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Millbrook vs United States

Millbrook vs United States

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Published by aboynamedart
Opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas
Opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: aboynamedart on Mar 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/27/2013

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1
(Slip Opinion)
OCTOBER TERM, 2012Syllabus
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as isbeing done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has beenprepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.See
United States
v.
 Detroit Timber & Lumber Co.,
200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
Syllabus
MILLBROOK 
v
. UNITED STATES
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FORTHE THIRD CIRCUITNo. 11–10362. Argued February 19, 2013—Decided March 27, 2013The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives the Government’s sover-eign immunity from tort suits, but excepts from that waiver certainintentional torts, 28 U. S. C. §2680(h). Section §2680(h), in turn, con-tains a proviso that extends the waiver of immunity to claims for sixintentional torts, including assault and battery, that are based on the“acts or omissions” of an “investigative or law enforcement officer”
i.e.,
a federal officer “who is empowered by law to execute searches, toseize evidence, or to make arrests.” Petitioner Millbrook, a federalprisoner, sued the United States under the FTCA, alleging,
inter alia,
assault and battery by correctional officers. The District Courtgranted the Government summary judgment, and the Third Circuitaffirmed, hewing to its precedent that the “law enforcement proviso”applies only to tortious conduct that occurs during the course of exe-cuting a search, seizing evidence, or making an arrest.
Held
: The law enforcement proviso extends to law enforcement officers’acts or omissions that arise within the scope of their employment, re-gardless of whether the officers are engaged in investigative or lawenforcement activity, or are executing a search, seizing evidence, ormaking an arrest. The proviso’s plain language supports this conclu-sion. On its face, the proviso applies where a claim arises out of oneof six intentional torts and is related to the “acts or omissions” of an“investigative or law enforcement officer.” §2680(h). And by cross-referencing §1346(b), the proviso incorporates an additional require-ment that the “acts or omissions” occur while the officer is “actingwithin the scope of his office or employment.” §1346(b)(1). Nothingin §2680(h)’s text supports further limiting the proviso to conductarising out of searches, seizures of evidence, or arrests. The FTCA’sonly reference to those terms is in §2680(h)’s definition of “investiga-
 
 
2 MILLBROOK 
v.
UNITED STATESSyllabustive or law enforcement officer,” which focuses on the
status
of per-sons whose conduct may be actionable, not the types of activities thatmay give rise to a claim. This confirms that Congress intended im-munity determinations to depend on a federal officer’s legal author-ity, not on a particular exercise of that authority. Nor does the pro-viso indicate that a waiver of immunity requires the officer to beengaged in investigative or law enforcement activity. The text neveruses those terms. Had Congress intended to further narrow thewaiver’s scope, it could have used language to that effect. See
 Ali
v.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
, 552 U. S. 214, 227. Pp. 4
8.477 Fed. Appx. 4, reversed and remanded.T
HOMAS
, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
 
 
 _________________  _________________ 
1Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)Opinion of the Court
NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in thepreliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested tonotify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash-ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in orderthat corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
No. 11–10362
KIM MILLBROOK, PETITIONER
v.
UNITED STATES
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
 APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
[March 27, 2013]
J
USTICE
T
HOMAS
delivered the opinion of the Court.Petitioner Kim Millbrook, a prisoner in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), alleges that correc-tional officers sexually assaulted and verbally threatenedhim while he was in their custody. Millbrook filed suitin Federal District Court under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U. S. C. §§1346(b), 2671–2680 (FTCA or Act),which waives the Government’s sovereign immunity fromtort suits, including those based on certain intentional tortscommitted by federal law enforcement officers, §2680(h).The District Court dismissed Millbrook’s action, and theCourt of Appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals heldthat, while the FTCA waives the United States’ sovereignimmunity for certain intentional torts by law enforcementofficers, it only does so when the tortious conduct occurs inthe course of executing a search, seizing evidence, ormaking an arrest. Petitioner contends that the FTCA’swaiver is not so limited. We agree and reverse the judg-ment of the Court of Appeals.
1
 —————— 
1
Because no party defends the judgment, we appointed Jeffrey S.Bucholtz to brief and argue this case, as
amicus curiae
, in support of the judgment below. 568 U. S. ___ (2012).
 Amicus
Bucholtz has ably

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