Search and Seizure case
The Supreme Court just handed down a ruling on a hyper-technical point -- but what happened to the people involved is worth noting, in terms of how easily the government can stomp the innocent.
Appellees ran a home-based software company. Someone stole the husband's credit card number, and used it to subscribe to a child-porn website. Customs Service raided the website, traced credit card numbers used to purchase the child porn, traced the appellees' number, and got a search warrant to raid their home for evidence of the pornography. They seized all of appellees' computer equipment.
No porn was found, of course, but when the computer equipment was returned, several hard drives were kaput, and somehow all data (including software, trade secrets, and account information) had been erased. Appellees had to go out of business. [I'm left wondering how Customs managed to erase all the data, when presumably the first step in investigating the contents for evidence would be to make backup copies -- can't help but wonder if it was intentional, a bit of "I'll teach these people a lesson."]
Having been ruined, for no better reason than that they were victims of identity theft, they sued, but under their first suit (under the Federal Tort Claims Act) the government won dismissal on a legal ground. They filed a second suit, under Bivens constitutional tort theory, and the government tried to get it dismissed under a FTCA provision that says any loss in an FTCA suit is a "complete bar" to any other redress. Fortunately, the government lost, but it took it all the way to the Supremes. I don't even want to think what this couple's legal fees are going to be -- and this involves people who were indisputably innocent of anything!
[Update with regard Steve's comment: yep, I think that's the legal setting (altho I did just skim the legal aspects). Supreme Court ultimately holds that the gov't can't take an appeal while the case is pending (normally you're expected to seek a final resolution of the case before appealling, tho there are exceptions -- and if the gov't had won dismissal, the case would indeed be over and appealable, but it lost the motion so the case went on).
So it's taken a Supreme Court appeal (cost in the tens of thousands, or if contingency fee, plaintiffs' attorney is out tens of thousands of time) just to confirm that yes, plaintiffs have a right to bring suit against the government.
Federal Tort Claims Act is so technical at times -- it's easy to lose what would be a simple case against a non-government abuser -- no way to guess who'll ultimately win.]