Saturday, December 11, 2010

Developers Relent in 18-Month Jailing Of 70-Year-Old Attorney Richard I. Fine


Jerry & Pat Epstein
Del Rey Shores Developers
Fourth of July 2010

Los Angeles, CA - Multi-millionaire developers Jerry and Pat Epstein have apparently decided to back away from their previously unrelenting pursuit of prosecution (that has been described by some as "persecution") of 70-year-old taxpayer advocate attorney Richard I. Fine, Ph.D.


Full Disclosure Network has obtained a copy of the letter (attached here) from Joshua Rosen, Esq., an attorney representing the Epsteins, that was faxed to Dr. Fine the night before he was to appear at a December 6, 2010 Judgment Debtor's Examination in the case Marina Strand Colony II Homeowners Assn. vs. County of Los Angeles, et al (including as defendants properties under development by the Epsteins), Los Angeles County Superior Court case no. BS109420. Ironically, the letter indicated the proceeding was to be taken off calendar, but, according to the Court’s website, no request to remove the proceeding from the calendar had been submitted to the Court. (Review the Marina Strand homeowners' Petition for Writ of Mandate here.)


Dr. Fine had been held in L. A. County Men's Central Jail from March 4, 2009 to September 17, 2010 (i.e., over a year and a half) in solitary confinement for civil contempt of court, by order of Judge David P. Yaffe, in an action brought by the Epsteins with respect to their Del Rey Shores development in Marina del Rey, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles. Read Full Disclosure’s blog post here.


Under U. S. Supreme Court precedent cases, an individual cannot be held for more than five days for civil contempt of court. Dr. Fine was arrested following his attempt to disqualify Judge Yaffe from sitting on the case for having accepted substantial illegal payments from L. A. County, a party to the Marina Strand case before him. (Dr. Fine represented the Marina Strand homeowners.) The Epsteins' Del Rey Shores development is a partnership with L. A. County, and the Epsteins and their associates are major contributors to the re-election campaigns of several L. A. County Supervisors, all of whom are required to abstain from voting if contributions are received within a year prior to any votes being taken on their political supporters’ projects.


In preparation to appear at the December 6, 2010 Debtor’s Examination Hearing, Dr. Fine drafted a Notice of New Hearing Date for his "Motion to Void and Annul All Orders and Judgments, Including those in the Contempt Proceedings, in the Case Made by Judge Yaffe, Previously Set for September 16, 2010". Here are a few quotes from this filing that, as you can see by the conformed copy (attached here) was filed on December 6, 2010, yet this four-page document is mysteriously missing from the Court website, along with others listed below. Dr. Fine alleges that the partnership between L.A. County and the Epstein Family Trust have imposed a "fraud upon the Court" as follows:

  1. The County and Judge Yaffe did not disclose that Judge Yaffe had been paid $500,000.00 in illegal payments from L.A. County since 1987, when Judge Yaffe first became a State Superior Court Judge who sometimes presided over cases where L A County was a party to a case before him for consideration, including the Marina Strand case.

  2. L.A.. County and Epstein Family Trust did not disclose to the Court that L.A. County’s approval of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which was the subject of the case, was illegal due to improper votes cast by L.A. County Supervisors who had received political contributions from the Epsteins and their Chief of Staff, David O. Levine, and committed "fraud upon the Court" by not disclosing" such.

  3. Judge Yaffe knew that he committed "extrinsic fraud upon the Court" by not disclosing that he was receiving $500,000.00 from L.A. County and committed obstruction of justice by sitting on the case.
In addition to the above Motion, in January 2010 Richard Fine filed a Fraud Action against the State Bar Association, naming as a "necessary party" the California Supreme Court (which oversees the State Bar) for failure to disclose that another attorney representing the Epstein Family Trust, Sheldon H. Sloan, was the President of the State Bar Association at the time the disbarment proceedings were brought against Dr. Fine and while he was serving as the attorney for the Marina Strand homeowners, who were suing L.A. County regarding the Del Rey Shores development. Read the entire document here.


More recently, Dr. Fine filed an "Objection" (posted here) with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on November 29, 2010, in which he described the Epsteins' connection to his disbarment proceedings.


Judge Pro Tem Matthew St. George issued an Order dated December 6, 2010 noting that Dr. Fine appeared and that the Judgment Debtor Examination was being taken off calendar. But shockingly, the first action referenced in the Order was that a bench warrant issued for Richard Fine’s arrest for failing to appear at a June 14, 2010 Judgment Debtor Hearing was QUASHED. (Review Order here) Ironically, and as everyone concerned knew, Dr. Fine was in solitary confinement in L.A. County Men's Central Jail at the time the bench warrant was issued, and further, the Court and the Sheriff had refused to transport Dr. Fine from the jail to the Court so that he could appear. See Full Disclosure's July 20, 2010 Report for details.


Mysteriously, there are several important documents missing from the Superior Court files regarding this controversial case that have not been addressed nor resolved. There is no record available, but, based upon the Court's Order of
December 6, 2010, the Court had apparently been requested by someone, somehow, without holding a hearing. The docket only references the following:

  1. A Bench Warrant For the Arrest of Richard I Fine for failing to appear on June 14, 2010. (Review Bench Warrant here)

  2. Notice To Court of Non-Appearance at Judgment Debtor Examination, by Joshua Rosen (an attorney for the Epsteins).

  3. Notice To Take Off Calendar Judgment Debtor Examination Hearing, by Joshua Rosen, Esq.

  4. Dr. Fine’s Notice of New Hearing For Motion to Void and Annul All Orders and Judgments. Including those in the Contempt Proceedings in the Case Made by Judge Yaffe, Previously Set for September 16, 2010.

Dr. Fine informed Full Disclosure that the December 6, 2010 Court Order was issued without a hearing by Judge St. George. Judge St. George also, without formal written notice, took the case off calendar and issued orders to quash the "false" bench warrant for Dr. Fine's arrest for failing to appear at the June 14, 2010 hearing.

As reported previously by the Full Disclosure Network, there were numerous instances throughout Dr. Fine’s saga with the judicial system where documents were not posted to the docket for the public to review. Circumventing the various Courts’ attempts to keep the public from learning the true nature of Dr. Fine’s battle against judicial corruption, Full Disclosure posted those documents to its own website so that the public could see for itself just how far the corruption extends.


  1. The judges are still contemptfully taking our money.
    It is still illegal and unethical.
    The issue is as fresh as ever.
    They must be stopped by an aware public.
    Our job (just as with family law abuse)
    Educate the people and lobby the law makers.
    How do we do it? With members and funding.
    We must do it lawfully.
    Our opposition does not.
    They steal it from us because we let them.
    Do not ever forget. THROW THE BUMS OUT!

  2. We will never be able to seek justice if the very place that we go to seek justice is dealt by judges that are corrupt. To fight this title wave of corruption in our county we must begin at the very place that we bring our evidence of corruption for justice. In the words of Fred Scottie if we throw the bums out, we would feel secure in the fact that the decisions made by the court would be made by evidence and truth and integrity and not made in the favor of party that slips them $50,000. CHANGE MUST START WITH THESE COURTS

  3. The legislation passed to supposedly make the unlawful payments "legal" is bogus, and will be found to be unlawful, and as being such, invalid. The judges who have taken these payments are not in the clear by any means. To think that the California legislature can pass bogus legislation to "legalize" crimes is nonsense. All statutes must conform to the law in order to be lawful. Just because it's "legal" doesn't make it lawful. If a statute violates common law, it's invalid. The act of paying, and accepting these bribes is a violation of common the legislator do not have the ability to legalize criminal behavior.