FORMER ATTORNEY RICHARD I. FINE HAS BEEN IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR 14 MONTHS WITHOUT CHARGES
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 14, 2010) — Like communist Cuba and the former Soviet Union, the U.S. has prisoners who appear to have been incarcerated for the “crime” of exposing corruption within the judicial system.
The 70-year-old former attorney, government prosecutor and taxpayer advocate has been in solitary confinement since March 2009. An article from April 2010 describes the reason as “coercive confinement” aimed at getting Fine to reveal his financial assets to pay a $50,000 fine imposed on him by Superior Court Judge David Yaffe.
Richard Fine was admitted to the California State Bar in 1973 but disbarred in March 2009. He had filed lawsuits on behalf of consumers and charged that Los Angeles County judges and the California State Bar were taking away lawyers’ ability to earn a living “if they accept cases involving institutional, political or judicial corruption.”
In 2006, the government legal watchdog organization Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County for allegedly receiving extra payments and bonuses which it claimed were unconstitutional and “an unconscionable waste of taxpayer funds.”
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had scheduled Fine’s case for a conference for April 23, 2010 after his appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was denied. However, the U.S. Supreme Court “denied Mr. Fine immediate release.”
An article from January 2010 states that Fine was also falsely hospitalized by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for exposing illegal payments accepted by Superior Court judges in California. The same report claims that access has been denied to Fine’s records and that questions regarding personnel handling the case as well as the legitimacy of the docket have gone unanswered.
Fine has stated that his due process rights and “his ability to file legal actions on his own behalf” have been denied. He says that “nobody is immune from this abuse of power” because judges are being paid off to rule in favor of the government.
The Full Disclosure Network reports that it filed a lawsuit to gain access to an on-camera interview with Fine.
Fine has a Ph.D. in International Law and worked as a government prosecutor. According to a 2008 report, Fine was brought up on charges of “moral turpitude” brought by California State Bar Court Judge Richard A. Honn. Further information regarding the events that led up to his incarceration can be found here.
A petition explaining the alleged corruption within the California judiciary and demanding action on Fine’s behalf can be found here.