An "Antifa" activist has been ordered to pay legal fees for a case in which she attempted to get a permanent restraining order against the Berkeley College Republicans' former president.
Yvette Felarca, a middle school teacher and prominent member of the group By Any Means Necessary, was ordered to pay $1,100 in court fees and $10,000 in attorney's fees after her withdrawn attempt to obtain a permanent restraining order against Troy Worden, according to Fox News.
Felarca had gotten a temporary restraining order against Worden in September 2017, when she said the former head of the Berkeley College Republicans was harassing and stalking her on the school's campus. The restraining order initially ordered Worden to stay 300 feet from Felarca, but the order was later changed to 30 feet.
Felarca had then applied for a permanent restraining order in October 2017, but withdrew it on the day of the hearing. Worden then became the prevailing party, and was reportedly entitled to receive attorney and court fees in the case.
When Felarca filed for the restraining order, she said that Worden had followed her on campus in February 2017 and told her he was a fan of hers, reports the East Bay Times.
"He asked me if he could take a selfie with me, which I agreed to," said Felarca when she filed for the order. "Right after taking the picture, as I stepped away from him, he suddenly reached out his hand to try [to] touch my face. He had a hard, chilling, menacing expression."
"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," said Worden's attorney, Mark Meuser.
"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," added Meuser. "The award of attorney fees should send a strong signal that she cannot abuse the court system to silence speech."
Meuser also testified that Worden's legal fees had actually been close to $178,600, and requested a higher reimbursement from Felarca. Commissioner Thomas Rasch, who ordered the reimbursement, declined to request a higher reimbursement, and indicated that he did not believe $178,600 was reasonable to ask for, according to Berkeleyside.
Felarca's attorney and the attorney for BAMN, Shanta Driver, said that that case set a poor precedent. Driver said she feared the case's outcome meant any woman who sought a restraining order for their own protection would have to fear financial repercussions if they did not receive the order. Driver also said she thought the judge personally sided with Worden.
"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," she said.
Felarca was previously charged with inciting and participating in a riot and assault likely to cause great bodily injury after she was filmed hitting a man during a counter-protest against a white supremacist group on June 26, 2016.
She is scheduled to appear in court two more times in January for the June demonstration, and one for misdemeanor charges from a protest march in Berkeley in September 2017.