Early this Morning we were in Court presenting a case under California’s Code of Civil Procedure 527.6, which prohibits harassment and stalking.
The victim is a 60 year old woman who has been subject to stalking and harassment by her neighbor, with her efforts to get government assistance yielding little.
What merits a 527.6 Order ?
Well I can describe the facts of this case so you can get an idea what is needed:
Here there was stalking, with Respondent repeatedly appearing at Respondent’s kitchen window, sometimes wielding a camera and snapping pictures of the inside of Petitioner’s home. Respondent had also combed through Petitioner’s facebook, compiling her information for his use. And there was defamation, a written libel in this case. Pretending to be a concerned neighbor Respondent crafted flyers to quietly spread serious and completely false rumors against Petitioner. Here is one example:
There is a lot more to that flyer but the bottom line was to allege that there was a question as to Petitioner’s mental sanity. Most of this was done by referring to her work on emerging medical technologies, which is information that is outside of the common experience. And the perps in this prepared another document which alleged she had engaged in violence – again a total fabrication – and this created the false impression of physical danger.
People who hear those combined labels of insanity and potential violence don’t want to talk to an allegedly crazy and potentially dangerous person – People worry about talking to someone that has been alleged to be crazy – they worry they might set them off – so this combintion makes it very hard to find out it’s happening, and even harder to dispel those lies.
The goal was to unhinge the Petitioner, so Respondent did not stop with defamation and stalking. He went into veiled threats of violence against her, including rape, by uttering these words at Petitioner’s kitchen window, since Petitioner is alone much of the time. The fear of violence or of further consequence usually has the additional and especially insidious effect of keeping victims silent.
That is usually enough for most stalkers, but this case had a unique angle: The Respondent literally tried to trap Petitioner inside a 12 foot high, 36 foot long Wall of plastic tarp he built just outside Petitioner’s windows. It looked like he was trying to build a cage.
He built this haphazard structure with wooden poles and staple guns, raising a wall of darkness around Petitioner’s home, robbing the Petitioner of sun and fresh air, and making her feel like a prisoner in her own home.
While he was building it he mouthed vile, sexually charged insults at the 60 year old Petitioner, who initially stood in disbelief in her own kitchen, watching herself being boxed in.
She cut down the first tarp enclosure, and he built another, this time with another man present, mouthing insults at belittling her. She called the police, and they did not solve the problem. The city was apparently too busy.
Since the Respondent had already threatened to shoot someone for serving legal papers on him, a well founded fear of violence kept other people from confronting the situation. To top it all off, there were no funds to hire a regular firm.
That’s where the Legal Co Op to got involved: People have a right to live peaceful, law abiding lives, free from a power-tripping stalking neighbor. It doesn’t matter who he is.
So we started investigating as described elsewhere. And it was this very morning that months of resolute picture taking, legal work, and journaling paid off. The evidence was clear and the result incisive:
The gavel came down for a 2 Year Restraining Order against Respondent’s harassment, which now promises jail time if the conduct continues. People may be soon be compensated for their losses, and peace may yet prevail there.
The Restraining Orders issued under that statute are transmitted directly to a Police computers system known as CLETS, and will immediately show up on the squad cars’ computer screens if you place a related call to the police. That means the police will know who they are dealing with before they arrive on the scene. It means that stalker’s record now reflects what they have been doing.
The Respondent was heard in his true colors at the end of the hearing, saying strange things like “the police” told him to do that, as if he was just doing what he was told. Well, no legitimate police would do such a thing, and it is he that will be held fully responsible.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this bit of positive action on this sparse front. We will continue to fight for people affected by harassment. We simply ask that you help support our work by making a $5 or $10 donation and comment right here: