Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Superior Court’

Commissioner Alan Friedenthal’s Public Admonishment By California Commission on Judicial Performance

August 9th, 2012 4 comments

On April 3, 2012, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Alan Friendthal was publicly admonished by a 9 to 1 vote of the California Commission on Judicial Performance for abusive conduct in violation of judicial canons of the California Code of Judicial Ethics in five family law cases in June 2007 to January 2009. CJP found that he engaged in improper conduct including verbal abuse of litigants, engaging in ex-parte communications, conducting independent investigations which is clearly not part of his job duties, complaining to litigants about formal legal complaints they had filed against him, and demonstrating that he was personally embroiled in the cases before him.

Laura Lynn is a California mother who has been abused by the family courts of Los Angeles. Commissioner Alan Friendenthal presided over many hearings in her family law case and her case is one of those cited as evidence of Friedenthal’s misconduct in the form of creating apparent bias and clearly showing his personal embroilment in the case before him. In her case and others, Friedenthal improperly acted as an investigator, contacted third parties involved on his own behalf, and outside of hearings reviewed web postings written by litigants and then complained about those postings during hearings. CJP found that he was improperly conducted investigations and engaging in ex-parte communications.

In a stunning example of how the courts value money over children and the law, Friedenthal threatened to remove custody from a father who was to have the child with him because of alleged abuse by the child’s stepfather. When the father pointed out he could not afford to pay for a custody evaluation all at once and asked for a payment plan, Friedenthal threatened to place the child with other relatives:

At a hearing on July 3,2007, arrangements were made for the minor child to return by airplane to his father’s residence from his mother’s residence in another state pending a custody hearing set for August 3,2007. A supplementary custody evaluation had been ordered. Commissioner Friedenthal ordered the father to pay over $4,000 in fees for minor’s counsel and the supplemental custody evaluation. When the father raised his hand to address the issue of payment, Commissioner Friedenthal responded by threatening to place the child with grandparents, as follows:

[FATHER]: I’m not refusing to pay. I owe a lot of people money –

THE COURT: Okay. This needs to be grandparentplacement because he can’t afford to pay the rates for the child. f^J Where do the [grand]parents live?

[FATHER’S COUNSEL]: Mexico.

THE COURT: [Mother]?

[10-fl]

[MOTHER]: My parents are in Mexico.

THE COURT: You have brothers?

[MOTHER]: I have a brother in Moorpark.

111… [11

THE COURT: I want [minor’s counsel] to talk to the brother in Moorpark. [f] Will you provide that information?

[FATHER’S COUNSEL]: My client is simply saying he’d like to have a payment arrangement. On that basis, you are going to order –

THE COURT: Marsha Wiley is going to do this evaluation. If I have to stand on my head and walk on my hands all the way down McKay –

[FATHER]: I’m asking for three payments, sir.

[FATHER’S COUNSEL]: Rather than-

[MOTHER’S COUNSEL]: Miss Wiley does not accept that. Most evaluators request –

THE COURT: She wanted 2,500?

[MINOR’S COUNSEL]: No; 3,500 which is very modest.

THE COURT: Follow my order. That’s it. No more discussion. [Tf] What is your brother’s name in Moorpark?

[10 [Mother’s counsel] is to provide his name and number to [minor’s counsel] for appropriateness of some shared custody.

(R.T. 15:5-16:10.)

Commissioner Friedenthal’s threat to award custody of the child to other family members in response to the father’s statements that he was not refusing to pay fees but wanted a payment plan constituted a threatened abuse of authority and violated canons 1, 2A and 3B(4). At his appearance before the commission, the commissioner maintained that his statement concerning a grandparent placement was based on his concerns about the father’s parenting abilities. This assertion is refuted by the fact that the commissioner had already ordered a supplemental custody evaluation report and scheduled a custody hearing for the following month, as well as by the commissioner’s own words: “This needs to be a grandparent placement because he can’t afford to pay the rates for the child” (Italicsadded.)

Commissioner Friedenthal’s conduct in the matters described above was, at a minimum, improper action.

Other cases cited as evidence of misconduct by Friedenthal include those of Tonja Jarrett and Maria Chiarello.

Many other allegations of violations of judicial ethics codes and laws have been leveled against Friedenthal that appear to go beyond the scope of the CJP investigation. See a Topix discussion thread on Alan Friedenthal for more examples such as allegations he was practicing as an attorney while servicing as a court commissioner and alleged failure to file Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) as required for court judicial officers.

Laura Lynn contends that the misconduct of Friedenthal extends far beyond the contents of the CJP report:

Quoted from Who complained about Commissioner Alan Friedenthal?:

The story is much bigger than the simple little order written. It is my contention that Commissioner Friedenthal was a conspirator to commit fraud and aided and abetted convicted child abductor Crystel Lynn Strellioff to conceal the children she abducted. He and his wife Commissioner Steff Padilla also adopted two children whose mother’s parental rights were completely severed with no apparent reason. The biological mother has a tidy home, does not seem to be using illegal drugs and is a practicing Mormon, married to a substitute school teacher.

Friendenthal was removed from hearing family law cases, but is still a judicial officer in Los Angeles County. LA Times reports that he was reassigned to small claims, civil, and unlawful detainer cases in February 2009.

Friedenthal should be removed from the bench entirely. But as is typical of CJP’s usual glacial paced disciplinary actions that take years to result in a report, the “severe public admonishment” doesn’t go far enough to repair the damage Friedenthal has done to the public and his victims and to prevent his abuses of law from recurring.

CJP’s severe public admonishment means so little that he was elected to be secretary-treasurer of the executive board of the California Judges Association two months after his severe public admonishment. California judges want abusers and criminals among them and regard such people as important leaders of their corrupt racketeering influenced organization.

The full text of the severe public admonishment of Alan Friedenthal is available on the CJP website.

Judge Elizabeth Feffer reportedly replaced Friedenthal on a number of contentious family law cases. But there are many concerns being expressed about problems with Feffer’s judicial conduct and integrity, also. One anonymous litigant reports that Feffer cited as reason to change custody of children the fact that the litigant had filed complaints against Friedenthal:

Judge Feffer crossed the line – in her statment of decision to transfer custody to the abusive father, she cited, for 14 pages in her statement of decision, our “harassing complaints of the prior Commissioner”.

Too bad that her Statement of Decision, done in December, 2011, was just a few months ahead of the Public Admonishment of that poor Commissioner.

If that is true, then Feffer should be subjected to the even more severe punishment than Friedenthal has received for his comments about complaints against him. Punishing a litigant for filing a complaint against the court that when investigated turns out to be valid is a ridiculous abuse of justice.

Further Reading

California judicial panel admonishes L.A. County commissioner

CJP Admonishes Commissioner Alan Friedenthal

Musings about the late admonishment of Commissioner Alan H. Friedenthal

CJP Investigation of Judge Lisa Schall Heats Up, Citizen Input Sought

San Diego Judge DeAnn Salcido Resigns Under Fire, Yet Shows CJP Is Corrupt

San Diego Judge DeAnn Salcido Demeans Litigants and Justice to Create Demo Videos for Her Proposed TV Show

Sacramento Judge Peter James McBrien Dismembers Park Trees and Families In Contempt for Law

Richard Fine Complaint Against Judge David Yaffe, Sheriff Leroy “Lee” Baca, and Others Filed with US Attorney

July 27th, 2010 7 comments

A recent complaint filed with the US Attorney by Joseph Zernik, Ph.D., on behalf of imprisoned former attorney Richard Fine highlights how the irregularities in court records and public access to those records may be at the root of much judicial misconduct. When the public cannot be sure of who was involved in a decision, what the decision was, and what evidence and testimony were considered, the entire legal system loses all appearance of justice. Zernik alleges that this is exactly what has happened to Richard Fine and outlines such problems with records he has inspected or attempted to obtain himself. Without easy public access to accurate records, the courts cannot be trusted.

On July 8, 2010, Joseph Zernik, Ph.D. filed a complaint with Andre Birotte Jr. of the US Attorney Office on behalf of American political prisoner Richard Fine. Fine has been imprisoned for nearly a year and a half as apparent retaliation for his challenging of the corrupt Los Angeles Superior Court and its illegal practice of receiving payments from the County of Los Angeles that appears to have influenced the outcomes in many cases heard by the judges receiving these payments.
Read more…

US Supreme Court Denies Richard Fine Appeal Stay Request

April 26th, 2010 No comments

The US Supreme Court has denied issuing a stay to halt the imprisonment of jailed attorney Richard Fine. Fine has been kept in Los Angeles County jail in solitary confinement by Sheriff LeRoy Baca for more than 14 months due to orders of Judge David Yaffe, a judge who is intent on silencing Fine by abusing contempt of court powers as he uncovered and widely publicized the corruption of the Los Angeles courts and the illegal payments made by the county to the judges there. The corruption has resulted in the county winning almost without exception every lawsuit in which it has been involved since 2005.

In orders issued on April 26, 2010, the US Supreme Court declared:

(from US Supreme Court Orders of April 26, 2010)

09A827 (09-1250) FINE, RICHARD I. V. BACA, SHERIFF, ET AL.

The application for stay addressed to Justice Ginsburg and referred to the Court is denied.

Read more…

LA Protest to Free Political Prisoner Richard Fine on April 20

April 19th, 2010 1 comment

The Richard Fine case is a clear-cut modern example of how American government imprisons people over political issues in which the target of imprisonment has not committed a crime or been charged, tried, or sentenced for any crime. In this case, it is the California courts and the government of Los Angeles County that are engaged in violating the law and seeking to silence a political opponent who has raised legitimate questions in a court case about the legality of payments made to judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court and their apparent bias towards those illegally providing those payments. To silence him, Richard Fine has been subjected to more than a year of jail time in solitary confinement without any due process.

US Supreme Court To Discuss Fine Case

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberg has scheduled a meeting on April 23 to discuss the court hearing Richard Fine’s case.

(from Supreme Court to Consider Richard Fine’s Petition for Release )

On April 23rd, therefore, the nine ultimate guardians of American’s right to due process, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, will consider whether corrupt California judges and county supervisors will finally be brought to heel. Will the justices be able to rein in any inclination to protect their embarrassing and felonious brethren? Will they be able to look past the arrogance of the unindicted judges who cavalierly assume the justices will compromise their own principles and legacies just to keep some crooks in robes out of jail? They knowingly stole taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars and granted themselves retroactive immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liability when they were finally caught. Yet who goes to jail? The one person, obviously, who refuses … on principle … to violate his sworn oath or kowtow to the faux muckety-mucks who’ve somehow fooled themselves into believing they are superior to their employers, We the People. Luckily, November is just around the corner.

Protests in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

With the news that the US Supreme Court is considering taking on the case and is meeting on April 23 to discuss it, citizens outraged by the government abuse have planned to show their support of Richard Fine in demonstrations against court and government corruption in Los Angeles at the county courthouse and Washington D.C. on the steps of the US Supreme Court on April 20.
Read more…