Ask the FERPA Professors

February 5, 2024
  • FERPA Professor
  • FERPATop

Dear FERPA Professor,

May schools comply with a subpoena or court order for education records without the consent of the parent or eligible student?

Ms. Cloud

Dear Ms. Cloud,

There is no requirement in FERPA for permission of the student, institutions have to respond to the subpoena, but they must first make the good faith effort to notify the student as required in § 99.31(a)(9) of the FERPA regulations and provide enough time for the student to take any action with the court.  § 99.31(a)(9)(ii)(A)&(B) make an exception to the notification requirement if the subpoena is from a Federal grand jury or any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court orders that the student not be notified.  

The above cited regulations can be found on page 161 of the  2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.

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