Dietchweiler v. Lucas, No. 15-1489 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
After he was temporarily suspended from Watseka Community High School for allegedly consuming or possessing drugs, Dietchweiler filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the defendants violated his due process rights, with state law claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, slander, and violations of the Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS 5/10-22.6, which provides procedures for suspending and expelling students. The district court granted the defendants summary judgment on the due process claim and dismissed the state law claims without prejudice. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The administrators explained to Dietchwieler and his parents the general nature of the charges against him and provided him with a written suspension notice. Most of Dietchweiler’s complaints about the hearing relate to the defendants’ alleged failure to follow their own published policies and procedures, but failure to follow state statutes or state-mandated procedures does not amount to a federal due process claim of constitutional magnitude. While the Board disbelieved the evidence he presented, due process does not guarantee that his version of events will be believed.