Tuesday, December 29, 2009

09-12-29 Productive visit to the US District Court, Los Angeles, repeal of the First Amendment, and review of economic indicators...

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_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ US District Court - LA _ _MacArthur Park
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LA: Cathedral _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ __Hollywood __ _ __ _

Dear All:

I spent the day in downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood.  A visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, one of my favorite hangouts, was as pleasant as ever.  The place was blessed with ample (albeit pricey) parking, walking distance to the courts.  The addition of numerous white, cafe' style umbrellas and folding chairs in the large plaza, definitely made that outdoor open space look much more inviting. It now looked like a fun place to spend a lazy morning or afternoon.  I considered that large open space one of the only public spaces in LA (albeit - in fact it was not a public space - it was surrounded by a high wall, fortress like). The other space was possibly MacArthur Park - albeit the latter was tainted by the 2007 May Day Melee (I believe that was the official name) of LAPD on paraders, picnickers, and TV crews. When I came back to the car it was already dark, and the cathedral with its alabaster windows looked magnificent at night.

At the US District Court I met John, Deputy Clerk.  He figured out right away that my questions "were well above his head". (Credit for the quote was given to Steven Goldman - Chief of White Collar Crime at LA FBI. He originally made the statement in late 2007 or early 2008 - relative to my allegations of widespread corruption of the Los Angeles Superior Court judges.)  Therefore, regardless of John's good intentions, I had to wait for Dawn Bullock, Records Supervisor, with whom I had been corresponding for the past half year or so, to get done with a meeting, which apparently was underway in the afternoon.  Once Ms Bullock arrived, she did her best to help as well.

Where things stand:
a) My requests to access four different paper court files (listed below) records, even my own case, were denied.  John initially claimed that the paper filings were destroyed immediately upon scanning.  When I suggested that it could not possibly be the case, he tracked back.  Nevertheless - I was denied access to any paper court file records.
b) My requests to access electronic court file records in CM/ECF - specifically - the NEFs of the same four court files, were likewise denied - even in my own case - with no explanation at all.
c) My requests to access records which documented the shredding of the claimed to be shredded paper court files, were likewise denied  - with no explanation at all.
d) My requests to access (to copy) paper printouts of NEFs in the same four cases, were likewise denied, with the exception of printouts of the NEFs in my own case, which I did obtain from Ms Bullock, and for which I was grateful.

Ms Bullock and I had a long technical discussion in re: NEFs, and access to NEFs:

  • Ms Bullock stated that she had had to research the questions raised in our correspondence, and more so would have to research the questions raised today, since nobody had asked these question before.
  • She stated that the foundation for the operation of CM/ECF at the California Central District was in the General Order 08-02. 
  • From memory, I told her that such order was unusual among the General Orders - since it had no name of a judge who authored it, let alone a signature, and likewise, had no attestation by a clerk.  She checked it up, apparently found my memory to be still functional, and then told me that she would get back to me on the issue.
  • She likewise stated that the denial of access to NEFs, except in one's own case, was founded in General Order 08-02.  I challenged her from memory on that issue as well.  I stated from memory that NEFs were mentioned only in paragraph "N", but nothing there referred to access, only to the NEF's power as certifying court records, and also as attestation by clerk of the court - in fact - authentication of service and entry of parties' papers, and court orders and judgments.  Again - Ms Bullock said that she would research the matter.
  • I also raised the question regarding the display of general orders of the court online. It was always the same exact 50 general orders that were available on display for public viewing, when in fact, it was obvious that the total number of general orders of the court was much larger.  Ms Bullock was not clear on that issue, but promised me to provide a printout of the index of standing orders covering the period from 2001-2009.  She stated that such period was likely to cover all general orders pertaining to electronic filing at the California Central District.
  • I also asked about the rules pertaining to issuing or not issuing of a valid NEF for a given record filed at court.  The response was that an NEF was automatically issued any time a clerk scanned a record into PACER.   I challenged that notion. It would have to be researched as well.
  • Given that Terry Nafisi - Clerk of the Court, was on vacation till the beginning of the year, I was told that I would likely get a written response on my questions within a couple of weeks after that date.
  • Although productivity could be seem by others as miserably low - if measured as the fraction of records which I successfully accessed vs those I requested access to, I considered today's visit to the court a milestone.  It was the first time I got access to my own NEFs (albeit - as printouts only access to electronic records was still denied) since March 2008!
The four cases which were the subject of my requests were, in chronological order:
  1. US v City of LA et al (2:00-cv-11769) - the case that represented the federal response to the Rampart scandal (1998-2000) - the largest case of corruption of the justice system in the history of the US.  The case purportedly yielded the Consent Decree, which purportedly was the legal foundation for the operation of the Consent Decree Bureau from 2001 to 2009, and with it - the Office of Overseer for Civil Rights in LA.
  2. Zernik v Connor (2:08-cv-01550) - where I sued some 10 judges of the LA Superior Court, David Pasternak, Countrywide's Sandor Samuels and Angelo Mozilo for what was claimed to amount to racketeering.
  3. Fine v Sheriff (2:09-cv-01914) - the habeas corpus petition of Richard Fine
  4. In re: Fine (2:09-mc-00129) - disciplinary proceedings pertaining to disbarment of Richard Fine
In other words - all four cases pertained to alleged widespread corruption of judges of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, as reflected in cases of the US District Court, Los Angeles.

In conclusion:
  1. It was a day of remarkable progress in exercising First Amendment rights. 
  2. Some additional information was still promised to be provided in January 2010.
  3. It was safe to say that First Amendment rights - of access to court records - to inspect and to copy - were largely curtailed in the past decade by the US judges, unilaterally, and with no authority at all. Moreover, such judicial activism took place with no notice to the American people. Such repeal of First Amendment rights was coordinated by the Administrative Office of the US Courts, in conjunction with installation of CM/ECF.
Bottom Line:
In the past year and a half I have been advocating instituting a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" for Los Angeles County, to deal with widespread corruption of the judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  By the end of the day, it became clear that there was a need for such commission also at the national level - to deal with what took place at the US Courts in the past decade in conjunction with installation of CM/ECF.  I still believed that Richard Fine was the only credible candidate to head such commission, at the national level as well.

Joseph Zernik
Patriotic pics of sharon stone, beyonce knowles, and charlize theron,
To be added soon- deep house music!

a) Since I spent the day downtown LA and in Hollywood, I engaged in my habitual surveying of shop-owners in re: the economy. I reserve my right to doubt US government data for at least 3 decades back - specifically - since the Reagan administration, where a major hacking took place of the central bureau of statistics, consistent with Reagan's stated policy "Facts are stupid things".
The number of closed store fronts was surprisingly high, particularly for a Christmas season.  The consensus was - situation in retail was bad, and it had been flat for the past three years, with no reason to believe any change was coming anytime soon.  I attribute the increase in closed store fronts not to any worsening of the economic conditions, but simply to decision by such business owners that it did not make sense to go on keeping the business open under ongoing conditions.
b) I had a major shopping success - found real nice warm slippers - you really need them, even in LA, when you get older! Not a case of frivolous consumption at all... It even possibly gave a small boost for the US economy! 

09-12-29 Thanks to Supervisor Antonovich, and request for additional inquiries on Sheriff Lee Baca

Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 11:55:54 -0800
To: "Michael D. Antonovich"
From: joseph zernik
Subject: Thanks, and request for additional inquiries on Sheriff Lee Baca

December 29, 2009

Michael D Antonovich, Supervisor
County of Los Angeles

Thanks, and request for additional inquiries on Sheriff Lee Baca

Please see attached.

Joseph Zernik 
Linked Record: