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J. FRED SOTTILE D TTILE
February 8, 2010 Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES One First Street, NE Washington, D.C. 20543 RE: Application for Stay of Execution of Sentence for “Coercive Confinement” Ninth Circuit Case No. 09-56073; USDC Case Nos. CV-09-1914, CV-09-7943 Your Honor: Submitted simultaneously herewith to Deputy Clerk Danny Bickell for filing was attorney Richard I. Fine’s Application for Stay of Execution of Sentence for “Coercive Confinement”, a copy of which I trust was delivered to you together with this letter. Dr. Fine requests release from incarceration, where he was placed March 4, 2009 on the false charge of “contempt of court” following his principled refusal to obey invalid orders entered by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge who accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from LA County while hearing a case in which LA County was a party and then refusing to recuse himself from said case.1 The maximum sentence legally imposable is five days.2 Incarcerated for over eleven months now as a victim of an attempt to protect the payment scheme, Dr. Fine requests release on righteously solid grounds in hopes of spending the last month in his home before it is lost forever to foreclosure this month as a consequence of his adamant refusal to disavow his oath as an officer of the Court. I apologize for the length of this letter, but compromised judges in the courts below have used a convoluted situation to confuse the issues in order to try and protect themselves, fellow judges and others from the consequences of an estimated ten million felonies committed as they engaged in the payment scheme for 21+ years with only ex post facto secret legislation3 recently concocted for cover. Caught in the middle is a man who has committed no crime yet is literally battling corruption to the bitter end in his dedicated pursuit of protecting our Republic and restoring due process rights presently being denied to all Californians, especially the citizens of Los Angeles County.
Marina Strand Colony II Homeowners Assoc. v. County of Los Angeles, et al, LASC case no. BS 109420; 2 California Code of Civil Procedure § 1218; 3 California Senate Bill SBX2-11, enacted February 20, 2009, effective May 21, 2009;
Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES February 8, 2010 Page 2 Until recently, Dr. Fine was an attorney with a very distinguished career as a taxpayers’ advocate and successful prosecutor of numerous civil rights and class action matters. Having received his juris doctor from the University of Chicago and his doctorate in international law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, he began his career in the Justice Department (1968 – 1972), after which 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 since 1995. His full résumé may be reviewed online.4 Dr. Fine was disbarred last year in order to silence his exposure of the criminal payment scheme occurring between Los Angeles Superior Court judges and members of the County Board of Supervisors5 (and his exposure of the involvement of a local developer, who retained, among others, two consecutive presidents of the State Bar, and who benefited from a sweetheart public land lease which cost LA County taxpayers an estimated $700 million dollars in lost revenue as a benefit of these relationships). But as the judges and supervisors knew from the beginning (by their receipt of two official opinions prepared by the then-Attorney General6), the payments to judges were (and remain) contrary to California’s Constitution.7 Still, the payments continued uninterrupted. LA Superior Court judges and commissioners have simultaneously been hearing cases in which LA County is a party, all the while failing to disclose to litigants that they are each receiving, presently, over $57,000 per year from the County (with whom they have no employment agreement inasmuch as they are state employees), which has resulted in the County enjoying a near-100% win/loss civil litigation success rate, according to the County’s own litigation cost management reports.8 As shown in the Application, one such judge, David P. Yaffe, jailed Dr. Fine for contempt, even though he’d earlier allowed himself to be automatically disqualified under operation of law when he neglected to respond to Dr. Fine’s recusal motion, filed pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 170.3, yet he repeatedly refused to leave the case. Dr. Fine was also ordered to pay $47,000 in attorney’s fees to LA County and the developer. Dr. Fine was jailed after he challenged Judge Yaffe’s subsequent void orders and refused to answer questions at a judgment debtor exam held to attempt to unlawfully collect this award.
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http://sites.google.com/site/freerichardfine/Home/bio-of-richard-i-fine Dr. Fine was disbarred for “moral turpitude” for filing civil rights lawsuits concerning certain judges’ and others’ involvement with the unconstitutional payments http://sites.google.com/site/freerichardfine/Home/evidence-1 Article VI, Section 19 http://counsel.lacounty.gov/ar.asp
Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES February 8, 2010 Page 3 Under CCP § 170, Judge Yaffe should have recused himself immediately after he was assigned the case filed by Dr. Fine on behalf of homeowners and against LA County and the development entities. Judge Yaffe received $46,000 that year from LA County. Rather than recuse himself, however, Judge Yaffe purposefully withheld that information from plaintiffs. Judge Yaffe also should have recused himself from trying the contempt matter against Dr. Fine because, under applicable law, he was ineligible to act as the determiner of the truth of his own testimony at the trial where he testified as a witness. These events all occurred well before the ex post facto law granting immunity, Senate Bill SBX2-11, was secretly passed in February 2009. SBX2-11 has been cited by the Courts below as protecting Judge Yaffe, even though it has nothing to do with a judge’s obligations of recusal. In Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles,9 brought independently by Judicial Watch to challenge 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. Thereafter, everyone involved in the giving and receiving of the payments grew fearful when they were exposed and challenged by Dr. Fine and Judicial Watch. But rather than honestly address and correct the situation, the California Judicial Council (chaired by Ronald George, California Supreme Court Chief Justice and former presiding judge in LA Superior Court in the late 1980s, when the payments first began) drafted SBX2-11 in January 2009 which authorized the payments after the fact and granted retroactive immunity for criminal prosecution, civil liability and judicial discipline.10 (Despite repeated requests, there has been no explanation given for why the immunity paragraph of SBX2-11 was not codified in California’s Government Code along with the other paragraphs.) 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 Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, and no opinion issued. Mr. Brown continues to refuse to even acknowledge his receipt of complaints and demands for investigation, much less act on them. The genesis of Dr. Fine’s present circumstances arose when he represented homeowners11 opposed to development activities engaged in by Jerry Epstein, who made numerous campaign contributions to LA County Supervisors, followed closely by said Supervisors’ illegal votes to approve an Environmental Impact Report sought by Mr. Epstein and his co-applicant for the EIR, Los Angeles County. Rather than reject the report, Judge Yaffe approved the project.
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167 Cal.App.4, 630 (2008), review denied December 23, 2008; http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sbx2_11_bill_20090220_chaptered.pdf Marina Strand Colony II Homeowners Association v. County of Los Angeles, et al;
Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES February 8, 2010 Page 4 It has been eleven months since Dr. Fine was placed in solitary confinement by Judge Yaffe to “coerce” his capitulation. Judge Yaffe, according to Sheriff Leroy Baca also ordered12 that Dr. Fine be denied pen and paper with which to write an appeal.13 He was denied access by the media for interviews. He was denied access to legal materials, and thus has written everything since filed from memory. He continues to be denied access to any expert legal assistance whatsoever because of the necessity of providing a financial declaration to the Courts, the substance of which would result in the void orders being obeyed, an impossible Catch-22 for Dr. Fine. Outrageously, numerous documents filed by Dr. Fine have been improperly hidden from the public’s view in the District Court’s and the Ninth Circuit’s online docket files.14 There are no orders that the documents be sealed, nor was there ever even any discussion about it, but the Courts steadfastly refuse to post these documents (which identify unflattering and incriminating evidence). In some cases, documents were accepted but not “filed” until months later, when they were then cast by the District Court as “moot” in order to arrive at Judge John F. Walter and Magistrate Judge Carla M. Woehrle’s pre-determined decision affirming Judge Yaffe’s void orders despite their knowledge of numerous U.S. Supreme Court precedents to the contrary, especially your recent decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc. In replying to Dr. Fine’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Yaffe invented and then relied on his claim of 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 Complaint in the District Court, which was also assigned to Judge Walter and Magistrate Judge Woehrle.) Most egregiously, Judge Walter and Magistrate Judge Woehrle dismissed a petition subsequently filed against them and others,15 a second and separate petition for writ of habeas corpus based upon the newly-discovered frauds upon the Courts. “A man cannot be a judge in his own case,” but Judges Walter and Woehrle have exempted themselves from the requirements of this basic tenet. Dr. Fine formally objected to the petition being assigned to a magistrate judge, a non-mandatory assignment under the rules, but Magistrate Judge Woehrle ignored the objection and recommended dismissal of the petition on the grounds that it was “supplemental” to the first one. Dr. Fine appealed to the Ninth Circuit, requesting a writ of mandate. That petition was denied by a deputy clerk.
Sheriff Baca has refused to produce such an “order” and no such order appears in the case docket; A member of Dr. Fine’s support team was able to identify a reasonable person in the Sheriff’s Dept. and arrangements were finally made for us to supply Dr. Fine with writing materials; http://www.fulldisclosure.net/Blogs/77.php Fine v. U.S. District Court, Sheriff of LA County, LA Superior Court Judges, and Judge Yaffe, USDC case no. CV-09-7943;
Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES February 8, 2010 Page 5 The Ninth Circuit ultimately affirmed (on December 16th) the District Court’s denial of Dr. Fine’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, posturing that Judge Yaffe was protected by SBX2-11, even though it has nothing to do with recusal issues and wasn’t even contemplated at the time. The Court’s over-reaching reliance on SBX211 as a defense for Judge Yaffe burst all boundaries of credulity. Co-incidentally, the Judicial Council of California recently issued a report16 in which it recommended that judges who receive more than $1,500 in campaign donations from any party to a case are to be automatically disqualified. $1,500 is too much influence, but $92,000 was not enough? (This was the amount Judge Yaffe received from LA County over the two years the Marina Strand v. LA County case remained in his courtroom. Given 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 Application, this relief has previously been granted under similar circumstances. And as argued to the Courts below, the statutory five-day maximum sentence for criminal contempt has long since expired. I can assure you that Dr. Fine will never 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 an abettor of the corruption rampant in LA County. Literally ten million felonies17 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 support team collectively beseech you to grant Dr. Fine’s Application and order his release. Tragically, it will be far too late to save his home, but he ought not be denied from spending the last month in it with his family. You may wish to note that the schemers have begun to back down in the face of public outrage. A recent statement by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, a man previously found liable for telephoning a judge on behalf of constituents in his attempt to influence the outcome of their case,18 announced that the payments would not be given to “new” judges.19 And not one of Dr. Fine’s motions for release were opposed. Inexplicably, the Courts below denied them anyway.
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http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/tflists/commimpart.htm http://righttrumpsmight.blogspot.com/2009/12/aha.html http://articles.latimes.com/1994-09-28/local/me-43958_1_municipal-elected-officials http://www.fulldisclosure.net/Report_Antonovich.php
Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES February 8, 2010 Page 6 Dr. Fine recently spent his 70th birthday behind bars, his health deteriorating significantly as a direct result of his incarceration. He contracted a staph infection, suffers from edema of the legs, back pain and now is being medicated for a high cholesterol count. We have also recently learned that his dental plate has broken, but he has been told that it will not be repaired, this despite the fact that the ACLU has assumed monitoring LA County’s horrific jail conditions.20 (The fact that Ramona Ripston, wife of Ninth Circuit judge Reinhardt and president of Southern California’s ACLU chapter, is receiving financial support from LA County, is the likely reason. Ms. Ripston was also supplied with details of Dr. Fine’s case and requested to submit an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit. (The team was unaware at the time of Ms. Ripston’s marriage to Judge Reinhardt.) Ms. Ripston never even responded to the team’s request. Judge Reinhardt did not disclose the conflict or ex parte communications, and did not recuse himself.) We believe, Justice Kennedy, that you are an honest and decent judge. We are therefore hopeful that you will order Dr. Fine’s immediate release. We also request that a Federal investigation be ordered to end the rampant corruption that the citizens of Los Angeles County are being forced to endure. 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 and via the blog at RightTrumpsMight.blogspot.com Sincerely,
J. FRED SOTTILE JFS/mlm Enclosure cc: Dr. Richard I. Fine Brian Shaughnessy, Esq. Aaron Mitchell Fontana, Esq. Paul B. Beach, Esq. Kevin M. McCormick, Esq.
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