Mordi v. Zeigler

At 1:10 p.m. on March 12, 2009, Mordi, a Nigerian student at Southern Illinois University, and a passenger were traveling on Interstate 57. An Illinois state police car, driven by Trooper Zeigler, signaled for Mordi to pull over. Mordi complied. Zeigler approached and asked why the license plate was inside the windshield and stated that the car’s hood was not closed all the way. Zeigler asked Mordi about an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in a misdemeanor marijuana case. After issuing a warning citation, Zeigler asked Mordi if he could search the car; Mordi said no. About 20 minutes into the stop, Zeigler radioed for a drug‐sniffing dog, which arrived 10 minutes later and alerted. The officers found crack cocaine in Mordi’s bag in the back seat. Mordi pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute the cocaine and is serving a 120‐month sentence. In 2012, Mordi filed suit, pro se, under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The court screened Mordi’s complaint under 28 U.S.C. 1915A and dismissed all claims except those against three officers, which relied on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The Seventh Circuit held the officers were entitled to qualified immunity on those claims. The district court dismissed all claims against all parties and denied a motion to reconsider its section 1915A order. The Seventh Circuit reversed. Mordi’s Fourth Amendment claims that the officers engaged in impermissible racial profiling and unlawfully prolonged the stop may proceed. View "Mordi v. Zeigler" on Justia Law