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Bell v. Hood

United States Supreme Court
327 U.S. 678, 66 S.Ct. 773 (1946)


Hood and certain other Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and police officers (defendants) arrested and imprisoned Bell and others (plaintiffs). The defendants also searched the plaintiffs’ homes, and seized possessions belonging to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs brought suit against the defendants to recover damages in excess of the then jurisdictional amount for federal question cases. In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the court’s jurisdiction is founded upon federal questions arising under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The plaintiffs argue that they were arrested and imprisoned in violation of their constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment to be free from deprivation of liberty without due process, and that the defendants’ search of their homes and seizure of their possessions violated their constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. The court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

Dissent (Stone, C.J.)

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