Activist petitions to reverse state-ordered payment

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By Any Means Necessary activist Yvette Felarca has filed a petition to the California State Supreme Court to reverse the order that she must pay more than $11,000 in legal fees to the former president of the Berkeley College Republicans, Troy Worden.

Felarca had previously filed for and was awarded a temporary restraining order against Worden in September 2017 for allegedly stalking and harassing her. Worden subsequently filed a motion against Felarca requesting more than $100,000 worth of damages on the grounds that the order violated his First Amendment free speech guarantee, his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and “made it difficult” to attend classes. The appeals court ruled in favor of Worden on the basis that Felarca’s restraining order “lacked substantial justification,” and ordered Felarca to pay roughly $11,000 in legal fees to Worden.

“It is extremely unusual to impose attorney fees in these cases,” said Ronald Cruz, the attorney representing Felarca, in an email. “We think the California Supreme Court case needs to take this up if the state is truly going to combat stalking. The attorney fee sets a bad precedent that stalking is now allowed and it must be reversed.”

Since Felarca’s initial appeal to the court’s order, Worden has raised money through a GoFundMe for his legal fees and appeared on a livestream from far-right YouTuber Ashton Whitty to promote it.

Felarca alleged that Worden violated his restraining order in a video, provided by Cruz, allegedly showing Worden videotaping Felarca on Sproul Plaza for 18 minutes.

“You are now in violation of a judge’s order,” Felarca said in the video. “You’ve been harassing me, you’ve been stalking me.”

Worden did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

Ben Klein is the lead schools and communities reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @BenKlein_dc‏.