Uber Gets Restraining Order After Alleged Threat to Kalanick and Other Execs

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in September 2014 appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.  (Steve Jennings/Getty Images)

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has granted a temporary retraining order against a man whom Uber says has threatened its CEO, Travis Kalanick.

Robert Scott Dervaes Jr., who was suspended from practicing law in California in 2006, is temporarily barred from contacting Kalanick as well as Garrett Camp, Uber co-founder and current chairman, and Emil Michael, the company's senior vice president of development. Dervaes must stay at least 50 yards away from the Uber executives and from their homes, workplaces, children and vehicles.

The order is in effect until a court hearing scheduled for Dec. 31.

The petition, filed on Dec. 5 by an outside counsel for Uber, claims Dervaes “appears to be deeply disturbed” and "profoundly unstable," and has made “increasingly ominous threats,” including tweets to Kalanick that “I can’t undo what happens tomorrow” and “You will never survive it.”

Jon Archer, an Uber employee who oversees the personal security of the company's executives, said in the petition that Dervaes showed up at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters on Nov. 5 demanding a meeting with Kalanick and Camp. He “appeared to be under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both,” Archer said, and “appeared to be having an imagined conversation with Mr. Kalanick.”

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Archer then described a series of increasingly urgent and hostile tweets, Facebook messages and phone calls to himself, Kalanick and Uber board member and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Bill Gurley, expressing a desire to meet with Kalanick to discuss a business partnership. Dervaes also expressed hostility to Kalanick and Emil Michael, the declaration says, in a series of tweets to Pando Daily journalist Sarah Lacy.

Lacy and Michael made national news last month after BuzzFeed reported Michael had discussed looking into the personal lives of journalists who had been critical of Uber, including Lacy.

Archer wrote that Dervaes again showed up at Uber’s headquarters on Dec. 3, “clearly intoxicated” and having another imaginary conversation with Kalanick.

Archer's concern over Dervaes’ behavior grew after Dervaes claimed his family had been threatened by Kalanick: “The claim is wholly delusion, but in my experience those who believe their children are threatened or feel personally targeted are especially primed for violent behavior.”

Uber’s filing with the court mentions two brushes with the law by men who appear to be Dervaes. One was reported in June 2011 by the Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware, in which a “Scott Dervaes, Jr.” 42, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct resulting from a struggle with Delaware Capitol Police after he attempted to enter the Department of Motor Vehicles after hours. A “Robert Scott Dervaes,” whose birthday matches the subject of the restraining order, was also arrested an charged with a DUI in Duval County, Florida, in 2013.

Uber's filing said it would attempt to serve Dervaes with the restraining order but that he appears to change addresses frequently and may be hard to locate.

In a separate case, the court scheduled a hearing for Dec. 14 on Uber's request for a restraining order protecting two Uber employees from a driver applicant whom Uber says made threats after being told he could not proceed with the signup process due to attempted murder charges being discovered on his background check.

Michael Li-Ming Wong, the attorney who made the filings for Uber, declined to comment on the cases. Uber also declined to comment.

Read the temporary restraining order filing in Uber v. Robert Scott Dervaes, Jr. below.

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