Von Der Haar v. Leiba, et al.

Von Der Haar v. Leiba, et al., No. 1:14-cv-247 (S.D. Ind., filed Feb. 19, 2014)

Ms. Christine Von Der Haar sued two CBP officers individually for their role in unlawfully detaining and questioning her at an airport in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.   Ms. Von Der Haar, a senior lecturer at Indiana University, accompanied a friend to the airport to pick up computer equipment he had shipped separately to the United States.  At the airport, she and her friend, who was in the United States on a valid B1/B2 visa, understood that they were there simply to pick up the computer equipment.  Instead, a CBP officer immediately asked them if they planned to marry.  They were then separated by CBP officers.  Ms. Von Der Haar was twice taken into a back room by the defendant officers, whom she believed were armed and who stood guard at the door and questioned her about her sexual relationship with her friend.  They specifically questioned her about their email communications.  Because the computer equipment shipped by the friend did not include his hard drive, the only way that the CBP officers could have known of the emails was if someone had surreptitiously monitored their communications.  Ms. Von Der Haar seeks compensatory damages for her unlawful detention.

A settlement conference was held on February 6, 2015, and resulted in the parties’ agreement on settlement terms. The case was dismissed with prejudice on April 14, 2015, with each party to bear its own costs.

Counsel: Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose | ACLU of Indiana

Contact: Kenneth Falk | ACLU of Indiana | 317-635-4105 | kfalk@aclu-in.org