Town Square

Post a New Topic

Court Rules on students'4th Amendment rights with drug dog

Original post made by Judge Judy, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2012



SPS Did NOT violate students'4th Amendment rights with drug sniffing dog search, court rules


Web Link

Comments (22)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm

The article talks about a school district in Virginia and about the ruling of a district (lower) court.

Virginia is not in the same circuit court as California. An appeal in Virginia would go to the 4th circuit court whereas California would go to the 9th circuit court:

Web Link

Only 3 circuit courts have dealt with this issue: the 5 and 7 circuit courts ruled it's okay to sniff students and backpacks and that it is not considered a search.

The 9th circuit, however, which is where California is, ruled that SNIFFING A STUDENT OR HIS/HER BACKPACK IS CONSIDERED A SEARCH.

Luckily, WE ARE IN CALIFORNIA.

Virginia (the lower court, not the circuit court) says it's okay and not a violation of 4th amendment rights to sniff students' possessions, BUT for California, the 9th circuit court ruled that is is NOT okay to sniff students' possessions without reasonable suspicion because the 9th circuit court consideres sniffing a SEARCH and therefore if done without probable cause, it is a violation of 4th amendment rights.

Look up the ruling of the applicable court to us (9th circuit). There are other forums where the links were posted, or you can search their site directly




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm

CORRECTION:

I wrote:

"Only 3 circuit courts have dealt with this issue: the 5 and 7 circuit courts ruled it's okay to sniff students and backpacks and that it is not considered a search.
The 9th circuit, however, which is where California is, ruled that SNIFFING A STUDENT OR HIS/HER BACKPACK IS CONSIDERED A SEARCH."
--------

SHOULD HAVE READ:


"Only 3 circuit courts have dealt with this issue: ONLY the 7th circuit court ruled it's okay to sniff students' backpacks and that it is not considered a search. "

"The 9th circuit, however, which is where California is, AS WELL AS the 5th circuit court, ruled that SNIFFING A STUDENT OR HIS/HER BACKPACK IS CONSIDERED A SEARCH."


Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

That is what I get for posting in a hurry:

After looking again at the link posted by "Judge Judy," it seems that the school district they are talking about is in MO, which is in the 8th circuit court of appeals.

Since the article states it was the ruling of a lower court, it remains to be seen what the court of appeals would say. And even then, it still would not apply to California, since we are in the 9th circuit:

"While the Seventh Circuit has held that canine sniffs
ordered by public school entities are not a search under the
Fourth Amendment, the Fifth and Ninth Circuits have held
that such canine sniffs are a search. Consequently, the Fourth
Amendment does not apply to suspicionless canine sniff
programs performed within the Seventh Circuit, but it would
regulate such programs within the Fifth and Ninth Circuits."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

If PUSD goes ahead with this policy, they can count on a lawsuit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vanessa
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:30 am

Fully support PUSD doing whatever it takes to protect students and keep drugs off campus. I also hope PUSD and the CA courts take note of the decisions other courts are making on this issue and aren't scared to take the threat of a lawsuit head-on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:49 am

The above referenced rules apply to sniffing of students and their backpacks. What is proposed in Pleasanton is sniffing cars and lockers, not students. Apples and oranges from a legal perspective. If the dogs indicate the presence of drugs while sniffing cars and lockers, that will provide justification for a further search.

I am not a lawyer, and I do not support sniffing dogs on campus, but I believe that PUSD is approaching this effort within the bounds of the law. If PUSD is sued, it will make new law.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:07 am

"I also hope PUSD and the CA courts take note of the decisions other courts are making on this issue and aren't scared to take the threat of a lawsuit head-on."

I hope so too, because:

1) The Washington Supreme Court ruled that drug sniffing dogs (school) violate 4th amendment rights

2) The Florida Supreme Court ruled against drug sniffing dogs (sniffing property) and case is currently in the Supreme Court

3) 9th circuit court (California) already ruled that sniffing a student or personal backpack is a search and a violation of 4th amendment rights if done without individual reasonable suspicion

4) 5th circuit court also ruled like the 9th circuit court


So far, only a lower court in MO and the 7th circuit court have ruled that it is okay to sniff students' property (backpacks).

If what was done in that school in MO, as stated in the article posted by "Judge Judy," were to happen here in PUSD, it would be a violation of 4th amendment rights as per the 9th circuit court's ruiling.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

"Fully support PUSD doing whatever it takes to protect students and keep drugs off campus."

That is a really stupid statement. That statement means that you would support murdering all the students to keep drugs off campus.

We live under the rule of law and the US constitution. With that comes responsibility and we can't just do "whatever it takes".

Both the PUSD and the Pleasanton Police department need to know that they will be sued if this policy is put in place.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by logical
a resident of Avila
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:12 am

Why is it such a problem for some to have a quick and simple check to ensure that the person is obeying the law and not carrying illegal drugs? Because it might be found that they are? Perhaps then, we should adopt the laws of Singapore: got drugs? Get death penalty.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:13 am

"What is proposed in Pleasanton is sniffing cars and lockers, not students. "

The problem is, what do they do if a dog "smells" something? The PW deleted a forum where there was an article that talked about dogs giving many false alerts at one school.

What then? Dogs smell something and now what? Search the student lockers without having suspicion other than the dogs' cues? What if there are no drugs found as it happened many times at a school (post deleted by PW)?

"If the dogs indicate the presence of drugs while sniffing cars and lockers, that will provide justification for a further search."

Really? Why? The reliability of the dogs has already been challenged in states like Washington, and now a Florida case is in the Supreme Court. The ACLU in Montana is challenging the sniffing of students' cars in the school parking lot.

". If PUSD is sued, it will make new law. "

Yes, and can PUSD afford that? I just got some emails from PPIE asking for money, and PUSD is already talking about budget cuts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:49 am

What is the big deal?? Does anybody who is against the dogs really understand what they are trying to accomplish? I don't see any of you bringing lawsuits against the TSA or the Federal Government over "searches" at the airports??? Just shut up and let the police make our schools safe.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

"Because it might be found that they are?"

No, because it can be wrong and can be abused. We have a bill of rights in this country for a reason. The framers of the constitution were very wise to put in the fourth amendment.

"we should adopt the laws of Singapore"

Please go to Singapore if that is what you want. I, for one, love America, and don't want to see her laws and constitution flouted.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fact Check
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:59 am

Resident,

Please try to get your information correct.

The Fifth Court of Appeals was a case related to dog sniff of the person.

The Ninth Court of Appeals aqnd Supreme Court, published "case law"
is as follows:

"In United States v. Place and United States v. Beale,
the United States Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court
of Appeals, respectively, had held that a canine sniff of
luggage was not a search under the Fourth Amendment."

NOT A SEARCH UNDER THE FOURT AMENDMENT

PUSD has NO intention of using dogs to sniff students.

Further,"Case Law" is not as straight forward as one might think. Talk to a Lawyer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:05 am

"What is the big deal??"

The big deal is that is fourth amendment to the constitution of the United States of America.

"I don't see any of you bringing lawsuits against the TSA or the Federal Government over "searches" at the airports??? "

Plenty of people are bringing lawsuits against the TSA.

Web Link

What they do at airports has a lot more to do with security theater than actually protecting people. We should be doing a lot more profiling at airports and a lot less inane searching.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

Patriot

Ok..... No dogs but, let's profile people at airports?


Sounds like you enjoy 'picking and choosing' the "rights" you believe in


Good Luck PUSD! Bring on the dogs


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

To "Huh",

How does profiling at airports violate the forth amendment?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peer pressure
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I agree with having the drug dogs. My main reason is that the kids at school have so many peer pressures and it would be great for a child that does not want to be involved with drugs to have a place to go to and know he is there to get an education and not be influenced by students about drugs during his or her school day. This is not a new problem - it is over 40 years old, but one step in the right direction is one that I admire the PUSD in taking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jan 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I am very willing to sign a document at the beginning of the school year that my child, their car and their backpack CAN be sniffed by dogs as part of a drug searches/screening. Why not? If they are innocent, there is no problem, if they are guilty, I want to know and address the problem.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Singapore Slim
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I'd be happy to sign a document that gives authorities the right to perform daily stripdowns and cavity searches of my child. Why the heck not? They make us take our shoes off at airports don't they? If they are innocent, no problem. If they are guilty I want to know and address the problem.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm

The search for contraband at schools is fine; however, the discovery of contraband should lead only to confiscation and not prosecution because of the potential for such searches to be abused.

Mike


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jackie
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jan 31, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Here is a new spin on this. What if your child drove to school with no drugs in their car and another student put a bag of weed up in their fender. Tell me what happens then?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by questioned?
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Jackie,

What if your child is in class with no drugs in their backpack and another student puts a bag of weed in their backpack and reports an anonymous tip? Let's not get hypothetical, it could happen now, with or without the dogs.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Not Endorsements
By Roz Rogoff | 9 comments | 1,249 views

A second half of life exceptionally well lived
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 668 views