Court Agrees Student's Rights Violated

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

The Nebraska Supreme Court says Millard school officials violated a student's constitutional rights by searching his truck parked on a public street.

Court records show Justis Puchalla was 17 when he left Millard West High School grounds in August 2010 to retrieve items from his truck, parked on a city street off school property. Upon returning, school officials searched Puchalla's pockets and backpack, finding a wallet, cellphone and keys.

Officials then searched Puchalla's truck over his objections and found two marijuana pipes and other paraphernalia. Puchalla was suspended from school for 19 days, but a Douglas County judge ruled last year that the search violated Puchalla's constitutional right against illegal search and seizure.

The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld that decision Friday and ordered the suspension expunged from Puchalla's record.

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