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Old March 14, 2009, 10:11 AM   #71
Al Norris
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Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,549
I think there is some confusion here. Some of you are bandying terms about, that have specific meanings, and have confused the following two terms:

Probable Cause: When there are grounds for suspicion that a person has committed a crime or misdemeanor, and public justice and the good of the community require that the matter should be examined, there is said to be a probable cause for, making a charge against the accused, however malicious the intention of the accuser may have been. Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. See also here.

Technically, probable cause has to exist prior to arrest, search or seizure. It is evidence sufficient to obtain a warrant for an arrest or search and seizure. Or to effect an arrest or search and seizure when exigent circumstances exist, without a warrant.

Reasonable Suspicion sometimes referred to as Reasonable Articulable Suspicion: an objectively justifiable suspicion that is based on specific facts or circumstances and that justifies stopping (detention) and sometimes searching (as by frisking) a person thought to be involved in criminal activity at the time.

So the question becomes, did the lecturer have a reasonable suspicion to report the student to campus police and did the campus police have reasonable suspicion, based upon what the lecturer told them, to summon the student and interrogate him? (According to what we know, probable cause was not at work here.)

If the answer is, no, then a violation of civil rights may exist. Conversely, if the answer was, yes, then no violation has occurred.
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