Requests for Information, Receipt of Legal Documents and Contact by Attorneys
The following are protocols for requests for information and access to campus facilities or community members received from outside individuals.
Public Safety is the first point of contact for all such requests made by law enforcement and immigration officials. The College will in all requests for information about students abide by the requirements of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Requests for other types of information received from legal process servers, attorneys, or government officials (non-law enforcement or immigration) should be directed to the Office of General Counsel, as described on this page.
All other requests for information that are not related to a legal matter should be directed to the appropriate College department, such as the Registrar's Office or Human Resources.
If you see suspicious activity on campus by persons unknown to you, please report it to Public Safety.
Legal documents, such as a subpoena, summons, complaint, hearing notice or any other notice of a legal proceeding, may arrive at the College by mail, or in some cases by a process server or a Sheriff. A process server is an individual who serves (or officially hand-delivers) notice of a legal process to a participant in that legal process. This practice is called "service of process." Usually legal documents relating to College business will be addressed to "Swarthmore College" or "The Board of Managers of Swarthmore College", but sometimes will name specific employees of the Swarthmore College community.
During normal business hours, only the Office of General Counsel is authorized to accept service of process on behalf of Swarthmore College. At times when the Office of General Counsel is closed, the Department of Public Safety is authorized to accept service of process on behalf of Swarthmore College and will promptly notify the General Counsel Office and forward the legal documents.
If approached by a process server, you should "refuse service", meaning tell the process server that you cannot accept receipt of the legal document on behalf of the College. Then, promptly inform the process server that they are to contact the Office of General Counsel directly, or Public Safety if outside of normal business hours. The Office of the General Counsel is usually available Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. when the College is open for business. Public Safety is available 24/7.
If you find that you have received a legal document relating to College business (such as a subpoena, a complaint, a hearing notice or any document or notice relating to a legal proceeding) by mail or otherwise, please notify the Office of General Counsel immediately and we will arrange pick up of the documents from you.
We will work with the appropriate College officials to respond promptly and appropriately to the request.
Contact by attorneys
If you are ever contacted by an attorney about a legal matter involving the College, please refer them to the Office of the General Counsel immediately.