How long can US customs detain a US citizen who is reentering the country?

Don’t need an answer fast; you aren’t my lawyer, etc.

Assuming someone is a US citizen who has nothing to declare and has no warrants out for his or her arrest, how long can they detain that person before such a detention becomes unreasonable in the eyes of the law (as in, you could sue for violation of civil rights, and win)?

Making a college beer run to Canada, which failed because 1:- we were on foot, 2: there was no place within miles to buy beer, we were denied entry into Canada, well strongly suggsted may be the more correct term. Upon return we were detained by the US customs for perhaps 45 minutes. This was at a ferry crossing. My take is they wanted to know why we returned so fast but they chose to let the car traffic be inspected first.

It was the time I was stuck on that little black line we all see on the map.

Did you try the tourist store at the border near customs? I recall that in British Columbia they at least had some whiskey for sale although I don’t remember any beer.

Returning after an extremely enjoyable week in Jamaica I was detained an hour, which was exactly long enough to make me miss my connecting flight.

Border officials have been endowed with superhuman powers to detain whomever they please for whatever reason, and in practice, it is not challengeable.

My 65-year-old wife was detained at the Mexican border for more than two hours and fined $300 cash on the spot, because she had overlooked an orange that was rolling around in the clutter in the back of her van. Protests, even to our congressman (Ron Paul) , fell on deaf ears.

Does the detaining officer have reasonable suspicion? Probable cause? No reason at all? “…there is no rigid time limit on an investigatory detention.” United States v. Sharpe, 470 U.S. 675, 685 (1985). Investigatory detention requires reasonable suspicion. The reasonableness of the time period involved depends on the totality of the circumstances. United States v. Maltais, 403 F.3d 550, 557 (8th Cir. 2005).