Devon Corpus, a former Monterey County employee, was terminated and then confronted her former associates in public regarding the termination of another former co-worker, who had since committed suicide. The county obtained the restraining order because the object of Corpus' outburst feared for her safety.
Corpus followed the public confrontation with texts to several people, promising "justice" for her former co-worker.
Corpus’ attorney, John Sarsfield, does not dispute that Corpus sent the texts or made the remarks in question. What he does dispute is whether it’s a threat – and whether she is entitled, under free-speech laws, to religious speech.
“We don’t deny that the words were said, but it’s all privileged under the First Amendment,” Sarsfield says. “Devon didn’t threaten anybody. She’s a woman with a deep religious conviction, and she believes what she believes. She was simply expressing her beliefs.”
In California, employees can't obtain workplace violence restraining orders for themselves, instead, they need to request a domestic violence restraining order, civil harassment restraining order or elder/dependent adult restraining order, depending on their circumstances. Only employers can obtain orders of protection for its employees prohibiting violence or credible threats of violence against an employee.
The workplace violence restraining order can order someone to have no contact with an employee as well as prohibiting harassment or threats and restrict gun ownership. An order can last upwards of 3 years and can extend to protecting the family and/or members of the employee's household as well as other employees.
Someone who has a protective order against them will not be able to go to certain places or events, will be unable to own firearms or ammunition, and it may affect their lives in various other ways, including their immigration status. Failure to adhere to the order of protection may result in jail time and/or a fine.
It is important for those needing an order of protection to design a complete safety strategy to supplement the legal protections provided by the courts.