Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Domestic Violence Victims Get New Tool to Fight Back Against Cyber Abuse

Domestic Violence Victims Get New Tool to Fight Back Against Cyber Abuse

The 3rd District Court of Appeal has ruled that a woman can get a restraining order against her ex-husband despite living thousands of miles away – “a first-of-its-kind decision that will give victims a new tool to use to fight back against cyber abuse,” reported The Daily Journal.

In February 2016, plaintiff Marla Hogue sought a restraining order in Sacramento County Superior Court after her now-former husband Jerry Hogue sent her a video message on social media, faking his own suicide with a shotgun. Hogue was “seeking to escape what she said was a cycle of violence, threats and rape, according to the opinion,” noted The Daily Journal.

Attorney Kelly Dermody

Lieff Cabraser partner and employment practice group chair Kelly M. Dermody argued Hogue’s case pro bono, teaming up with the Family Violence Appellate Project in Oakland to help Hogue file her appeal against her ex-husband.

“It’s really important for people in the domestic violence community to have some bright lines that they can hold onto,” Dermody said. “You don’t want to have survivors of domestic violence going through a long period of unprotected jurisdictional battles.”

According to Dermody, there is an “increasing ease abusers have in inflicting emotional distress through social media,” and added that it is ‘inevitable’ that courts in other states will look at the issue, noted The Daily Journal.

The case is Hogue v. Hogue, 2017 DJDAR 10398.

About Family Violence Appellate Project

The Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP) represents low-income survivors who need to appeal dangerous trial court decisions that leave them or their children at risk of ongoing abuse. By partnering with pro bono attorneys from California’s top law firms and corporate legal teams, FVAP helps get abuse survivors throughout California the safety and justice they deserve by overturning 67% of the decisions they appeal — a success rate that is much higher than California’s average for successful appeals: 20%. FVAP’s goal is to empower survivors through the court system and ensure that they and their children can live in safe and healthy environments, free from abuse. You can learn more and support FVAP at

About Kelly Dermody

The Chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group and Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Kelly M. Dermody specializes in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases, including gender discrimination cases against Microsoft, Google, and Goldman Sachs. Her additional case work includes wage suppression claims against technology, healthcare, and academic institutions; overtime and lost pay lawsuits for low-wage workers, I/T professionals, and foreign nationals working for American corporations; and ERISA claims that she has tried on behalf of employees and retirees for pension plan abuses.