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Can I sue internal border patrol for violation of fourth amendment or harassment?

Baton Rouge, LA |

I was stopped at an internal border patrol in texas along hwy10. I had a dog n my vehicle that barked at their drug dog and they pulled me over for a secondary search. they discovered 2 roaches in my center console, gave them back to me and told me to get rid of them. I asked to dispose of them there and they told me no. I got off the next exit and threw out the roaches as I was instructed to do and told my boyfriend who was traveling with me what happened. We continued on our way only to be pulled over 20 minutes later where i was ordered to exit my vehicle and the male agent said he needed to search me. he performed a strip search on me ( female) on the side of the road. he intructed my boyfriend to keep driving. I had to show him my breasts. he then let me go. there is more...

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

See a local attorney to discuss your story, your evidence and your options.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

Asker

Posted

No lawyers in FLorida will help because it didnt happen in Florida which is the state I was moving to. Every lawyer says to speak to a local Texas attorney because they know the laws/regulations. Only one lawyer out of the 15 civil lawyers I contacted called me back and referred me to a texas civil rights group that may be interested but no call back from them either. No personal injury lawyers want it because I dont have 'damages'. Guess these border patrol will just get away with sexually harassing woman on the side of the road because unless there is money to be made no one wants to fight it.... it saddens me that this is the case and that these guys can abuse their power and KNOW that no one is gonna stop them. Called border patrol to obtain copy of surveillance and they wouldnt give me a copy or tell me the name of the agent that I can point out in that video as the one who did the strip search. Feeling completely helpless and violated.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Understandable. As a practical matter, a lawyer would have to donate tens of thousands of dollars to you--or bill you tens of thousands of dollars--to get your case going. As a matter of economics, its a non-starter for a firm or an solo practitioner. The civil rights group is likely the best way ahead--call them again, and again....whatever it takes. One question: Did you call the police or report the abuse when it happened or close thereafter? Undoubtedly, the Border Patrol will have a different version of events.

Asker

Posted

I understand that as well and I sure dont have 10's of thousands of dollars to put toward the matter. Just frustrated. i reported the incident 2 days after it happened once I was safely out of the state of texas. I think going to the press would have a bigger impact than the legal avenue. Called border patrol again today and they stated and exterior agencies that handles complaints is taking the complaint seriously and an investigator will be in touch with me soon. he gave me his direct number to call back and check on the status of the case. Thank you I will keep calling that civil rights group to see where it can go. I know its my word against his. Its unfortunate. maybe good morning america or the Today show whould have an interest in this story and i can blow it up that way. Who knows. I'll keep trying. Thanks for your help ;)

Posted

Please get to an attorney quickly. This situation is probably actionable. It would not surprise me to learn that the agents had been in contact with each other and were laughing at what they got away with. The best thing to do is look for an attorney who handles personal injury and criminal defense.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239

Posted

I would suggest that you quickly see a local personal injury attorney and tell him/her your story. I would suggest that you request that the attorney quickly obtain any and all surveillance footage of the incident and/or get a spoliation notice out to the parties involved. If there is a tape, you may certainly have a strong claim under state and/or federal laws. The importance is to pursue this matter quickly and make sure you have your dates and times correct so that your attorney can pursue the correct evidence.

Asker

Posted

I keep hearing yes you have a case but this office is not willing to take it at this time. Personal injury lawyers want nothing to do with it and no one wants to go up against the Feds.

Posted

I would suggest that you quickly see a local personal injury attorney and tell him/her your story. I would suggest that you request that the attorney quickly obtain any and all surveillance footage of the incident and/or get a spoliation notice out to the parties involved. If there is a tape, you may certainly have a strong claim under state and/or federal laws. The importance is to pursue this matter quickly and make sure you have your dates and times correct so that your attorney can pursue the correct evidence.

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