2691 E. Victoria Street, # 108, Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220
(310) 638-2825 FredSottile@sbcglobal.net Download PDF Copy of Letter
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
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 (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 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 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.