Does a school have the right to search a student’s vehicle without their parent’s permission?

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Does a school have the right to search a student’s vehicle without their parent’s permission?

My minor son went to his car during school hours to get a pen he forgot. An administrator saw him in the parking lot sitting in his car. Son decided to move his car to a closer parking space. Administrator went into the shool and accused him of leaving the shool grounds which he did not School called me to say he left grounds. When I hung up with school I called son. Son was in the school and went to office. School decided to search his car. Do they have the right?

Asked on August 11, 2012 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

How your state law rules on this issue will some what govern the guidance given here.  As we all know, the US Constitution gives the protection against unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Gemerally, searches of a car on school grounds will be upheld if there is illegal activity suspected.  The safety of the school and children are weighed against the rights of the car owner.  Speak with an attorney in your area on the matter.  Good luck.


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