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Friday, June 29, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Medlock v. Trustees of Ind. Univ. (SD Ind., Pratt), a 4-page opinion, Circuit Judge Bauer writes:

This case stems from the search of a student’s dorm room at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The plaintiff-appellant, Zachary Medlock, sought a preliminary injunction in district court to prevent enforcement of his one-year suspension from the University. Specifically, he asserts that the search of his room by state school officials (and later the campus police) violated the Fourth Amendment, and he claims that the University’s suspension proceedings abridged his right to procedural due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court disagreed and denied his request for a preliminary injunction. Medlock now appeals, and we dismiss the request for a preliminary injunction as moot. * * *

The only issue before us on this appeal is the denial of a preliminary injunction which sought to prevent the enforcement of an academic suspension. That suspension was to last for one academic year, and it went into effect on March 11, 2011. At oral argument in this matter on February 21, 2012, we confirmed that even were we to take immediate action to enjoin Medlock’s suspension, he would not have been able to re-enroll and begin classes midway through the spring 2012 semester. The term of the suspension has now expired. Thus, 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. And there are no other issues before us on this appeal—e.g., no request for damages or declaratory relief. Because we are unable to grant any effectual relief, the request for a preliminary injunction is dismissed as moot.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 29, 2012 01:57 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions