Farid Khorrami, a lawful U.S. immigrant (and now, a U.S. citizen), filed suit seeking damages against FBI agents for months of unjustified detention and abusive physical treatment immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

Mr. Khorrami was taken into custody and had his immigration status revoked when the FBI erroneously believed that he might have some connection to the events of 9/11. Khorrami also had his pilot training certificate revoked and ultimately suffered a heart attack as a result of the wrongful detention. The government filed a motion to dismiss. In June 2007, the District Court dismissed some portions of the complaint, but denied the government’s motion to dismiss the Fifth Amendment due process claim. The government appealed the decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In August 2008, the Court of Appeals ruled in our favor and dismissed the government’s appeal. In July of 2009, we filed an amended complaint raising new claims based on additional discovery. We now allege that Khorrami’s detention was pursuant to FBI/INS policies established after 9/11 to use immigration procedures as a pretext to detain and investigate immigrants.

The defendants were granted a motion for summary judgment by the district court, based in part on its legal argument that people in immigration detention may not sue government officials for constitutional violations. We appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed the district court’s dismissal of our case, but did so in a ruling limited to the facts of the case.

Date filed

September 17, 2003


United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


Honorable James B. Zagel