SU Immune, Says Federal Judge
Williamsport, PA – Federal District Judge Matthew W. Brann has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit against Susquehanna University.
Former SU student Joseph Smith filed the civil rights suit after university security forcibly entered his home against his objections and confiscated property that was turned over to the police. Smith alleged that SU employees violated his 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.
On Monday, Judge Brann accepted the recommendation of Federal Magistrate Martin C. Carlson that the case be dismissed and that university security enjoyed immunity. Carlson’s earlier opinion had been tainted due to SU providing free staff to the magistrate’s office while the case was pending.
Although recent court decisions nationwide have eroded away traditional 4th Amendment protections for citizens, SU partnered with the Snyder County District Attorney’s Office in exploiting loopholes to convict students of minor marijuana possession charges. This past spring Selinsgrove student-residents took a visible stand against the university calling for reform of an out-of-control campus security office.