PONDERING WIDE SPREAD CORRUPTION: THE COLLAPSE OF CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT IN CALIFORNIA
By Peter J. Mancus
Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 10
This information is provided by the candidate
Executive SummaryThis document discusses, in detail, what is perhaps the largest, and longest lasting, judicial scandal in the history of the United States. This assertion is rooted in fact. It is not hyperbole.
On or about 2000, California licensed attorney Richard I. Fine discovered that counties in this state were paying illegal extra compensation to hundreds of state judges in violation of California’s Constitution. These payments, as a matter of law, constitute bribery. The offering of these payments, per state and federal law, is a crime. The acceptance of these payments, per state and federal law, is a crime.
The counties made these illegal payments to motivate judges to rule in their favor.
These payments create a conflict of interest for the judges who accept them and raise doubts if a judge who accepts illegal payments is ethical, professional, and worthy of sitting in judgement over others.
When Mr. Fine learned of these illegal payments, he investigated, and he discovered objectively verifiable evidence that the judges who accepted these illegal payments in almost 100% of all cases, ruled in favor of the county who paid them illegal payments.
Per California law, Mr. Fine has an ethical duty to represent his clients competently and zealously. To his credit, he filed formal legal challenges to judges who had accepted illegal payments to disqualify them from sitting on a case that he presented. Mr. Fine did not want to risk his clients’ cases by presenting them before tainted judges.
A compelling argument can be made that Mr. Fine would have had a meaningful exposure to a claim of legal malpractice if he did not file challenges to disqualify judges who took illegal payments.
After Mr. Fine filed these challenges and pressed this conflicts issue, in open court, and outside of court, a growing number of state judges, apparently feeling uncomfortable being in the spotlight Mr. Fine placed on them, abused their power, beginning with verbally pressuring Mr. Fine to stop pressing the conflicts issue arising from them accepting illegal payments.
Mr. Fine, understandably, is jealous of his vital First Amendment Right to Free Speech and Right to Petition Government for Redress of Grievances. He is also a fearless, conscientious, principled, attorney, with convictions and the courage of his convictions, who refused to be intimidated by any judge.
After Mr. Fine repeatedly pressed these issues, while always remaining 100% factual and truthful, one judge who had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from LA County, arbitrarily, without prior notice, ordered him to be incarcerated. Mr. Fine, who has never been convicted of a crime, spent 18 months in the LA County jail under “coercive solitary confinement”. While Mr. Fine was incarcerated, the LA County Sheriff released many convicted criminals before they served their sentence due to lack of funds to keep them incarcerated. One reason LA County lacked money to keep convicted criminals incarcerated is because they had paid hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal payments to the 400-430 state judges sitting in LA County, for years.
Mr. Fine, to his credit, did not yield to the judge’s oppression, just to get out of jail.
While incarcerated, Mr. Fine filed formal legal challenges to his incarceration, without success.
Lawyers for the County of Los Angeles and the developer who were litigating against Mr. Fine’s clients in the case which led to the incarceration and another case, were also members of the Board of Governors and two consecutive presidents of the State Bar of California. They violated the law and committed misdemeanors by not disclosing their conflicts of interests, abused their positions of trust as governors and presidents of the State Bar and motivated the State Bar to collude with these corrupt judges and certain corrupt LA County officials to have Mr. Fine disbarred on trumped up, non-meritorious, alleged “moral turpitude” charges.
Mr. Fine, however, never did anything dishonest or contrary to good moral behavior.
Eventually, the State Bar recommended that Mr. Fine be disbarred, and the California Supreme Court ordered Mr. Fine be disbarred.
Mr. Fine challenged the disbarment or the unlawful incarceration in various courts, including the California Supreme Court, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Sadly, no judge+state or federal+who was given an opportunity to uphold his vital constitutional rights, did anything meaningful to provide him with any effective legal remedy. These judges circled the wagons to protect the usurpers, some of which included themselves, and denied Mr. Fine any relief.
After Mr. Fine demonstrated that after 15 months of incarceration he was not going to yield to the judicial tyrant who ordered that he be incarcerated, that tyrant admitted that he made a false order, resigned [retired] mid term from his judicial office and unilaterally ordered that Mr. Fine be released from jail after 18 months of illegal incarceration.
In making that order, that judge could not resist the temptation to smear Mr. Fine. That judge opined that it was pointless to keep Mr. Fine further incarcerated. According to this judge, “Coercive confinement of a contemnor is only effective if the contemnor is capable of making a rational choice between the alternatives available to him. It is now likely that Fine is not capable of doing so.” Apparently this judge misconstrued Mr. Fine’s convictions and courage as irrational behavior or, in the alternative, simply wanted to smear Mr. Fine.
Shortly thereafter, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, who had been a Superior Court judge in LA County, abruptly resigned [retired] rather than run for re election, and a few months later an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court resigned [retired] who also had been a Superior Court judge in LA County with approximately 10 years left in his term.
After his release, Mr. Fine sought an order setting aside the void incarceration order. Three judges recused themselves [refused] to hear the motion, a third judge who took illegal payments from LA County denied the motion Mr. Fine submitted, and the court filed a Notice that the Order of Contempt and incarceration were void and null based upon extrinsic fraud upon the court.
Mr. Fine also filed a federal civil rights suit against the California State Bar, the State Bar Board of Governors, the State Bar Chief Trial Counsel and the individual justices of the California Supreme Court to enjoin them to set aside the void disbarment based upon extrinsic fraud upon the court and to declare certain laws unconstitutional including Senate Bill SBX 2 11.
The State Bar defendants, to their credit, responded by admitting in court papers that the disbarment was a fraud.
Based upon that admission, Mr. Fine asked the California Supreme Court to set aside its void disbarment order. The State Bar did not oppose the motion. Inexplicably, however, the justices on the California Supreme Court denied the motion, despite a California Rule of Court that states that a failure to oppose a motion may be deemed a consent to granting the motion.
The official biographies and the 2009 California Judicial Council Report to the State Legislature demonstrate that five of the California Supreme Court justices who ordered Mr. Fine’s disbarment, and four of the current California Supreme Court justices, when they were Superior Court judges, accepted unlawful payments from counties in violation of California’s Constitution and federal criminal law.
California’s Attorney General, California’s Governor, and the District Attorneys of the various counties in California, all, by force of law, have a law imposed duty to see to it that the laws of this state are properly enforced. Sadly, to date, no State officer and no county prosecutor has done anything to stop these illegal bribes to state judges or to hold any one who offered these bribes or any judge who accepted these bribes accountable.
Once it became clear that the judiciary was not going to intimidate Mr. Fine to shut up and go along to get along, major components of the California judiciary, including two judges who then sat on the California Supreme Court, drafted a proposed bill to “fix” [e.g., give them pseudo fig leaf protection]. These non-Guardians of Liberty, these Spreaders of a Legal Version of the Bubonic Plague, successfully got the California Legislature to pass, and the California Governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, to sign into law, a law that purported to give these law violators, hundreds of them, and perhaps more than 1,800 of them, retroactive immunity from criminal punishment for what they did.
By seeking this retroactive immunity, these judges virtually acknowledge they knew that their acceptance of these illegal payments was a crime, committed by them.
An official grant of blanket retroactive immunity to hundreds of judges’s who accepted bribes and to many county officials who unlawfully offered bribes is unprecedented and is an egregious abuse of power.
All three branches of California State government+Judiciary, Executive, and Legislative+have failed to manifest any meaningful “checks and balance” on the other’s usurpations of power or dereliction of duty or both. To exacerbate matters, no District Attorney has elected to file criminal charges against any judge who has accepted a bribe or against any county official who has offered a bribe.
Per these facts, there is only one logical conclusion: There is rampant, on-going, unchecked, widespread, corrosive, corruption in California that undermines confidence in every branch of California state government.
Per these facts, this is probably the largest and longest lasting judicial scandal in the history of the United States.
Mr. Fine, who manifested outstanding fidelity to the real controlling law, integrity, extreme professionalism under stress, and remarkable sustained personal courage, remains disbarred, with, so far, no effective legal remedy.
The corrupt judges in this state, and the State Bar of California, as a result of their colluding to retaliate against Mr. Fine, have sent a chilling message to all California licensed attorneys: “Don’t mess with the judges! Do that and you will end up like Mr. Fine+incarcerated and disbarred.”
This message is more than chilling. It is callous and ruthless in the extreme.
This message is a strong disincentive for any attorney to represent a client zealously before a judge, e.g., this message encourages attorneys to not file motions to disqualify judges who have accepted illegal payments.
This message sends these additional messages:
An official government report has stated that there is evidence that approximately 90% of California’s 1,900 judges have accepted illegal payments.
By force of California law and federal criminal law, any judge who has accepted an unlawful payment has committed a felony, is unfit to continue to function as a judge, and is barred for life from holding any State office.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, the California Governor, the California Attorney General, the counties’ District Attorneys, the U.S. Attorney General, the FBI, the ACLU, and the State Bar of California all refuse to do anything to stop these illegal payments from continuing to be made, and since, apparently, approximately 90% of California’s 1,900 State judges are accepting these illegal payments, it appears that only a mythical Hercules is powerful enough to clean out the fecal matter piled high in California’s government’s stables.
Algernon Sidney, 1623-1683, was an English politician, patriot, intellectual, and political theorist who authored a classic on law, politics, and government titled Discourses Concerning Government. In section 36, he articulated a simple, effective, reliable test to determine if an official is good or bad. He wrote:
They who know the frailty of human nature, will always distrust their own; and desiring only to do what they ought, with be glad to be restrain’d from that which they ought not to do.
Thus, the best way to determine if an official, including a judge, is good or bad, is this: Just tell him, or her, hey, what you are doing is wrong; here’s why: X, Y, Z. Stop doing what you are doing. It’s wrong. You are abusing your power. Then wait to see if the person continues to do what is wrong.
Richard I. Fine, repeatedly, in an exemplary, ethical, responsible, professional, manner told many judges that what they were doing was wrong. He told them why. He proved he was right. He proved the law and the facts were on his side. He asked them to stop+politely and repeatedly.
The judges did not stop. They persisted. They retaliated+severely,. One ordered him incarcerated and kept him incarcerated for 18 months. They continued to accept illegal bribes. They even went out of their way to seek and to get retroactive immunity for their wrongdoing. They also manifested extreme, ruthless, meanness: They went out of their way to have Mr. Fine disbarred, and they have denied him any remedy.
Along the way, so far, as far as Mr. Fine can determine, each of the following statements, sadly, is 100% true:
Bottom line: These judges are not good, kind, people who made a mistake. These judges are cunning, calculating, cold, callous, hard, mean, vindictive, petty, arrogant, smug, condescending, drunk with power, entrenched, and corrupt. These judges are not “glad to be restrain’d from that which they ought not to do.”
My Major Reasons for Seeking Political Office
. . . [Text removed to comply with League of Women Voters’ rules.]
What’s in it for You?
If you value your liberty or the real Rule of Law+and you should value both+you are well advised to read the chronology of material facts stated below. If you read this chronology, you will learn important things that you need to know. This information will probably disturb you immensely. That is not hyperbole.
I am not egotistical or arrogant when I tell you: you need to know what is in this chronology.
When you resort to the courts to resolve a legal dispute do you want confidence that you won’t get shafted by a corrupt judge?
When you hire a lawyer, do you want confidence that you can hire one who is not intimidated by a corrupt judge?
Do you value your freedom? Your liberty? Your rights? Justice? “Due process of law”? Fair play? Honesty? Integrity? The “American way of life”? A good future for your children? Freedom from oppression? Knowledge? The truth?
If any of these intangibles are important to you, that importance is “what’s in it for you” and why you need+truly need+to read this document, all of it. Caution
At the risk of being misconstrued as being uncouth or boorish, I warn you, in a nice way, what you will read, below, is, sadly, 100% factually accurate, and, it will probably make you so angry that you might want to cerebrally puke. Being forewarned, you might want to get comfortable, get some comfort food to snack on, and have a bucket nearby in case you feel a need to puke as you read stark, sobering, facts. Facts are, indeed, stubborn, interesting, important, little critters.
While it is true that “The truth will set you free.”, often, before it does that, it will first make you livid.
A Chronology of Material Facts Establishing Wide Spread Corruption in California
Armed English Barons, supported by armed peasants, delivered an ultimatum to an English King John, namely, sign the Magna Carta [the great charter of English liberty], or be executed. King John signed. The Magna Carta, historically, is the forerunner of the American July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. King John, by so signing, agreed to 63 itemized rights of Englishmen. A relevant selection of some of these rights are stated below, verbatim.
39. No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, . . . or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed+nor will we go upon or send upon him+save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
Note: “[B]y the law of the land” is the root of the American phrase “due process of law” as used in the U.S. Constitution.
40. To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice.
45. We will not make men justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs, unless they are such as know th law of the realm, and are minded to observe it rightly.
52. If any one shall have been . . . removed, without a legal sentence of his peers, from his . . . liberties or lawful right, we shall straightaway restore them to him. . . .
Note: After King John signed the Magna Carta, he later reneged and many English kings, for centuries, refused to comply with the Magna Carta. These rights, during those centuries, were won, lost, won again, lost again, and won again, over and over. Civilization is a history of the struggle to achieve a proper balance between government’s powers and people’s rights.[/sixcol_five_last]
Many of this nation’s most important Founding Fathers signed the world famous July 4th, 1776 Declaration of Independence, which set forth their grievances against another English King John. Some of these grievances are stated below, as exact quotes or as paraphrased. It should be noted that some of these grievances are similar to the ones stated in the Magna Carta from 1215.
Note: “[P]retended legislation” is another way of expressing usurpation, namely an abuse of power under color of law.
Note: I selected this grievance from 1776 because Californians in 2012 continue to be plagued with the same damn type of usurpations.
Note: Sadly, there is a contemporary meritorious factual basis for these same grievances.[/sixcol_five_last]
The original ex-British colonies in the New World, which became states, ratified the U.S Constitution.
Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution declares that, “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; . . . shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. [Emphasis added.]
Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that amendments to it are part of the Constitution and thus, part of the supreme law of the land.
Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 states, “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.”
Note: This is the only place in the U.S. Constitution where the word “immunities”, or any form of the word “immunity”, is used. In context, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution used the phrase “privileges and immunities” to be an all inclusive, broad, far ranging, professional expression, which is now somewhat archaic to us, 230 years later, to mean this: A) “rights” and B) a citizen who responsibly exercises a “privilege” [which was, to the Framers, interchangeable with “rights”] is immune from any form of legal punishment or retaliation for responsibly exercising any privilege or right.
Article III, Section 3, Clause 1 defined “treason against the United States” to include giving enemies of the U.S. “aid and comfort.” Such treason can be proved “on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”
Article III, Section 1, Clause 8 barred any “title of nobility” in the U.S.
The Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution, the first ten amendments to it, were ratified. By force of Article V, these amendments automatically became part of “the supreme law of the land”.
The First Amendment codified [guaranteed] “freedom of speech” and the right “to petition government for a redress of grievances.”
The Fifth Amendment guaranteed that, “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; . . . .”
Note: 1. This amendment amounts to a mandatory, absolute, binding command on government and its agents. It is a command, not an aspiration or an option. Government and its agents do not have discretionary or actual authority to dish out only that amount of “process” which they arbitrarily deem a person is “due”. This amendment guarantees a mandatory, unequivocal, unqualified, absolute “due process of law”. The scope of this “of law” includes every right and every command declared in the entire U.S. Constitution.
2. Arbitrariness is the mortal enemy of, and the antithesis of, “due process of law”.
The Eight Amendment makes “cruel and unusual punishments” illegal.
American Presidents and Secretary of States, increasingly, asserted, and continue to assert, that the U.S. is entitled to be “the leader of the Free World” because A) the U.S. is the only nation where citizens enjoy an assured, meaningful “due process of law” and B) only in the U.S., is this maxim, allegedly, a reality: “No man is above the law.”
Note: Cynics, with good cause, do not believe that the U.S. delivers assured “due process of law” to its citizens, and cynics also believe that some Americans are “more equal” than others and are “above the law” and enjoy what amounts to pragmatic defacto “titles of nobility”.
The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. This amendment distinguished between “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” [which is much broader than “slavery] and made both illegal in the U.S.; however, “involuntary servitude” would be legal if, it is “a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted . . . .”
Note: The key here is this: Until a person has been duly convicted, e.g., in accordance with “due process of law”, no one in this nation can be lawfully reduced to the unenviable state of “involuntary servitude”, namely, without rights.
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified. This amendment states that, “. . . No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person or life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Note: This is the second time citizens are guaranteed “privileges or immunities” and “due process of law.”
The U.S. Supreme Court in Offutt v. United States (1954) 348 U.S. 11, 14, held that “a judge receiving a bribe from an interested party over which he is presiding does not give the appearance of justice.”
The U.S. Supreme Court in Levine v. United States (1960) 362 U.S. 610 said that, “justice must have the appearance of justice.”
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Garrison v. Louisiana (1964) 379 U.S. 64, held that “the right of a citizen to severely criticize the performance of the government and the courts is beyond cavil.”
Note: Cavil means a frivolous objection.
Richard I. Fine was admitted to the State Bar of California
Richard I. Fine maintained a squeaky clean record with the State Bar of California. He was a “lawyers’ lawyer”. He has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, a Doctor of Law from The Law School, University of Chicago, a PhD in Law (International Law) from the London School of Economics & Political Science, University of London and various certificates and diplomas in public and private international law and comparative law. He was a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C., founded the first municipal antitrust division in the U.S. for the City of LA, and was a section chairman in both the State Bar of California and the LA County Bars. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of International Law and the Bureau of National Affairs Antitrust Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he was the Consul General for the Kingdom of Norway in Los Angeles, representing Norway in five Southern California counties. He had an extremely successful, rewarding, legal career, handling successfully multiple complex cases involving large dollar amounts in controversy, changing the way government functioned, and became known as a “crusading attorney”, the “taxpayer advocate attorney” and “the private attorney general” for the cases he brought against government abuse, corruption and misuse of funds.
1974 to date
Article VI, Section 19 of California’s Constitution states, “The Legislature shall prescribe compensation for judges of courts of record. . . . .”
Note: 1. Article VI, Section 19 has been construed to mean that only the California Legislature can determine how much California state judges are paid and only the State of California can pay these judges.
2. There are excellent public policy reasons for this constitutional limitation on who gets to pay California’s judges and how much. This rule makes it illegal for anyone else to pay judges, which is intended to avoid the payment of bribes and the corruption of judges.
3. Per this rule, the California Legislature cannot lawfully delegate to anyone or any entity lawful power to compensate California state judges and any compensation for California state judges of courts of record that does not come from the State of California, as determined by the California Legislature, is unconstitutional and unlawful.
Article V, Section 14 a) of California’s Constitution makes it illegal for any state officer to knowingly receive any salary, wages, commissions, or other similar earned income from any lobbyist. Section 14 b) makes it illegal for any state officer to “accept any honorarium.” Section 14 c) makes it illegal for any state officer to accept a gift “from any source if the acceptance of the gift might create a conflict of interest.”
Article V, Section 1 states, “The Governor shall see that the law is faithfully executed.” [Emphasis added.]
Article V, Section 13 of California’s Constitution states:
Subject to the powers and duties of the Governor, the Attorney General shall be the chief law officer of the State. It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to see that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced. The Attorney General shall have direct supervision over every district attorney . . . . Whenever in the opinion of the Attorney General any law of the State is not being adequately enforced in any county, it shall be the duty of the Attorney General to prosecute any violations of the law of which the superior court shall have jurisdiction, and in such cases the Attorney General shall have all the powers of a district attorney. . . [Emphasis added.]
LA County Auditor/Controller documents obtained by Attorney Richard Fine showed that LA County officials, in approximately 1985 to 1988, and, perhaps earlier than 1985, started to pay 400-430 California State judges sitting in LA County extra compensation, in violation of Article VI, Section 19 of California’s Constitution.
Note: Based upon these documents, Mr. Fine believes that these initial unlawful payments were probably approximately $30,000, each, per year, per judge and that currently, these extra payments are approximately $57,000 annually for each judge.
A letter by a LA County Counsel stated that “compensation [referring to Article VI, Section 19 of California’s Constitution] is now commonly used to mean salary and fringe benefits. This LA County Counsel cited two California Attorney General Opinions that concluded that only the State Legislature can prescribe compensation for state judges, citing County of Madera v. Superior Court (1974) 39 Cal.App.3d 665 as authority. This author also declared “judges are technically state constitutional officers”.
1988 to date
Approximately 400-430 California State judges sitting in LA County, each year, have been actively concealing and failing to disclose their acceptance of these unlawful LA County payments to them, and, once Mr. Fine started to publicly object to these payments, many of these judges have actively fought to conceal these payments, while some of them have openly retaliated against him.
1988 to date
As far as attorney Richard Fine knows, to date, no California State judge has refused to accept any unlawful extra compensation offered to them, and none has returned any of the unlawful payments.
1990 to date
Despite the Catchpole holding, even though attorney Richard Fine has filed many formal legal challenges to the impartiality of State judges sitting in LA County, alleging they illegally accepted bribes and, therefore are unfit to sit as judges and are debilitated by a material conflict of interests, only one judge recused [withdrew] from a case.
The California Supreme Court in Adams v. Commission on Judicial Performance (1995) 10 Cal.4th 866, 904, held that a judge who accepted gifts, financial benefits and favors from a lawyer or a litigant who appeared in the judge’s court must disqualify himself/herself in order to avoid “conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute.”
Catchpole v. Brannon (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 237, 246 held that if an average person could entertain doubt about a judge’s impartiality, when challenged, the judge must disqualify himself.
U.S. v. Adams (1999) 179 F.3d 793 held that payment by a party and an attorney appearing before a judge amounts to a bribe that violates 18 U.S.C. Section 1346, which guarantees “the intangible right to honest services.”
Upon becoming aware of LA County’s illegal payments to State judges sitting in LA County Mr. Fine began to file formal legal challenges to the correctness of judges presiding over cases where they had received money form LA County when LA County was a litigant in the case. Mr. Fine, an accomplished, successful, active, litigator, then started to file California Code of Civil Procedure Section 170.3 objections, to disqualify judges assigned to his cases, based upon these LA County payments to the judges, on the grounds that these payments were illegal bribes that created a conflict of interest or the appearance of same and he had a duty to represent his clients zealously, which required him to make these challenges, all of which are protected Free Speech per his First Amendment Right to Free Speech and Right to Petition for Redress of Grievances.
Mr. Fine observed that LA County seemed to be winning an extraordinarily high, abnormal, percentage of the civil cases in which it was a party, which aroused his curiosity and motivated him to investigate. Mr. Fine soon discovered that LA County officials had been paying all of the 400-430 California judges sitting in LA County, an extra payment, going as far back to at least 1988, and perhaps as far back as 1985 or earlier. Mr. Fine believed, and still believes, that these LA County payments to California judges in LA County violate Article VI, Section 19 of California’s Constitution. Mr. Fine also believed that LA County gave these judges this extra compensation to influence the judges’ decision to rule in favor of LA County and, therefore, these payments amounted to illegal “bribes” under law. 2001-2009
Once Mr. Fine started to make these formal legal challenges, he also went public, spoke out about this situation. He filed federal civil rights cases challenging the payments as violations of due process and violations of Article VI, Section 19 of the California Constitution. He filed challenges to judges who accepted such payments. The judges retaliated by secretly instituting charges against him with the State Bar, which filed a complaint against him in 2003, dismissed it in 2004 and again in 2006, but not for filing the cases against the judges over the county payments.
2005 to date
The State Bar of California has had, and continues to have, the following “Mission Statement”:
The State Bar of California’s Internet site also says what follows about its “Vision of the State Bar”:
The State Bar of California declared attorney Richard I. Fine to be involuntarily inactive, which is virtually tantamount to disbarment. Mr. Fine removed himself from every case in which he was the attorney.
State judge David Yaffe, sitting in LA County, without prior notice to Mr. Fine, who was no longer the attorney in the case, illegally ordered him to pay attorney fees and costs to an opposing party and to LA County who was also an opposing party.
State Judge David Yaffe claimed to make an order that Mr. Fine did not have the right to challenge Judge Yaffe’s order.
State Judge David Yaffe, sitting in LA County, when questioned by Mr. Fine, admitted that he had taken LA County payments.
Mr. Fine filed and served State Judge Yaffe with a CCP Section 170.3 Disqualification. State Judge Yaffe did not respond and was disqualified under CCP Section 170.3c(4).
State Judge Yaffe refused to obey the law and remove himself from the case and entered an illegal judgment for Mr. Fine to pay attorneys fees to the opposing parties.
The State Bar of California recommended that attorney Richard I. Fine be disbarred. The State Bar Review Department’s Opinion was based solely on documents which Mr. Fine filed in court cases. The State Bar Office of Chief Trial Counsel admitted in court papers that the State Bar was not prosecuting Fine for any statement he made in a document, any “speech” or any “rhetoric”, all of which were protected by the First Amendment. The State Bar abandoned its case. The recommendation did not become final until November 29, 2008.
Before the State Bar recommendation became final, the California Court of Appeal decided Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 630, Review Denied 12/23/2008. Sturgeon held that Los Angeles County payments to State judges sitting in LA County violated Article VI, Section 19 of the California Constitution.
The State Bar Review Department refused to file Mr. Fine’s motion for rehearing based upon the Sturgeon Decision.
State Judge Yaffe held a Contempt Trial against Mr. Fine. Mr. Fine challenged Judge Yaffe’s right to be the judge in the case where he is taking illegal money [bribes] from LA County who is a party in the case. Judge Yaffe was the first witness in the case. He was also the judge for that case. This is a violation of due process, as Judge Yaffe is “judging his own actions”. Judge Yaffe, under questioning by Fine in open court, admitted, under oath: A) he received LA County payments; B) he did not report them on his Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests; C) he had no employment arrangement for services with LA County; and D) he could not remember any case in the last three years that he decided against LA County.
After the Sturgeon case, the Judicial Council of California, which is part of the Judicial Branch of California government, the California Judges Association, and the LA Superior Court drafted Senate Bill SBX211. On 2/14-15/2009, the Legislature passed the bill. Section 5 of Senate Bill SBX 2 11 gave those who offered judges illegal bribes and those judges who took bribes retroactive immunity, which is an awful, indefensible breach of the sacred public trust, unworthy of any public official.
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger approved California Senate Bill No. 11, aka SBX 2 11. Section 5 of this bill added to the Government Code Section 6822 the following retroactive grant of immunity, which is quoted, verbatim, below.
Notwithstanding any other law, no government entity, or officer or employee of a government entity, shall incur any liability or be subject to any prosecution or disciplinary action because of benefits provided to a judge under the official action of a government entity prior to the effective date of this act on the ground that those benefits were not authorized under law.
Judge Yaffe held Mr. Fine in contempt for refusing to disclose his assets in an attempt by Judge Yaffe to enforce an illegal judgment for attorneys fees in the case where Judge Yaffe received illegal payments from LA County. Judge Yaffe illegally ordered Fine jailed under “coercive, solitary incarceration”. Mr. Fine started to serve incarceration in LA County jail pursuant to Judge Yaffe’s order.
Note: Mr. Fine ended up serving 18 months incarceration.
The California Supreme Court ordered that attorney Richard I. Fine is disbarred.
At that time, three of the then existing California Supreme Court justices [Chief Justice George, Associate Justice Moreno, and Associate Justice Kennard] received illegal payments from LA County when they were Superior Court judges sitting in LA County, two [Associate Justices Chin and Corrigan] received illegal payments from Alameda County when they were Superior Court judges sitting in Alameda County, and two of these justices, [Chief Justice George and Associate Justice Baxter], were among the persons on the California Judicial Council that drafted Senate Bill SBX 2 11, which gave them retroactive immunity for accepting county bribes, according to the information contained in the official biographies and the 2009 Judicial Council Report to the State Legislature.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept Mr. Fine’s petition to take his Habeas Corpus case, despite the clear violations of the U.S. Constitution. In July, 2010, the Supreme Court again refused to hear the Habeas Corpus case even after being informed that Judge Yaffe admitted to committing a fraud upon the court by making a false order on 3/18/08 and fraudulently represented that he had made such order to the U.S. District Court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
State Judge Yaffe admitted in court papers that his 3/18/08 order stating that Mr. Fine does not have standing to challenge him was a fraud and was never made or entered. This order was the basis for all other orders in the case. Judge Yaffe resigned [retired] mid term effective September, 2010. Within a few days, California Supreme Court Chief Justice George announced his resignation [retirement]. A few months later, California Supreme Court Associate Justice Moreno resigned [retired] with approximately 10 years remaining in his term of office.
Mr. Fine filed a motion to set aside all void judgments and orders of State Judge Yaffe based upon extrinsic fraud upon the court. The motion was first taken off calendar by State Judge Yaffe, reset before State Judge Jones who recused herself, reset before State Judge Chalfant who recused himself, reset before State Judge Berle who recused himself and finally set before Retired State Judge O’Brien who had taken approximately $230,000.00 in illegal payments [bribes] from LA County while he was sitting as a Superior Court judge. State Judge O’Brien denied the motion on 1/7/11 and subsequently denied a motion for rehearing on 6/2/11.
Question: Do these facts, so far, want to make you puke?
LA County Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe issued an order releasing Richard I. Fine from incarceration in the LA County jail and left the bench.
. . . [Text removed to comply with League of Women Voters’ rules.]
The Sturgeon holding was affirmed in Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles, (March 16, 2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 344, 355-356 Review Denied 3/16/11. The court stated at pages 355-356:
Mr. Fine filed a Verified First Amended Federal Civil Rights Complaint in the U.S. District against the California State Bar, the State Bar Board of Governors, the State Bar Chief Trial Counsel and the individual justices of the California Supreme Court to enjoin them to set aside the void disbarment based upon extrinsic fraud upon the court and to declare certain laws unconstitutional including Senate Bill SBX 2 11. On 6/24/11, U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton Tucker dismissed the Verified First Amended Complaint and Mr. Fine appealed to the 9th Circuit.
The Superior Court filed a Notice of Void 1/7/11 and 6/2/11 Orders and Disqualification of Judge Robert H. O’Brien (1) for Having Taken $277,925.64 in Illegal Payments from LA County, a Party to this Case and Not Disclosing Such Payments; (2) under CCP Section 170.3 c)(4) for Having Failed to Respond to the Notice of Change of Place, Date and Time for Notice of Motion and Motion for Renewal of the Motion to Void and Annul All Orders and Judgments Including Those in the Contempt Proceedings in the Case Made by Judge Yaffe Within 10 Days and Unlawfully Striking Such as a Repetitive Motion for Disqualification under CCP Section 170.4 c) (3); (3) for Committing the Federal Crime of Misprison of Felony by Refusing to Report the Criminal Actions of Judge Yaffe of Having Taken $827,612.55 in Illegal Payments from La County; and (4) for Violating Federal and State Criminal Laws in the case in which State Judge Yaffe held Mr. Fine in Contempt of Court and incarcerated him.
The State Bar admitted in court papers filed in the 9th Circuit in the federal civil rights case that Mr. Fine was disbarred for filing cases against the judges for having taken payments from counties. This admission showed that the State Bar proceeding and California Supreme Court Order of Disbarment was a fraud, as Mr. Fine was never charged by the State Bar with any violation for bringing lawsuits against the judges for taking illegal payments or bribes from counties. Despite this admission, the 9th Circuit affirmed the dismissal. Mr. Fine showed that the 9th Circuit justices were biased. Justice Bea received illegal LA County payments when he was a State Superior court judge and was currently receiving LA County payments according to his current financial disclosure report. Justice Graber received income from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) for having been a state court judge and her spouse received income from the Portland General (retirement income). She had the conflict of deciding the issue of state judges deciding cases when their spouses receive income from a party appearing before the state judge. Justice Graber never disclosed the payments to her or her spouse.
Justice Graber shared the same undisclosed bias in favor of judges receiving unrestricted supplemental payments from counties appearing before them and a bias against Fine for having challenged and litigated such issue.
Justice Rawlinson received $29,348.95 in income from PERS of Nevada (Pension). She has up to $250,000.00 in “Clark County Deferred Compensation” and up to $250,000.00 in “N Las Vegas Deferred Compensation”. She was a deputy district attorney and chief deputy in the Clark County Nevada District Attorney’s Office from 1980 – 1998. In Nevada, state judges are elected and paid by the state. Nevada’s Constitution Article 6, Section 15 states that the compensation of the judges shall be fixed by law. It appears that “double dipping” by county payments may take place in pensions. Justice Rawlinson did not disclose her bias in favor of such county payments and bias against Fine for having challenged and litigated against such county payments.
Mr. Fine filed a motion with the California Supreme Court “to set aside the void disbarment”. The State Bar did not oppose the motion. California Rule of Court 8.54 c states that the failure to oppose a motion may be deemed to be a consent to the granting of the motion. The justices of the California Supreme Court still retaliated and refused to grant the motion.
At that time, the Chief Justice had received illegal payments from Sacramento County when she was a Superior Court judge sitting in Sacramento County, one of the then existing California Supreme Court judges received illegal payments from LA County when she was a Superior Court judge sitting in LA County, two received illegal payments from Alameda County when they were Superior Court judges sitting in Alameda County, and Justice Baxter was among the persons on the California Judicial Council that drafted Senate Bill SBX 2 11, which gives them retroactive immunity for accepting county bribes, according to the information contained in the official biographies and the 2009 Judicial Council Report to the State Legislature.
Mr. Fine filed a motion in the U.S. District Court to Immediately Set Aside the Void Judgment of Dismissal of Verified First Amended Complaint Based Upon Extrinsic Fraud Upon the Court. The motion showed the August 30, 2011 admission of the State Bar defendants, the State Bar’s non opposition to the motion to set aside the void disbarment in the California Supreme Court, the illegal taking of monies from counties by California Supreme Court justices and the drafting of Senate Bill SBX 2 11 by California Supreme Court justices. The motion also showed the 2010 financial disclosure statement of Judge Tucker. Such statement disclosed that Judge Tucker received approximately $20,000.00 in illegal payments from Orange County during the year 2010 when she was sitting as a State judge in the Superior Court for Orange County. The motion further contained documents from the 2009 California Judicial Council Report to the State Legislature showing the Orange County and other county payments, and the official biographies of the California Supreme Court justices. The motion further showed that Judge Tucker received approximately $160,000.00 in illegal payments from Orange County during the time that she was a State judge sitting in the Superior Court for Orange County. Judge Tucker did not disclose any of this information. The motion showed that she was disqualified under 28 U.S.C. Section 455 as having a personal interest in the case. Her personal interest was that she would be criminally prosecuted, civilly liable, and disciplined for having taken the illegal payments from Orange County if Senate Bill SBX 2 11 were held unconstitutional. By dismissing the Verified First Amended Complaint she ensured that she would not be criminally prosecuted. She committed extrinsic fraud upon the court. On 3/5/11, Judge Tucker denied the motion.
The U.S. District Court filed the Notice of Void June 24, 2011 Judgment and Void March 14, 2012 Order Based Upon Extrinsic Fraud Upon the Court.
No judge, no LA County official, and no State Bar of California official has offered attorney Richard Fine any apology for anything they did against him.
The Democratic Party Platform for California 2012, at page 15-16 states in part:
California’s current Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, as far as I know, despite those mighty fine words in the Democratic Party Platform for California 2012, and despite her duty to see to it that the laws in this state are vigorously enforced, has not yet done anything to A) enforce Article VI, Section 19 of California’s Constitution or B) to uphold attorney Richard I. Fine’s vital rights, including his rights to Free Speech, to Liberty, to Due Process of Law, to be free from unlawful retaliation and oppression under color of law, and to Petition for Redress of Grievances. Ms. Harris, however, is officially pursuing an investigation against former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger arising from charges that Mr. Schwarzenegger improperly used taxpayer funds.
Analysis and Commentary
Per the above facts and laws, certain State judges, the California Supreme Court, certain LA County officials, certain senior office holders of the State Bar of California, and the State Bar of California, joined forces, piled on against attorney Richard I. Fine, and, along the way, manifested egregious, indefensible retaliatory acts against Mr. Fine who merely dared to function as a fearless attorney who represented clients zealously and competently and as a U.S. citizen who dared to exercise his vital rights of Free Speech and Right to Petition and further dared to claim the protection of the laws, which was well within his rights. However, a staggering number of officials egregiously turned on Mr. Fine to encourage him to shut up, to sit down, to tolerate, without protest, the corruption that he discovered.
There is overwhelming objectively verifiable evidence that there exists in California state wide indefensible corruption, at the highest levels, which appears to be on-going, unchecked, rampant, and tolerated by, and even committed by, senior State officers, many State judges [hundreds if not more than a thousand], LA County officials, and the State Bar of California.
By disbarring attorney Richard I. Fine, the State Bar of California and the California Supreme Court, apparently, deliberately intended to send a blunt force, stark, callous as cold steel in the gut, warning to all attorneys: “Don’t mess with the judges! Do that and you will end up like Fine.”
When large sums of money, greed, power, egos, reputations, and the exposure to criminal prosecution and incarceration are involved, wrongdoers tend to play rough, tend to offer no apologies, tend to never make any admission of wrongdoing, and tend to persist with their wrongdoing.
The behavior of many of those who retaliated against Mr. Fine is consistent with how a psychopath acts.
The wrongdoers in this factual situation manifested folly, consistent with a Biblical statement that goes like this, “Like the dog that returns to lick its own vomit, a fool persists with digging the pit into which he shall fall.”
Analysis and Commentary About Michel Allen, Democrat, Incumbent, California Assembly District 10
By force of California law, all licensed California attorneys are legally and ethically required to support and obey the U.S. Constitution, California’s Constitution, and all laws faithful thereto. . . . [Text removed to comply with League of Women Voters’ rules.]Conclusions
The Audacity of the California Judiciary is Obnoxious in the Extreme
What is stated below is my “position paper” on new developments regarding the California Judiciary.
California State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye has asked the Legislature to restore some $100 million in state funding and to increase court user fees to keep the courts functioning. But, she is concealing the largest judicial scandal in American history, namely, 90% of California’s 1,900 State judges have accepted illegal compensation which, by force of law, is deemed to be a bribe, and that, by force of law, makes those judges guilty of what is deemed to be a felony, punishable by incarceration in a state prison.
The judges should not be complaining. They could solve the problem by giving the State the approximate $350 million of illegal payments they received from counties since 1985. Then they could refuse to accept the retroactive immunity from criminal prosecution, civil liability and disciplinary action that they received under a 2009 law that they wrote after these payments were held to be unconstitutional.
Since 1985 the judges in LA County have received approximately $350 million in illegal payments from LA County in addition to their state compensation. Judges in other counties also received illegal payments from counties and courts.
These payments were held to be illegal in the case of Sturgeon v. LA County, 164 Cal.App.4th 630 (2008) Review Denied 12/23/2008. The judges were given retroactive immunity from criminal prosecution, civil liability, and disciplinary action in Senate Bill SBX 2 11 which was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger on February 20, 2009.
According to a December, 2009 Report of the California Judicial Council to the State Legislature, over 90% of California judges received such illegal payments from counties and or courts in addition to their state compensation.
Such payments also violate the federal criminal law, 18 U.S.C. Section 1346, which states that “the intangible right to honest services”, as such payments are bribes under California law. Federal cases such as U.S. v. Adams, have incarcerated judges for taking such payments as the person giving the payments was appearing as a party in a case before the judge. The counties are parties before the judges.
LA County has between 650-850 cases a year filed against it, not counting criminal cases where the LA County District Attorney is a party and Family Law cases where LA County Department of Child Support Services is intervening. The same facts are true for all counties in California.
LA County Counsel Annual Litigation Reports show that from FY 2005 – FY 2011, approximately only 3 cases were won against LA County, when a Superior Court judge sitting in the Superior Court for LA County made the decision.
This isn’t the end of the story. The judges are still in office. Worse yet, they have retaliated against Richard I. Fine, the only lawyer in California brave enough to first expose and prosecute them. They illegally disbarred him and illegally incarcerated him for 18 months in solitary coercive confinement in the LA County jail without ever being charged with a crime.
On August 30, 2011, the State Bar admitted in legal papers that Fine was disbarred for filing cases against the judges for taking payments from counties. Fine was never charged with that by the State Bar.
In December, 2011, Fine brought a motion in the California Supreme Court to set aside the void disbarment based upon the admission of the State Bar. The State Bar did not oppose the motion. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and the California Supreme Court justices, however, still retaliated and denied the motion, even though California Rule of Court 8.54c states that a failure to oppose a motion may be deemed as a consent to the granting of the motion.
Court papers demonstrate that the official biographies of Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, Associate Justices Chin, Corrigan, and Kennard were Superior Court judges in counties at the time that the counties in which they sat gave illegal payments to Superior Court judges.
Associate Justice Baxter was on the California Judicial Council that wrote Senate Bill SBX 2 11 that gave the judges retroactive immunity from California criminal prosecution, civil liability and disciplinary action.
Additionally, court papers demonstrate that the official biographies of former Chief Justice Ronald M. George and former Associate Justice Carlos Moreno also received illegal payments from Los Angeles County when they were Superior Court judges sitting in the Superior Court for Los Angeles County.
None of the Supreme Court justices, appellate court justices or Superior Court judges has received any immunity from federal prosecution for taking illegal payments from parties appearing before them or from retaliating against Fine. The U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice, however, have failed to express any inclination to prosecute any of California’s judges who have accepted illegal payments.
Recommendations for Eradicating Judicial Corruption and a Total Collapse of Constitutional Government in California
PLEASE DONATE TO MY CAMPAIGNIt took a lot of time and close attention to pedantic detail to prepare this lengthy document and to ensure its accuracy.
Based on the above presentation, please donate to my campaign.
Please help me get elected so I can work from the inside of government to stop the corruption, hold the corrupt accountable, and do my best to get a mighty fine attorney, a good human being, and a courageous citizen, Richard I. Fine, re-admitted to the State Bar of California.
Please help me make California’s officials obey California’s laws and treat folks decently.
Please help me make California respectable, decent, and honest.