Applicability of the California Penal Code to Investigations Conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Headnotes: 

A federal law enforcement officer who must violate state criminal law in the course of performing his official duty is immune from criminal prosecution and civil liability stemming from such a violation.

An informer may claim immunity from civil liability under state law by virtue of the Supremacy Clause, and it would be unwise to base an informer’s defense on sovereign immunity, given the potential for government liability if the informer’s actions were to be characterized as those of a government employee.

Updated July 9, 2014