In this case, six FBI agents entered Webster Biven's apartment without a search or arrest warrant. After they searched his apartment the agents arrested Bivens for violating federal drug laws and handcuffed him in the presence of his wife and children. He was taken to jail where he was interrogated, fingerprinted, photographed, subjected to search of his person, and booked. Bivens claimed these events caused him "great humiliation, embarrassment, and mental suffering" and would continue.
The Court then created a law, constitutional tort, to provide a right to sue federal officers for violations of plaintiffs constitutional rights. In these "Bivens actions," plaintiffs have to prove two elements: Officers were acting "under color of authority" or the appearance of power.Officers' actions deprived the plaintiff of a constitutional right.