by Scott Zwartz
November 22, 2015
Judges have immunity for criminal acts which they perpetrate while acting as a judicial officer. Their immunity extends to criminal extortion. One rational for judicial immunity is that it upholds the public’s confidence in the judicial system. The courts have never explained how condoning criminal behavior enhances the public respect for the judicial process.
How do judges engage in criminal extortion? It is simple. They order some one to pay money, which they do not owe. The recipient of the money, however, is not some aggrieved party to the lawsuit, but one of the judge’s friends. If the hapless victim does not pay the money, the judge will have the money taken from his bank account. Worse yet, if the judge cannot find the bank accounts or the judge’s victim does not have sufficient money, the judge will order the person to be incarcerated. http://cnn.it/1E0z45k May 24, 2010, Ex-lawyer Jailed 14 Months, but Not Charged with a Crime, by Abbie Boudreau, Emily Probst and Dana Rosenblatt, CNN Special Investigations Unit
One judicial ploy is to order a city to pay a lot of money to one of the judge’s cronies. Cities are always in front of the courts, and a refusal to pay one of the judge’s friend an unearned $250,000.00 or $133,000.00 in attorney fees can mean endless retaliation by other judges. They all know what is happening without any spoken words.
The courts oppose anyone’s mentioning judicial extortion on the theory that it would erode the public’s faith in the legal system.
Almost one year ago (Jan 28, 2015), The Federal Courts complained that attorney misconduct is epidemic in the California state courts.
http://lat.ms/1znOjpN January 31, 2015 LA Times, U.S. Judges See ‘Epidemic’ of Prosecutorial Misconduct in State, by Maura Dolan (Kim Wardlaw, Alex Kozinski, William Fletcher) http://bit.ly/1As5sLJ Direct Link to the 9th Circuit Hearing
In listening to the federal judges, one realizes that the actual target of their complaint is not the errant attorneys, but the California judges without whom there would not be the epidemic of attorney misconduct. Focusing on only the attorneys is similar to the police only arresting the receiver of stolen property while rewarding the thief himself.
Although judges are not supposed to have contact with one side in a case, these types of communications are crucial to the judicial corruption. If a judge believes that an attorney friend may be having problems with a case, the judge may simply pick up the phone and ask what he can do to help. Soon thereafter, the judge starts making rulings to help his friends.
There was a case where the law firm had hired the judge’s alleged mistress as one of their attorneys. (Since the judge is deceased his name is not used as he cannot reply.) Thus, the judge issued bizarre rulings to destroy the plaintiff’s case. The plaintiff did fight back, and eventually, he was able to get the case away from this judge. While the plaintiff knew something was seriously wrong, he did not know until a couple years later that the judge made his rulings solely as a favor to the defense firm who had hired his alleged mistress. The court personnel knew what was occurring and why, and it was a couple years later that one of the attorneys who worked for the judge in the adjoining courtroom who explained what had happened.
The court personnel “loved” the case as the judge’s corrupt interference had backfired. The judge’s ruling were so absurd that the appeals court overturned his decisions. The case was reassigned to another judge who allowed the plaintiff to turn his case into a class action which was eventually certified. The part which was perhaps the best was the case had been over $166.44 medical bill which the insurance company would not pay.
At the time that the judge decided to help the defense law firm, the plaintiff was willing to settle for his $166.44 plus attorney fees and an apology an the law firm itself wanted to settle. Not only did the corrupt judge’s interference result in a multi-million dollar class action being certified, but the insurance company fired the law firm.
Sadly all cases of judicial corruption do not have happy endings. On the criminal side, innocent people spend decades in prison, and other times, the state executes innocent people. Some of the worse judicial corruption occurs between District Attorneys and judges who have been D.A.’s. Judges are well aware that “jail house informants” are generally committing perjury and that their testimony has been purchased by the prosecution. In fact, that was the evil which had been perpetrated in The Baca Case where the three federal judges accused the California judicial system of creating an epidemic of misconduct. The Federal Judges were not focusing on the judges in this particular case, but rather than used the case as a spring board to warn the public that the California court system itself was awash in misconduct by the judges.
Nothing has improved since the federal judges complained. One could opinion that the judicial corruption is actually worse in that it has been exposed and not a single California judge has been held accountable. California judges continue with their collusion with civil attorneys. Where does one complain? Not to the Commission of Judicial Performance. The public knows that cops cannot police themselves, yet they think that corrupt judges can police other corrupt judges to protect the public.
Yes, Eliminate Judicial Immunity
A good first step is to eliminate judicial immunity for criminal behavior. Judges who initiate ex parte contact with attorneys to help the attorneys effectuate criminal identity theft, for example, should not be able to hide behind judicial immunity. Police Officers do not have that much legal protection. A cop cannot rob a motorist during a traffic stop and then claim immunity, but a judge has complete immunity for his criminal behavior.
California judges know that whatever deal they may make behind the scenes, they are immune from prosecution. In fact, the public cannot even use California’s “Freedom of Information Act” (Gov’t Code 6250) to obtain the documents of the secret contacts between judges and the people they want to help. No one can get the public records to show that judges’ email communications with each other so that they can “get” attorneys and litigants who the judges’ “friends” dislike.
Billions of dollars are stolen while the judges’ friends become wealthier and wealthier and their victims are driven into bankruptcy. Cities have their budgets eviscerated by corrupt judges who turn their blind eyes to vast municipal corruption.
If we ended Judicial Immunity for Criminal Behavior, then there would be a modicum of risk for the judges’ lawlessness. Not all the judges are corrupt, but as long as Judicial Immunity protects the criminals, the non-corrupt judges are likewise captive of criminal judiciary.