Summary Judgment Materials in Bivens Action by Estatet of Deceased Indian Graverobber

Here are the materials in Estate of Redd v. Love (D. Utah):

60-1 Motion to Dismiss

64 Opposition

69 Reply

76 DCT Order on Summary J

An excerpt:

This case arises following the tragic suicide of Dr. James D. Redd after his arrest for trafficking in stolen Native American artifacts, theft of government property, and theft of tribal property. The Estate of Dr. Redd brings this Bivens action against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Agents Daniel Love and Dan Barnes. The Estate of Dr. Redd asserts that Agent Love and Agent Barnes violated Dr. Redd’s constitutional rights [2]  by: (1) providing false information to obtain a warrant for Dr. Redd’s arrest and authorizing a search of his home; (2) using the illegally obtained search warrant to search Dr. Redd’s home; (3) using excessive force against Dr. Redd primarily by sending approximately 140 agents, many of whom were heavily armed and clothed in flak jackets, to raid and search Dr. Redd’s home; (4) violating Dr. Redd’s equal protection rights; and (5) violating Dr. Redd’s right to due process.

Defendants move to dismiss, arguing qualified immunity shields them from Dr. Redd’s claims. After careful consideration and for the reasons stated below, the court finds that Agent Love and Agent Barnes are entitled to qualified immunity on Plaintiffs’ first, second, fourth, and fifth causes of action because Dr. Redd has failed to allege enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. But, the court finds that Dr. Redd has pleaded facts that, if true, are sufficient to show that officials violated Dr. Redd’s clearly established constitutional right of protection against excessive force when Defendants employed between about 80 to 140 agents to raid and search Dr. Redd’s home.


In January 1996, the Redds visited and collected Native American artifacts from an area they believed to be privately owned. Unbeknownst to the Redds, the BLM map they relied on was inaccurately drawn. The Redds were, in fact, collecting Native American artifacts from Cottonwood Wash, a Hopi ancestral burial ground. The Redds were arrested and charged with desecration of a human body. The arrest ultimately resulted in Mrs. Redd entering an Alford Plea in which she admitted no criminal conduct, and agreed to pay $10,000 to settle a civil suit related to the act. The state dropped all charges against Dr. Redd.