Magazine article Security Management

U.S. Judicial Decisions. (Legal Reporter)

Magazine article Security Management

U.S. Judicial Decisions. (Legal Reporter)

Article excerpt

Campus security. In a recent decision, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that Dartmouth College security officers are not considered agents of the state and may conduct searches of student housing without first obtaining a warrant.

Adam Nemser, an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, was charged with possession of marijuana after campus security officers found the substance in his dorm room.

At the criminal proceedings against Nemser, his attorneys filed a motion to suppress the evidence gathered by the security officers, alleging that the entry and search of his room violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. Nemser argued that the college security officers were agents of the state and, therefore, could be held responsible for violating the student's constitutional rights.

At the trial held to decide the issue, the Lebanon District Court ruled that the campus police and the local police--the Hanover Police Department--had a working relationship sufficient to treat the campus officers as agents of the state. Though the court found no express agreement between the two entities, it determined that the campus police and the local authorities had an implicit understanding. …

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