Munns v. Kerry

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Standing
  • Date Filed: 03-20-2015
  • Case #: 12-15969
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Fisher for the Court; Circuit Judges Reinhardt and Berzon
  • Full Text Opinion

In order for a claim of relief to be granted, a plaintiff must show the potential for future harm they are likely to suffer if their claim is not granted.

Plaintiffs in this case are family members, and a fellow co-worker, of three individuals who were kidnapped and executed while in Iraq working in a private security firm. The plaintiffs allege that the kidnappings arose from the failure to prepare and supervise their employees while they were on duty in Iraq. They sought injunctive relief, and sued United States government officials for back pay and insurance proceeds of the deceased. The district court, among other things, dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims for lack of standing. On review, the Ninth Circuit agreed with the district court. The panel found that the plaintiffs were unlikely to be harmed by the State Department’s policies regarding immunity of security contractors. As a result, the panel determined that a co-worker’s fear of being kidnapped while working for the company was too speculative, so relief was not granted. Furthermore, the panel also found that the family members lacked standing, thereby dismissing their claims as well. AFFIRMED in part, VACATED in part and REMANDED.

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