U.S. Supreme Court won't hear jailed L.A. lawyer's contempt of court case
Richard Fine, 70, has been in solitary confinement since March 2009, taking hiscase all the way to the top court. He says he will continue to fight.
By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles TimesMay 25, 2010After a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sent him to jail indefinitely for contempt of court last year, veteran attorneyRichard Fine vowed to take his case all the way to the nation'shighest court."To fight me is to fight me all the way to the Supreme Court,"he said in a jailhouse interview with The Times last May.On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take upFine's petition, effectively putting an end to the attorney'sdogged legal quest to end his confinement.The 70-year-old antitrust and taxpayer advocate attorney has been sitting in solitary confinement in Men's Central Jail for about a year and three months after Judge DavidYaffe found him in contempt in March 2009. The judge ordered him to stay in jail until he is ready to follow courtorders and answer questions about his finances.From his cell, Fine has filed habeas corpus petitions for his release in the California Supreme Court, district court,and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals alleging that Yaffe was biased against him and should have recusedhimself from the contempt-of-court case. Fine contends that his legal troubles stem from his challenges to county-funded benefits that judges receive on top of their state pay.He had been ordered to pay sanctions and attorney's fees in a case he filed on behalf of Marina del Rey residentsagainst developers in the area.His imprisonment is "the latest encounter in the 10-year campaign by Fine to restore due process in the California judicial system," the attorney, who has been representing himself, wrote in his petition to the U.S. SupremeCourt. "Fine is the only attorney, of the approximately 208,000 California attorneys, with the courage tochallenge the California judiciary," he wrote.
5/27/2010U.S. Supreme Court won't hear jailed L.A…latimes.com/…/la-me-fine-20100525,0,7…1/2