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Thread: Off Topic: 4th Admendment Search Car at School

  1. #1
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    Off Topic: 4th Admendment Search Car at School

    I realize this is not on topic, but it has to do with legality of search and assumption of guilt. We discuss this topic a lot pertaining to gun rights and wondered what you think of this situation.

    My daughter is in high school and was signing up to get a parking pass. On the back of the pass, it states by signing this document you give school and police consent to search the vehicle at any time including all locked compartments and passenger areas.

    Can they do that? Can the force you to give consent to park your car at a public school? It doesn't seem like they should be able to deny your child a parking place just because you wont let them search your car interior.

    Any thoughts?

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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    Yes they can.
    I went through this before. In most schools there are limited parking spaces and if you apply for one; you must comply with "their" rules of usage.
    They are not "forcing" on school parking, you are "requesting" to do so. Therefore they can ask/set any rules/restrictions they deem necessary for the "safety" of the students.
    I feel it's blackmail to force written "consent" to search or you don't get a parking space.
    Sucks I know, but from what I had found out it's legal for them to do.

    JMO

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    As it stands now, they pretty much get away with it. There seems to be this common mentality that because someone is under 18, they neither deserve rights nor respect.

    It has long disgusted me. I was kind of an outspoken activist about these issues when I was in High School, as was my brother. I got suspended for calling the assistant principal a fascist bitch, and my brother successfully rescued a lot of people from drug charges when he saw several squad cars and a couple K9 units roll up, then ran down the halls screaming "THE DRUG DOGS ARE COMING!!!" Paul Revere style. This was before class, so people in droves tossed drugs, mostly pot, in garbage cans.

    But anyway, as far as the parking permit situation, I'd probably have returned the "application" with a comment like "Screw this, read the Constitution you idiots" and I'd have parked as close as possible off the property. This is in fact what I did for the portion of High School where I drove. I did get a technical school parking pass, but they didn't have the policy of illegal searches.
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    Here are a couple of questions I have:

    Can a person under 18 actually enter into a contract?

    What happens if she refuses the search? Seems anything found would get tossed out

    There are scotus cases that basically say the .gov cannot force an individual to give up their rights as a condition of recieving a government benefit. On my phone now and do not have the cite handy.
    Last edited by lapeer20m; 10-08-2010 at 11:10 AM.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

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    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lapeer20m View Post
    Here are a couple of questions I have:

    Can a person under 18 actually enter into a contract?

    What happens if she refuses the search? Seems anything found would get tossed out

    There are scotus cases that basically say the .gov cannot force an individual to give up their rights as a condition of recieving a government benefit. On my phone now and do not have the cite handy.
    The SCOTUS has long held that a school has certain custodial ,almost parent like) powers while a minor is at school.

    And...Emancipated minors can make contracts.
    Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.

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    Step 1. Keep car registered in your name
    Step 2. Instruct your daughter not to give any school authorities the keys to the car until she contacts you, her legal guardian
    Step 3. Arrive at school, find your daughter and get the keys from her
    Step 4. Tell your daughter to tell the school authorities they can now search the car
    Step 5. You, with keys in hand and as the legitimate owner, tell the school to go pound sand
    Step 6. Now ask the school if they are going to punish your daughter for your actions

    We had this plan in place, but fortunately never had to use it.

    IANAL

    Carry on
    Last edited by jmlefler; 10-08-2010 at 01:12 PM.

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmlefler View Post
    Step 1. Keep car registered in your name
    Step 2. Instruct your daughter not to give any school authorities the keys to the car until she contacts you, her legal guardian
    Step 3. Arrive at school, find your daughter and get the keys from her
    Step 4. Tell your daughter to tell the school authorities they can now search the car
    Step 5. You, with keys in hand and as the legitimate owner, tell the school to go pound sand
    Step 6. Now ask the school if they are going to punish your daughter for your actions

    We had this plan in place, but fortunately never had to use it.

    IANAL

    Carry on
    Since the policy to be able to search cars is usually part of the process of being allowed to drive to school (read school permit), I would imagine that they would just have the car towed. Then, you would not have your car searched, but you would be on the hook for the towing charges.
    1. They DO NOT have to allow your daughter to drive her car to school and park on school property.
    2. As has been said before, schools are given a broad exception to 4th amendment rights. In New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985), the Supreme Court ruled that searches in public schools do not require warrants, as long as the searching officers have reasonable grounds for believing that the search will result in the finding of evidence of illegal activity.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

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    Regular Member eastmeyers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTodd View Post
    1. They DO NOT have to allow your daughter to drive her car to school and park on school property.
    As true as this may be it is such BS! So let me get this strait. You are required to goto school (and lets not start the debate on home schooling, thats not what I mean, for the most part you are required to goto school). It is a public school, paid for by tax dollars, so we all hurd the PUBLIC part, right? So yeah, the (should) HAVE to let her park on PUBLIC school "property", and not be allowed to violate the 4th ammendment!
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastmeyers View Post
    As true as this may be it is such BS! So let me get this strait. You are required to goto school (and lets not start the debate on home schooling, thats not what I mean, for the most part you are required to goto school). It is a public school, paid for by tax dollars, so we all hurd the PUBLIC part, right? So yeah, the (should) HAVE to let her park on PUBLIC school "property", and not be allowed to violate the 4th ammendment!
    Just one of the many reasons people Home School...

    Good to see you online bud!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lapeer20m View Post
    Here are a couple of questions I have:

    Can a person under 18 actually enter into a contract?

    What happens if she refuses the search? Seems anything found would get tossed out

    There are scotus cases that basically say the .gov cannot force an individual to give up their rights as a condition of recieving a government benefit. On my phone now and do not have the cite handy.
    Due to the fact that school employees are not law enforcement or acting on behalf of law enforcement, the Exclusionary rule does not apply to illegally obtained evidence.

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    Remember...

    "2. As has been said before, schools are given a broad exception to 4th amendment rights. In New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985), the Supreme Court ruled that searches in public schools do not require warrants, as long as the searching officers have reasonable grounds for believing that the search will result in the finding of evidence of illegal activity."

    This only applies to the STUDENTS. If you sign the form allowing the searches when the student drives to school and parks in their lot, then they can. But if YOU drive the car to the school (say for a meeting or to drop off the kid's lunch), and park in the lot, that's a different kettle of fish. They cannot search because you are not a student and have signed nothing concerning yourself and your car. Plus, you are an adult and can rescind any consent verbally. These signs are up in my son's HS lot, and irk me greatly; they even threaten arrest if you try to leave after being told that your car will be searched. Since we live a few blocks from the school, he won't be driving anything there; but I occasionally will for an orchestra concert, parent/teacher conference, etc. They REALLY don't want to try me....

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    Regular Member NHCGRPR45's Avatar
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    i agree, tell your daughter not to give the keys to anyone. until you get there. if they say they are going to tow it, and you arrive first drive away. keep with the plan that was posted here. but playing devils advocate, make sure theres nothing in the car to get hung on,,,just saying.
    anyway when i was a student at lake shore high school, i had this happen to me. fortunately i was 18 and owned the car. it was a tradition to spray everyone at the the end of the day a week prior to graduation. i admit i had about 10 cans of shaveing cream in the trunk. i mentioned this during lunch, and one of the lunch ladies heard me. she turned me in. the principle and the dare cop asked if they could search my car, naturally i refused. they said i didn't have any choice in the matter, i disagreed. they should my little "if you park here we can search" card i signed.

    then said if i refused the officer would arrest me and search the car anyway. i asked how long i would be in jail and the principle said as long as it takes. i said wow, and just walked right on by them, they followed me to my car and asked again for the keys. i gave the officer a set of keys got in and drove away. it was an old set of keys to my motorcycle.

    when i came to school the next day i was told i had to remove my car from the parking lot i said, no need i rode my bike, and if they wanted to search that i was pretty ok with it, and said i packed a luch so i could have something to snack on while waiting for it to get searched while i was in jail.

    i was a bit of a rebel without a cause and a smarta** i guess, came from being raised in a strict military household, i learned to argue effectively and how not to get pushed around by bullies. i lump some cops and overeager a**holes, who think they run s**t or pretend tuff guys, who think size equates to strenght people who pick on people and hit women for fun and all other assorted types that fit those parameters, and guys who try to out dick you when they feel small themselves and try to make themselves feel better, all other assorted trash into the same file as cowards and bullies.

    sorry i kinda let myself go there,,,,,
    Last edited by NHCGRPR45; 10-08-2010 at 09:38 PM. Reason: spelling,,,,again, need to work on that

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    Quote Originally Posted by budlight View Post
    Due to the fact that school employees are not law enforcement or acting on behalf of law enforcement, the Exclusionary rule does not apply to illegally obtained evidence.
    Cite, please.

    Personally, I think you might be right. But, we should really see the material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eastmeyers View Post
    As true as this may be it is such BS!
    Of course it is. The clue is that the consent to search is not necessary to moving the gear lever into park.

    Off the cuff, I can see no reason why police and school cannot apply probable cause and warrants. If administrators or on-site cops get a tip about contraband in a car, they can apply indicia of reliability, and apply for a warrant very quickly. Damn things can be faxed these days, if I recall.

    And, I don't imagine a warrant would apply only while the car is on the school property. They wouldn't even need to detain the vehicle pending the warrant. If the warrant arrived after school let out, they could just drive to the kid's house or wait til the next day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Cite, please.

    Personally, I think you might be right. But, we should really see the material.
    The Exclusionary Rule is covered in depth (including case decisions) in Michigan Criminal Law and Police Procedure 2009 by Kendall Hunt publishing company. This is the current bible at the Michigan Police Academies. Also Dr. Todd listed a case decision exempting schools from search warrants.

    I’m not going to go in depth and list the case decisions because no matter what I quote, I’m still wrong in some people’s eyes. Example and point, a couple of weeks ago I responded to a post about the REID Technique. When I replied to the 9 step outline and gave more detailed examples, my answers were still wrong or suspect. Even though I have been through their training courses, have their training materials, and use some of their techniques in the private sector…..my answers were still wrong.

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    "i agree, tell your daughter not to give the keys to anyone. until you get there. if they say they are going to tow it, and you arrive first drive away."

    Personally, I like the drive away approach but if they tow it, all is not lost. It won't get searched. What, the school is going to send someone to the impound to do a search? There off school grounds and now on very shaky grounds. There's a huge difference between letting the 'school' search your car and having the 'police' search your car. If the school wants to search after one of 'their' drug dogs 'hits' on your car, invoke 'the plan'. Even if there is a 'school safety' police officer on site, I'll bet they wouldn't search as 'they' don't have RAS, particularly with a school-contracted 'drug dog' service. Now if the real police wants to search your car, there's a whole different set of procedures.

    Oh yeah, train your daughter to not say a thing other than 'I want to call my parents'. She may have not been the only one in the car, and there may be something that is not hers, but was left by someone else. I know kids busted for cig butts (minor in possession), ashes, BB's on the floor (ammo!), small pen knife, etc. Become familiar with the school procedures and hold them to it - there may be an ombudsman... For example, at our school, the principal was the designated 'searcher', but there were times when the 'drug dog' handler did the search. Given the number of false positives these dogs have, and the conflict of interest in letting the people who hold the contract do the search, it is in their interest to 'find' something, even if its some 'organic matter' that 'looks' like marijuana. Your school probably has a 'look-alike' policy that carries the same weight as the real thing.

    Carry on
    Last edited by jmlefler; 10-09-2010 at 10:40 AM.

  17. #17
    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfenter View Post
    "2. As has been said before, schools are given a broad exception to 4th amendment rights. In New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985), the Supreme Court ruled that searches in public schools do not require warrants, as long as the searching officers have reasonable grounds for believing that the search will result in the finding of evidence of illegal activity."

    This only applies to the STUDENTS. If you sign the form allowing the searches when the student drives to school and parks in their lot, then they can. But if YOU drive the car to the school (say for a meeting or to drop off the kid's lunch), and park in the lot, that's a different kettle of fish. They cannot search because you are not a student and have signed nothing concerning yourself and your car. Plus, you are an adult and can rescind any consent verbally. These signs are up in my son's HS lot, and irk me greatly; they even threaten arrest if you try to leave after being told that your car will be searched. Since we live a few blocks from the school, he won't be driving anything there; but I occasionally will for an orchestra concert, parent/teacher conference, etc. They REALLY don't want to try me....
    Because the SC has ruled that schools can search students does not mean they can search you. That issue has never been brought before the court.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

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  18. #18
    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmlefler View Post
    "i agree, tell your daughter not to give the keys to anyone. until you get there. if they say they are going to tow it, and you arrive first drive away."

    Personally, I like the drive away approach but if they tow it, all is not lost. It won't get searched. What, the school is going to send someone to the impound to do a search? There off school grounds and now on very shaky grounds. There's a huge difference between letting the 'school' search your car and having the 'police' search your car. If the school wants to search after one of 'their' drug dogs 'hits' on your car, invoke 'the plan'. Even if there is a 'school safety' police officer on site, I'll bet they wouldn't search as 'they' don't have RAS, particularly with a school-contracted 'drug dog' service. Now if the real police wants to search your car, there's a whole different set of procedures.

    Oh yeah, train your daughter to not say a thing other than 'I want to call my parents'. She may have not been the only one in the car, and there may be something that is not hers, but was left by someone else. I know kids busted for cig butts (minor in possession), ashes, BB's on the floor (ammo!), small pen knife, etc. Become familiar with the school procedures and hold them to it - there may be an ombudsman... For example, at our school, the principal was the designated 'searcher', but there were times when the 'drug dog' handler did the search. Given the number of false positives these dogs have, and the conflict of interest in letting the people who hold the contract do the search, it is in their interest to 'find' something, even if its some 'organic matter' that 'looks' like marijuana. Your school probably has a 'look-alike' policy that carries the same weight as the real thing.

    Carry on
    Like I said, they probably would tow it without a search being conducted. ALthough I personally don't know what it would cost to get the car out of the impound lot, my guess is that it may be around $100. I could be wrong, but I really don't think they could search it after the tow... but I could be wrong.
    Last edited by DrTodd; 10-09-2010 at 04:11 PM.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by budlight View Post
    SNIP The Exclusionary Rule is covered in depth...(entire post)
    Thank you for the information. It is helpful. I'm looking for the case that decided that contraband discovered during an illegal search by school employees is not subject to the exclusionary rule because school employees are not police, though.

    The information provided, while helpful in another direction, does not really get us there on point.

    I hate to be a pain, but 1) it is the forum rule, and 2) I am interested in the case law.

    Would you please take a moment and hunt up the case.

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Of course it is. The clue is that the consent to search is not necessary to moving the gear lever into park.

    Off the cuff, I can see no reason why police and school cannot apply probable cause and warrants. If administrators or on-site cops get a tip about contraband in a car, they can apply indicia of reliability, and apply for a warrant very quickly. Damn things can be faxed these days, if I recall.

    And, I don't imagine a warrant would apply only while the car is on the school property. They wouldn't even need to detain the vehicle pending the warrant. If the warrant arrived after school let out, they could just drive to the kid's house or wait til the next day.
    My understanding is that the police WOULD need to get a warrant. A school "agent" would not need to. Even a "school resource officer", as a certified police officer, would need a warrant. The principal, or other designated person, would not, though.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

  21. #21
    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmlefler View Post
    "i agree, tell your daughter not to give the keys to anyone. until you get there. if they say they are going to tow it, and you arrive first drive away."

    Personally, I like the drive away approach but if they tow it, all is not lost. It won't get searched. What, the school is going to send someone to the impound to do a search? There off school grounds and now on very shaky grounds. There's a huge difference between letting the 'school' search your car and having the 'police' search your car. If the school wants to search after one of 'their' drug dogs 'hits' on your car, invoke 'the plan'. Even if there is a 'school safety' police officer on site, I'll bet they wouldn't search as 'they' don't have RAS, particularly with a school-contracted 'drug dog' service. Now if the real police wants to search your car, there's a whole different set of procedures.

    Oh yeah, train your daughter to not say a thing other than 'I want to call my parents'. She may have not been the only one in the car, and there may be something that is not hers, but was left by someone else. I know kids busted for cig butts (minor in possession), ashes, BB's on the floor (ammo!), small pen knife, etc. Become familiar with the school procedures and hold them to it - there may be an ombudsman... For example, at our school, the principal was the designated 'searcher', but there were times when the 'drug dog' handler did the search. Given the number of false positives these dogs have, and the conflict of interest in letting the people who hold the contract do the search, it is in their interest to 'find' something, even if its some 'organic matter' that 'looks' like marijuana. Your school probably has a 'look-alike' policy that carries the same weight as the real thing.

    Carry on
    B. C. v Plumas Unified School District (9th Cir. 9/20/99), holding that suspicionless dog sniffing of high school students violates the Fourth Amendment.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Thank you for the information. It is helpful. I'm looking for the case that decided that contraband discovered during an illegal search by school employees is not subject to the exclusionary rule because school employees are not police, though.

    The information provided, while helpful in another direction, does not really get us there on point.

    I hate to be a pain, but 1) it is the forum rule, and 2) I am interested in the case law.

    Would you please take a moment and hunt up the case.
    Found this from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals:
    http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c...9.95-2276.html

    The societal costs of applying the rule in school disciplinary proceedings are very high. For example, the exclusionary rule might bar a high school from expelling a student who confessed to killing a classmate on campus if his confession was not preceded by Miranda warnings. We doubt that any parent would compromise school safety in this fashion. To the extent the exclusionary rule prevents the disciplining of students who disrupt education or endanger other students, it frustrates the critical governmental function of educating and protecting children.


    Moreover, "maintaining security and order in the schools requires a certain degree of flexibility in school disciplinary procedures." New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 340, 105 S.Ct. 733, 742, 83 L.Ed.2d 720 (1985). Application of the exclusionary rule would require suppression hearing-like inquiries inconsistent with the demands of school discipline, demands that led the Court to impose very limited due process requirements in Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 583-84, 95 S.Ct. 729, 740-41, 42 L.Ed.2d 725 (1975).

    Last edited by DrTodd; 10-09-2010 at 04:27 PM.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTodd View Post
    Found this from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals:
    http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c...9.95-2276.html

    The societal costs of applying the rule in school disciplinary proceedings are very high. For example, the exclusionary rule might bar a high school from expelling a student who confessed to killing a classmate on campus if his confession was not preceded by Miranda warnings. We doubt that any parent would compromise school safety in this fashion. To the extent the exclusionary rule prevents the disciplining of students who disrupt education or endanger other students, it frustrates the critical governmental function of educating and protecting children.


    Moreover, "maintaining security and order in the schools requires a certain degree of flexibility in school disciplinary procedures." New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 340, 105 S.Ct. 733, 742, 83 L.Ed.2d 720 (1985). Application of the exclusionary rule would require suppression hearing-like inquiries inconsistent with the demands of school discipline, demands that led the Court to impose very limited due process requirements in Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 583-84, 95 S.Ct. 729, 740-41, 42 L.Ed.2d 725 (1975).
    Thanks for reminding me of the earlier distinction between cops and school employees.

    Thanks for cite and quote. I kinda figured. The lie is exposed of course by the fact that a school employee can swear out a warrant just as fast as a cop.

    I've not read the case entirely, so I'm just winging it here; but, it seems to me that if a student is open to legal process, for example upon discovery of drugs in a school locker, then the student deserves legal protections, too.

    BUT! The biggest thing I notice is the sentence, "We doubt any parent would compromise school safety in this fashion." Whoa! Whoa, whoa, WHOA!! Parental opinion smacks of democracy. Protecting the rights of the minority against the majority is a direct purpose of the Bill of Rights. As Ayn Rand said, (paraphrase) there is no smaller minority than an a single individual.

    WTF is a court doing invoking the opinions of parents in order to justify removing protections from an individual?

  24. #24
    Regular Member TheQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTodd View Post
    Like I said, they probably would tow it without a search being conducted. ALthough I personally don't know what it would cost to get the car out of the impound lot, my guess is that it may be around $100. I could be wrong, but I really don't think they could search it after the tow... but I could be wrong.
    When I got towed in East Lansing it was closer to $250

    $150ish for the tow
    $50ish to dolly it in prep for the tow
    $50ish fee to the state
    Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first.

    I am not a lawyer (merely an omnipotent member of a continuum). The contents of this post are not a substitute for sound legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

    Comments and views stated in my post are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. unless stated otherwise in the post.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    WTF is a court doing invoking the opinions of parents in order to justify removing protections from an individual?
    Speaking of minorities, the gun community tends to be in the adult minority that believes people younger than 18 or 21 are capable of being responsible, honest, safe and trustworthy individuals. The reason nonsense like this stands is because so few people object. Strange really, considering that all adults were once children.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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