Where to find a law

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Old 01-31-08, 03:02 PM
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Where to find a law

My laptop was confiscated and searched illegally by the college I attend. The network use statement I signed does not give them the right to search my computer. Where would I find a place where this is mentioned in NY law?
 
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Old 01-31-08, 03:24 PM
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Old 01-31-08, 03:35 PM
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Thanks, but I couldn't find a specific mention of an institution (my college) not being able to perform searches.

My laptop was password protected so intrusive methods must have been used to get past it.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 03:41 PM
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How did they manage to accomplish the "confiscation"? Would have needed either a warrant or a big stick to get one away from me without my consent. Probably 20-20 hindsight, but possibly a call to the local police to report it stolen might have made things interesting.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 03:43 PM
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well, they did have the right to confiscate it according to an agreement I signed at the beginning of the semester. They did not however, have the right to search it.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 04:20 PM
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There is info missing here.

What kind of agreement?
Is the laptop actually yours?
If they had a right to confiscate "your" computer what kind of reasons do they need? (as per your agreement).
Private School or Public??
School Network used??
Mark
 
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Old 01-31-08, 04:52 PM
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The student handbook should contain the college computer policies for usage of their network. According to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure, the police cannot search your computer unless they have a warrant. Search in conjunction with a legal arrest does not require a warrant unless exigent circumstances exist. Plain View does not apply because computer files are not in plain view. Criminals can escape conviction if evidence is acquired illegally.

Here's an interesting read re: a warrantless search at a state school. http://www.wired.com/politics/online...?currentPage=2

And another one re: 4th Amendment:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...amendment.html
 
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Old 02-19-08, 06:59 PM
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In the case referenced Savoy was acting on behalf of the FBI when he looked into the files on the computer. From what you described in your case you are dealing with an administrative issue regarding the search of your computer unless the person that searched it was acting on behalf of law enforcement. If they were not acting on behalf of law enforcement they do not need a warrant and you may only be dealing with a trespass or privacy issue in a civil matter. You don't mention why the computer was taken but if it was taken from you in relations to suspected cheating then I would guess that if the university properly developed their rules you will probably find that you signed something to the effect that entitles the university to confiscate all instruments (which would include files on a computer of testing materials) if there was suspicion that they existed.
It is kind of difficult to give you a direct answer without all the facts and not seeing what you signed and the rules.
 
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Old 02-19-08, 09:53 PM
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Without more info, about all we can do is tell you to consult an attorney.
 
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Old 02-20-08, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by msidan View Post
My laptop was confiscated and searched illegally by the college I attend. The network use statement I signed does not give them the right to search my computer. Where would I find a place where this is mentioned in NY law?
Just ask them. Worded correctly, in writing, they must respond to cite the authority that gave them the power to search.
 
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