Early last year, Berkley Antifa leaders Yvette Felarca was ordered to pay former Berkeley College Republicans president Troy Worden $11,000 in attorneys fees. Today the Daily Californian reports that Felarca is appealing that loss:
Felarca’s attorney Ronald Cruz stated that one of the reasons Felarca decided to appeal the awarding of legal fees to Worden was that the decision sets a precedent that could discourage women from filing restraining orders in incidents of stalking or harassment.
“We will argue that the court must reverse the attorney fee because misogynist men who stalk and harass political leaders like Yvette and try to drive women out of public life should not get the sanction of and financial windfall from the California courts,” Cruz said in an email.
During the argument, Worden’s lawyer Harmeet Dhillon argued that the legal fees awarded to Worden are justified, and that Worden’s First Amendment rights have been impaired during this process…
“Felarca has weaponized the courts of California to pursue her political agenda,” Dhillon said during the argument. “Ms. Felarca’s wasting of the court’s time is justified in awarding legal fees.”
Here’s the backstory. Felarca filed for a temporary restraining order against Worden in September 2017, claiming that he was harassing her. In order to make that TRO permanent, there was supposed to be a 2nd hearing held in October. However, rather than pursue it, Felarca’s lawyers stopped pursuing it claiming that the TRO had been successful in forcing Worden to back off. However, Worden’s lawyers told Campus Reform a very different story:
According to Worden’s press release, the temporary restraining order filed by Yvette Felarca, the Berkeley leader of By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), was the fifth order filed by the organization that has been dismissed this year…
“Yvette Felarca and three other national leaders for By Any Means Necessary made specific statements under oath about the things that Troy Worden had said and done,” Worden’s attorney Mark Meuser said in a press release.
“Opposing counsel had just seen the video evidence that we were prepared to show the court on Thursday and realized that there were several hours of video that directly contradicted what was testified to on the stand,” he added. “Felarca had no choice but to dismiss the civil harassment petition.”
So rather than try to back up their initial claims at a 2nd hearing, Felarca and her attorneys dropped the whole thing and declared victory. Worden’s attorneys responded by filing a lawsuit. In early January 2018, a judge found the TRO request Felarca had filed against Worden had been filed in bad faith and ordered Felarca to pay Worden’s legal fees. From Campus Reform:
Harmeet Dhillon of the Dhillon Law Group, through which Meuser is representing Worden, said that Felarca has a history of “filing and dismissing utterly frivolous cases against innocent targets” and pledged to hold her and her lawyers “accountable.”
“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,” she added, with Worden noting that the restraining order prevented him from exercising his free-speech rights on campus…
“By ruling that she did not demonstrate good faith in filing the restraining order, the court recognized the frivolous nature of Felarca’s actions,” Meuser remarked. “The award of attorney fees should send a strong signal that she cannot abuse the court system to silence speech.”
So Felarca was ordered to pay because the initial claims were deemed frivolous. In other words, she wasn’t actually stalked and harassed by Worden as she claims. According to Worden’s lawyers, there’s even video that would prove some of her lawyer’s claims were false. But despite all of this her attorneys are appealing the judgment on the grounds that Felarca needs to stand up for women who are stalked and harassed by misogynist men. This is akin to Jussie Smollett suing Chicago and claiming he’s doing it to protect the rights of hate crime victims.
Meanwhile, Felarca has been facing felony assault charges over an incident that happened three years ago. Her attorneys claimed she was close to reaching a plea deal in that case but have repeatedly pushed the actual court date toward the horizon. The case was supposed to finally go to trial next Monday, but once again it has been delayed:
Linda Parisi, the pro bono National Lawyers Guild recruited attorney for Williams, has another trial starting in July, so the District Attorney’s Office and defense counsel for all three defendants agreed to re-set the trial for late September – nearly 40 months after the June 2016 original Capitol encounter.
The length of time this case has been stuck on calendar didn’t escape Judge Jaime R. Roman, who asked to see the full file Thursday when he heard there was yet another continuance in the case.
Felarca’s attorneys have been claiming for months that their client is the victim of a political witch hunt by police but so far it doesn’t seem to be working. Her problem, as always, is this video of the assault: