Abdus-Shahid M.S. Ali (plaintiff) was a federal prisoner. When Ali was transferred to a new prison facility, some of Ali’s personal belongings went missing. These items were of personal and religious significance and included a copy of the Qur’an and a prayer rug. Ali sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) (defendant) and BOP’s officers (defendants), alleging violations of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671. The trial court determined that the claims were barred, because the FTCA did not permit claims against all law enforcement officers for the detention of property. Ali appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which affirmed. Ali then petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.