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Neighborhood tiff goes to court Tuesday

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POSTED March 24, 2011 1:21 a.m.
LATHROP – Rick Cavaco says that he just wants Lathrop Mayor Joseph “Chaka” Santos to leave him and his family alone.

Earlier this month Cavaco’s wife – Patricia Alonzo – filed for a temporary restraining order at the Tracy Branch of the San Joaquin Superior Court for what was identified as “stalking.”  The application was granted the next day.

Both parties will appear before a judge at the Tracy Court on Tuesday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. for a hearing on the matter that could end up determining whether the restraining order will be extended. Nothing listed in the initial application has yet been proven in court, and are currently only allegations.

“The bottom line is that he was talking about money and stuff and that isn’t true,” Cavaco said. “This is a restraining order to quit stalking us. He’s been stalking us since we moved into Lathrop, like six houses down from him. He’s been calling the cops about things that aren’t true and just harassing us, and we just want it to end.”

When reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, Santos said that he’s been advised not to comment on the allegations before going to court next Tuesday.

In California, an applicant can get a temporary restraining order by submitting the necessary paperwork outlining the complaint and the incidences that led to the “civil harassment” – the matter being alleged in this case – and getting a decision of a judge to issue a temporary order. There is also a filing fee required.

But as of last week, Santos said that he had no knowledge of the temporary restraining order – which was filed on March 7 – which must be served to the defendant before any further restraining order can be approved.

Not everyone, however, believes that civil harassment restraining orders are fair and just in California.

According to Fritz Koenig of CivilHarassment.com, Section 527.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure is something that had become unfairly used to suppress civil liberties without due process or just cause, mostly through the judicial bench.

“Every year thousands of innocent Californians are illegally restrained by the abusive application of the 527.6 civil harassment law on the basis of lies and hysteria of the accusers, or ignorance or arrogance of Superior Court judges,” Koenig wrote in an e-mail to The Bulletin in response to the Santos matter. “This is so in part because normal due process protections are not built into a civil harassment action. A decision is made within 21 days, there is no jury, a single judge decides, there is no recourse to sue for malicious prosecution and discovery is rarely used and not guaranteed.”

Cavaco says the allegation that the filing of the order is at all motivated by financial gain is flat out not true and solely rests on his desire to end what he considers unjust and unfounded harassment of his family.

“He’s constantly watching everything that goes on around my house, and he even sends people by to look in and try and see what’s going on,” Cavaco claims. “I’m sick and tired of him bullying. He has no respect for people and I’m done with his attitude.”

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