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.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >