Archive | January 2014

How Bias Works

Commissioner Alan H. Friedenthal gave the appearance of bias against me when he made important decisions concerning the custody of my two children. You may notice that I left out my usual careful qualifiers, such as “allegedly”. It was proven and determined by the California Supreme Court, Commissioner Friedenthal did show bias.

When there is an appearance of bias, no decision made by the biased judge can be trusted. There is not due process.

Today in court, I had the opportunity to witness how my own biases keep me from coming to an objective opinion.

You see, Judge Thomas Trent Lewis was presiding over a motion for change of venue on my family law case. Judge Lewis was considerate, gracious and patient. Not just with me, but with all the litigants who came through the courtroom.

He did his best to guide a middle-class couple to try to settle their differences in an informal setting, rather than court. He detailed an estimate of how much a court trial would cost them in dollars, an amount in the six figures.

He helped a Spanish speaking mother figure what her day in court cost, and showed a commitment to have the other litigant reimburse her $25 for the bus ride. He also scheduled her next hearing for a Monday, her day off, so it would not conflict with her work schedule.

Unfortunately, I previously heard that Judge Lewis separated a wonderful mother from her children and then had some kind of hanky-panky with the mother’s finances. And I saw where the entire 2nd district of the court of appeals recused itself from a case where Judge Lewis was the defendant.

Now, no matter what I see in court with my own eyes, I distrust Judge Lewis. Even when he rules in my favor, I wonder what ulterior motive caused his largess.

I have a bias against Judge Lewis.

I have had the opportunity to watch good judges practice. I have seen the way they handle potential bias.

For instance, Judge Richard Strauss in San Diego was hearing a trial on a property dispute. The plaintiff’s attorney was presenting opening arguments and projecting copies of documentary evidence onto a screen. Suddenly, Judge Strauss said he would need to disclose a potential bias. He noticed one of the documents was signed by an attorney who had done some work for the judge personally. None of the litigants thought the relationship would cause a problem. The signing attorney played a miniscule role in the case at bar and was not being called as a witness.

It was ethical and proper though, that Judge Strauss divulged the potential for bias. Our biases affect our judgment. Due process demands that litigants know before a case is heard, if there is some chance the scales of justice are tipped against them.

Advertisements

Freedom Fighter Successful In Convincing the Entire 2nd District of the Court of Appeals to Recuse

One of the people who is trying to clean-up the allegedly corrupt, unethical and unlawful behavior of several judges on the Los Angeles Superior Court had a huge success. This reporter would not believe it if she did not see it on Appellate Court letterhead.

Anthony Locatelli, who was involved in a custody dispute which he claims was made all the worse by Judge Thomas Trent Lewis and collaterals appointed to make decisions on his case, filed a civil suit against Judge Lewis.

On March 15, 2013, a letter was written by Assistant Clerk / Executive Officer Daniel Potter. It states:

“At the direction of the Administrative Presiding Justice of this District, I am requesting the transfer of the following matter to another Appellate District.

B240813, Anthony Locatelli v. Thomas Trent Lewis

The justices of this District have recused themselves from this matter. Thank you for your assistance in effecting this requested transfer.”

You can read Mr. Locatelli’s blog at http://judgelewis.weebly.com/

Adolph Friedenthal

Every time I think of California Judges’ Association Treasurer Alan H. Friedenthal, I think of Adolph Hitler. And I want to puke.

What is it that the masses see in these men? Not that Friedenthal has the support of the people, but he has the support of the power elite.

I once called an attorney who specializes in constitutional law to ask her to represent me in a suit against that man who denied my constitutional right to a parent child relationship. I can’t tell you her exact words, but it was something like “Alan Friedenthal is my friend! I would never sue him!”

Seriously?

Even my own sister, Roberta Kramer, an attorney and judge pro-tem seemed to like Alan. Once we were on a limousine ride on the way home from a party. Roberta had a bit to drink, as is her habit. Out of nowhere, she says “Alan Friedenthal has a  quirky little sense of humor.”

I wanted to say, “Oh, pretty funny how he tortured your nephews. The ones you pretend to love.”

Why would a judge like Tamila Ipema, who is otherwise lovely and teaches judicial ethics flip when she finds out the litigant before her is the person who was brave enough to expose Commissioner Friedenthal for ruling with bias and getting embroiled in cases? Does she think we should allow Friedenthal to ruin lives because he is fun at a party and knows how to raise funds for political campaigns?

But I come back to Hitler. People rallied around him, also. People would shoot their neighbor in the head, because Hitler said to. They would torture and slaughter children, and salute Alan…em, Adolph.

Suggestion in the Spirit of Christ

My readers might enjoy my biting and sarcastic tone. It is more fun to read Andy Rooney than Mother Theresa.

But my tone in court is far different than the noise I make here. And my voice at home, to the loves of my life Micheal and my two amazing sons, that is different even still.

For a moment, at the risk of losing the lawyers and the poor parents who have lost children to the corrupt court in Los Angeles, people who might enjoy hearing what their human selves think of the creepy court crowd, I will change my tone to my church voice.

To err is human. Everyone does it. Even I make mistakes. I snap at Micheal or my son. I overeat. I usually give back an overage if a clerk gives me the wrong change, but I think about keeping it. Jesus said even to lust is to commit adultery. That is why he came to earth as a man, and died on the cross.

Christ’s death was not horrible for the reasons shown in the movie “The Passion”. Lots of people have suffered worse physical torture. Some people live in constant pain for decades as their bodies degenerate in MS or other illness.

Christ’s death was horrific because at that moment, he took all the sins of all the people throughout time, and felt the separation from God that sin caused.

Do you know how bad you felt the first time you lied? The first time you saw someone stranded at the side of the road and you passed right by, because you had other stuff to do? The first time you cursed the guy who caused a traffic jam, then got up to the scene and saw a crumbled car and a body bag being lifted onto an ambulance?

Multiply that feeling by infinity and you know what Christ endured at that moment on the cross.

He tells us to die to ourselves everyday and to forgive.

My fight with Commissioner Alan H. Friedenthal was not something I searched for; He and it found me. I wanted legal custody of my son, because he asked for counseling to help him not get hooked on drugs and he was suicidal, and his father would not give him the required permission. It was supposed to be simple, according to man’s law. Commissioner Friedenthal tried to take my son away from me, instead.

My fight with Commissioner Friedenthal was my best try to convince him or his superiors to correct the awful harm he was inflicting on my children. If I was a slave and Master was taking my children from me, I would try to grab his pistol and fight him to the end, (except that I don’t know how to use a pistol, so I’d probably end up dead.) I do know how to use a pen. Or a keyboard.

On Friday, one of Commissioner Friedenthal’s colleagues, Judge Ipema, presided over a request for a restraining order hearing in San Diego. Judge Ipema used to work in Los Angeles County Family Law. I did not know that, before the hearing and would have proceeded differently if I had known, or if she disclosed that during the hearing, as she probably was required to do, ethically and legally.

I did know that the other party was going to attempt to bring up my writing about court corruption. That man did not show me the article he was going to enter into evidence before the hearing, as he was supposed to, but I knew his only hope of “winning” was to bring up inflammatory, prejudicial evidence. The problem with restraining order cases, as with family law, is there is no jury. The judge is judge and jury. So, there can be no pretrial motion to exclude irrelevant evidence. Even if a judge does sustain an objection in family law or restraining order cases, the bell is rung. It cannot be un-rung.

As a tactic I learned on debate team, I broached the subject myself, and explained that, though some people did not like my writing, it was truthful and protected. I used the public admonishment of Commissioner Alan H. Friedenthal as proof that my writing was allowed, and that I should not be punished for it. (My children certainly should not be punished for it, and Micheal, who has the most to lose in the restraining order and related cases, should not be punished for what I wrote.)

When I brought up the the admonishment, I saw a marked change in Judge Ipema’s demeanor. She went from soft spoken, wise and kind, to mean and vindictive towards Micheal and me. She said the admonishment was irrelevant, but overruled my objection to introduction of an article I wrote three years earlier, before I met the other party, that had nothing to do with this case.

Even though Judge Ipema denied a restraining order against Micheal and me, she also denied a restraining order to protect us. She also made comments that were rude and may encourage the other party to file more frivolous lawsuits. Her logic was awful and she misstated many facts and added information that was nowhere in the testimony.

It looks like I am forced to fight against the injustice Judge Ipema rendered. She may act like I am the bad guy. She is better off showing remorse. She can call us back into court for a reconsideration, on the court’s own motion, disqualify herself as per CCP 170 and order the hearings to go in front of a fresh judge. Then, unlike Commissioner Friedenthal, she can refrain from tainting the subsequent judge. She can even order that the other party refrain from mentioning irrelevant material in the second hearing.

I will forgive Judge Ipema, either way. God forgives her. But, if she makes an effort to repent of her sins today, she will impact lives here on earth in a much more peaceful way.

**********

Important Notice: My comment about how I would act if I was a slave is not meant to incite anyone to violence of any kind. I am taking poetic license. If the court is wronging you or your children, please follow my example and fight within the bounds of our law and use words, rather than arms.

Don’t Be Saying “The King’s Got No Clothes”

For many years I risked the wrath of the people who have taken over the court in Los Angeles, by writing about some of the more public acts of corruption. I did not have to dig too deep or have any magic powers. I lived 120 miles away from L.A. and drove up there just for court dates and on the off chance I might be able to see my then minor child.

Commissioner Alan Friedenthal, who the California Supreme Court finally ruled showed bias against me, had ordered and maintained that mother and child should be completely separated. DCFS did not recommend that. No psychiatrist or psychologist was consulted. My record was spotless…except for that one parking ticket I got in Studio City. My lifelong medical record shows that I am hesitant to even take prescription drugs and I have never been a drinker.

My situation was not unique. My new friends Janette Isaacs, R.V., “Sam” and the rest all had nearly identical stories. In fact, I was once “accused” of writing something threatening about Al Friedenthal by Sargeant Wheatcroft; But the posting he was griping about was not even written by me. The author mentioned her “new husband” in the post, and I was a single woman and not in a serious relationship yet. The only difference between me and most of the others was my willingness to use my true identity, at the risk of illegal retaliation. And “the court” did retaliate.

Years have passed. My children both aged out and we are able to enjoy each other again. We are healing, slowly. The scars are deep.

One of the worst scars is that we have no faith in our legal system. We distrust police and judges. We also fear other humans, because they may be able to harm us with impunity.

I have a simple legal dispute in San Diego now. It is a property dispute, based on contract and an interference with that contract. You can read about it at http://www.sandiegoestatesale.wordpress.com.

The defendants in that case thought I would not be able to afford an attorney to protect my rights. They did not know I studied law and had the best training any lawyer could ask for…taking on the team of government paid attorneys and judges in LASC. My civil case should be a slam dunk.

Unfortunately, I have a handicap. One of the bad apples from Los Angeles, Tamila Ipema, transferred to San Diego. It is possible she will spoil the whole bunch.

Judge Ipema presided over a restraining order hearing involving one of the conspirators in my civil case and me. Though she did not go as far as Judge Elizabeth Feffer, issuing a restraining order that would need to be fought to the U.S. Supreme Court, she did not give me protection from the other party, either. The other party claimed to have video of me threatening him, but refused to show that video to the court. He did enter an article I wrote as evidence. The article was titled “Is The LASC a Racketeering Organization?” It was written December 30, 2010. Three years ago.

I objected to this evidence as irrelevant. Judge Ipema admitted it.

Here is the entire text. Look for anything that looks remotely threatening to anyone, much less to Justin Cannatella of P.B. Sports, the other party, who I met about two years after this was written. Also note that Tamila did not disclose that she worked in L.A. Family Law until 2008 and came up through the ranks with Commissioner Alan Friedenthal.

Human Rights Alert (NGO) and Joseph Zernik, PhD, released a proposed schematic organizational chart of the LA-JR (alleged Los Angeles Judiciary Racket). They wrote: “The organizational chart proposes that LA-JR is widespread and well established, is supported by justice system agencies, and colludes with law firms and financial institutions large and small. However, It should be noted that the LA-JR today is primarily focused on a white-collar crime, and as such – is a loosely organized enterprise. Court Counsel Frederick Bennett, Clerk of the Court John A Clarke, and Judge Jacqueline Connor are listed in leadership positions.”

Is the Los Angeles Superior Court a racketeering organization whose members can and should be indicted under RICO laws, much as the mafia?

Most people think of racketeers as God Father characters, Jimmy Hoffa or Scarface. They think of gangsters toting guns and making extortionist threats in the shadows late at night. They think of bricks of cocaine and porno.

Ah…recent exposure of an often appointed custody evaluator named Dr. Joseph Kenan may bridge the gap between the perception of the Court as a professional, decorious establishment, and a typical racketeering organization.

Even though Local Rules of Court 14.21 does not specify that custody evaluators should not be men known to associate with porn stars and run alleged crack houses, it seems the judicial officers responsible for making delicate decisions about custody should have at least a smidgeon of common sense.

This reporter questions the motivation for Judge Elizabeth Feffer, Judge Scott Gordon, Commissioner Alan Friedenthal and others for accepting evaluations from a man whose reputation is of throwing drug fests and hiring male prostitutes. Let’s just say the integrity of the court is brought into disrepute.

Where is the CJP while the Los Angeles Superior Court gains the reputation of ordering payment to and services of men like Dr. Kenan, AKA Joe-blo? Well, they are in San Francisco. Nuff said.

It’s Not What You Know; It’s Who You Know. And Friedenthal Knows Em All.

Ooops. We were trying to get a restraining order against Justin Cannatella, the owner of P.B. Sports. He allegedly hit Laura on December 5 and allegedly threw a bell at Mike’s face at 2 a.m. on December 14th. He was challenging Mike to a fight, over and over again. Mike would not take the bait. Instead, we decided to ask for a restraining order.

We were pretty confident going into it that a restraining order would be issued. We had filed several police reports against Justin, including the two incidents mentioned above, for which the police thought they had enough evidence to get a criminal conviction. The cases were sent to the City Attorneys Office for prosecution.

The morning of the trial, the judge, Tamila Ipema was overworked. Some other judges were on vacation and she had to handle name changes, as well as restraining orders. We waited in the hall until 10 a.m.

At first Judge Ipema was impressive. She is an attractive older woman with an accent from her native Iran. She explained the rights and burden of proof afforded in restraining order cases. She called the other case on docket first. She handled it the way we thought was fair.

When our case was called, the defendant did not want a court reporter. Judge Ipema did a good job. First she asked for the reporter’s credentials. Then she asked questions about our prior relationship with the court reporter. When we said we had just called a large service in San Diego and they sent a woman we had no previous relationship with, the judge ruled that the court reporter could stay.

We presented our case and the defendant gave his side, that part of the case took from about 11 a.m. to almost noon. Judge Ipema said we would need to adjourn for lunch. When we returned, it would be time for rebuttal testimony from us and the defendant could present his counter-claim. He was asking for a restraining order against us, based on our writing on another blog and our many calls to the police department about his alleged activity.

We were feeling pretty good about the whole thing. We had presented detailed accounts of what we considered to be violence and threats of violence. The defendant claimed that when we made 911 calls about him at two in the morning, that he was just minding his own business, hanging out. He was slouched back in his chair when he said this, in his entitled pose, wearing sunglasses on his forehead. We presented numerous independent claims of Justin’s violent and dishonest behavior from people we did not know, who either filed lawsuits against Justin or wrote one star reviews about him on Yelp.

The Judge had just listened mostly.

After lunch, Laura presented evidence to support her claim of being a knowledgable journalist, who never wrote anything defamatory. She gave as an example, that she wrote about a commissioner named Alan Friedenthal. Friedenthal had foolishly admitted on transcript that he was reading Laura’s blog outside of court and eventually he was admonished for that by the California Supreme Court.

Big mistake. When Laura said the word “Friedenthal”, there was a dramatic change to the judge’s face. The judge questioned the relevance. From then on in, Laura felt like she was back in the court of Judge Elizabeth Feffer, when Feffer took over Laura’s void family law proceedings from Friedenthal. Or in the Wild West.

Laura pointed out that Justin said he had tapes of her taken by his surveillance cameras, but did not present them as evidence. Justin finally showed two tapes taken on his camera. While the judge was in chambers making her decision, Mike and Laura agreed that the tapes actually supported their contentions more than they supported Justin’s. But Laura mentioned that she felt the judge had taken a sudden disliking to her. Laura said and then made a note to remember to ask the judge for a statement of decision. The vibe had become L.A. II.

After a rather lengthy interval, Judge Ipema returned. She apologized for the length of time it took her in chambers, and said a lot of reading material had been supplied.

She then gave a liturgy of complaints Laura had filed, stating after each, there was no proof. Her voice contained disdain. She denied the request for a restraining order.

She then turned to Justin and apologetically told him she was not allowed to issue a restraining order to restrict our freedom to file legitimate grievances. She said that though Laura had a legal right to write that she suspected Cannatella was a CI, it was written with no concern for Cannatella’s safety. She then gave him legal advice in a caring tone, suggesting he might file some other form of complaint against us.

The judge’s statement of decision was lengthy and detailed, obviously one she prepared back in chambers. But she omitted one fact.

She forgot to mention that she had done post law school studies at Georgetown, like Friedenthal, endorsed Patricia Nieto for judge, like Friedenthal and had worked in L.A. in the family law section at Stanley Mosk, much like Friedenthal.

It is reasonable to believe she was not able to be a fair and impartial judge, and should have offered to recuse herself, or at least put the potential conflict in the open. Instead she issued a ruling with no concern for Mike and Laura’s safety. What do you think?