Puerto Rico School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Search and Seizure

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Category: Conditions on Use of Certain Forms of Discipline
Subcategory: Search and Seizure
State: Puerto Rico

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34 L.P.R.A. § 2207. Search and seizure.

The minor will be protected against unreasonable searches, attachments and seizures. A judicial warrant authorizing a search and seizure against a minor shall only be issued when there is probable cause based on a sworn statement or declaration and specifically stating the person or place to be searched and the things to be seized.


Regulation Num. 8115. Article IX, E. Entries and searches.

Will be carried out as a measure to guarantee a safe environment in our school campuses. These can not be performed randomly. As the authorized officials must strictly follow the procedures laid out in the present Article, to guarantee the reasonableness thereof to perform the interventions with the students.

1. Authorized officials

a. Will have legitimacy to perform the entries and searches the following officials:

1) The School Principal

2) The teacher

3) The school’s officer

4) Law Enforcement Officer

2. Procedure

The authorized officials may search a student or a group of students and may consequently keep the obtained evidence, under any of the following circumstances:

a. When a student commits the offense charged in the authorized official’s presence

b. When an offense has led to possession, carrying, distribution, or sale of arms, or of any controlled substance or chemical or device that could cause grave bodily harm and the authorized official has reasonable grounds to believe that the student in question committed it. By reasonable grounds, it will be understood that officials may intervene based on information that would lead a reasonable and prudent person to believe that the student in question has committed the offense. The student’s innocence or guilt will be determined independently later.

c. In the circumstances described in subsections (a) and (b) above, the entry has to be done immediately, in front of the student and his/her belongings, as long as these are located in an area within his/her immediate grasp.

d. When the consent of the student is required, provided that the student is not in elementary school or does not present an impairment that limits his/her capacity to consent, consent may be given expressly or tacitly. If the student to be intervened is in an elementary school or he/she presents an impediment that limits his/her capacity to consent, consent must be provided by the parent or guardian, in an express manner, through the document that the Department of Education provides for these purposes.

e. When the student has full view of a forbidden object, as described in Article IV, (page 9) Subsection I (6) of the present regulation. He/she may register under this disposition, provided that each of the following requirements are met:

1) The object was discovered because it was in plain sight or because of perception of the authorized official, and not in the course or because of a search.

2) The authorized official who observed the object had the right prior to being in the position where the object could be seen.

3) The object was discovered inadvertently.

4) The criminal nature of the object arose from simple observation or perception. The object can be detected through smell. If evidence is obtained as a consequence of the search realized, the student could be disciplined in accordance with the procedure provided in the present Article, in subsection F.

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