Tlo Vs New Jersey Case Summary

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Case: New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985) Facts: A high school freshman (T.L.O) had her purse searched by the Assistant Vice Principal at her school because a teacher found her and another student smoking in the lavatory. The Assistant Vice Principal uncovered cigarettes and marijuana. Procedural history: T.L.O. motioned to suppress the evidence because her Fourth Amendment rights were violated and was denied by the Juvenile Court stating the search was reasonable. The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court agreed there was no violation of the Fourth Amendment. The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the decision stating the search was unreasonable. The State of New Jersey appealed with the U.S. Supreme Court. Legal Issue: Does the Assistant Vice Principal have reasonable grounds to search the purse of T.L.O.? Holding: (6-3) The search was reasonable and the judgement of the Supreme Court of New Jersey is …show more content…

School officials do not need warrants. They may conduct searches based on reasonableness if it pertains to maintaining the safety and discipline of the school. T.L.O. violating a school rule of smoking in the lavatory gave Assistant Vice Principal suspicion she was in possession of cigarettes. Upon finding cigarettes, the principal discovered rolling paper which is used for marijuana. This gave him reason and justification to search the remaining compartments of the purse. Concurrence: Justice Powell and Justice O’Connor agreed with the opinion of Justice White. Powell stated that the students are not afforded the same constitutional protections in school as they would have outside of school. Justice Blackmun also agreed with the majority but wanted to elaborate and put a highlight for a special exception to the Fourth Amendment because the teachers and school officials need to have discipline in schools to create a safe and productive learning

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