Civil harassment injunction which barred defendant from writing defamatory letters about plaintiff did not violate defendant’s First Amendment rights, but the trial court’s order needed to clarify that defendant was allowed to conduct bona fide petitioning activity in letters to governmental officials about plaintiff. The trial court did not impermissibly infringe on defendant’s First Amendment rights by entering a civil harassment injunction under CCP 527.3 which barred defendant from writing letters like those he had previously written which the trial court found to be defamatory of plaintiff. However, the harassment injunction had to be modified to allow the defendant to conduct bona fide petitioning activity in letters to governmental officials about plaintiff and to avoid an existing ambiguity and vagueness about the scope of prohibited defamatory letters similar to those already sent. As written, the injunction barred communications that others might interpret as being similar.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5 (Bruiniers, J.); November 23, 2016; 2016 WL 6901269