Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Christmas Plea For Jailed Attorney Fine To U.S.Supreme Court Justice Kennedy

Fred Sottile
2691 E. Victoria Street, # 108, Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220
(310) 638-2825 FredSottile@sbcglobal.net Download PDF Copy of Letter
December 21, 2009

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
One First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20543

RE: Petition for Stay of Execution of Sentence for “Coercive Confinement”
Ninth Circuit Case No. 09-56073; USDC Case Nos. CV-09-1914, CV-09-7943

Honorable Justice Kennedy:

Submitted simultaneously herewith to the Clerk was Petitioner Richard I. Fine’s Petition for Stay of Execution of Sentence for “Coercive Confinement”. A ten-month unlawfully incarcerated, pro per litigant, Dr. Fine requests release on righteously solid grounds in fervent hopes of spending the last month in his home before it’s lost forever to foreclosure as a consequence of his making a principled stand by not relenting on honoring his oath as an officer of the court.

I apologize for the length of this letter, but the courts below have used a convoluted and complicated situation to protect judges and others from the consequences of engaging in an illegal payment scheme for 20+ years with only ex post facto secret legislation for (temporary) cover. Caught in the middle is an innocent man literally battling corruption to the end.

Until earlier this year, Dr. Fine was an attorney with a very distinguished career as a taxpayers’ advocate, and one who successfully prosecuted many civil rights and class action matters over the years. He worked for the Justice Department. He founded the first Anti-Trust division in Los Angeles County. He has served as Special Consul General in Southern California for the Kingdom of Norway for more than the past ten years

Dr. Fine was disbarred to try and silence his exposure of the criminal payment scheme between Los Angeles Superior Court judges and members of the County Board of Supervisors
[1] (and his exposure of a developer with very influential ties to consecutive presidents of the State Bar and who benefited from a sweetheart deal costing LA County taxpayers an estimated $700 million dollars in lost revenue as a result of these questionable relationships).

But as the judges and supervisors were informed early on by two opinions by the Attorney General, the payments to judges were (and remain) contrary to the California Constitution. Still, the payments continued uninterrupted. (Inasmuch as the County Charter sets the Supervisors’ salaries to match superior court judges’ salaries, there is little doubt that they have all been receiving the illegal payments as well.)

LA Superior Court judges have simultaneously been hearing cases in which LA County is a party, all the while failing to disclose to litigants that they are receiving, presently, over $57,000 per year from the County (with whom they have no employment agreement), and while the County enjoys a near-100% win/loss civil litigation success rate (according to the County’s litigation cost management reports).

One such judge, David P. Yaffe, jailed Dr. Fine for contempt rather than recuse himself from a case in which he has tremendous conflicts. Moreover, he allowed himself to be automatically disqualified under operation of law when he neglected to respond to a C.C.P. § 170.3 objection, but repeatedly refused to leave the case. He held a hearing that Dr. Fine was not informed of, then, in Dr. Fine’s absence, ordered him pay attorney’s fees of $47,000 to LA County. Dr. Fine was held in contempt and jailed after he challenged the void orders and refused to answer questions at a judgment debtor exam.

Judge Yaffe should have recused himself immediately after he was assigned Fine’s case, filed on behalf of homeowners and against LA County and the developer. He was paid $46,000 that year from LA County, a defendant in the case. Instead, he withheld that information from plaintiffs.

Judge Yaffe should have recused himself from trying the contempt matter against Dr. Fine because he was ineligible to determine the truth of his own testimony at trial.

These events all occurred well before the ex post facto law granting immunity, Senate Bill SBX2-11, was secretly passed. SBX2-11 has been cited by the courts below as protecting Judge Yaffe (and all the other judges), even though it has nothing to do with his obligation to recuse himself from hearing a case in which LA County was a party.

In Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles, brought by Judicial Watch to challenge and stop the payments, the California Court of Appeals confirmed in its October 10, 2008 decision that the payments were not constitutional; the California Supreme Court denied review. It is safe to say that everyone involved in the giving and receiving of the payments grew fearful when they were exposed and challenged. But rather than honestly address the situation, the California Judicial Council (chaired by Ronald George, California Supreme Court Justice and former presiding judge in LA Superior Court in the late 1980s) drafted a bill authorizing the payments and granting retroactive immunity for criminal prosecution, civil liability and judicial discipline. (Despite repeated requests, there has been no explanation given for why the immunity paragraph of SBX2-11 was not codified.)

California’s judicial disciplinary body, the Commission on Judicial Performance, immediately requested an official opinion from the Attorney General concerning the effect of SBX2-11 on its obligation to discipline wayward judges. The request was quashed by the Attorney General and no opinion issued.

It has been almost ten month since Dr. Fine was placed in solitary “coercive” confinement by Judge Yaffe, at whose order Dr. Fine was denied even pencil and paper with which to fashion an appeal. He was denied access by the media. He was denied access to legal materials, and thus has written everything since filed from memory. He continues to be denied access to any legal assistance whatsoever because of the necessity of providing a financial declaration, the substance of which would result in the “void” order being obeyed, a Catch-22 for Dr. Fine.

Numerous documents have been improperly withheld from the public in the District Court’s and the Ninth Circuit’s online files. There are no orders that the documents be sealed, nor was there even ever any discussion about it, but the Courts steadfastly refuse to post these documents (all of which contain unflattering evidence). In some cases, documents were received but not “filed” until months later, when they could then be cast as “moot” in order to arrive at the court’s pre-determined conclusion.

Most egregiously, District Court Judge John F. Walter and Magistrate Judge Carla M. Woehrle dismissed a case filed against them and others. “A man cannot be a judge in his own case,” but Judges Walter and Woehrle ignored this basic tenet.

In replying to Fine’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Yaffe referred to a non-existent “order” and engaged in other frauds on the court in defending his actions. Similar frauds were perpetuated on the California Supreme Court in connection with Dr. Fine’s disbarment. (Those acts are the subject of a pending motion to set aside.)

The Ninth Circuit ultimately affirmed (on December 16th) the District Court’s denial of Dr. Fine’s writ of habeas corpus, posturing that Judge Yaffe was protected by SBX2-11, even though it wasn’t in existence at the time, and wouldn’t be for another year. The court’s use of a crystal ball burst all boundaries of credulity.

Co-incidentally, the Judicial Council of California just last week issued a report
[2] in which it recommended that judges who receive more than $1,500 in campaign donations from any party to a future case are automatically disqualified. $1,500 is too much influence, but $46,000 was not enough?

Given the absolute truth of the foregoing, Dr. Fine requests that execution of the sentence of “coercive confinement” be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal process. As he noted in his Petition, this relief has previously been granted under similar circumstances. And as argued to the courts below, the statutory 5-day maximum for criminal coercive contempt has long since expired.

Nor will Dr. Fine ever be coerced into violating his oath. His principled stand has cost him his home and his license, a devastating price to have paid to resist being made a part of the corruption rampant in LA County.

Ten Million Felonies.

Literally ten million felonies
[3] were pardoned in February, about 1.6 million of them committed by superior court judges, when Senate Bill SBX2-11 was passed. It’s understandable that those involved are desperate to escape the consequences of their deeds, but it is unconscionable to hold an innocent person in jail while the charade proceeds.

I and the other members of Dr. Fine’s non-attorney volunteer support team collectively beseech you to grant Dr. Fine’s petition and order his release It will be far too late to save his home, but he ought not be denied from spending the last month in it, over the holidays, with his family. Ultimately, we hope to win the restoration of due process for all Californians. We are on the right track, as evidenced by the recent statement by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, a man previously found liable for calling a judge on behalf of constituents in attempt to influence the outcome of their case, when he announced that the payments would not be given to “new” judges.

Dr. Fine is almost 70 years old, and his health has deteriorated significantly as a direct result of his incarceration. He has contracted a staph infection, suffers from edema of the legs, back pain and now is being medicated for a high cholesterol count.

Please order Dr. Fine’s immediate release.

Please feel free to contact the undersigned should you have any questions or concerns. The bulk of the evidence and case history can be viewed online at http://sites.google.com/site/freerichardfine/Home




cc: Dr. Richard I. Fine
Brian Shaughnessy, Esq.
Aaron Mitchell Fontana, Esq.
Paul B. Beach, Esq.
Kevin M. McCormick, Esq.

[1] Dr. Fine was disbarred for “moral turpitude” for filing civil rights lawsuits concerning certain judges and others’ involvement with the unconstitutional payments.
[2] http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/tflists/commimpart.htm
[3] http://righttrumpsmight.blogspot.com/2009/12/aha.html

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ninth Circuit Covers Up Court Corruption With Unpublished Decision

On Richard I Fine Contempt Case

Los Angeles, CA Following the announcement of an “unpublished” decision in a civil contempt of court case, a three Judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Reinhardt, Trott, Wardlaw) was described as having “succumbed to the cancer of corruption and the criminals in judicial robes.”

This statement from Richard I Fine is featured in a new 6 minute video news blog that provides audio clips from a telephone interview conducted by Leslie Dutton of the Full Disclosure Network®. Fine, a prominent Anti-Trust Attorney, has been held in solitary “coercive confinement” in the L.A. County Central Men’s jail for almost ten months, since March 4, 2009.

Fine was sentenced indefinitely, without bail, without a hearing date and without a release date by L.A. Superior Court Judge David Yaffe following Fine’s attempt to disqualify the judge from sitting on a case where he had received illegal payments from L. A. County a party to the case, Marina Strand Colony II Homeowners Association v. County of Los Angeles.

Here are other points made by Richard I Fine in the Video News Report:

  • The panel has violated hundreds of years of established Judicial Precedent and the Supreme Court Precedent In Re Murchison where it was held that “no man can be a judge in is own case”

  • There is a 2007 FRAP 32.1 Rule established by Supreme court ruling and implemented by the Judicial Council that says a court may not prohibit or restrict citation of appellate court rulings.

  • “The Ninth Circuit Court has deterioriated to the level of the developing countries that are war torn, that the U.S. has been critical of..."

  • Ninth Circuit Court rulings have been overturned more than any other Court in the United States and that is why they have become known as the “Ninth Circus Court”.

    Related links and Videos:

    Read the entire interview transcript here

    One pager About the Full Disclosure Network®

    Six Minute preview of Court Corruption series

    One pager with links to videos in the series.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Irate Citizens Hi-jack Legislative Hearing, Cite Corruption & Courts As Problem (Video 8 min)

Los Angeles, CA A Joint Legislative Committee of California Senators and Assembly members held a hearing on December 8, 2009 at the Museum of Tolerance in West Los Angeles that was sparsely attended by the public. Without fanfare or any promotion to the public, the apparent purpose of the meeting was to videotape the Legislative leaders at this panel discussion to demonstrate they were attempting to resolve the State’s budget process that contributed to a dire fiscal disaster that now has California on the brink of insolvency. Other such hearings have been held across the state and the video of those discussions appear on the government website.

Full Disclosure Network® compiled an eight minute video revealing the essence of what happened and demonstrated the growing unrest among the citizens over Court Corruption in Los Angeles. Specifically, the citizens kept focusing on the jailed attorney Richard I Fine and the controversial State Senate Bill SBX2 11 that was approved by the Legislature during the budget session that gave retroactive immunity from criminal and civil prosecution to Judges, Courts, and government officials who had accepted and or given illegal public funds from the County to the Judges. Richard Fine was jailed on March 4, 2009 after he attempted to disqualify Judge Yaffe who had accepted the illegal payments from the County, he remains in L.A. County Jail.

Listed on the agenda as participants on the panels were the State Auditor, Controller, Inspector General, Treasurer’s Office and a few selected business representatives along with State Senators, who appeared shocked that the public was more concerned about government and court corruption than they were with the mundane discussion between the legislators and bureaucrats.

Mike Feuer, State Assembly Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee
State Senators Dutton, Wyland, Saulnier and Pavley
Gabriella Holt, President of Citizens for California Government Reform
George Buzzetti, Community Activist
Daniel Gottlieb, Emeritus Professor Purdue University Mathematics Dept.
Rabbi Schifren, Candidate for State Senate
Steve Bardo, Center for Judicial Excellence
Jeanette Isaacs, Concerned Citizen and Victim of Court Corruption

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jailed Norway Consul General Comments on U.S. Snub of King Harald Invitation

RICHARD I. FINE, Consul General of Norway
Los Angeles, CA In an interview from his solitary confinement jail cell, Richard I Fine, the long time Consul General representing Norway, is raising questions as to why the U. S. President Barack Hussein Obama would deliberatetly snub the King of Norway on his trip to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, as reported in the Guardian news on Wednesday, November 9, 2009.
Fine told the Full Disclosure Network via a collect telephone call from his jail cell ....

"One must question why the President would refuse a luncheon invitation from the King, in view of the fact that King Harald (then Prince) of Norway once received refuge, living in the FDR White House, during World War II, while a young child."

Fine, who has practiced Anti-Trust law in the United States for over 40 years, has been held in held in solitary “coercive confinement” in L A County Central Men’s jail, since March 4, 2009, serving an indefinite sentence of contempt of court imposed by L A Superior Court Judge David Yaffe following an attempt to disqualify the judge for accepting illegal payments from a party involved in litigation before him.

As part of his campaign against California Court Corruption, Consul General Fine has filed complaints to expose court corruption in Los Angeles with California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder have been ignored.

Top U.S. Lawmen Ignore Complaints From Jailed Diplomat

Apparently none of the law enforcement officials in the United States are interested why a man of Fine’s stature has been ignored at a time when the President of the United States is going to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Award.

Related Links on Richard I. Fine and Court Corruption here

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Is There A Shadow Ninth Circuit?........... Guest Editorial by Richard I Fine


Los Angeles, CA Something very unusual has happened in the Writ of Habeas Corpus case of Fine vs Sheriff of L.A. County. Clerks are signing Court Orders “For The Court” instead of Judges.


On December 4, 2009 a Deputy Clerk of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the “Request for Judicial Notice” that the Court take notice of the fact that the entire Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals have recused itself in the second appeal in the case of the L A County payments to L A Superior Court Judges. This appeal seeks to hold the payments made under Senate Bill SBX2 11 unconstitutional. (Sturgeon vs. County of L.A)


The request should have been automatically granted, as the fact that all the L A Superior Court Judges have recused themselves in the Sturgeon case, was already before the Ninth Circuit through a document submitted by the L A Superior Court.


The unusual part of the December 4, 2009 ORDER was that it was made by the Deputy Clerk “FOR THE COURT”. As of December 3, 2009, the identity of the “Panel” of judges deciding the case was publicly known. The panel is: Justices Reinhardt, Trott and Wardlaw. One has to question why their names were not on the ORDER.


The more disturbing question is; “Whether someone else is interfering with the judicial process in this case and issued the ORDER.”

  • This second question is grounded in the history of the case. On November 12, 2009, the case was ordered submitted without oral argument by the then “unidentified panel” by order of the clerk “FOR THE COURT”.

  • On November 24, 2009, the clerk “FOR THE COURT” without reference to the “Panel” denied “Petitioners Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandate to Immediately Enter Writ of Habeas Corpus or issue Order To Show Cause.”

  • The significance of this action was that such denial violated long established U S Supreme Court precedent that a man could not judge his own actions. (In re Murchison).

  • The underlying Writ of Habeas Corpus charged that the Magistrate Judge Woehrle and Walter had violated 18 USC Section 2243. The petition for Writ of Mandate showed that they “Judged their own actions” by dismissing the underlying Writ of Habeas Corpus in violation of the Murchison precedent.


There is no question that experienced Justices such as Reinhardt, Trott and Wardlaw would never violate long standing U.S. Supreme Court precedent as they are bound to follow it.

These two "CLERK ORDERS" make one ask: "Is there a shadow Ninth Circuit?"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

County To Stop Payments For New Judges.....L A Supervisor Michael Antonovich (Video 3 min)

L A County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich
November 23, 2009
Lincoln Club of Los Angeles County

Los Angeles, CA Full Disclosure Network® presents a 3 min video report on the November 23, 2009 remarks made by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich at a meeting of the Los Angeles County Lincoln Club in North Hollywood. The Supervisor provided an update regarding the controversy over long-time practice of the County making payments to Los Angeles Superior Court Judges. Civic leader David R. Hernandez provides his account of the presentation in the video.

A Fourth District CA Court of Appeals decision in November of 2008 ruled the county's payments were illegal in the Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles lawsuit that found Judges, who are all elected officials, had not been disclosing the extra payments they received from the County to litigants in the courtroom, in cases involving the county, nor on the Form 700 Economic Interest statements as required by the California Fair Pactices Act.

In response a question about the continuing public concern that county payments created a “conflict” for judges and if this conflict was going to be resolved?

Here are some of the points made by Supervisor Antonovich:
  • All new judges (elected or appointed) will not be receiving payments from the county.
  • Most other California counties have been paying (illegal) benefits to the judges
  • This was not just a Los Angeles County practice
  • Recent legislation, Senate Bill SBX2 11 has now made the payments legal.
  • L A Judges have not always ruled in favor of the County
  • Several rulings have been in favor of illegal aliens (which the county opposed)

Featured in the video: are two prominent critics of the illegal payments made to Judges by the County and below are comments from Richard I Fine from his L.A. County Jail cell.

David R. Hernandez, Civic Leader (by telephone)
Sterling Norris, Judicial Watch Attorney (Sturgeon v County of Los Angeles)

From his L. A. County Central Men's Jail cell, Richard I Fine: Anti-Trust Attorney who remains in solitary “coercive confinement” following his attempt to disqualify Judge Yaffe for not disclosing to litigants in his courtroom, receipt of payments from County . Fine had this to say regarding the disclosure by Supervisor Antonovich:

“This is long overdue. This is a great victory for those of us that have been fighting the illegal payments. The County has spent approximately $300 million since 1988 on these illegal and criminal payments to the Judges. I and others have filed complaints with the U S Dept. of Justice knowing that these payments violate the tangible rights to honest services and I have filed a complaint with a the California Attorney general showing that these payments are a misappropriation of funds, and obstruction of justice and bribery."

"Senate Bill
SBX2 11 which was enacted on Feb. 20, 2009 confirmed that the payments are criminal by the judges and those who make the payments now have retroactive immunity from criminal prosecution, civil liability and disciplinary action. The action of the Supervisors to stop the payments appears to be a clear response to rid themselves of this criminal activity."

In response to comments made by Sterling Norris (in the video) Fine said, "The 2010 budget bill resolution of the County left the decision regarding these payments to the Executive Officer and Auditor-Controller that is the reason you do not see second resolution to these payments. With respect to the Judges, this only deals with the payments in Los Angeles County, 429 judges, will continue to receive their payments however, those payments will stop as each judge comes up for re-election . The longest period of time is if that judge is reelected, he would get payments for six years until there is another election. Then he would be come a new judge.”

Sterling Norris, Judicial Watch Attorney:
Full Disclosure received the following response that is quoted in the video from Sterling Norris, Judicial Watch attorney who won the Fourth District California Court of Appeal decision ruling the county payments to judges were illegal.

“I have not seen anything in the press regarding a resolution by the Board of Supervisors has been passed that would impact the newly hired judges. Even if they did pass such a resolution, it would not impact the majority, about 95 percent of the judges, nor would it impact or our litigation, even if such a resolution would be approve by the by Board of Supervisors. It is estimated that from 1500 to 2000 California Judges will be impacted by the Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles case that is still in litigation.”

Link to a complete listing and video links to the Series "Judicial Benefits & Court Corruption{

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ninth Circuit Court Dodges Judicial Recusal Issue ...... Ignores Supreme Court Precedent In Richard Fine Case

Los Angeles, CA In an unexpected turn of events, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has posted an Order denying Richard I. Fine’s Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandate to Immediately Order Trial Court (U.S. California Central District) to Enter Writ of Habeas Corpus or Issue Order to Show Cause. This action, posted on the Federal Pacer website, did not have any Judicial signatures or names of Judicial officers who authorized such action.

Full Disclosure Network immediately contacted the Executive Office of the Ninth Circuit Court, requesting verification that the unsigned Order was valid. Here is the explanation we received from David Madden , Assistant Circuit Executive in San Francisco...........
"Once a case has been calendared, all subsequent petitions, motions, etc. go to the appellate panel which has been assigned the case. This case was ordered to be submitted on the briefs, without oral argument on December10, 2009, in Pasadena, California. It has been assigned to a panel of judges and it was the panel that denied the emergency petition brought by Mr. Fine."
"Names of judges sitting on a panel are not revealed until 10 days prior to the case being heard or submitted on the briefs. Should a panel need to issue an order in a case more than 10 days prior to a hearing/submission,the order is issued "for the court" by the clerk of court or designee. This process is followed fairly often"
From his L. A. County Central Men’s jail cell, where he has been held for almost nine months in solitary “Coercive Confinement” for civil contempt of Court, Richard I Fine gave Full Disclosure his reaction to this development.........

“This action of a panel is unheard of. It violates due process because it is allowing Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle and Judge John F. Walter to judge their own actions of denying the Writ of Habeas Corpus. This is a direct violation of the United States Supreme Court case of In re Murchison and hundreds of years of common law which hold that no man can judge his own actions. The Ninth Circuit is bound to follow the Supreme Court, they do not have a choice in the matter."

He went on to say "It also violates California law as set forth in the case of In re Farr. This case prohibits holding a person for more than five days in “coercive confinement” for contempt of court if there is no substantial likelihood that the contempt order would serve it’s coercive purpose"... and
"It further shows that the Ninth Circuit may be biased against me in this case, as it is willing to violate the law and Supreme Court decisions to protect wrong doing judges. It is this type of action which supports the necessity of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Judicial Recusals."

Fine concluded saying, "We definitely need new laws to stop this type of illegal conduct by Magistrate Judge Woehrle, Judge Walter and the Ninth Circuit as they refuse to follow clear Supreme Court Precedent ."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two US Judges Refuse to Recuse From Case Naming Them As Defendants: (Video 9 min)

Los Angeles, CA The Full Disclosure Network® presents a short video news blog report on what has been described by the volunteer legal team helping Richard I. Fine as a “bombshell cover-up” by two Federal Judges, Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle and Judge John F. Walter denied Fine's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Case 09-cv-7943) where they themselves were named as defendants.

The case of jailed Anti-Trust Attorney Richard I. Fine a prominent attorney who holds a PhD in International law has generated a protracted legal battle playing out in the U.S. Central District Court of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals all the while Fine has been held in solitary coercive confinement in the L.A. County Central Men’s jail since March 4, 2009.

Fine was sentenced for an indefinite period of time, without bail, hearing date or release date, for civil contempt of court after he attempted to disqualify Superior Court Judge David Yaffe on the grounds that he had taken illegal payments from a party to the case.

In his new Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed in the U.S. District Court Mr. Fine cites on page 12 that the 5 day limit to hold him for “coercive incarceration” as having been violated by the L. A. Superior Court and the L A County Sheriff.

Also on page 12 the petition cites that 28 USC Section 2243 as having been violated by Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle and Judge John F, Walter. Magistrate Judge signed an order to strike the filing of the Writ, even though she was named as a defendant and Judge Walter signed both a judgment and denial even though he was named as a defendant.

Fine also filed an emergency writ of mandate in the Ninth Circuit Court of appeal to order the District Court to issue the writ.

Appearing in the video are:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Fight Against Illegal Judicial Benefits & Court Corruption: Video 6 min

Los Angeles, CA The Full Disclosure Network® presents a special six minute “preview” covering the ten-part cable television series. The Video Reveals the on-going Court battle between Superior Court Judges, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Court Administrators, a prominent jailed anti-trust attorney and the Judicial Watch organization. The legal battle began when Richard I Fine challenged Superior Court Judges who had been receiving illegal payments from the County of Los Angeles and who did not disclose those payments on their Economic Disclosure Form 700 nor to the parties appearing before the judges in their court rooms in cases that involved the County of Los Angeles.

Appearing in the six minute video are:

  • Richard I Fine, who is serving an indefinite sentence in L.A. County Central Men’s Jail since March 4th, 2009 for attempting to disqualify Judge David Yaffe
  • Sterling Norris, Judicial Watch Attorney (Sturgeon vs. County of L.A.)
  • Paul Orphanedes, Judicial Watch Attorney (Sturgeon vs. County of L.A.)
  • Professor Emeritus Daniel Gottlieb, Purdue University (ret.)
  • Leslie Dutton, Full Disclosure host and moderator

Issues covered in this preview presentation of the complete series are:

  • Senate Bill SBX2 11, Legislation granting retroactive criminal and civil immunity to all California Judges, County Government and Court officials who participated in the illegal payment scheme, since 1988 to present.
  • L. A. County Sheriff Leroy Baca’s fight to prevent Full Disclosure Network’s access to interview jailed attorney Richard I Fine.
  • Richard I Fine’s incarceration in the L. A. County Jail

Related Links:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chief Justice Ronald George Attacks California Intiative Process & Direct Democracy


OCTOBER 10, 2009

It is an honor to speak as a representative of the new class of Academy members. I would like to share some thoughts with you on a matter that has been of recent and continued professional concern to me, but that I believe may be of general interest to members of the Academy, because it fundamentally implicates how we govern ourselves. This is the increasing use of the ballot Initiative process available in many states to effect constitutional and statutory changes in the law, especially in the structure and powers of government.

A not-too-subtle clue to my point of view is reflected in the caption I have chosen for these remarks — “The Perils of Direct Democracy: The California Experience.” Although two dozen states in our nation permit government by voter Initiative, in no other state is the practice as extreme as in California.

By the terms of its Constitution, California permits a relatively small number of petition signers — equal to at least 8% of the voters in the last gubernatorial election — to place before the voters a proposal to amend any aspect of our Constitution. (The figure is only 5% for a proposed non-constitutional statutory enactment.) If approved by a simple majority of those voting at the next election, the Initiative measure goes into effect on the following day.

The legislature (by two-thirds vote of each house) shares with the voters the power to place proposed constitutional amendments before the electorate. California, however, is unique among all American jurisdictions in prohibiting its legislature, without express voter approval, from amending or repealing even a statutory measure enacted by the voters, unless the Initiative measure itself specifically confers such authority upon the legislature.

The process for amending California’s Constitution thus is considerably easier than the amendment process embodied in the United States Constitution, under which an amendment may be proposed either by a vote of two-thirds of each house of Congress or by a convention called on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the states. It can be ratified only by the legislatures of (or by conventions held in) three-quarters of the states.

The relative ease with which the California Constitution can be amended is dramatically illustrated by the frequency with which this has occurred. Only 17 amendments to the United States Constitution (in addition to the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791) have been adopted since that document was ratified in 1788. In contrast, more than 500 amendments to the California Constitution have been adopted since ratification of California’s current Constitution in 1879.

Former United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was known to pride himself on carrying in his pocket a slender pamphlet containing the federal Constitution in its entirety. I certainly could not emulate that practice with California’s constitutional counterpart.

One Bar leader has observed: “California’s current constitution rivals India’s for being the longest and most convoluted in the world . . . . [W]ith the cumulative dross of past voter initiatives incorporated, [it] is a document that assures chaos.”

Initiatives have enshrined a myriad of provisions into California’s constitutional charter, including a prohibition on the use of gill nets and a measure regulating the confinement of barnyard fowl in coops. This last constitutional amendment was enacted on the same 2008 ballot that amended the state Constitution to override the California Supreme Court’s decision recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry. Chickens gained valuable rights in California on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them.

Perhaps most consequential in their impact on the ability of California state and local government to function are constitutional and statutory mandates and prohibitions — often at cross-purposes — limiting how elected officials may raise and spend revenue. California’s lawmakers, and the state itself, have been placed in a fiscal straitjacket by a steep two-thirds-vote requirement — imposed at the ballot box — for raising taxes. A similar supermajoritarian requirement governs passage of the state budget. This situation is compounded by voter Initiative measures that have imposed severe restrictions upon increases in the assessed value of real property that is subject to property tax, coupled with constitutional requirements of specified levels of financial support for public transportation and public schools.

These constraints upon elected officials — when combined with a lack of political will (on the part of some) to curb spending and (on the part of others) to raise taxes — often make a third alternative, borrowing, the most attractive option (at least until the bankers say “no”).

Much of this constitutional and statutory structure has been brought about not by legislative fact-gathering and deliberation, but rather by the approval of voter Initiative measures, often funded by special interests. These interests are allowed under the law to pay a bounty to signature-gatherers for each signer. Frequent amendments — coupled with the implicit threat of more in the future — have rendered our state government dysfunctional, at least in times of severe economic decline.

Because of voter Initiatives restricting the taxing powers that the legislature may exercise, California’s tax structure is particularly dependent upon fluctuating types of revenue, giving rise to a “boom or bust” economic cycle. The consequences this year have been devastating to programs that, for example, provide food to poor children and health care for the elderly disabled. This year’s fiscal crisis also has caused the Judicial Council, which I chair, to take the reluctant and unprecedented step of closing all courts in our state one day a month. That decision will enable us to offset approximately one-fourth of the more than $400 million reduction imposed by the other two branches of government on the $4 billion budget of our court system.

The voter Initiative process places additional burdens upon the judicial branch. The court over which I preside frequently is called upon to resolve legal challenges to voter Initiatives. Needless to say, we incur the displeasure of the voting public when, in the course of performing our constitutional duties as judges, we are compelled to invalidate such a measure.

On occasion, we are confronted with a pre-election lawsuit that causes us to remove an Initiative proposal from the ballot because, by combining insufficiently related issues, it violates our state Constitution’s single-subject limitation on such measures. At other times, a voter Initiative — perhaps poorly drafted and ambiguous, or faced with a competing or “dueling” measure that passed at the same election — requires years of successive litigation in the courts to ferret out its intended meaning, and ultimately may have to be invalidated in whole or in part.
One thing is fairly certain, however. If a proposal, whatever its nature, is sufficiently funded by its backers, it most likely will obtain the requisite number of signatures to qualify for the ballot, and — if it does qualify — there is a good chance the measure will pass. The converse certainly is true — poorly funded efforts, without sufficient backing to mount an expensive television campaign — are highly unlikely to succeed, whatever their merit.

This dysfunctional situation has led some to call for the convening of a convention to write a new Constitution for California to replace our current 1879 charter, which in turn supplanted the original 1849 document. Yet, although a recent poll reflects that 79% of Californians say the state is moving in the wrong direction, only 33% believe that the state’s Constitution requires “major” changes and approximately 60% are of the view that decisions made by Californians through the Initiative process are better than those made by the legislature and the governor.
Add to this mix a split among scholars concerning whether a constitutional convention, if called, could be limited in the subject matter it is empowered to consider. Some argue that a convention would be open to every type of proposal from any source, including social activists and special interest groups. There also is controversy over the most appropriate procedure for selecting delegates for such a convention.

A student of government might reasonably ask: Does the voter Initiative, a product of the Populist Movement that reached its high point in the early 20th century in the mid-west and western states, remain a positive contribution in the form in which it now exists in 21st century California? Or, despite its original objective — to curtail special interests, such as the railroads, that controlled the legislature of California and of some other states — has the voter Initiative now become the tool of the very types of special interests it was intended to control, and an impediment to the effective functioning of a true democratic process?

John Adams — who I believe never would have supported a voter Initiative process like California’s — cautioned that “democracy never lasts long . .
. . There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” The nation’s Founding Fathers, wary of the potential excesses of direct democracy, established a republic with a carefully crafted system of representative democracy. This system was characterized by checks and balances that conferred authority upon the officeholders of our three branches of government in a manner designed to enable them to curtail excesses engaged in by their sister branches.

Perhaps with the dangers of direct democracy in mind, Benjamin Franklin gave his much-quoted response to a question posed by a resident of Philadelphia after the adjournment of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Asked the type of government that had been established by the delegates, Franklin responded: “It would be a republic, if you can keep it.” And, as Justice David Souter recently observed in quoting this exchange, Franklin “understood that a republic can be lost.”

At a minimum, in order to avoid such a loss, Californians may need to consider some fundamental reform of the voter Initiative process. Otherwise, I am concerned, we shall continue on a course of dysfunctional state government, characterized by a lack of accountability on the part of our officeholders as well as the voting public.

# # #

Sunday, November 01, 2009


From Left: Stanley Sheinbaum, Bill Rosendahl, Leslie Dutton on October 29, 2009

Los Angeles, CA Full Disclosure Network® is releasing a two minute video report featuring a short excerpt from a meeting with L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, held on October 29, 2009 where he informs Stanley Sheinbaum, the former LAPD Police Commission President and First Amendment powerhouse that Public Access television is finished in Los Angeles. The meeting was videotaped during an interview by Full Disclosure Network's® Host Leslie Dutton, as part of Documentary Series entitled “Saving The Public Channels in America”. In the interview Council member Rosendahl repeatedly called for citizens to come forward and pressure elected officials, his colleagues, and Congress to save public access channels.

It was a shock when Councilmember Rosendahl informed Sheinbaum and Dutton that public access in L.A. is now finished and not expected to come before the council again. The entire Los Angeles City Council and the Mayor had unanimously signed off on a budget proposal that provided for a public access channel. That proposal was submitted just a few months ago by Sheinbaum and Dutton, Founding members of the Public Television Industry Corportation (PTIC) resulting from months of rallying public access TV supporters to testify a number of times before the City Council, the ITA Council Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee meetings. The PTIC plan received a recommendation from the ITA Agency and when the Mayor did not opposed the unanimous Council vote, or the ITA recommendation, it appeared that the proposal to restore public access TV in Los Angeles had full support.

The Full Disclosure Network® video video report is being distributed by to public access producers via Email in an effort to rally the troops for yet another push at the City Council in order to rekindle their commitment and restore the public channels. PTIC leaders have expressed a concern that a most of the public access viewers and producers can no longer be reached as the channels have been dark for almost a year. The elderly, low and moderate income citizens who are computer and Internet illiterate are without a means to receive local and neighborhood news via independent television programming. The mainstream media has long ago abandoned public affairs and local issues.

Currently the city receives $25 million dollars from cable franchise operators plus a yet to be reported amount from telecom giants ATT and Verizon who are now competing for subscribers and required to pay similar fee to the city. A 2007 State Law known as DIVCA mandated State control of public cable and telecom franchises. Included in the legislation however was a provision for an additional 1% ($5 million) exclusively reserved for public access facilities, also controlled by the City. The current fiscal crisis has led to speculation and questions regarding where the money will go.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

How To Investigate The U S President: Video Preview (9 min)

From Left: Christopher Schroeder, Richard Thornburgh, Ediwn Meese (hidden)
Hon. Shirley Hufstedler, Bob Woodward, Leslie Dutton, Chesterfield Smith

Washington, D.C. Full Disclosure Network is re-releasing a nine minute Video preview from "The Prosecutor & The Presidency" covering how America investigates the Presidency, from Watergate to Whitewater. Available on The Full Disclosure Network® website featuring excerpts from a two-hour forum videotaped in Washington D.C. on March 6, 2000 and hour-long interviews with former U. S. Attorneys General and Special and Independent Prosecutors.

The Interview Series entitled "The Rule of Law and The Special Prosecutor Process" covers the Presidential prosecutors and U. S. Attorneys General, documenting the cataclysmic struggle among the most powerful American men and women who shaped domestic political policy for over the thirty years span from 1972 through 2000.


Richard Thornburgh, Edwin Meese, III, Benjamin Civiletti, Elliot Richardson, Richard Kleindienst, Former U.S. Solicitor General Robert Bork, Asst. U.S. Attorney General Chris Schroeder.

Judge Kenneth Starr and Robert Fiske (Whitewater) Hon. Lawrence Walsh and Craig Gillen (Iran Contra) Joe di Genova,(Passportgate) and Archibald Cox (Watergate)

Journalist: Bob Woodward, Hon. Shirley Hufstedler, Chesterfield Smith, and Full Disclosure Moderator Leslie Dutton

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Orange County, CA .. The Full Disclosure Network®presents Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, the National Rifle Association’s Ed Worley and , former OC Sheriff Lt. Bill Hunt in a video news report covering the new policy implemented by Sheriff Hutchins regarding issuing CCW’s in Orange County.

During the 15 minute video, (watch here)citizen gun owners who attended a hearing before the Orange County Board of Supervisors testified their dissatisfaction with the Sheriff, a political appointee and her new policy. Many speakers suggested that she has her own agenda, is intending to impose the undesireable policies of Los Angeles County on the citizens of Orange County. The Board of Supervisors came under fire for having appointed someone who does not represent the concerns of the citizens.

Sheriff Hutchens stood her ground refuting the interpretation of her new policy saying “I do not see this as a Second Amendment Issue. The policy does not impact the right to have a gun at home or in a place of business.”

Bill Hunt, who is expected to challenge Sheriff Hutchens in the 2010 election was critical of Sheriffs and other Police Chief’s who do not share the fundamental beliefs in values held in the communities which they serve.

The following points were made during the citizen testimony:

  • Why should permits be given only to those who transport large sums of money?
  • Personal protection and family protection should be considered as primary issue
  • Restricting use of Concealed Carry Weapon permits does not make the county safer.

Viewers are asked to participate in an opinion survey at the end of the video and to leave comments on the video blog for discussion.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

L.A.Times Female Reporter Sneaks Into L.A.Men's Jail: Judge Banned Interview...... Revealed on Tape

Los Angeles, CA L A Times Reporter Victoria Kim apparently sneaked into the L.A. County Central Men's Jail without being detected, in order to conduct a banned interview with prominent Anti-Trust Attorney who has been jailed there in solitary "coercive confinement" since March 4, 2009. Watch the four minute video

According to Sheriff Leroy Baca's personal spokesman, Steve Whitmore, the L A Times Reporter's presence at the jail for over an hour, was completely unnoticed by the jailers and security personnel. The Sheriff has banned interviews with Richard I. Fine so it must have been a complete surprise when he read Victoria Kim's article published on June 7, 2009. How she gained access to Fine's solitary confinement cell is apparently a mystery to Sheriff Baca and his personnel.

It is unknown at this time whether the L A Times was contacted by the Sheriff to determine how their reporter gained access to the high security jail and without the Sheriff's permission. In contrast to the L A Times sneaky tactics to get an "exclusive" interview, Full Disclosure Network has made numerous formal requests for a personal interview with Richard Fine only to be told that Judge David Yaffe had forbidden anyone to interview him.
Judge Yaffe sentenced Fine to an undetermined sentence with no bail and no release date, following the attorney's attempt to disqualify the Judge from sitting on a case where he had received illegal payments from a party in the case. That party was the County of Los Angeles and the case was Marina Strand Colony II Homeowners Association vs. County of Los Angeles.

The Sheriff is apparently so adamant that that no reporters are to interview Richard Fine that he told his spokesman Whitmore "this is not going to happen" many times, over and over. Listen to the audio tape of a voice mail message left on the Full Disclosure telephone where Mr. Whitmore describes the tone of the Sheriff.

The relationship between Sheriff Leroy Baca and the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges has been an interesting one. The Sheriff is constantly walking a tightrope to please the Judiciary to avoid their interference in the operations of his jail.

Sheriff Baca is apparently honoring Judge Yaffe's directions to stop press coverage of the case. Sheriff Baca is the Respondent in the case and Judge Yaffe has filed papers listing himself as the Real Party In Interest in the case. No Court Order has been entered in either the U S District Court or Ninth Circuit Court stopping the press from interviewing Richard I. Fine. So it would appear the two defendants in the case are interferring with the freedom of the press.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Los Angeles CA. Full Disclosure Network® presents B. Scott Minerd, Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim Partners provides his insight on many of the critical issues facing America and California in a one hour video interview for cable television conducted by Leslie Dutton.

Guggenheim Partners is a diversified financial services firm with more than $100 billion in assets under supervision. Previously he was a managing director for Morgan Stanley and later Credit Suisse, where he oversaw fixed income credit trading in the United States, Europe and Asia.
In the six segments presented here Mr. Minerd outlines the causes, effects and solutions to the financial crisis that emerged in late 2008 at the end of the Republican Administration of George W. Bush and is now escalating under the Democrat Administration of President Barack Hussein Obama.

Segment #1 Insolvency, Public Indebtedness, Sale of Public Assets (8 min)
Scott Minerd describes government “solvency” and comments on the current threat of state and local “insolvency” and possible solutions. Other issues covered are: Toll Roads, Electorate Ignorance, Education, Lease Backs, Legislative Priorities, Public Unions

Segment #2 Federal Intervention, Regulations, Fees & Taxes (8 min)
Minerd points to where government has re-paid massive debt in the past and offers confidence in the electorate’s backing for such measures, while elected officials appear to be disinterested in supporting the solutions needed to resolve the crisis. Other issues covered here are: Socialism, Free Market Capitalism, Massive Inflation, Fed Policies, Individual Responsibility, Creation of Crisis

Segment #3 Government Subsidies, Accountability, TARP (8 min)
It is impossible to expect that government is capable of providing accountability on the massive TARP programs and “bail-outs” according to Minerd who discusses allocating capital efficiently in a Free Market vs government environment. He maintains that fraudulent behavior should be punished to the extent of the law. Other issues covered: Housing Market Collapse, Victim Mentality, Fraudulent Behavior, Free Market Solutions, Government Subsidies, Unethical Activity

Segment #4 Personal Responsibility & Political Correctness (8 min)
Vote-hungry politicians rush to exploit irresponsible homebuyers with promises of government charity that created exorbitant home prices and homeowners without ability to pay the generous irresponsible lenders. This is a short summary of Scott Minerd’s assessment of the current predicament and collapse of the housing market. Other issues covered: Personal Responsibility, Manipulating the System, Lower Living Standards.

Segment #5 Responsibility, Government vs Private Sectors, False Promises (8 min)
Scott Minerd describes how management failed the American automobile industry and now, elected officials are failing the public employee sector. He predicts a massive crisis at the local level when lifetime health care benefits start to kick in for public employees threatening the solvency of municipalities and school districts. He describes what he says are “easy” solutions to the momentous problems. Other issues covered: Business Exodus, Higher Taxes vs Raise Retirement Age

Segment #6 Solutions: Greed vs. Power, The Decline of America (8 min)
In this final segment Scott Minerd summarizes the long-term crisis facing U.S. cities and schools, where costs will outstrip ability of pay. He points to the cause of the crisis and the role of the Federal Government. Then he predicts what will happen if the policies are allowed to continue without reversal or limitation.

Please let us know what you think about the following questions by posting in the comment section below.

  1. Do you think the current economic emergency could result in interventions that could lead to the end our American way of life?

  2. Do you think that it is unrestricted Free market Capitalism or Government Policies that are encouraging lenders to make bad loans?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Video: Missing Documents & Federal Court Rules: The Richard I Fine Case

Los Angeles, CA Important court documents have been reported missing from the U. S. Courts website known as “PACER” in the Richard I Fine case. Here is a 14 min video and transcript of the telephone interview with Mardi Mason and Richard Fine regarding the missing documents.


Mardi Mason: I have worked on very sophisticated and complicated cases but I have never seen any kind of situation like I’m looking at here in terms of problems with documents not even appearing in the docket. That’s a new one for me entirely.

Mardi Mason: It’s basically an index. It’s a typed list of what documents comprise the file. It would tell you the date received, it would assign a number in sequence when it came in, a short description of the document, maybe some notes from the clerk as to when it was actually entered, things like that. It’s just basically a simplified index of the documents that are in the case file.

Leslie Dutton: You found in past practices that if you wanted to check the Federal court website that the documents were usually there and posted properly?

Mardi Mason: Before all of this happened, it never would even have occurred to me to question the integrity of a court docket. Now, I never will again.

Leslie Dutton: Just tell us … how many have been missing?

Mardi Mason: Well, for example, in the district court case concerning disbarment, there are a total of seven documents in the docket. But they’re only identifying them by Numbers 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7, meaning Number 2 and Number 6 are missing. Both of those are Mr. Fine’s pleadings that he has filed. One is the Response to Order to Show Cause Re Disbarment, and the other is a Motion to Set Aside Order of Disbarment. What they’ve done is erase Richard’s restatement of the facts and his defenses from the record. They won’t let the public view the documents or even acknowledge that they exist. Yet the fact that the docket numbers were assigned and skipped proves they have them, they just don’t want the public to see what’s in them. At least that’s what I’m left to conclude; what other legitimate reason could there be?

Mardi Mason: I called yesterday on the latest one to turn up missing and I was passed to about five different clerks who essentially shrugged their shoulders and couldn’t explain why it wasn’t in the docket even though two other documents that we’d sent within the same package by FedEx that got there on Monday. Those other two are in the docket but the third one, a current Motion for Release, is missing. They don’t know … they transferred me to another clerk, she didn’t know … finally one said, “Well, maybe you should give it more time and call us back in another day or two. And I said, “Well, under normal circumstances, that’s probably reasonable, but considering we have someone illegally incarcerated, every additional minute is worth taking into account and trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on. So can you help me find the person who knows?” She transferred me to someone’s voicemail.

Leslie Dutton: And you’ve not heard back from that person?

Mardi Mason: No.

Leslie Dutton: Apparently, this isn’t the first time documents have been missing. Share with us a couple of examples of what could be serious malfeasance of the court.

Mardi Mason: Well, it was an order for him to show cause why he shouldn’t be disbarred from practicing before the district court. So … it was extremely important. I found it by luck when I was doing research through the PACER system. The problem was, they … not only did he not get it, it’s not like it was misdirected, they never even served it. There is no Proof of Service connected to that document. On top of that, once Richard found out about it and we prepared a response, this is now one of the missing documents.

Mardi Mason: Then, they issued an order disbarring him. He filed a response to that … that is another missing document.

Leslie Dutton: We asked her if in her professional opinion did she think that this is a purposeful action on the part of the court to inhibit Mr. Fine’s ability to defend himself?

Mardi Mason: It’s making it nearly impossible. Between the documents being missing, the fact that he was denied a way to even write out his documents for the longest time, the fact that he was denied access … er, the press was denied access to him … It’s happened far too many times for it all to be accidental. This is the third case … not the third document, but the third case in which documents that have been filed have not shown up on the docket. And in one other instance, the missing document was used to justify striking one of his pleadings for failure to follow a certain rule … except that he had and they knew it, but it was the only way to justify denying his habeas corpus petition. So … the rules don’t provide for playing “hide and seek” with legal documents. Which is one reason we provide the documents ourselves on the website, so at least the public can see what they contain and know what’s going on and know Richard’s side of the story.

Leslie Dutton: Now you used the term “hide and seek” … play “hide and seek” with the documents. Could you tell me, are there court rules about the handling of documents, official documents, that would prohibit this “hide and seek” strategy?

Mardi Mason: The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule Number 27, is pretty straightforward in terms of the clerks are required to accept and file and publish pretty much everything that is submitted to the court other than certain pre-agreed sealed documents … you know, extraordinary things like that. So there is no legitimate reason why these documents aren’t appearing in these cases.

Leslie Dutton: And the “hide and seek” that the court is playing with the legal documents have a decidedly negative effect on the 70-year-old Mr. Fine.

Leslie Dutton: Well, this morning I checked the docket and Mr. Fine’s motion for emergency release, based on the brief that he’d prepared for the appeal, is now listed as having been posted on August 31st. But it didn’t appear on the docket until today, September 3rd. Has that in any way impeded his ability or their consideration?

Mardi Mason: Considering we understand that some of the judges meet on Mondays to consider such motions, yes, they cost him another week in jail. This is the same case that I called in about yesterday where I got transferred to five different clerks looking for what happened to this motion. So, now I guess now it has appeared after I questioned so many people about it yesterday.

Leslie Dutton: So phone calls, public scrutiny and pressure is having some effect on the questionable behavior of the court. To document the inconsistent behavior, Mardi Mason now uses her computer to take screenshots of PACER, the official website of the court so she can accumulate proof of the irregularities.

Mardi Mason: Well, I have learned to make copies of the PACER dockets online every time I go and so I can provide a copy of the screenshot I took yesterday … and it wasn’t there then.
Leslie Dutton: So you have a screenshot of all the dockets for every day.

Mardi Mason: Every day that I visit a particular case. I’ve just learned that things come and go, so I capture a screenshot just to be able to prove something like this … it’s not the way you’re trying to make it look.

Leslie Dutton: Why would the court not want certain documents to appear on the docket?

Mardi Mason: In this case, those documents show rampant judicial corruption.

Leslie Dutton: Mr. Fine agrees. He talked to us on the phone from solitary confinement in jail and explained exactly how and why the dockets are being manipulated by the court.

Richard Fine: We know that the documents went to the judges … because the clerk got them and first marked the document “received” instead of marking the document “filed”. And the person that makes the decision ultimately as to whether the document is filed or received is not really the clerk. It’s the judge.

Richard Fine: So the clerk has to take the document in. Then the document goes up to the judge and the judge is going to decide if that document’s going to be filed or if it’s not going to be filed. So the ultimate decision is with the judge.

Leslie Dutton: If people wanted to complain or address the situation, who can they turn to? We asked Mardi Mason, “Who can be held responsible?”

Mardi Mason: I do know the Administrative Office of the Courts … I researched and found out last night … this entity is what ultimately presides over these computer systems. So they probably would be … they work in conjunction with a national judicial commission, so they would be who I would approach for answers on how to address this kind of highly suspicious activity by a senior appellate court. … The bottom line is that every relevant Supreme Court precedent case supports Richard Fine in holding that, under the circumstances, Judge Yaffe was obliged to recuse himself. It’s absolutely crystal clear. There are no holdings which oppose that position, and that means that Judge Yaffe has no legal leg to stand on.

Leslie Dutton: Wow. This is just incredible. Whoever dreamed that this is going on in our court system.

Mardi Mason: I didn’t, and it’s still hard for me to accept that you can’t trust the basic things to have any integrity. I’ve had other people make comments to me about problems with the dockets and I kind of didn’t really listen because it just didn’t permeate my brain that that was even remotely possible. And yet I have seen now, In the past four months I’ve been working on this, so many different examples. And they all have to do with critical documents concerning Richard’s case.