Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Subpoenas for Employees:

Q.: A process server has arrived at the school with a subpoena for an employee. Should I accept it and what should I do?
A.: No, you cannot accept the subpoena for the employee unless the employee previously gave you permission. The process to follow has been discussed in the August 2009 Legally Speaking article at pages 7.

How Search of Cell Phones:

Q.: Can a school search a student's cell phone?

A.: Based on reasonable suspicion. See the Sept. 2013 Legally Speaking article at page 7. Note, however, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide a case this term relating to police officers searching a cell phone and that decision may by implication change standards for a search by a school.

Q.: How does a District department get a contract reviewed for legal sufficiency?
A.: Please use PBSD 1733, "Request for Document Approval by Legal Services," on the District's Forms page as a coversheet with the contract. As stated on the form, please provide a specific date needed (not "ASAP") and allow two weeks for review and approval. Please be prepared to implement the changes recommended by the contract-review attorneys.


Q.: How can a student file a complaint about an incident alleging harassment or discrimination?

A.: Please review the summaries (in Creole, English, Portuguese, or Spanish ) of School Board Policies 5.001 and 5.81 follow the process there, using the forms below:

Student Complaint Report (this form is to be used by students filing formal complaints of alleged harassment/ discrimination under Policy 5.001 or 5.81). Witness Statement (the purpose of this form is to provide accounts of alleged incidents of harassment/ discrimination with form PBSD 1615 (see above), under Policy 5.001 or 5.81.)

Q.: Can the Legal Department advise me, as an individual citizen, parent, or student, about my legal issues?
A.: No. The client of the Department of Legal Services, Office of General Counsel, is the School Board of Palm Beach County, and the Office also provides legal advice and services to the administrative staff of the School District in the scope of their duties for the School Board. We do not provide legal advice or representation to persons in their individual capacity as citizens, students, or parents.