A middle school teacher and prominent member of an Antifa group has been ordered to pay legal fees for a failed attempt to get a permanent restraining order against the former president of the Berkeley College Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, according to reports.
Alameda County Superior Court Commissioner Thomas Rasch ordered Yvette Felarca, the leader of By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), an Antifa, or anti-fascist, group, to pay $10,000 in attorney’s fees and $1,100 in court fees, The Berkeleyside reported Friday. Rasch said that Felarca’s legal actions against Troy Worden, the former head of the Berkeley College Republicans, were not brought in good faith.
Felarca’s attorneys dispute that characterization, according to The Berkeleyside, and have vowed to appeal the ruling.
“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,” Mark Meuser, Worden’s attorney, said after the decision, according to The Berkeleyside. “The award of attorney fees should send a strong signal that she cannot abuse the court system to silence speech.”
Meuser testified in court that actual legal expenses were around $178,600, and that he was seeking a higher reimbursement, according to The Berkeleyside.
“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,” Felarca’s attorney Shanta Driver said.
Felarca got a temporary restraining order against Worden in September after alleging he was stalking and harassing her on the Berkeley campus. Worden initially was ordered to stay 100 yards away from Felarca, but that distance later was reduced to 10 yards. Felarca, according to The Berkeleyside, then applied for a permanent restraining order in October but withdrew the order the day of the hearing, making Worden the prevailing party entitled to receive lawyer and court fees.
“Felarca filed a frivolous restraining order that restricted Worden’s First and Second Amendment rights and made it difficult for him to move around the campus to attend classes,” Meuser told Fox News in November.
Worden said he and many other UC Berkeley College Republicans faced months of harassment and violence.
“I have to look behind my shoulder whenever I am on campus and especially when I am engaged in political activism,” Worden said.
“The No. 1 public university in the world and the so-called ‘birthplace of the free speech movement’ is anything but. It is the place where America’s conservative youth are daily under threat of violence, lacking the support of the university administration, police, or city,” he added. “The Free Speech Movement is dead, and the left has killed it.”