Judge/Commissioner: Lowell Richards
Attorney: Juliet Jonas
Plaintiff: Don Bracco
Defendant: Greg Prax
Judge Richards: Inaudible at 0:02. Bracco V Prax.
Unknown: Come on up
Juliet Jonas: Good afternoon Your Honor. Juliet Jonas appearing for the respondent Greg Prax.
Judge Richards: Right. Mr. Bracco is that right?
Don Bracco: Right.
Judge Richards: Good afternoon. Alright. Mr. Bracco you brought this action and you are under oath at this point and the facts in your petition, correct?
Don Bracco: It’s my intention to inaudible at 0:26
Judge Richards: And you’re still asking for a restraining order?
Don Bracco: Yes
Judge Richards: And on the, for the, Mr. Prax, that’s you?
Greg Prax: Yes, Your Honor
Judge Richards: Are the facts in your declaration true and correct?
Greg Prax: Yes Your Honor
Judge Richards: And did you have a chance to read his declaration?
Greg Prax: Yes
Judge Richards: And how would you like to respond to that?
Inaudible at 0:44
Judge Richards: What’s your name?
Cack: Assistant Counsel for Mr. Bracco
Judge Richards: Get his name. Did you get his name?
Juliet Jonas: I did not get his name
Cack: C A C K
Unknown: First name?
Cack: That’s my name
Juliet Jonas: Do you have a last name?
Juliet Jonas: No last name?
Judge Richards: Okay. So when would you like to respond to or not?
Cack No. He doesn’t want to inaudible at 1:12
Judge Richards: Are you his Attorney?
Judge Richards: But you are speaking for him?
Cack: Assisting him
Judge Richards: You are assisting him?
Cack: Yes Your Honor
Judge Richards: Assist him quietly, okay? He needs to be able to speak for himself here. Alright. Anything that’s not in those declarations?
Juliet Jonas: Well Your Honor, I just wanna say that we are ready to address the procedural deficiencies, the substantive deficiencies, whatever the Court feels is necessary, we are interested in presenting.
Judge Richards: Let me address first the question of proof of service, because, number one, he responded, but secondly, I have a proof of service in the file. Apparently he was served with something.
Juliet Jonas: He, so the method of service that is required is a inaudible at 1:50 personal service and we actually have someone dropping off the paper work. Mr. Prax was not home at the time.
Judge Richards: I see.
Juliet Jonas: So the paper work was just left at his property
Judge Richards: Okay. But then he responded
Juliet Jonas: He did. He did.
Judge Richards: Not a special response get this over until
Juliet Jonas: I think so, yeah. Don’t want any delay
Judge Richards: Alright. Okay. And anything else to add to the declaration?
Juliet Jonas: Well, I mean, as I said ,we’re ready to have the full hearing. We want to address whatever points that the Court feels is important procedurally with regards to the fact that…
Judge Richards: You want me…I’m sorry. You want me to run your case?
Juliet Jonas: No no no. I’m saying that it’s his, it’s the Petitioner’s burden to show us why he’s entitled to this and so I’m just asking…
Judge Richards: Inaudible at 2:30 by clear and convincing evidence.
Juliet Jonas: Yes. So I’m just asking the Court to give some direction if, there’s anything specifically that you want us to address. I’m also ready to just go through our argument if you would like.
Judge Richards: Yes. I’d certainly like you to address whether the order should be issued or not.
Juliet Jonas: Okay. Thank you. So you’ve already touched on the issue of persona, service. I understand that by appearing today by consenting, even though service was not
Judge Richards: Well I would give you more time to prepare if you wanted to, but I, that’s why I’m asking you if you are appearing. Thats why I'm asking if you are appearing making special appearance for…
Juliet Jonas: Yes. Yes.
Judge Richards: What else?
Juliet Jonas: So I also want to point out to the Court that the petition is deficient on its face that is because no declaration has been made and this is all in the moving papers in the opposing papers I’m sorry. There is no declaration that’s made on perjury in the under the state laws of California, which is what is required by, by code of civil procedural section 2016.5
Juliet Jonas: There’s been no authentication of those documents. It’s unclear how related those documents are. There’s no real evidence that’s before the Court, in order to be able to issue an injunction because there hasn’t been any evidence that’s been authenticated Inaudible at 3:40 address a procedural deficiencies.
This sort of injunction, the purpose is where someone has demonstrated for quick relief or there’s a threat for great irreparable injury. None of those facts are before the Court. There is not any evidence of any sort of quick relief that sneeded or any threat of great irreparable injury, there are no facts before the Court. In fact, there are no facts that could support that requirement. Furthermore, this type of prohibitive injunction is to address future threatened conduct and there is no allegations before the Court or evidence before the Court based on that requirement as well. And he even states in his petition that there, that he’s not afraid and that he has never been threatened. So there’s also a requirement with regards to specialized statute of 527.6. It’s to provide an expedited procedure of a limited scope and limited duration injunction in instances of harassment.
Now we strenuously object that there has been any harassment, but even if the Court finds that there is, this is a very broad scoped injunction that the Petitioner is seeking. One that would not even allow Mr. Prax to access his property and it’s something that is unclear, but it seems like it’s for an indefinite time. This is not a procedure that is appropriate for this type of address that Mr. Bracco is claiming that he has suffered some sort of damages entitling him to. With regards to the substantive deficiencies 527.6 allows the person who suffered harassment to seek an injunction prohibiting that harassment and as the Court is aware, there are six different elements. The first of which is there has to be some course of conduct. So giving these course of conduct as much leeway as we can, the only things that we can pull from that, that he is claiming again with unsubstantiated, unauthenticated evidence, is that there is something referring to close captioning television, there is a flashlight incident. One flashlight, one incident, one alleged following in a car, something to do with a sign, something to do with a car being blocked in. This does not meet the requirement of a knowing and wilful course of conduct entailing a pattern of series of acts over time evidencing some continuity of purpose. The second element of that 527.6 statute is that it’s targeted towards a specific person and I don’t think that that’s in dispute here that this is a neighbor dispute and that these are the two parties that are involved in that dispute. The third element is that the conduct has to be something that seriously alarms or annoys or harasses the person. That’s not alleged, it’s not factually supported by anything, that’s again, produced to the Court without any sort of authentication.
The fourth element is one that we are strenuously putting forward to the Court and that is that it is required that this conduct has no legitimate purpose. The conduct here serves a legitimate purpose and as such it cannot be enjoined under 527.6.
Judge Richards: What legitimate purpose you’re talking about?
Juliet Jonas: Well there are several. The first is that Mr. Bracco has threatened my client’s life two times and so that that act alone entitles my client to be able to monitor his property to maintain his safety.
Judge Richards: I see.
Juliet Jonas: Half of the cameras I believe just show Mr. Prax’s home. His backyard, his side yard and the front of the house. None of the cameras show anything other than what could be viewed from the street and in fact, a person standing on the edge of Mr. Prax’s property can see Mr. Bracco’s property better than these cameras can.
In addition, another portion of this legitimate purpose argument is that the Pleasant Hill Police who have been contacted and reports have been filed about this stalking behavior, menacing behavior and the threats to Mr. Prax’s life, that he has, Mr. Prax has correspondence from the Pleasant Hill Police Department which we brought copies to the Court today, that, asking for him to continue to send information about identifying different cars that are visiting. This, this dispute arises over an illegal business operation in Mr. Bracco’s home that is a cash-based business, is one that has many different people visiting at all hours of the day for just short periods of time and so, as one could surmise, this doesn’t really make a neighbour feel safe. And in fact, there was a break-in into a car in the neighbourhood after the Prax’s moved in.
So furthermore, it seems that there is some issue with communication with neighbors and potentially communication… I’m just trying to figure out what the basis is that they could potentially be claiming to be entitled to this restraining order. If there is something having to do with communication with neighbours, if there is something having to do with communication to Public Agencies, these are all constitutionally protected and there’s anti-Slapp ramifications to the filing of a petition like this. So that, that demonstrates I think clearly, although I’m happy to talk more about it, my client can talk about it if the Court feels fit.
Judge Richards: Well I take it that because you are arguing, you are not going to present any more evidence. Is that right? Sounds like arguing.
Juliet Jonas: Evidence as far as testimony?
Judge Richards: Yes
Juliet Jonas: Well, what I’m presenting is what our argument is based on…
Judge Richards: The argument…That’s right. That’s right.
Juliet Jonas: If the Court needs more evidence on issues, we’re only happy to..
Judge Richards: This is your case. Are you presenting any more evidence than you have presented by declaration? The declaration has been entered into evidence by, that’s why I was asking if you, if you if it’s true and correct.
Juliet Jonas: Okay.
Judge Richards: Inaudible at 9:39
Juliet Jonas: Okay. So do you wanna hear testimony?
Judge Richards: Do I wanna? No. I want you to present whatever case is necessary. I’m not gonna run your case for you.
Juliet Jonas: Oh. I’m not asking you to. I also don’t wanna waste the Court’s time.
Judge Richards: Sure.
Juliet Jonas: I feel that on its face, the petition is clearly insufficient. Doesn’t meet the requirements.
Judge Richards: Okay.
Juliet Jonas: But I don’t wanna go through the process and not have my client have a hearing.
Judge Richards: You don’t wanna lose the case…
Juliet Jonas: By not going and presenting everything if that’s what the Court if that’s…
Judge Richards: So you put on whatever you think is necessary
Juliet Jonas: Okay. So, so I do wanna present to the Court the letter from the Pleasant Hill Police Department.
Judge Richards: That’s hearsay. Why is it admissible?
Juliet Jonas: Hearsay is admissible in an injunction hearing,.
Judge Richards: Actually, it is. But what’s the relevance?
Juliet Jonas: It’s relevant to go towards a legitimate purpose element and it’s required that…
Judge Richards: Okay
Juliet Jonas: ….his conduct is not for a legitimate purpose and this letter says, ‘please forward any vehicle license plates and vehicle descriptions of frequent customers.’
Judge Richards: Okay. I’ll take that. I’ll take a look.
Juliet Jonas: Thank you.
Don Bracco Sir can I see it?
Judge Richards: It’s okay. Hold on. Okay. Mmmhmmm.
Juliet Jonas: So that’s also related to the incident that Mr. Bracco claims also supports his claims with the incidents with the flashlight.
Judge Richards: I don’t see them deputizing or anything like that.
Juliet Jonas: Well that’s right. That’s right. But I don’t know if that’s required for legitimate purpose. Some things that are found to be legitimate purposes, are as little as parking your car in a parking spot that’s near your house.
Judge Richards: I see
Juliet Jonas: So the parking of a car can be found to be a legitimate purpose. I think that it’s safe to say and obviously it would be for the Court to determine, that being able to safe in your property is a legitimate purpose.
Judge Richards: Parking of car?
Juliet Jonas: Well that was the case that there was a neighbour dispute where one of the neighbors claimed that there was no legitimate purpose for the person parking their car where they did
Judge Richards: This is a separate case?
Juliet Jonas: Yes
Judge Richards: I didn’t remember seeing that in here.
Juliet Jonas: Ya. Sorry. So I use that as just an example what the Courts have found in the past as being a legitimate purpose and so, legitimate purpose element is one that we we really, besides all the others, because we only don’t dispute the second element what is targeted to the specific person. Targeted not meaning any sort of behavior but just that this is a dispute between these two people.
Judge Richards: Mmmmhmmm
Juliet Jonas: The fifth element is, has to do with a reasonable person so that a reasonable person would suffer some substantial emotional distress and that Mr. Bracco actually suffered substantial emotional distress, so this is not alleged anywhere. There’s no, there is no medical psychological or other evidence that meets this requisite substantial emotional distress element that Mr. Bracco has suffered. Where, furthermore, as part of that element it’s also required that a reasonable person would suffer substantial emotional distress based on his conduct. And we know that a reasonable person must realise that complete emotional tranquillity is seldom attainable. That there is some degree of transitory emotional distress is a natural consequence of living among other people. That you must expect to suffer some inconvenience and annoyance.
The fact that a reasonable person based on whatever we can ascertain. Even though this is not again properly before the Court. If we were to give it all benefit of the doubt, there is no conduct, that Mr. Prax alleged to commit that supports the issuance of this injunction.
Judge Richards: Okay, anything else?
Juliet Jonas: We also want to address the point in our motion about the Attorney’s fees and also want to address the unclean hands argument. Mr. Bracco has in fact harassed Mr. Prax. He claims that one of the issues is with cameras facing his house and that Mr. Bracco also has cameras that face Mr. Prax’s house and I want to make sure that the Court knows that we have no problem with those cameras. But I think that basing his argument in part on the fact that Mr. Prax has cameras, when Mr. Bracco also has cameras, which we would like to present pictures of them to the Court, is the basis for finding Mr. Bracco’s unclean hands, which means the… .
Judge Richards: I see
Juliet Jonas: And then also with regards to Attorney’s fees that the Court make award prevailing party cost and attorney fees and that’s even where the injunction is signed in good faith and not frivolous, which is not the case here.
Judge Richards: I’ll address the Attorney’s fees if and when I find for your client.
Juliet Jonas: Right
Judge Richards: Okay. Anything else?
Unknown: These reports.
Juliet Jonas: We also just wanna mention that there have been police reports filed documenting Mr. Bracco’s harassment and illegal business operations out of his home.
Judge Richards: Okay. Anything else?
Unknown: Inaudible at 14:25
Judge Richards: Okay. Well unfortunately, you misunderstand completely what a civil harassment order is about. In fact, the more justified your client feels or is in terms of his conduct that is more likely that this order needs to be issued. This is not about who’s right or wrong here. If he were, if he were deputized by the police who follow people and to, basically, he’s not, he’s not denied any of the conduct here. Your point, your entire point in terms of your argument and your presentation is that he’s justified in doing what he is doing. That’s exactly the reason why an order needs to be issued. Because this is about unwarranted, un-invited harassment. You haven’t denied the sign saying ‘drug dealer’ pointing at his house. Right? That’s not being denied anywhere here. I didn’t see it. Did I, did I miss….
Juliet Jonas: No. I didn’t know that that’s properly before the Court. Do we not follow the same evidentry requirements?
Judge Richards: We do and the the entire declaration in which all the others was incorporated was under penalty of perjury. I checked to make sure that was properly signed. It is. His entire declaration and everything included is under penalty of perjury and I have no doubt the only evidence I have is a photo apparently from his house pointing indicating in big letters that this is a drug dealer next door. I have no, I have no problem with cameras. The cameras are not the issue here. The issue is whether he....and if you’re indicating that it’s okay for people to follow, a car comes by and a friend comes by and it’s okay, it’s okay for him to follow that person. It’s not okay.
Juliet Jonas: I agree
Judge Richards: Okay
Juliet Jonas: That’s not where we are looking at all.
Judge Richards: No. And the more he feels justified in doing all these things, the more this person needs protection. It’s not about whether he’s right or wrong. It’s not about if in fact he has threatened his life, there’s more, because of the nature of these types of actions, there’s more likely a need to protect him from retaliation. That’s the nature of civil harassment. Protection orders.
Juliet Jonas: Well, Your Honor, I think that the issue here is the immediacy and the fact, the effect of this issuance of and injunc… a restraining order would have on Mr. Prax and the fact that there’s been no threat of future conduct. The fact that there’s a sign placed in your yard is not putting you in any danger. You need to file a defamation cause of action. This is meant to be a partner with a defamation…..
Judge Richards: So what is the intention of putting the sign there?
Juliet Jonas: It’s it was not a good decision, but that doesn’t mean that neighbour shouldn’t have to deal with some sort of annoyance. It wasn’t a good decision, but it wasn’t harassment.
Judge Richards: No. It was for, for what?
Juliet Jonas: It was for, it wasn’t the best decision and it’s no longer up. But that’s not harassment. To say that we can’t have neighborly disputes and someone puts a sign on their own property – it’s not ideal - but to say that now everybody who does that can now file a request and get a restraining order which has a significant freedom implications on him.
Judge Richards: No, no no no.
Juliet Jonas: Well what are the other facts? I’m not saying that he…
Judge Richards: And he’s not denied following people
Juliet Jonas: No, he does deny. He strenuously denies it.
Judge Richards: I didn’t see it in….
Juliet Jonas: In in the documents. We we addressed the procedural deficiencies in the document
Judge Richards: Oh. You’re saying that he hasn’t established that it happened. Right?
Juliet Jonas: Right. But also, our client does not feel like any sort of harassing behaviour is all. We are okay with Mr. Bracco to leave each other alone. My client has never gone on to his property except for two times and that was in the way beginning when they first moved there to address him about a parking issue that they were having. He has never gone on there and made any sort of threats. He has never, Mr. Bracco was yelling at my client when my client has guests. He’s driving his car… I’m not, I’m saying my client is okay with leaving him alone.
Judge Richards: inaudible at 18:18
Juliet Jonas: Sorry?
Judge Richards: He’s not requesting a restraining order
Juliet Jonas: Well I have advised him in the past to seek one and he has not…but but the point here is Your Honor, he’s fine with leaving him alone. He just wants to stay alone in his house.
Judge Richards: Being fine with leaving him alone flies in the face of putting a big sign in the yard that says drug dealer next door.
Juliet Jonas: Well Your Honor. I agree, but I mean, what’s the next step after that? That somebody put up a Trump sign and I’m offended by that. Now I can file a restraining order because am filing something. You know that I’m anti-Trump. This is going to have, this is a slippery slope, the filing of a, a …
Judge Richards: No. Coupled with actually, with actually following the people
Juliet Jonas: He did not actually follow.
Greg Prax: I’d like to respond. Your Honor may I respond?
Judge Richards: Well sure. It would have been nice if I had this evidence before, but go ahead.
Greg Prax: I appreciate your time. We have a vehicle log that from the day that Mr. Bracco alleged that we followed him.
Judge Richards: mmmhmmmm
Greg Prax: My wife and I were on our way back from the store. We crossed paths with each other. We at that time forgot that we had forgotten something at the store. We turned around. Mr. Bracco turned around and I went, ‘oh geez, what do we do? Let’s park.’ We pulled into the next Court, we parked and we waited for Mr. Bracco to drive by. At that point we just decided, forget it, and we returned home. I have a vehicle log from that day and the vehicle log from the day is relevant Your Honor because there’s not a time in there where we would be able to go to the store and come back without crossing paths. It just happened to be, this one time a year and a half that our paths had crossed in this manner. It just happens to be that that it’s it’s that we crossed paths at this time on this day.
He believes that we are following him. We didn’t follow anything. We did a U-Turn, he did a U-Turn. I parked in a Court, he drove by. If I could present this this vehicle log, you can, you can see Sir that there’s that there’s….. it would be extraordinarily challenging with this amount of vehicular traffic for us to avoid him or any of his frequent guests.
Juliet Jonas: It’s a one-in, one-out
Judge Richards: Ya.
Greg Prax: And on the, after this, I also wanted to speak on the flashlight incident Your Honor.
Judge Richards: Sure.
Greg Prax: The flashlight incident was, happened when one of, when one of Mr. Bracco’s guests drove by extraordinarily slow in front of our house which is has happened over fifty times. Most of the times by Mr. Bracco himself. I went to the North West corner of my property. I shined a flashlight on the vehicle that’s across the street, less than 30 yards away. I went back inside. I wrote it down and I called the police. There’s a police report to substantiate this. The police officer did see that that and I showed them. Officer, if you would, I wanna make sure that this isn’t gonna get taken out of context or whatever. If you can see, I walked to the corner of my property. I identified what vehicle was stalking us and then, so the officer saw it, saw it.
He saw the stalking. He reports, he recorded the stalking and I have a police file, whatever you call it, a police number to show you that so what we’re trying to do is, is live in peace but when it’s brought right to us, sir I have to say the drug dealer sign, yes it was a bad idea, however, this is in response to Mr. Bracco’s stalking us many many times. Sometimes up to four times a day. Many, three police reports have been filed on Mr. Bracco’s stalking. I was gonna bring in the police reports Your Honor, but it got forwarded to the DA’s for review.
Judge Richards: Alright. So you understand you just corroborated one of the things that the he, in his declaration that supported the request for a restraining order.
Greg Prax: The flashlight Your Honor?
Juliet Jonas: Well, no, because he said that Mr. Prax went on to this property
Judge Richards: Yes. He was talking about shining the flashlight on to…
Juliet Jonas: Into the car. That’s not what he did at all.
Judge Richards: Okay.
Greg Prax: Yes, Your Honor, I did. But I was on my property. And I didn’t go off the property. I showed the Officer and I have a police report number, so, so yes, we’re not disputing a lot of what Mr. Bracco was saying. I’m just saying there are, there are logical reasons why this happened. And the logical reason is we happened to do a U-Turn the same time he happened to do a U-Turn. He assumes that we were following, but Your Honor, there’s one road in and out of our house. Both of our houses. Mr. Bracco lives kitty-corner to us and we’re at the end of the Court. All of us are at the end of the Court.
There’s one road in, there’s one road out. If you see the vehicular traffic, this is a daily occurrence. It’s hard not to run into each other Your Honor, so, did we turn around the same time he did? Yes, Your Honor, we did.
Judge Richards: Okay. Mr. Bracco, you’ve been very quiet there. What would you like to…
Don Bracco: Yeah. First of all I went to the Police Department to ask them for any report they had on me and they didn’t have anything on me at all whatsoever. A policeman has never come to my house. I never talked to one personally. The story about him following me, I’ve a, I had someone with me so I can have a witness sign something. He thought, I was driving to get some food at Wing Stop Monument at Pleasant Hill. I was going on West Boyd. He saw me. He made a U-Turn right in the middle of the block and got behind me. I told my friend that he’s behind us,.we're going to turn into this last court before Grayson We pulled in, we waited five minutes. I drove out.
He was parked on the, across the street watching me. I headed back to my house, went through and made a U-Turn. Drove down and he was parked up on the hill on the right side. Just waiting for me to drive by. Then we went and got the wingstop, but no, we did not make a U-Turn at the same time. He made a U-Turn in the middle of the block. on West Boyd as I go by and I, I went to the Pleasant Hill Police Department. There is absolutely no file on me whatsoever. I went down again today, I went there and she said not that I know of. I don’t know if she’s just saying that. The police officer at the window at the Police Station. But absolutely not. This man has been harassing me ever since he moved in. I’ve been living there for 40 years. I’ve never had problems with any of my neighbors. They all wrote a letter saying how good a neighbour I am. He’s got cameras on all neighbors. He’s watching everybody 24/7 and everybody is upset with him. He sent a letter out to the neighbors that one letter that is in the file. He didn’t send it to the immediate neighbors. He sent it to about ten houses away, so none of us would get that. One of my neighbors down the street gave it to me just to warn me what he was doing. He’s a vigilante. He’s turning neighbors against me. I have done nothing wrong. I don’t break the law. What I have is a collective. But no, I don’t have no one coming to my house. I can’t have friends coming to my house without him coming out, with his arms folded, staring at us, intimidating us 24/7. He’s got cameras. His cameras aren’t pointed down, it’s pointed at me. I did install new cameras just to give him a taste of his own medicine, but he’s been harassing me ever since he moved in. Again. I’ve been here 40 years and never had no problems with nobody.
Judge Richards: Okay. Anything else?
Juliet Jonas: Let me make one point. Yes. As part of what Mr. Bracco filed with the Court, there’s a card from a Police Officer with the Pleasant Hill Police Department. So I don’t know whether that was what he intended to present to the Court, but he’s just told us that he never has had a Police Officer come, so I’m not sure what that is. Also, Mr. Prax mentioned that that the reports are not at the Police Department, that they’d been forwarded on to the District Attorney.
Greg Prax: To the DA. The DA Your Honor said, the Pleasant Hill Police Department. I went there last week and they said that they are unable to give me any any paper work or anything that’s older than 90 days, and they also said that anything that was in the report that had been sent to the DA, the DA doesn’t bounce it back. So they explained to us that they were unable to give us any of these. We do have the report numbers and things, so, we’re not… I agree with Mr. Bracco. He says we turned ‘round in the middle of the street. Absolutely we turned ‘round in the middle of the street. To go back to the store. And soon as we saw him, we pulled into the Court, just like Mr. Bracco says and he drove by, just like he says. I don’t dispute any of that. I absolutely agree with it. The reason, the challenge that I have with it Your Honor is that we did it for legitimate reasons. We were going back to the store. He assumes that we were following him and when he’s saying that he has a legitimate business, , it’s never in Pleasant Hill been a legitimate business. It’s not zoned that way and it’s not, when I started looking out for myself and my wife and I put up cameras based on the advice from the Police Officers, after Mr. Bracco threatened to have me killed twice. That’s when I put up the cameras, that’s when I became careful and when I became watchful of what was happening in the neighbourhood.
Judge Richards: I see. Okay. Anything else? No?
Don Bracco: I wanna say that a Police car came. All the neighbors went to the Police Department to complain about him. About eight of us went. He’s harassing everybody. The neighbors, he’s talking about their house need to be painted, report them to the city. He reported me to the city for putting a sliding glass door in. He got mad at the Building Inspector for not citing me because, we, we had done, I replaced it. He reported the Building Inspector to his boss for not giving me a citation. I could probably get the Building Inspector to come, cause he came back to my house. This guy, he’s driving me crazy. He’s harassing him too.
Judge Richards: Okay. Anything else? I think I’ve heard, I think I understand the story on all sides. I need clear and convincing evidence of a pattern of harassment. This comes so close. If I have a case like this in front of me the next time, I’m very very likely to issue an order you really won’t like. I don’t have it at this point. This is not a victory for the Defendant. I’m not awarding Attorney’s fees. But I don’t have quite the level of evidence that I need for a restraining order.
I hope you understand at this point that you need to modify your conduct with.. You may be entirely right. But when you do some provocative things like signs and letters and so forth, as your Attorney pointed out, you better make sure you are right, because defamation actions can be really expensive and I don’t know that you would want to even have to defend one. But as to in terms of the harassment, I think it’s a close one, but I don’t have enough to issue the order, so I’m not at this point.
Don Bracco: Okay.
Judge Richards: At this point, right now, you’re letting your, you’re creating your own little hell right there and I think you need to find some way to communicate with each other in a different way or simply go the opposite direction and ignore each other and live your life. So I’m not, this one is dismissed at this point.
Juliet Jonas: Thank you, Your Honor.
Don Bracco: Sir, can I re-apply for a restraining order?
Judge Richards: Anybody can sue anybody for anything in California.
Don Bracco: Thank you very much
Judge Richards: So, either side can apply. I suggest that you simply live your life as you go forward.
Juliet Jonas: Oh. We just wanna get clarification on the Court so that we make sure that whatever Mr. Prax is saying is within what the Court finds to be…
Judge Richards: I simply found that there is insufficient evidence to issue an order. It doesn’t meet the standard of clear and convincing evidence.
Greg Prax: We appreciate that sir. I just wanna make sure I’m not back in front of you. Is it, is it okay by the Court, if I, if I…well I have the cameras and notice people driving by. Or is that…
Judge Richards: I can’t give you a bright line rule. That’s why you have an Attorney. Talk with your Attorney about what you can do that is not coercive or harassing or if it is purely self-defense. Talk with your Attorney about that.
Juliet Jonas: Thank you.
Judge Richards: You have a good attorney. Use her advice.
Greg Prax: Thank you.