Back in October 2009, I blogged about a lawsuit alleging Owensboro Public Schools in Kentucky violated a student’s constitutional rights and its own district policies in conducting a warrantless cellphone search and then expelling the student. Somewhere between then and now, I missed the court opinion’s in the case, but apparently, they had granted the district’s request for summary judgement and dismissed the case. The student, G.C., appealed, and yesterday, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its ruling:
G.C. appeals the district court’s resolution of three of his claims: (1) his due process claim, in which he argues that he was denied a hearing prior to expulsion as required by Kentucky statute; (2) his Fourth Amendment claim based on the September 2009 search, in which he contends that school officials violated his constitutional rights when they read text messages on his phone without the requisite reasonable suspicion; and (3) his Rehabilitation Act claim, in which he argues that the defendants failed to identify him as disabled under § 504.
For the reasons stated below, we REVERSE the district court’s grant of summary judgment on G.C.’s due-process claim and on G.C.’s Fourth Amendment claim based on the September 2009 search. We AFFIRM the district court’s grant of summary judgment on G.C.’s Rehabilitation Act claim. We REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
You can read the full opinion here (pdf).
h/t, Kurt Opsahl