Federal Court Dismisses Santa Barbara Woman’s Discrimination Lawsuit

A federal court has dismissed the lawsuit of a Santa Barbara woman who claimed discrimination after she was arrested on counterfeit check charges.

Passion Moore alleged that her December 2011 arrest was motived by racial animosity because she is black. She had sued the City of Santa Barbara Police Department on constitutional grounds, claiming she was the victim of unlawful search and seizure and equal protection violations. The court rejected each of her claims, the Santa Barbara city attorney’s office announced in a statement on Wednesday. “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 statement reads.

On December 6, 2011, Santa Barbara police received a call from the United States Secret Service that fraudulent money orders were being shipped to Santa Barbara from Nigeria. The agents said they had intercepted two packages bound for Santa Barbara but that one made it through and was addressed to Passion Moore at an area mail box store. City police set up surveillance at the store and watched Moore pick up the package, which contained several hundred fake money orders with the name “Citibank” on them and with listed values of $1,800.35 each.

Moore was arrested and booked in County Jail, but her criminal case was ultimately dismissed because the District Attorney’s Office decided it would not be able to prove Moore knew the package contained fraudulent checks.

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