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Name: In re Randy G.
Case #: S089733
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/13/2001
Subsequent History: None

The 14-year-old appellant challenged the seizure of a knife, which he had possessed on school grounds. The minor was moved into a hallway for questioning when he “kept fixing his pocket very nervously.” A subsequent patdown search revealed the knife. The minor’s 1538.5 motion was denied. The Court of Appeal held that the search of the minor was reasonable. Here, the California Supreme Court held that it was unnecessary to determine whether there had been a “detention” under the Fourth Amendment. The broad authority of school administrators over student behavior, school safety, and the learning environment requires that school officials have the power to stop a minor in order to ask questions or conduct an investigation, even in the absence of reasonable suspicion, as long as the authority is not exercised in an arbitrary, capricious, or harassing manner. Since calling the minor into the hallway was not arbitrary or capricious, no Fourth Amendment violation occurred.