Monday, November 30, 2009

SUPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT: L.A. County Judges to Lose Payments From County to Avoid Conflicts

Fox Business News has picked up Full Disclosure Network's scoop of Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich's surprise announcement that LA County would no longer pay "new" judges the illegal $57,000 yearly bonus.

LA Superior Court judges, who are employees of the state, not the county, have been receiving the payments since the late 1980s, but they were not challenged until many years later because they had successfully been kept secret.  The late-2008 decision in Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles confirmed that the payments were unconstitutional, but rather than conform their illegal practices, the judges managed to get a bill snuck through the California Legislature in February that forgave their crimes and made the payments "legal".  (See Senate Bill SBX2-11.)

Antonovich's statement referenced the "now legal" payments, a surprising tacit admission that they had been, in fact, illegal.

Antonovich made the statement in response to a question about continuing public concern over the payments and the conflicts created in cases where Los Angeles County has been and is a party.

Will the new policy be applied to judges winning re-election?  Will those currently on the bench be yanked back to reality when they receive their legal and still generous salaries of $172,000 a year?  Will they (properly) blame the Supervisors for not informing them of the truth of the situation?

Time will tell.

Update:  Whoa!

It seems that Full Disclosure Network's story concerning the Antonovich statement has caught the interest of:

Fox Business News
ABC Fresno

and many others.  Yet from the Los Angeles Times, we hear ... *crickets*.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Documents Posted to Scribd

The Fine volunteers have collected PDF versions of documents filed with the courts and evidentiary documents discovered along the way.  The collection has been sorted and much of it put online at the Scribd document repository for public review.

Read 'em and weep.  Really weep.  Because after giving these the once-over, you won't be able to come to any conclusion other than that the Rule of Law is truly dead in California at present. 

Next, we'll be adding our screenshots of LA Times articles and other things that have disappeared from their online pages.

Over 200 hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin challenged us to try and keep the republic that he'd helped create ... the first in history of its kind, and going pretty strong ever since.  But times have taken a hard turn for the worse of late, we can no longer just sit back and watch while a rare few of considerable courage lob spitballs at the ankles of giants whose law licenses ought to be recalled by Cracker Jack.  Do your part, fellow citizen, and strongly consider refusing to vote for any incumbent in any election for the next few years.  There's not much time left to clean house before the noose about all our necks is tightened with finality.

Think on it.

If a small group of people are willing to take all sorts of risks exposing the bad guys and their nefarious activities (just think of what it's cost Richard Fine), voting out incumbents is something very important that you can safely do to help.

And you might even consider making a donation to help with costs in the battle to return due process and an honest judicial system to California.  For additional details, please follow this link.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Talk About Underhanded!

On October 30, 2009, Richard Fine filed a new petition for writ of habeas corpus, naming as de facto respondents, among others, USDC Judge John F. Walter and Magistrate Judge Carla M. Woehrle.  Despite the impropriety of the situation and over Fine’s strenuous objections, Walter and Woehrle promptly assumed oversight of the case ... against them … then rushed through a dismissal.  Fine’s recusal motions were then bluntly rejected due to the case being “closed”.

The petition was based upon Fine's allegation that Judge Yaffe committed frauds upon the courts by, among other things, making false statements and citing a non-existent order in his reply brief filed in response to Fine's appeal.

How long will decent judges remain complicit in this dreadful situation?

Fine will be filing for a writ of mandate with the Ninth Circuit and requesting a Certificate of Appealability from the USDC.  We're not taking bets on the outcome of either.

Review the relevant documents (the "USDC Habeas II" case) at Scribd.

How much did your judge get? 

UPDATE:  Nov. 24, 2009 

     The Ninth Circuit has issued an Order denying Richard Fine's Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandate which requested that the District Court judges be ordered to follow due process and not allow Judges Walter and Woehrle to dismisses cases against themselves.  We don't know what to think of this unsigned "order" ... OR the judges who entered it.  (See Full Disclosure's report for the Ninth Circuit's "explanation".)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Appeal Hearing Date Finally Set

UPDATE:  Never mind.  Ninth Circuit issued an order on Nov. 11th taking the hearing off calendar (meaning there will be no oral argument and nothing for the public to see).  It also denied Richard Fine's motions to strike "respondents' answering brief" (without saying which one), and his request for judicial notice of California Government Code Sections 68220-68222 (the official record of SBX2-11 (except for the missing "immunity" paragraph)).  Interestingly, it did not deny his request for judicial notice of the Notice of Appeal filed in the Sturgeon case (an acknowledgment that the issue of the county payments to judges is far from settled) and his motion to strike Judge Yaffe and the Superior Court's Supplemental Excerpt of Record.

Original post:

A hearing date has finally been set in Richard Fine's appeal.  The media are making arrangements to follow the hearing on Thursday, December 10th, 2009, 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 1 of the Pasadena location (125 S. Grand Avenue) of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Activists and protesters are reminded to arrive 30 minutes early to meet in the parking lot across the street.  (Allow an extra 10 minutes if you're arriving on one of the rented buses.)  Security is expected to be tight!  (Remember, they sent 8 burly detectives to haul the elderly, unresisting Richard Fine off to jail.)

Come see for yourself whether your right to have legal disputes and criminal trials handled by impartial judges will be restored.

By the way, did you know that, at the same time SBX2-11 was snuck through the legislature, another bill (SBX2-12) was also snuck through?  This one raised court fines by 50%.  Fifty Percent!  We're afraid to even guess at what they'll be sneaking through next year.