Clark v. Wolf

Clark v. Wolf, No. 3:20-cv-1436 (D. Or., filed Aug. 24, 2020)

In July 2020, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers—in concert with other federal and local law enforcement officers—used violent crowd control devices on nonviolent protestors during ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, Oregon. This included the use of tear gas, pepper-spray balls, rubber bullets, and flashbangs, which disoriented and injured many protestors.

Four individuals who had participated in the protests brought a putative class action against federal law enforcement officers, seeking damages under Bivens for the physical and mental harms they had suffered from the defendants’ actions. Additionally, the plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment that the use of tear gas on peaceful protestors violates the First Amendment.

On February 3, 2022, the district court dismissed the plaintiffs’ damages claims on the basis that special factors counseled against the extending of Bivens to the context of plaintiffs’ claims. A rule 54(b) judgment issued, which plaintiffs appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

On June 27, 2022, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case and the pending appeal.


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