4.12 – Responses to Law Enforcement Requests

POLICY:  It is the policy of Spoon River College to appropriately respond to requests from law enforcement agencies for information or documents about employees or students to the extent required or permitted by applicable data privacy laws.


This policy applies to all Spoon River College employees and students.


  1. Subpoenas and Court Order: All subpoenas and court orders delivered to the College must be reviewed by the Human Resources Director (employee information) or Dean of Student Services (student information).

    NOTE: Unless special circumstances apply, students must be given reasonable notice of the College’s intent to comply with a subpoena or court order regarding information about them (Family Rights and Privacy Act 34 CFR S 99.31 paragraph (a)(9)(1).

  2. Signed Authorization for Release of Information: College officials may release private education or personnel records if presented with a release that is signed and dated by the individual subject whose records are at issue.  The release should specify the records that are authorized to be released and to whom the release is authorized.  A copy (including fax copy) of a release may be honored; an e-mail alone is not legal authorization.  Where feasible, the identity of the requesting party and authenticity of the subject’s signature should be verified in an appropriate manner before complying.
  3. Request to Interview a Student or Employee: The College may permit law enforcement officials to utilize its facilities to interview a college student or employee.  In the case of a student interview, the Dean of Student Services or designee should meet the student at their classroom and inform them of the law enforcement request and the location of the interview room. In the case of an employee, a designated representative of the Human Resources Office should contact the employee to inform them of the interview request and location.

    The student or employee should be advised that participation in the interview is not a college or employment requirement and that the room is being provided only as a convenience for all parties.  College officials should not attend or participate in a law enforcement interview.

  4. Letter or Verbal Requests: A state or federal law enforcement agency that requests non-public information verbally or by letter (with no subpoena or court order) should be advised that prior legal authority to release such information must be established. Legal authority may be established by citation of a federal or state law that requires disclosure of the information to the requesting agency, the presentation of identification, or by presenting a valid subpoena or court order, as described in item one above. Requests for student Directory Information can be released at anytime and no matter what form the request is made as long as the student has not placed a data release hold on their records.
  5. Search Warrants: If a law enforcement officer presents a search warrant, the College must immediately comply by providing access as described.  When complying to a search warrant, use the following guidelines: