Hendricks v woods

Date of opinion

Roy Hendricks brought a Bivens action against Walter Saroka and Jerry Woods, Special Agents for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, alleging violation of rights securied under the Fourth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgement in favor of Saroka and Woods, and Hendricks appeals (current case).
Over a period of five months in late 1980, Walter Saroka, working in an undercover capacity for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and posing as an east coast ivory buyer, made several purchases of illegal ivory from Roy Hendricks. All of the sales took place in the basement of Hendricks' residence in Anchorage, Alaska. On each visit, Saroka observed various piles of untagged and illegal ivory walrus tusks lying in plain view in Hendricks' basement. Based on the information gathered during his several visits to Hendricks' residence, Saroka obtained a search warrant for the premises.
On February 4, 1981, Woods and three other officers executed the search warrant without incident. Hendricks was tried and, based upon the evidence gathered during the search of his residence, assessed a civil penalty for three violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 16 U.S.C. §1361, et seq. In a separate action, Hendricks was ordered to forfeit items seized during the search. Both the forfeiture and civil penalty have been upheld on appeal.
During the pendency of the forfeiture and civil penalty actions, Hendricks filed suit in district court against the United States, three Doe defendants and appellees Woods and Saroka in their individual capacities. The complaint alleged one cause of action sounding in tort and one for violation of Hendricks' “civil rights.” In a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12, the government asserted that Hendricks failed to state a claim under any civil rights statute. Hendricks, in his Oppositionto Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, acknowledged that no claim was stated under a civil rights statute but characterized his claim as one sounding in a Bivens-type action. The district court dismissed Hendricks' complaint, but permitted him to amend the complaint to include any claim of deprivation of a constitutional right under Bivens.
Judgment and reasoning:
The only ground Hendricks asserts on appeal for the warrant's invalidity is his assertion that the agents, in support of their motion for summary judgment, did not present an affidavit by Saroka. In this, Hendricks seriously misrepresents the record. Saroka's affidavit in support of the warrant was presented as part of the agents' moving papers in their motion for summary judgment. Hendricks further argued in the district court that Saroka fraudulently obtained the warrant because he induced Hendricks to sell ivory by representing himself as a licensed dealer. Just how this could have had any effect on the validity of the warrant was never explained. This argument is not renewed on appeal.
In support of his argument that items seized in the search of his residence exceeded the scope of the warrant, Hendricks argues that “[n]umerous items [which were] seized” in the search had been acquired by him before the Marine Mammal Protection Act was enacted. This has nothing to do with whether the scope of the warrant was exceeded.
Hendricks also makes reference in his brief on appeal to the proposition that if there are genuine issues of material fact which are in dispute, summary judgment is not an appropriate remedy. He provides nothing, however, to show that there is any genuine issue of material fact in dispute in this case. Finally, while he frames three issues as the issues on appeal, he offers only vague and meritless arguments in support of them.
The result in this case is obvious. Hendricks' arguments on appeal are wholly without merit. Sanctions are appropriate, and we award them against both Hendricks and his counsel in the aggregate sum of $2,500, plus double costs. (Provided by: UNODC SHERLOC)

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