A judge has granted a restraining order requiring a conservative Clovis activist to stay away from his sister.
At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Robert Mangano ordered Ben Martin to stay 100 yards away from his sister for two years. The order also prevents Martin from owning or possessing firearms and ammunition.
Martin says he does not own any guns.
GV Wire is not naming the petitioner in the case because she is a victim.
Martin is known in the community for leading protests against businesses that mandate masks. He also frequently posts on his Facebook page videos that have a conservative political slant.
Second Request for Restraining Order
This is the second time Martin’s sister requested a restraining order against her brother within a six-month period. The first, filed in September 2020, was dismissed three months later when the parties agreed to an unofficial stay-away order.
The sister told the judge “things cooled off” and hoped the family could mediate the situation.
Martin’s sister filed a second restraining order request in February. During testimony at an April 13 hearing, she said Martin parked at the family’s real estate business and acted irrationally. She said Martin posted a live Facebook video, speaking negatively about her. She feared for her safety and called police. No arrests were made.
Martin’s sister also said she and her husband received concerning text messages from Martin.
“It scares me,” she testified.
Testifying in his own defense, Martin said he was at the business to pick up a check, never entered the building, and never threatened his sister.
When cross-examining his sister, she replied, “You are unpredictable. You are intimidating. You are scary.”
Mangano continued the April 13 hearing until May 4, when testimony would conclude and he would render a decision. He hoped the two sides would come to a reconciliation, which they did not.
Martin Not at May 4 Hearing
At the April 13 hearing, only Martin and the court reporter were present in the courtroom. To avoid technical complications through video teleconferencing software, Mangano ordered the parties to appear in person this week.
While the sister and her attorney were present, Martin was not.
Martin said he was denied entry to the courthouse because he had a fever. He says he left a message for the judge’s clerk. It was too late to make other arrangements to appear, such as by Zoom.
“I wasn’t afforded due process,” Martin tells GV Wire. Martin, who has been acting as his own attorney, said he plans to file an appeal.
Other Martin Incidents
When Martin led a protest at Sprouts Farmers Market in January against the store’s mask policy, police had to be called to calm a tense situation.
Last month, Martin and Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias were coincidentally eating at a Paso Robles restaurant at the same time. Martin verbally interacted with Arias. Video showed Martin yelling and cussing at Arias.
Martin was also at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots, and entered the building although he said that was not his intent. He said he was trying to prevent any violent behavior but was pushed inside by the mob. He eventually walked out.