San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will return to court on Friday to try again to modify a court order preventing him from contacting his wife or son because of an alleged domestic violence incident on New Year’s Eve, his attorney said today.
Mirkarimi’s defense attorney Lidia Stiglich said via email today that she filed papers Monday and additional papers today to request the hearing to modify the stay-away order, which is preventing him from contacting his wife, Eliana Lopez, and the couple’s 2-year-old son Theo.
The order was issued when Mirkarimi was charged on Jan. 13 with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness in connection with an incident on Dec. 31 involving Lopez, during which Theo was present, prosecutors said.
It is currently in effect at least through the end of the trial, which starts Feb. 24.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Susan Breall has twice denied requests to modify or remove the stay-away order, but last week encouraged Mirkarimi to seek a modification of the order in a separate family court, which Breall said is the court’s standard procedure.
Mirkarimi will appear in family court on Friday morning at the county courthouse on McAllister Street, Stiglich said.
Stiglich argued in court last week that the stay-away order has left Theo “devastated at being separated from his father.”
She also said Mirkarimi has taken multiple counseling sessions since the case came to light and “takes all these allegations very seriously.”
The case stems from a Dec. 31 argument between Mirkarimi and Lopez during which he allegedly grabbed her arm and caused a bruise on her bicep.
Prosecutors said Lopez told neighbor Ivory Madison about the incident and that Madison videotaped her conversation with her and later called police to report the case.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Aguilar-Tarchi, in arguing to uphold the stay-away order, cited communications between Lopez and Madison in which Lopez mentioned possible neglect by Mirkarimi toward his son and alluded to possible past domestic violence incidents between the couple.
Lopez has since publicly denied she has any complaint against her husband and also argued for the removal of the stay-away order.
Mirkarimi could face a year in prison and three years’ probation if convicted of all charges.
He was just sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 8 after serving for seven years on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News