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Landmark Cases: Search and Seizure New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)

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Presentation on theme: "Landmark Cases: Search and Seizure New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Landmark Cases: Search and Seizure New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)

2 Background Summary: New Jersey v. T.L.O Piscataway High School, NJ Two girls smoking in the restroom, one (T.L.O.) denies allegation AP, Theodore Choplick instructs T.L.O. to turn over her purse Choplick finds cigarettes, continues to search, finds rolling papers, and finds the following items:

3 A small amount of marijuana A pipe Empty plastic bags Significant amount of one dollar bills A list of students who owed T.L.O. money Letters implicating T.L.O

4 What happened next: T.L.O.’s mother came to school, and took her daughter to the police station T.L.O. confessed to the police about selling marijuana T.L.O. wanted the evidence suppressed because the search violated the Fourth Amendment

5 Juvenile Court of New Jersey: Fourth Amendment applies to school officials School official may search if it has “reasonable suspicion” That a crime has occurred That a crime will occur To maintain school discipline To enforce school policies

6 Question: How are schools different than the police when searching individuals? Police must use “probable cause” to search Schools need only “reasonable suspicion,” and can search as long as the search is reasonably conducted

7 Fourth Amendment “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search 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.”

8 Majority Opinion: Justice White School officials act as “representatives of the state” Warrants are “unsuited to the school environment” A search at school depends on “reasonableness” Searches at school should “not be excessively intrusive”

9 Assignment: At Boulder High School, $60,000 worth of surveillance equipment is able to keep track of students on school grounds, in the halls, and in class. In fact, the principal is able to manipulate the cameras to zoom in on groups and individuals. Is this constitutional? ½ to 1 page


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