Skip to main content
Todd Bruce Kotler
Avvo
Pro

Todd Kotler’s Answers

1,375 total


  • If Student A claims Student B was smoking marijuana, is this probable cause for official or policeman in school to search B?

    If Student A claims Student B was smoking marijuana in a public school, 1. Can school official and/or School Resources Officer in the school regard this alone as probable cause and proceed to search B? 2. Can B respond, "I do not consent ...

    Todd’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First i must clarify a point of civil liberties law. The standard for stopping and frisking someone for suspicion of carrying contraband is not "probable cause" (which is what is required for an arrest) but "reasonable suspicion" (sometimes known as the Terry standard for Terry v. Ohio (1968), also called a "Terry Frisk" for this reason) Under the Terry standard one must articulate “why” the believe criminal activity is afoot.

    Under your facts (one student claims knowledge of another's unlawful conduct) a school official could conduct a search, provided the search were quick and relatively non invasive. (a search of outer clothing and a locker for example). Refusing consent to the search might create an issue where additional evidence obtained might be suppressed, but would be unlikely to stop the search.

    Student B should seek the advice of an aggressive criminal defense attorney

    See question 
  • Can my friend go to jail for the wrong college transcript?

    My friend requested her college transcript, they sent it to the school, she said a week later she received an email that her transcript was evaluated and approved. When she sat down with her adviser she realized that the transcript had her same na...

    Todd’s Answer

    I doubt she will go to jail, but may get kicked out of a program or lose a job if she knowingly continues to use a transcript that is not hers.

    See question 
  • Can my college work study program not pay me for the following reason?

    I'm a college student in nys, and I work for my school in the federal work study program. My question is can my school not pay me because I didn't hand in my time sheet before the new fin aid package started. My boss is saying I might get paid for...

    Todd’s Answer

    What does your agreement say? Are the terms and conditions of your program in writing?

    See question 
  • Legal Action against college for failure to release federal aid

    My college was supposed to release my aid on 5/25/2016. It is now 7/5/2016, no one can give me an answer on when my aid will be dispersed. I took this loan to help with bills, because I had to cut back on my hours to attend this nursing program. ...

    Todd’s Answer

    By contact do you mean you wrote them and they wrote back. You need to document what is occurring through your letters with them.

    See question 
  • Can I effectively win a civil case against my school principal, even if she has been fired?

    She was allowed to black-ball me as a special educator from my district before being fired. My Union has not effectively represented me and the district has since hired a new superintendent . I was diagnosed with situational depression and request...

    Todd’s Answer

    Not really enough facts here, You should speak to an attorney in Nashville who practices employment law and tort law.

    See question 
  • How do I go about challenging an educational institution on federal aid loans paid to them for a program that no longer existed?

    I enrolled at ITT Technical Institute in the bachelor's degree program for criminal justice. I had already gotten an associates degree from a different school. Some credits did transfer, however they told me I'd have to complete their associates d...

    Todd’s Answer

    It depends on what your contract with them says, in large part. You should talk to a local tort attorney about the possibility of pursuing a claim for detrimental reliance. The difficult part will be in proving that they knew you did not need their associates degree and would not have attended but for their promise of a bachelors program. The written communication will be a key factor.

    See question 
  • Drunkenness

    I was arrested for drunkenness and open container in a moving vehicle. I was sleeping in my car in a business parking lot because I did not want to drink and drive so I was trying to "sleep it off." I would have gotten rid of the open container be...

    Todd’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Sribnick.

    Say nothing more of this to anyone (including social media, Twitter, FB, Snapchat . . . etc.) Get a lawyer who provides aggressive defense. You need an advocate, not a tour guide.

    See question 
  • Is it Illegal for a principal to retrieve something out of my aspergers sons shorts that he didnt want her to take away ?

    My 14 year old aspergers son found a stress ball at school ..by the end of the day he had tied a rubber band around it and was swinging it while waiting for the buses outside for the kids to go home (this is a BOCES school or an alternative school...

    Todd’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague above. Questionable invasion of privacy at best, with no actual damages.

    See question 
  • What should be included in a student's education file when the student has a 504 plan?

    We asked our district for a copy of our child's education file as we are unhappy with how her 504 plan is being administered. The file only includes copies of the various revisions of her 504 plans -- no notes, no emails between us and the distric...

    Todd’s Answer

    Not quite enough information in your question. Did you request the entire educational file with a FERPA letter? Seems like it should have way more than just the 504 plan. Did you ask for any data that was collected used in developing the plan?

    See question 
  • Can a nine year old girl be spoken to by a cop with the parent being present?

    Nine year old was being teased so she told other nine year olds she would punch them in the face. School suspended nine year old for threatening her classmates. Acting principal had a cop speak to the student about threats.

    Todd’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague, Attorney Popovitch, but write separately to note that you could instruct the school that they must contact you before any other questioning is to occur in front of police.

    On a separate note I would encourage you to not discuss whether the school was appropriate or not in front of your child as you certainly do not want her to grow up thinking that menacing her classmates is an appropriate, risk free response to ridicule.

    See question