Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Standard Used When Evaluating Retaliatory Search Claims
In Skoog v. Clackamas County, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the absence of probable cause is not an element of a retaliatory search claim brought under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Thus, a retaliatory search claim can proceed regardless of whether or not probable cause supported the search.
Prior to this decision, Ninth Circuit precedent provided that a retaliatory search claim would fail if the defendants could establish probable cause for the search. That is, courts would disregard an officers' subjective intent if probable cause existed.
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