Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium


This compendium includes significant criminal cases by the U.S. Supreme Court & N.C. appellate courts, Nov. 2008 – Present. Selected 4th Circuit cases also are included.

Jessica Smith prepared case summaries Nov. 2008-June 4, 2019; later summaries are prepared by other School staff.


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E.g., 07/22/2024
E.g., 07/22/2024
Safford Unified School District v. Redding, 557 U.S. 364 (June 25, 2009)

Although school officials had reasonable suspicion to search a middle school student’s backpack and outer clothing for pills, they violated the Fourth Amendment when they required her to pull out her bra and underwear. After learning that the student might have prescription strength and over-the-counter pain relief pills, school officials searched her backpack but found no pills. A school nurse then had her remove her outer clothing, pull her bra and shake it, and pull out the elastic on her underpants, exposing her breasts and pelvic area to some degree. No pills were found. Because there was no indication that the drugs presented a danger to students or were concealed in her undergarments, the officials did not have sufficient justification to require the students to pull out her bra and underpants. However, the school officials were protected from civil liability by qualified immunity.

In re T.A.S., 366 N.C. 269 (Oct. 5, 2012)

The court vacated and remanded In re T.A.S., 213 N.C. App. 273 (July 19, 2011) (holding that a search of a juvenile student’s bra was constitutionally unreasonable), ordering further findings of fact. The court ordered the trial court to

make additional findings of fact, including but not necessarily limited to: the names, occupations, genders, and involvement of all the individuals physically present at the “bra lift” search of T.A.S.; whether T.A.S. was advised before the search of the Academy’s “no penalty” policy; and whether the “bra lift” search of T.A.S. qualified as a “more intrusive” search under the Academy’s Safe School Plan.

It provided that “[i]f, after entry of an amended judgment or order by the trial court, either party enters notice of appeal, counsel are instructed to ensure that a copy of the Safe School Plan, discussed at the suppression hearing and apparently introduced into evidence, is included in the record on appeal.”

In Re D.L.D., 203 N.C. App. 434 (Apr. 20, 2010)

The reasonableness standard of New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985), applied to a search of a student by an officer assigned to the school. The officer was working in conjunction with and at the direction of the assistant principal to maintain a safe and educational environment. For the reasons discussed in the opinion, the search satisfied the two-pronged inquiry for determining reasonableness: (1) whether the action was justified at its inception; and (2) whether the search as conducted was reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place.

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