Anibowei v. Morgan, No. 20-10059 (5th Cir., appeal filed Jan. 17, 2020); Anibowei v. Wolf, Civil Action No. 3:16-CV-3495 (N.D. Tex., filed Dec. 23, 2016)
Anibowei filed a lawsuit to challenge the actions of the CBP officers—and the underlying CBP and ICE directives—as violative of the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). He sought damages under Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents as well as injunctive and declaratory relief. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint. On February 14, 2019, the court dismissed Anibowei’s claims under Bivens as improperly pled, with leave to replead. On March 14, 2019, Anibowei filed a second amended complaint, and shortly thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment and for a preliminary injunction. On January 14, 2020, the district court denied Anibowei’s motions for partial summary judgment and a preliminary injunction.
George Anibowei—a U.S. citizen and licensed attorney based in Dallas, Texas—was repeatedly stopped and questioned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers when returning to the United States from international travel. On several such occasions, CBP officers also searched Anibowei’s cellphone and copied the cellphone’s contents without a warrant. CBP conducted these nonconsensual searches of Anibowei’s cellphone in accordance with CBP and ICE internal directives that permit the search of electronic devices at the border without individualized suspicion.
On January 17, 2020, Anibowei appealed the district court’s decision, asking the Fifth Circuit to rule on whether searching a cellphone without exigent circumstances or a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment, even if said search is conducted at the U.S. border. On December 3, 2020, the Fifth Circuit heard oral argument in this case. No opinion has been issued.
- Amended Complaint
- Order on Motion to Dismiss
- Second Amended Complaint
- Brief in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Preliminary Injunction
- Order on Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion for Preliminary Injunction
- Amicus Brief of Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Counsel: Arnold & Porter
Contact: Andrew Tutt | Andrew.email@example.com