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Indianapolis – A woman who was detained without cause at Indianapolis International Airport has filed suit saying federal officials violated her constitutional rights.
The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of Christine Von Der Haar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. In June of 2012, Von Der Haar accompanied a friend to the airport’s office of Customs and Border Protection to pick up computer equipment he had shipped separately when he flew to Indianapolis a few days earlier. The customs agent, after asking the couple if they were planning to marry, questioned them separately about email communications and the nature of their relationship, and confined Dr. Von Der Haar in a guarded room for more than 20 minutes.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
"This case raises troubling issues about the power of the government to detain and question citizens," said ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Kenneth Falk, who represents Von Der Haar.
The lawsuit, Christine Von Der Haar v. Sherlana Lieba, Mr. Combsaclu, Cause No. No. 1:14-cv-247, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Feb. 19, 2014.