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NJ V. T.L.O.

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NJ V. T.L.O. - Page Text Content

FC: New Jersey v. T.L.O. | Brit Kern Mike Boyle

1: Location: High School in Piscataway, New Jersey

2: High school math teacher, Lenore Chen, walked into the girl's bathroom and saw two girls holding what she thought to be two light cigarettes. | HOW IT BEGAN

4: The teacher escorted the two girls to the principal’s office because smoking was permitted outside in designated areas in the school but not in the bathroom. | One girl admitted that she was smoking once caught, but 14 year old T.L.O. did not admit and said she does not even smoke.

6: Mr. Choplick, the vice principal, thought he had consent to search T.L.O.'s purse because she was in school. Once he saw a pack of cigarettes in plain view, the principal proceeded to search the rest of the girls purse. | In the purse he found rolling papers, bag of what he believed to be marijuana, list of names and amount of money people owed her for "joints." This indicated to the principal she was selling drugs.

8: The principal, Mr. Choplick, first contacted T.L.O.'s mother then called in the police. The girls mother agreed to take her to the police station where she signed a document and answered questions without an attorney present. T.L.O confessed to selling marijuana to people at school.

10: T.L.O received three days of suspension for smoking in the bathroom and another seven days for possession of drugs on school property. | The Family hired attorney Frederick A. Simon to represent their daughter in the case.

12: State of New Jersey brought delinquency charges against T.L.O. in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Middlesex County

13: T.L.O. wanted the evidence from her purse thrown out due to it possibly violating her fourth amendment right of unlawful search and seizure. | She also believed her confession should not be allowed to be used due to it being tainted by the unlawful search of her items.

14: The court rejected her argument saying her fourth amendment was violated. | The court did state that the fourth amendment does apply to searches by schools.

15: Also stated is "reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is in the process of being committed, or reasonable cause to believe that the search is necessary to maintain school discipline or enforce school policies

16: By the juvenile court the search was found to be reasonable due to finding the girls in the bathroom smoking. | Then after seeing the marijuana in the girls purse a further search was warranted by the evidence that had just been found.

17: T.L.O appealed to the appellate division where they ruled there had been no violation of the fourth amendment but the fifth amendment could have possibly been violated with her confession. | Then T.L.O. appealed again the ruling on the fourth amendment all the way to the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

18: The Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed the appellate division's ruling and said the items found in her purse were not allowed to be used in court.

19: The Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled the search of her purse was not reasonable due to the possession of cigarettes not being completely banned from school. | In 1983 the Supreme Court of New Jersey made a petition for certiorari which states that a higher court is needed for a decision.

20: In 1983, the Supreme Court of the United States of America granted the petition from New Jersey for certiorari and in 1985 the court gave its final decision. | The supreme court justice was Warren Burger.

21: The Supreme court ruled by a margin of 6-3 for New Jersey. | Stated a school official may use probable cause if they believe a crime had been committed | The search of the purse was reasonable under this interpretation of the fourth amendment.

22: Citations: | Persico, Deborah A. New Jersey v, T.L.O. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, 1998. Print. &tbnh=71&tbnw=161&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:15,s:102,i:90


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  • By: Brit K.
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  • Title: NJ V. T.L.O.
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  • Published: almost 6 years ago