San Benito County Superior Court Judge Patrick Palacios continued the March 9 hearing for resident and business owner Courtney Evans, who faces charges of trespassing and resisting arrest prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting on Dec. 15.
In his ruling, Palacios warned Evans, owner of Kamal Yoga Studio, that if she did not show up at her next scheduled hearing on March 30 at 9:30 a.m., he would issue a warrant for her arrest.
Evans did attempt to attend her hearing in person, but was denied access as she refused to wear a mask, Palacios was told at the hearing. This is the second time Evans’ hearing has been continued for her refusal to wear a mask at the courthouse. Her first hearing was scheduled for Feb. 16.
“Miss Evans is ordered to be present and comply with the mandate and the safety measures that have been in place by the state of California and this courthouse, and if she doesn’t want to do that she’s free to arrange [a] Zoom [meeting] ahead of time, which is what I told her last time,” Palacios said.
Evans, an administrator of the #OpenSBC Facebook page, has been vocal in her opposition to masks and the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. According to the California penal code, she faces a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in county jail for each charge.
Evans confirmed she went to her hearing in person and notified the court she was exempt from the state’s face mask requirement because it posed a health risk to her. She was subsequently denied access. She declined to tell BenitoLink what her medical condition was.
“Part of my beliefs, my life is breathing fresh air and if I can vote, according to the state of California, without a mask, [it] very clearly says that rights take precedence,” Evans said. “I’m asking where do my rights end and begin? How come I can go and vote but I can’t appear in court like I agreed?”
Evans said she does not intend to use Zoom for her hearings as she cannot trust it works properly or if the court keeps record of the hearing.
“They stated at least 10 to 15 times on the Zoom call that I already tried to attend that they could not hear me,” Evans said of her Feb. 16 hearing. “The court is ignoring the papers I filed on my demands. I intend to follow the law and I intend to show up in court to face my accuser, to represent myself.”
She continued, “That’s my right. I’m not doing anything of harm to anyone and I never have.”
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