Court orders activist to pay legal fees for college Republican
HAYWARD (BCN) An Alameda County Superior Court commissioner has ordered a Berkeley middle school teacher and activist to pay $11,100 in legal fees to the former head of the Berkeley College Republicans for her failed attempt to get a permanent restraining order against him.
Yvette Felarca, a teacher who is a national leader of the activist group By Any Means Necessary, got a temporary restraining order against Berkeley College Republican president Troy Worden in September after alleging that he was stalking and harassing her for her political activities on the
University of California at Berkeley campus.
But a judge dismissed the order in late September after he ruled that Felarca had failed to prove her case.
On Thursday, Commissioner Thomas Rasch ordered Felarca to pay Worden $10,000 in attorney's fees and $1,1000 in court fees.
Worden and Felarca have both been involved in rallies in Berkeley in support of and against President Donald Trump.
Mark Meuser, one of Worden's lawyers, said in a statement, "By ruling that Yvette Felarca did not demonstrate good faith in filing the restraining order, the court recognized the frivolous nature of Felarca's actions."
Meuser said, "The award of attorney fees should send a strong signal that she cannot abuse the court system to silence speech."
Harmeet Dhillon, another attorney for Worden, said, "This marks the second time in two months that Felarca and her lawyers have been ordered by an area court to pay the attorney fees of their opponents for filing legally and factually unsupported claims in court."
Dhillon said, "Felarca's pattern of abusing the courts to achieve her anarchist ends is a classic [Saul] Alinsky tactic. We are pleased that the court recognized this today and ordered Felarca to pay Worden's attorney fees and his court costs associated with her baseless complaint."
Felarca's attorneys wrote in a legal brief they filed before Thursday's hearing that, "This case is about stalking" and alleged "Troy Worden's motions are an attempt to turn Yvette Felarca's right to seek a protective order based on Worden's stalking and harassment into Worden's attempt to trample on Felarca's First Amendment rights."
Her attorneys said, "Women in the Bay Area or anywhere should not be of the mind that they cannot seek protection from the law when in danger, for fear of legal and financial reprisal from their attackers."
Felarca was charged in July with assault, participating in a riot and inciting a riot for her actions in a face-off between white nationalist groups and counter-protesters in Sacramento in June 2016.