7th Circuit tosses IU dorm-search lawsuit

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An Indiana University student’s federal lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent his one-year suspension was dismissed Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court in a brief opinion ruled that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the case was moot because the student had served his suspension and therefore an injunction, even if granted, would have no force.

In Zachary Medlock v. Trustees of Indiana University, 11-3288, Zachary Medlock argued that a search of his room in the Willkie Residence Center violated his rights under the Fourth and 14th Amendments.

On March 9, 2011, as part of a routine “health and safety inspection,” two university resident assistants searched Medlock’s dorm room for safety hazards. Medlock was not present at the time of the search. When the RAs entered the room, they discovered marijuana in plain sight, and they notified university police.

Medlock subsequently was suspended for a year and unsuccessfully exhausted I.U.’s appeal process before he filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, where his request for an injunction was denied.
Judge William Bauer wrote that the court didn’t need to examine the District Court’s determination that neither of Medlock’s rights violations claims had a reasonable likelihood of success.

“We need not consider these issues; we lack subject-matter jurisdiction in this appeal and therefore must dismiss it,” Bauer wrote. “Article III of the Constitution limits federal courts’ scope of judicial review to live cases and controversies. … Even if we were to decide that Medlock’s constitutional rights had been violated, a preliminary injunction would do him no good. There is simply nothing left to enjoin.”



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.