Supreme Court Decides Two Cases Involving Student Interrogations by Non-School Officials


The United State Supreme Court recently decided two cases involving non-school officials’ interrogations of students on school grounds. In Camreta v. Greene, an Oregon child protective services caseworker and a police officer interviewed a nine-year old student regarding allegations that the student was sexually abused by her father. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the interview, which took place in 2003 on school grounds, violated the student’s Fourth Amendment rights to be free of searches or seizures because the interview was conducted without a warrant or the consent of the student’s parents. The Appellate Court further held, however, that the caseworker and officer were immune from liability based on the qualified immunity doctrine. The caseworker and officer appealed the decision in order to obtain guidance from the Supreme Court on the lower court’s Fourth Amendment ruling, however the Court ultimately declined to rule on the constitutional issue. Instead, the Court held that the issue was moot because, at the time of the Supreme Court’s decision, the student was living in Florida and about to graduate from high school and would thus no longer be subject to such questioning on school grounds. Because the case was moot, the Court vacated the portion of the lower court’s ruling regarding the alleged Fourth Amendment violation. Having declined to rule on the constitutional concerns of interviewing students on school grounds, the decision provides little guidance to school districts on how to handle requests from agencies like the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and/or police to interview students. School districts should thus continue to consult DCFS’ guidance for school administrators on DCFS investigations, as well as their school district’s attorney, for guidance.

The Supreme Court also recently ruled in J.D.B. v. North Carolina that a child’s age can be considered when determining whether a minor is entitled to a Miranda warning about her rights against self-incrimination before being questioned by police. Since the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona, police officers are required to give “Miranda warnings” to individuals in police custody before conducting interrogations....

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Franczek Radelet P.C. | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.