18, 1972. Mr. Vorhauer filed a notice of appeal of Chief Judge Lord's order two days later on November 20, 1972, but this was dismissed by the Court of Appeals as untimely. Plaintiff filed a motion in that court for reconsideration of the dismissal of his appeal and for a stay of Chief Judge Lord's order, but those were also denied, the Court of Appeals noting that the property had already been destroyed and that Mr. Vorhauer might have a remedy in the district court. Thereafter, plaintiffs instituted the instant suit.
II. The Claim Against the Individual Agents
The substantive basis for recovery against the FBI agents is Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S. Ct. 1999, 29 L. Ed. 2d 619 (1971), which allows damage actions to be brought against federal officers for violations of fourth amendment rights. As noted earlier, jurisdiction for this claim is founded upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331, which requires the amount in controversy to be over $10,000. After careful consideration of the entire record in this case, I conclude that plaintiffs' claim against the FBI agents must be dismissed for failure to satisfy this jurisdictional amount. In reaching this result, I am not unmindful of the solicitous attitude which courts have taken in placing a "value" on the deprivation of constitutional rights. See generally 14 C. Wright, A. Miller and E. Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3709 (1976). Nonetheless, in the unique circumstances of this case I am convinced to a legal certainty that plaintiffs have not sustained injury equal to or greater than $10,000. See St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Company v. Red Cab Company, 303 U.S. 283, 58 S. Ct. 586, 82 L. Ed. 845 (1938).
Even accepting all the allegations of the complaint as true, the invasion of fourth amendment rights for which the plaintiffs may recover against the FBI agents is exceedingly minor. The reason is that the invasion of privacy entailed in the entry and search of plaintiffs' home were carried out pursuant to a duly authorized search warrant. There are no allegations that the warrant was issued on the basis of false statements, deliberate or otherwise, made by the agents to the magistrate. Rather, the only claim of illegality is that the information which was presented to the magistrate did not amount to probable cause for the search. In effect, the plaintiffs contend that the magistrate committed an error of legal judgment in issuing the warrant. But even if the magistrate should not have issued it, the agents were entitled to rely on the authority to search which the warrant conferred, at least in the absence of allegations, not present here, that it was facially defective. It is thus clear that the plaintiffs may not recover against the agents for the invasion of constitutionally protected privacy entailed in their entering the Vorhauers' residence to execute the search warrant. See, e.g., Commonwealth ex rel. Feiling v. Sincavage, 439 F.2d 1133 (3d Cir. 1971).
Moreover, the Vorhauers may not recover against the agents on the theory that the search they conducted was more intrusive than necessary. This is not a case in which the officers continued the search after finding the items named in the warrant. Compare United States v. Highfill, 334 F. Supp. 700 (E.D. Ark. 1971). Here the agents never did find the item named in the warrant and so were entitled to continue searching until they had exhausted all possible areas of the residence where it might have been concealed. See Y. Kamisar, W. LaFave & J. Israel, Modern Criminal Procedure p. 264 (4th ed. 1974); Comment, 7 Conn. L. Rev. 346, 356 (1975). Since the handcuffs were small they might have been hidden in any area of the residence where the items that were in fact seized were found. Thus the plaintiffs have no claim against the agents for the search of these areas.
It appears, then, that the only injury suffered by the plaintiffs which could possibly be charged to the officers is the deprivation of property which resulted from their seizure of the items not named in the warrant.
The combined value of the seized items hardly approaches $10,000. as plaintiffs implicitly admit by claiming only $2000. from the United States as compensation for their outright destruction. See part III of this opinion infra. Furthermore, the agents may not be held liable for the total value of the seized goods since their destruction was not brought about by those officers. At most, the officers can only be held responsible for the plaintiffs' being deprived of their property from the date of the seizure, February 25, 1970, until Chief Judge Lord signed the order of destruction on September 7, 1972, a period of approximately 30 months. It is inconceivable that the Vorhauers' loss of use of the seized items for this period of time would entitle them to a recovery equal to or exceeding $10,000. I therefore will dismiss the complaint against the agents because the plaintiffs have failed to satisfy the jurisdictional amount requirement of Section 1331.
III. The Claim Against the United States
Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages of $2000. from the United States based on the claim that the destruction of the seized items pursuant to Chief Judge Lord's order of September 7, 1972, amounted to a deprivation of their property without due process of law and a "taking" without just compensation in violation of the fifth amendment. Since this is a claim for less than $10,000. "founded upon the Constitution," the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(2), clearly gives this court subject matter jurisdiction. Neely v. United States, 546 F.2d 1059 (3d Cir. 1976), slip op. at 6. But as the Supreme Court noted in United States v. Testan, 424 U.S. 392, 96 S. Ct. 948, 953, 47 L. Ed. 2d 114 (1976), "the Tucker Act . . . is itself only a jurisdictional statute; it does not create any substantive right enforcible against the United States for money damages." In order to recover damages against the United States, plaintiffs must overcome the obstacle of sovereign immunity by showing that the United States has agreed specifically to be sued for money damages in a situation like this. Duarte v. United States, 532 F.2d 850, 852 (2d Cir. 1976). The mere assertion that substantive constitutional rights have been violated is insufficient to meet this burden:
In a suit against the United States there cannot be a right to money damages without a waiver of sovereign immunity, and we regard as unsound the amici's argument that all substantive rights of necessity create a waiver of sovereign immunity such that money damages are available to redress their violation.