. 1:18-cv-01867 (E.D.N.Y., filed Mar. 28, 2018)
On November 27, 2016, Tameika Lovell was returning from Jamaica and traveling through John F. Kennedy Airport when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers selected her for a “random search.” Officers took her to a secured area and conducted a physically invasive and traumatic search of her body, including a body cavity search, for which she later sought medical and psychological treatment.
Ms. Lovell filed a federal tort claim with CBP on May 10, 2017, but it was subsequently denied. On March 28, 2018, Ms. Lovell filed this action seeking damages under Bivens and alleging violations of her Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. The complaint alleges that CBP’s search of Ms. Lovell was carried out in in violation of the Fourth Amendment and was conduct that “shocked the conscience” in violation of the Fifth Amendment. She further alleges that the search was not random but instead based on her race, and that CBP unlawfully singles out females and persons of color for searches. Furthermore, Ms. Lovell alleges that the United States and CBP condone employees’ intentional violations of the National Standards on Transportation, Escort, Detention, and Search, the agency’s written standards for searches. Ms. Lovell seeks compensatory and punitive damages against CBP.
As of June 2021, discovery has been completed and briefing on cross-motions for summary judgement has begun. Summary judgment briefing was completed in November 2021. As of April 2022, no decision has been issued.
- Amended Complaint
- Answer to Complaint
- Second Amended Complaint
- Answer to Second Amended Complaint
- ‘Shocked and Humiliated’: Lawsuits Accuse Customs, Border Officers of Invasive Searches of Minors, Women
Counsel: The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Contact: Eric Sanders | 212-652-2782