Monday, July 20, 2009

What Are We All Waiting For, Fellas?

Stalled on all fronts? What are we all waiting for, fellas?

The US District Court remains silent, pretending it has no clue it's actually required to issue a Certificate of Appealability (with detailed reasoning provided) to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, which was requested three weeks ago. Do the rules not apply to judges? (Never mind, stupid question.)

Meanwhile, Richard Fine still sits in jail.

The District Court is also playing games with documents in its PACER public access computer system. Richard Fine had two documents filed which do not appear in the dockets, both of a critical nature, and the handling of both is pointedly suspicious.

The first is a simple document listing several persons authorized to sign legal documents on Richard Fine's behalf. This was needed because, when Richard was first jailed, he was actually denied simple pencil and paper. He was eventually able to dictate his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (over the telephone, via collect calls) to a volunteer, and said volunteer wrote it up, signed same on Richard's behalf and filed it with the District Court without any problem. Subsequent documents, however, were rejected by Magistrate Judge Carla M. Woehrle because she insisted that they contain Richard's signature.

Okay, fine. (sigh) No games going on here, no siree.

Meanwhile, Richard Fine still sits in jail.

So we prepared and filed a signature authorization on May 7th, providing a list of several volunteers' names that Richard authorized to sign documents on his behalf. Documents filed afterwards were accepted, but the signature issue was no longer a problem anyway as the support team had finally made some progress with the Sheriff's Dept. and were able to have documents delivered to Richard for him to sign personally. (We're talking mid- to late-May here; he was jailed on March 4th.)

On June 12, Judge Woehrle filed her Report and Recommendation denying Richard release for ridiculous reasons.

On June 25, Richard filed his objections to Judge Woehrle's report, including the objection that she clearly hadn't even reviewed the entire petition he'd filed.

On June 26, Judge Woehrle had the following entry made in the docket: "NOTICE OF DISCREPANCY AND ORDER: by Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle, ORDERING proposed supplemental petition submitted by Petitioner Richard I. Fine received on 5/26/09 is not to be filed but instead rejected. Denial based on: Not signed by attorney or pro se litigent [sic]; ... "

Meanwhile, Richard Fine still sits in jail.

The signature authorization never appeared in the case docket on PACER. The signature authorization was filed 3 weeks before the rejected document was filed and almost 2 months before Judge Woehrle rejected it.

No document filed by Richard should have been rejected. Judge Woehrle knew that Richard was being prevented from signing his documents, yet she rejected what he was able to have filed, trying to inform the court just how maliciously he had been treated in being refused any means to communicate with the court as ordered by Judge Yaffe. (Aren't we still at least pretending there's such a thing as "due process"?)

Worse, Judge Woehrle clearly did not review the entire record, just as Richard noted, because she entered her Report the day before she rejected this document.

The other document missing from the PACER docket is in a different case, USDC case no. 09-MC-00129, titled "In Re Richard I. Fine". A team volunteer stumbled across this new case number in early June; the docket listed only an OSC (Order to Show Cause) requiring that Richard show cause why he should not also be disbarred from practicing before the District Court. The OSC was executed May 27th; there was no proof of service attached and no copy was ever served on Richard.

Richard dictated a response to the OSC and it was filed June 25th. It STILL does not appear in the docket.

Meanwhile, Richard Fine still sits in jail.

As we speak, our representatives in the Legislature are meeting secretly again, wrestling with the year's second budget crisis. The last time this happened, we were saddled with the horrific surprise called Senate Bill SBX2-11, the bill which last February rewarded the good ol' boys who'd been giving and receiving millions upon millions in illegal payments (judges, county supervisors and their middlemen), with retroactive immunity from criminal prosecution.

How nice for them.

Meanwhile, Richard Fine, who has committed no crime, still sits in jail.

The guy with the guts to honor his oath as an officer of the court and blow the whistle ... LOUDLY when nothing else worked ... is being purposefully destroyed. His jailers' message is crystal clear: mess with us and our buddies will help us extract a heavy price.

If they can get away with doing this to an honorable man like Richard Fine who has as tools a law degree and a lengthy successful career as a taxpayer's advocate, what chance would you have?

Here, we have missing documents, pretend delays, nothing but excuses, excuses, and more excuses. Meanwhile, no decision yet from last Monday's hearing in Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles, in which Judicial Watch is seeking an injunction to stop the bonus payments to LA County's judges. Judge Richman has been involved with the case for 3 years, yet he took the decision under submission in order to think about things another 30 to 60 days?

So again we ask: What are we all waiting on, fellas ... as Richard Fine still sits in jail?

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