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Name: In re Cody S.
Case #: E034514
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/29/2004
Summary

School authorities received an anonymous tip that the minor, a 17 year old student, had a knife in his backpack. The caller was a young male, who did not say how he knew about the knife, and did not say he had seen it. School officials escorted the minor from his P.E. class to the office and instructed the minor to bring his belongings. The minor testified that he had been ordered to open the locker door and that the school safety officers had taken his backpack out of the locker. The minor admitted to the school officials that he had a knife in the backpack, as he had failed to remove it after a camping trip. The knife as well as some marijuana were subsequently found in the minor’s backpack. The minor also had $190. in his pants pocket, which was found in the backpack. The minor consented to a search of his car, where more marijuana was found. The trial court granted a motion to suppress the marijuana found in the vehicle, holding that the minor’s consent was not voluntarily given. The trial court found that there had been no search of the gym locker, and denied the motion to suppress the evidence seized from the backpack and pants. The appellate court here affirmed the denial of the suppression motion. There was no search of the locker. Because the minor was removed from P.E. class, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the gym locker. Ordering the minor to remove his things from the locker was not a search, but simply an order that the minor comply with a school rule. Removing the items did not constitute a search. Further, the minor’s admission that he had a knife in his backpack provided school authorities with reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify the intrusion into the minor’s backpack, without regard to the anonymous tip.