Metropolitan News-Enterprise

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

 

Page 1

 

Court of Appeal:

DVRO Can Be Based on Yelp Review of Ex-Wife, Email

Stratton’s Opinion Does Not Discuss Whether Order, Based on Communications, Is Prior Restraint Against Like Speech

 

By a MetNews Staff Writer

 

A Long Beach attorney who posted a denigrating review of his ex-wife on Yelp and sent an email threatening to bring various causes of action against her has failed to persuade the Court of Appeal for this district to lift an order that he not “harass” his former spouse.

The five-year domestic violence restraining order (“DVRO”) against Jeffrey J. Olin, an associate in the law firm of Ford Walker Haggerty & Behar, was upheld in an opinion by Justice Maria Stratton of Div. Eight. The opinion, filed Monday, was not certified for publication.

The opinion quotes Olin as insisting, in his email to his ex-wife, that he has “a First Amendment Right to publish the Truth,” but does not discuss whether the ban on harassing her—which stems from the Yelp positing and the email—constitutes a prior restraint on communications of like nature.

Veasey’s Order

The DVRO, issued by Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Glenda Veasey, also provides that Olin may not “attack, strike, threaten, assault..., hit, follow, stalk” or “disturb the peace” of the ex-wife or their 14-year-old son. It bars contacting his former spouse, Kelly Rene Olin, or the son, and requires that he stay at least 100 yards away from them.

An Oct. 2, 2018 “review” Jeffrey Olin posted on the Yelp page of his former wife’s employer, Surf Management Inc., (since removed) said: “I am surprised that they don’t have a policy against property managers, like Kelly Olin, engaging in sexual relationships with tenants,” naming a particular tenant as an example. It continued:

“I’ll bet she’s nicer to tenants she’s doing, but I am simply surprised that her employers don’t have a problem with the conflict of interest that creates. Maybe they are just glad that she’s finally being nice to a tenant.”

Email to Ex-Wife

An Oct. 18, 2018 email, sent to Kelly Olin and to her employer, says, in part:

“As soon as it is convenient for me to file..., I intend to sue you for your tortious acts against me. Glenda ‘Useless Braggart’ Veasey may not prosecute your perjury, but I fully intend to. I will sue you for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. I will sue you for Abuse of Process for your maliciously filed [DVRO] request. I will sue you for Defamation. If you complain to the Bar, I will have more causes of action—and you don’t think they aren’t used to bitchy bitter ex-wives bitching?”

It goes on to say, “I thought maybe she wouldn’t want her boss to know that she was screwing a tenant and has been doing so since at least April” and comments that if “Glenda thinks you have a right to express lies about me, maybe even she (though it is doubtful) will realize that I have a First Amendment Right to publish the Truth.”

Stratton’s Opinion

Stratton wrote:

“Although Jeffrey may view his own behavior as ‘not vulgar’, we believe contacting his ex-spouse’s employer via email in the manner he did (‘maybe she wouldn’t want her boss to know that she was screwing a tenant and has been doing so since at least April’) and leaving reviews about his ex-spouse on her employer’s Yelp page in the manner he did (‘I’ll bet she’s nicer to tenants she’s doing’) amounts to abuse, harassment, and intentional disturbing of Kelly’s peace, warranting the DVRO against him.

“We further agree with the trial court’s decision to issue the DVRO for a period of five years; it is noteworthy Jeffrey maintains to this day he ‘was justified’ in sending the October 18, 2018 email to Kelly and her employer.”

The opinion also affirms Veasey’s denial of the DVRO sought by Jeffrey Olin against Kelly Olin.

Jeffrey Olin, who represented himself, did not respond to a request for comment. His ex-wife did not make an appearance in the appeals court.

The case is In re the Marriage of Olin, B295416.

 

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