New Jersey Vs. T.L.O. Term Paper

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New Jersey Vs. T.L.O.

Facts of the Case

On March 7, 1985 T.L.O. and another student were found smoking in the woman s bathroom.

They were then taken to see the Assistant Principal, Mr. Choplick, and were questioned about smoking

in the bathroom. Upon further questioning the second student told Mr. Choplick she was smoking

T.L.O. denied she was smoking and also claimed I don t smoke at all . Mr. Choplick then asked if

he could search the purse and T.L.O. complied. Upon first opening the purse a pack of cigarettes was

found and under it was a pack of rolling papers. In Mr. Choplick s experience rolling papers are a

prerequisite of marijuana use. Upon further inspection he found a pipe, plastic bags commonly referred

to as dime bags , marijuana, a large sum of money, and notes implicating T.L.O. in marijuana dealing.

Mr. Choplick then informed T.L.O. s mother and the police of the offense and then sent in the

evidence to the police. While in police custody T.L.O. confessed to marijuana dealing. She was

charged with delinquency. In court T.L.O tried to suppress the evidence by deeming the evidence

inadmissible because of her 4th amendment rights being disrupted and the confession inadmissible

because of her 5th amendment rights being violated in conjunction with evidence found. She was found

guilty and then it was overturned by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Parts of the Constitution

IV amendment

V amendment

XIV amendment


Hudson Vs. Palmer

Brown Vs. Board of Education

South Dakota Vs. Opperman


In trying to accomplish the feat of a safe school environment you have to give up some personal

freedoms. This trial is not about her smoking but about the marijuana found while the purse was

searched for cigarettes. The search of the purse was reasonable because of the suspicion of her

smoking in the bathroom. During that search cigarettes were found along with wrapping papers for

cigarettes or marijuana as mostly used by teenagers. Upon that evidence he searched the bag

thoroughly in a separate compartment he found marijuana, plastic bags, a large sum of money, and notes

implicating her in marijuana dealing.

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