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Greenawalt v. Indiana Department of Corrections

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
397 F.3d 587 (7th Cir. 2005)


Facts

Kristin Greenawalt (plaintiff) was hired as a research analyst by the Indiana Department of Corrections (the Department) (defendant). After two years, the Department required Greenawalt to take a psychological test in order to retain her job. Greenawalt took the two-hour test, which examined Greenawalt’s personality traits, psychological adjustments, and health-related issues. Greenawalt later sued the Department and two Department officials in their individual capacities pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the psychological test was an unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Greenawalt sought damages and injunctive relief to require that the Department expunge the results of the psychological test from Greenawalt’s personnel file. The district court dismissed the suit, finding that the Department could not be sued under § 1983, because the Department was not a person. The district court also found that the individual defendants could not be sued, because the defendants were protected by the doctrine of official immunity. Greenawalt appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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