A California judge has ordered a middle school teacher associated with a violent-wing of Antifa to pay thousands to a former conservative student at the University of California, Berkeley.
On Thursday, an Alameda County Superior Court Commissioner ordered Yvette Felarca to pay former Berkeley College Republicans leader Troy Worden $10,000 in attorneys’ fees and $1,100 in court fees over her botched attempt to get a permanent restraining order against him, according to The Berkeleyside.
Commissioner Thomas Rasch said Felarca’s actions were not done in good faith.
Felarca — a national leader in the group By Any Means Necessary, which proudly uses violence — filed for a temporary retraining order against Worden last September, alleging he was stalking and harassing her.
She later filed for a permanent restraining order in October, but withdrew the application on the day of the hearing. The action made Worden the “prevailing party entitled to receive lawyer and court fees,” according to The Berkeleyside.
How did Worden’s attorneys respond?
Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer at the firm representing Worden, told Campus Reform:
Felarca and her fellow travelers in BAMN [By Any Means Necessary]/Antifa need to learn that the California courts are not their personal plaything to use and abuse at will by filing baseless and vexatious lawsuits.
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. True victims of harassment/stalking/ assault need the courts to be available to them as a priority, not clogged with fabricated claims pursued in bad faith.
Another attorney representing Worden, Mark Meuser, added: “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. The award of attorney fees should send a strong signal that she cannot abuse the court system to silence speech.”
Meruser also told the Berkeleyside that the award was just a fraction of the actual work he put into the case. He says he’s really owed $178,600 for the case, but Rasch said the amount was unreasonable.
How did Felarca’s attorney respond?
Shanta Driver, the attorney for Felarca and BAMN, said the award for attorneys’ fees was too high and set a bad precedent for a woman seeking restraining orders in the future. She also accused the judge of being partisan.
“This verdict was based on the judge’s decision to support the political views of Troy Worden and the alt-right and that is not acceptable,” Driver said, according to The Berkeleyside.
Driver also vowed to appeal the ruling.
What about Felarca’s past?
According to The Berkeleyside, she is due in court twice more in January. First, she has to attend a pretrial hearing for felony inciting a riot charges stemming from a June 2016 riot in Sacramento. Then, she’s slated to answer for various misdemeanor charges stemming from her actions at a protest in Berkeley last September.