Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 4:49 pm | Fair 65º

 
 
 
 

City of Santa Barbara Prevails in Federal Civil Rights Case

The City of Santa Barbara prevailed in a federal lawsuit seeking money damages for alleged race-based discrimination in the detention and false arrest of a person of color.

The lawsuit is based on an arrest for possession of counterfeit checks.

This federal district court case arose out of the arrest of Passion Moore in December 2011 after she received through the mail from Nigeria a package containing several hundred dollars in counterfeit money orders.

A criminal case against Moore was dismissed because the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office determined that it would not be able to prove that Moore knew the package contained fraudulent checks. Moore then sued the Santa Barbara Police Department, bringing eight claims for relief, including three claims for Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations, one civil conspiracy claim, claims for supervisor and municipal liability, a claim for race discrimination, and a claim for attorneys’ fees.

Moore alleged that her arrest and detention were unlawful and motivated by the Police Department’s racial animosity because she is an African-American.

The federal district court rejected each of her claims. The court held that there was sufficient evidence to establish probable cause for Moore’s arrest and that Moore had failed to show any facts to refute this. The court’s granting of the city’s motion dismisses this lawsuit.

— Nina Johnson is an administrative assistant for the City of Santa Barbara.

 

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