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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jennifer Garner's Stalker Arrested

Steven Burky, age 37, was arrested December 14, 2009 for stalking Jennifer Garner and violating a restraining order protecting the family. Jennifer Garner's stalker was arrested in Santa Monica outside Violet Affleck's school. At his arraignment, Burky pleaded not guilty on two counts of felony stalking and two misdemeanor counts of violating a court order. The judge ordered him to stay 500 feet away from Garner and her family if released.

Garner was granted a restraining order against Burky in November 2008 after she told the court she believed he posed a threat to her and her family. Garner said Burky had been stalking her since 2002. The order, which required Burky to stay 100 yards away from the family's cars, homes and schools, was set to expire in November 2011.

In California, a restraining order or civil harassment order, is available to victims being harassed by someone they do not have a domestic relationship with-- such as a friend, neighbor or even a stranger. If the victim has a domestic relationship with the person harassing them, then he/she should apply for a domestic violence restraining order instead.

A civil harassment order can last up to three years and may be renewed after that. A victim can qualify for a civil harassment order if the harasser has intentionally committed a series of acts which are frightening, annoying or harassing, and which have caused the victim substantial emotional distress. The harasser does not have to be related to the victim in any way, but the victim must be able to identify the person and find him or her to serve the papers.

A civil harassment order can order the harasser: to stay away from the victim, the victim's home, school, work or children's school; not to telephone or contact the victim; not to frighten, intimidate, annoy or harass the victim; not to threaten or make any physical contact with the victim; not to keep the victim under surveillance or follow the victim; and not to block the victim's movement in public places. It can also protect the victim's family or anyone else in the home from the harassment. Violation of the order is a crime. The Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo Petition and Defend Restraining Orders as well as defend against stalking charges (Penal Code Section 646.9).

Criminal Updates by the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636

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