Philadelphia Partner, Richard Margolis, Obtains Summary Judgment for School in Educational Liability Case

Plaintiff alleged invasion of privacy, trespass, breach of school handbook contract and negligence in relation to a search of her dormitory room that resulted in confiscation of contraband by school security and arrest by local police. The college housing contract and student handbook permitted entry of dorm room under suspicion of criminal activity or under suspicion that college policies were violated. Suit asserted that the school handbook did not allow for search of items not found in plain view. Student was dismissed from school and pled guilty to the criminal charges. Motion for Summary Judgment was granted and on appeal to Superior Court it was affirmed and the school’s actions were vindicated. The Court affirmed that the school handbook as written authorized search of the room and confiscation of prohibited items and/or evidence found in plain view where there was suspicion of criminal activity. The school did not engage in any prohibited actions in searching and seizing contraband from student’s room. There was no intentional intrusion on the seclusion of plaintiff’s privacy that would be substantially and highly offensive to a reasonable person.