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Judge Finds Scanning Students’ Rooms During Remote Tests is Unconstitutional

In the case of Ogletree v. Cleveland State University, N.D.Ohio No. 1:21-cv-00500, the Federal District Court found that Cleveland State violated a student’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches when Cleveland State scanned the student’s room prior to a test.

Here, the student argued that Cleveland State’s room scan policy violated the student’s right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment’s protection against warrantless searches of one’s residence. The student stated that students have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are in their own homes, especially when they are in their own rooms. The District Court agreed with the student.

In support of its decision, the District Court found that students have an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy when they are in their own homes, and even more so when they are in their bedroom. The District Court then stated that, although the room scan is not intrusive and is relatively short, it is a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The District Court further explained that there are better methods to monitor academic honesty when taking a test within one’s own home.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.


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