The ousted president of the Berkeley College Republicans, Troy Worden, has sued radical middle school teacher Yvette Felarca for close to $200,000 in damages over her attempt to obtain a restraining order against him. The two are longtime foes and have repeatedly accused one another of stalking and harassment.
Worden has filed a motion in Alameda County Superior Court seeking around $178,600 in attorney fees and $2,400 in costs from Felarca, according to court documents. Felarca, a lead organizer with far-left group By Any Means Necessary, received a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Worden on Sept. 8, after alleging that he stalked her and threatened her, including when both activists were promoting their causes on Sproul Plaza. The TRO initially ordered Worden to stay 100 yards from Felarca, but the judge reduced the distance to 10 yards. The temporary TRO was later dismissed.
Felarca also filed for a permanent restraining order in September, but withdrew the application the day of the October hearing, after only her side had gotten a chance to present evidence, according to Worden’s motion. Per California law, Worden is the prevailing party in the case and is entitled to damages, his lawyers are alleging.
In a press release issued last week, Worden’s lawyer Mark Meuser said Felarca and the other members of her far-left group By Any Means Necessary should “pay for their misuse of the court system.”
The TRO “restricted Worden’s movement around the university campus, prevented him from fulfilling his duties as the BCR president and hindered his First and Second Amendment rights,” according to the motion.
“This case represented a massive imbalance in power in that we had a poor college student about to lose his constitutional rights because a massive organization had the resources to try to crush him in court,” said Harmeet Dhillon, another lawyer for Worden, in the release.
Dhillon is also representing the Berkeley College Republicans in a free speech case against UC Berkeley. Throughout many public tussles with administrators over controversial speaker events in the past year, Worden was a lead spokesperson for the conservative club. The Daily Cal reported that he was impeached by other members of the club a month ago and is no longer president.
BCR has often sparred with local anti-fascist and leftist groups, including BAMN, which has a presence on campus. Felarca and BAMN believe violence is sometimes a necessary tactic against fascism and bigotry, and Felarca is facing the felony charge of inciting a riot to protest a neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento. She was also arrested in Berkeley in September while counter-protesting a right-wing rally during the so-called “Free Speech Week.” Felarca works part-time as a teacher at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.
In a statement sent to Berkeleyside by Felarca, BAMN lawyer Ronald Cruz said he views Worden’s motion as a ploy to “stay relevant and make money.”
“Troy Worden is a stalker. This motion is his attempt to use the courts to continue stalking Ms. Felarca,” Cruz said.
In a separate motion, Worden is also asking the court for sanctions against Cruz and another BAMN attorney and founder, Shanta Driver, for pursuing a baseless restraining order and for an allegedly false statement made in court about an interaction between Worden and Felarca.
“I am glad that we are no longer playing defense and that we are finally going after BAMN for filing this frivolous action,” Worden said in the release.