Is a university allowed to open mail without a warrant if they suspect drugs?

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2013

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Is a university allowed to open mail without a warrant if they suspect drugs?

Also, are they allowed to open a package addressed to my dorm if there is no name and they are trying to determine whose it is?

Asked on November 7, 2013 under Criminal Law, Connecticut


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

They are allowed to open if there is a policy regarding dorm safety...Nowadays, the behavior is allowed in many jurisdictions to prevent danger to other students and to maintain the zero tolerance policies in the university. If there are drugs in your packet, you will be sure to know the package will not get to you. Further, if there is no name, they have a right to return it or open to identify ownership. There truly isn't an expectation of privacy in dorms with safety, drug and alcohol issues because this is not your home, and the school has a responsibility to ensure the safety of all students.

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