Presentation on theme: "New Jersey V.S T.L.O. Argued March 28, 1984 Reargued Oct 2, 1984 Decided Jan 15, 1985."— Presentation transcript:
New Jersey V.S T.L.O. Argued March 28, 1984 Reargued Oct 2, 1984 Decided Jan 15, 1985
Cases prior In Weeks v. United States, 1914, the Court ruled that evidence obtained by police illegally is not admissible in federal court—a practice known as the exclusionary rule. The Court decided that such evidence is also inadmissible in State courts in Mapp v. Ohio, 1961. The Supreme Court extended 4th Amendment protections to include not only tangible property Also intangible items obtained without a warrant, such as phone conversations (Katz v. United States, 1967). However, the 4th Amendment does not apply to such items as garbage placed on a curb (California v. Greenwood, 1988)
Constitutional issue T.L.O. or Tracey Lois Odem tried to convince a jury that her 4 th amendment was violated. The 4 th amendment is 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'
Background In 1980, a teacher at Piscataway High School in Middlesex County, New Jersey, found T.L.O. and another girl smoking in a restroom, a place that was by school rule a nonsmoking area. The two girls were taken to the principal's office where T.L.O.'s friend admitted that she had been smoking in the restroom. T.L.O. denied smoking there and to smoking at all. An assistant vice-principal demanded to see T.L.O.'s purse. Searching through it he found a pack of cigarettes. He also found rolling papers, a pipe, marijuana, a large wad of dollar bills, and two letters that indicated that T.L.O. was involved in marijuana dealing at the high school.
Her drugs were confiscated and she was escorted down to the police headquarters where she confessed to dealing drugs in the high school. Due to the evidence and confession that followed T.L.O. the State brought delinquency charges against T. L. O. in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Middlesex County T.L.O tried to then supress the evidence by saying her confession was tainted by the unlawfully search
T.L.O. 14 year old, female student, at Piscataway High School
Majority opinion: key points Both the juvenile courts and the supreme court both agreed that T.L.O.’s 4 th amendment was not violated, even though Mr. Choplick pulled her pack of cigarettes out of her purse The supreme court also agreed with the lower courts that the 4 th amendment does apply searches conducted by school officials
Not everything was agreed “The court also rejected the State of New Jersey's argument that the exclusionary rule should not be employed to prevent the use in juvenile proceedings of evidence unlawfully seized by school officials. Declining to consider whether applying the rule to the fruits of searches by school officials would have any deterrent value, the court held simply that the precedents of this Court establish that "if an official search violates constitutional rights, the evidence is not admissible in criminal proceedings."
Concurring Justice Powell (joined by Justice O'Connor) stated that while he agreed with the Court's opinion, he felt that students in primary and secondary educational settings should not be afforded the same level of protection for search and seizures as adults and juveniles in non-school settings. Justice O'ConnorJustice O'Connor
Dissenting "Today's decision sanctions school officials to conduct fullscale searches on a "reasonableness" standard whose only definite content is that it is not the same test as the "probable cause" standard found in the text of the Fourth Amendment. In adopting this unclear, unprecedented, and unnecessary departure from generally applicable Fourth Amendment standards, the Court carves out a broad exception to standards that this Court has developed over years of considering Fourth Amendment problems. Its decision is supported neither by precedent nor even by a fair application of the "balancing test of power" it proclaims in this very opinion." - Justice Brennan joined by Justice Marshall
Ruling We are satisfied that, when a school official has reasonable grounds to believe that a student possesses evidence of illegal activity or activity that would interfere with school discipline and order, the school official has the right to conduct a reasonable search for such evidence – Supreme Court
R.R. (Ryan’s Reflection) I feel the decision made by the lower and Supreme courts were justified Mr. Choplick had the right due to probable cause to search T.L.O.’s purse. Evidence was found due to the search and so she got her punishment. Which ended up being a year on probation, no jail time.