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Title: ìGut Feelingî does not Amount to Reasonable Suspicion to Justify a Search
Author: Jack Ryan
ID: LL73
Issue: SU1-1
Issue Date: 2004-01-01
Edition: School
Type: Article

Body:

A.H. v. State of Florida, 846 So.2d 1215 (Ct. App. FL 5th Dist. 2003).

A.H., a high school freshman appealed a trial courtís refusal to suppress evidence, marijuana, found in his wallet during a school search.

The search took place after a physical education teacher, who was selling the student a physical education uniform, could not understand the student as he pronounced his name. The teacher, asked A.H. to repeat his name several times but could still not understand the name. The teacher believed that the studentís speech was slurred.

The teacher reported his observations to the assistant principal, telling her the student ìmight be on something.î The court noted that the physical education teacher had no specialized training in how to recognize drug use but had educated himself. The court further noted that the teacher did not know A.H.

A.H. was taken to an empty office in the presence of the assistant principal and the school resource officer, an Ocala police officer. A.H. emptied his pockets as requested and the assistant principal opened his wallet and discovered the marijuana.

The appellate court overturned the trial court and suppressed the evidence. The court asserted: ìthere were no facts which, combined with rational inferences, would warrant the intrusion. The sum and substance of the testimony was that one of three adults who spoke with A.H. had a ëgut feelingî that something was wrong.î



Citation 1: A.H. v. State of Florida, 846 So.2d 1215 (Ct. App. FL 5th Dist. 2003)
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