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Corrupt Computers in the California Courts

Los Angeles, March 15 - the Los Angeles Times reported today a dispute among the California judges regarding the implementation of an ongoing long-term project of replacing multiple court computer systems with a unified California Case Management System (CCMS). In response, Human rights Alert (NGO) and Joseph Zernik, PhD, released correspondence in that regard, including an expert opinion letter in support of his claims of Fraud in SUSTAIN, the existing Los Angeles Superior Court case management system.

SUSTAIN, originally developed in Los Angeles County around 1985, has been implemented in numerous state courts in the United States since then.

Dr Zernik further alleges that "Sustain is the enabling tool of the routine Fraud in the Los Angeles Superior Court, and the defining element of the LA-JR (alleged Los Angeles Judiciary Racket) as we know it today."

"Fraud in foreclosure procedures in courts across the United States by financial institutions, large law firms, and judges, are at the heart of the current financial crisis" said Dr Zernik, "and fraud in court records enables such conduct".
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Below:
1) Email message by Joseph Zernik: Alternative view of CCMS - the California Case Management System.
2) Email message by X: They are eating their own...
3) LA Times: Clash of the courts: Dissident judges challenge California chief justice's power
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1) Email message: Alternative view of CCMS - the California Case Management System.
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Let me offer an alternative view of CCMS - the California Case Management System: This is a power struggle in a white collar network.... Whoever controls the case management system, is on top of the operations... Control, Command, Collect! With Ronald George's departure, resistance to such system is increasing.

However, it is not necessarily good news. It only means that the current business model is staying in place, with Los Angeles County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County Superior Courts, etc, each running their own loosely organized operations... The Clerk of the Court in each case the point man, who is actually on top of it all, but there is no central control from Sacramento. In Los Angeles County, for example, I consider JOHN A CLARKE (Clerk of the Court), FREDERIC BENNETT (Court Counsel), and JACQUELINE CONNOR (Judge) the key figures of the LA-JR, and not Presiding Judge of the Court CHARLES MCCOY.

I believe that Ronald George, while in leadership positions in the Los Angeles Superior Court around 1985, was the brains who conceived Sustain. (See expert opinion letter, linked in [1], below) The system was developed and is maintained to this date by Sustain Technologies, a subsidiary of the Daily Journal (the largest legal newspaper in California, said to be controlled by the California Bar, an arm of the California courts), and by now is implemented in some 11 states in the US. Sustain is the enabling tool of the routine Fraud in the Los Angeles Superior Court, and the defining element of the LA-JR (alleged Los Angeles Judiciary Racket) as we know it today.

Later, Ronald George moved on to bigger and better things... As Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court and Chair of the California Judiciary Council he conceived a unifying CCMS - California Case Management System.

Today, the Superior Courts of California operate over 70 different case management systems, independently developed or modified with no public supervision at all in various court houses. The couple that I inspected (Los Angeles and Ventura County), are herein again opined as Fraud.

Had Ronald George managed to unify the case management systems throughout California under his control, as planned, it would have been an unprecedented concentration of power.

That is the reason that the various courts have been objecting to the CCMS. They prefer to maintain the current business model - loosely organized operations, typical of white collar crime networks... each with large degree of independence and flexibility. They would not like to be under constant monitoring by the Big Brother, even if he is one of their own...

That is also the reason why there are such difficulties in completing the system. CCMS is most likely a system, similar to Sustain in its nature: A system that was not developed as implementation of specifications founded in the California law and regulations. Instead, it is most likely, like Sustain, a system that is supposed to create the pretense of compliance with the law and regulations, while allowing to undermine them.

It is not an easy task to define for project managers and programmers the nature of their job under such circumstances... It is like telling an engineer to plan something that would look like a drinking water pump, but would be able to intermittently pump water and/or sewage, appearing as drinking water... It is also not an easy task to reach consensus among the main players on defining such project. Primarily, since none of them would trust the other. Whoever is the one who is directly paying the programmers, would have access to all the back doors and other "special features".

The failure to implement it may also be behind Ronald George's decision to retire. With Ronald George's departure, the local courts feel stronger, and are increasing their opposition to implementation of the system. I doubt that the system, as originally conceived, would ever be implemented.

Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)

LINKS:
[1] 09-04-20 Prof Shamir's Opinion Letter re: Sustain - the Case Management System of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
http://www.scribd.com/doc/46069337/
[2] 10-06-14 New Case Management System (CCMS) of the California Courts - Serious Human Rights Concern
http://www.scribd.com/doc/33073055/

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2) Email message by X: They are eating their own:
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Here’s a possible sign that things are getting better for us: THEY (the judges) ARE EATING THEIR OWN!

It is not so much from our efforts, as to their continued dereliction of their own duties and their lack honesty, integrity & accountability. Nature abhors a vacuum and they are eating their own - self destructing.

Here are a few of the operative paragraphs from the 3/15/11 LATimes article:

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles E. Horan rejoiced over last month's state audit that savaged the Californiacourt system's mismanagement of a costly new computer system.

"This is the sort of thing we have been complaining about," exulted the Pomona judge. "Do you think perhaps now people ought to pay attention to what we're saying?"

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"It has deliberately and recklessly advocated for its own parochial interests … while trial court operations have suffered from furloughs, courthouse closures and layoffs," alliance directors wrote to "fellow judges" in a January letter.

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"Judges by and large are folks who have a percentage of prima donna in them, running from a little to a great deal," said one Northern California judge who, like many judges, would speak about the split within the court system only on condition of anonymity. "There is no question that the concept of centralizing authority bothers a lot of judges in a big way."

WOW! That sounds as though it could have come of J.A.I.L4JUDGES. But no, it out of the mouths of judges and it is published in the LATimes.
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3) LA Times: Clash of the courts: Dissident judges challenge California chief justice's power
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Clash of the courts: Dissident judges challenge California chief justice's power
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Alliance rails against administration, arguing that trial courts should get a say in court policies, spending cuts, media coverage and other issues. Chief justice says the hostile insurrectionists are 'not giving me a chance.'
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By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times

March 15, 2011, 12:37 a.m.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles E. Horan rejoiced over last month's state audit that savaged the California court system's mismanagement of a costly new computer system.

"This is the sort of thing we have been complaining about," exulted the Pomona judge. "Do you think perhaps now people ought to pay attention to what we're saying?"

In 2009, Horan helped found a group of judges to challenge the power and authority of the state's judicial leadership. After two years of being marginalized as a fringe clique of black-robed dissidents, the group of largely anonymous judges is now making friends in Sacramento and gathering strength.

The insurrection has sparked new legislation, generated hostility toward the judicial leadership, inundated judges' mailboxes with caustic e-mails and threatened to throw the state's new chief justice off-step just as she assumes the reins of the California judiciary.

At issue is whether the court system should continue to be run centrally by the chief justice and his or her appointees, or whether elected judges and the trial courts should call more of the shots, including on how money is spent.

The Alliance of California Judges pits itself against the Administrative Office of the Courts, the bureaucracy in San Francisco that runs the judicial branch under the supervision of the Judicial Council, the governing and policy-setting body headed and run by the chief justice.

"It has deliberately and recklessly advocated for its own parochial interests … while trial court operations have suffered from furloughs, courthouse closures and layoffs," alliance directors wrote to "fellow judges" in a January letter.

The alliance claims about 350 of the state's 1,700 judges are members, but says many want their names kept secret because they fear reprisals — a perception that the state's chief justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, says mystifies her.

Judges who click on a link on the group's website become members, receiving a barrage of e-mails detailing what the alliance believes is the arrogance and incompetence of judicial-branch leaders.

Many nonmembers said they also receive the e-mails, passed on by others. Some said they agree with the alliance's aims. Others are indifferent or consider the group dangerous.

"Judges by and large are folks who have a percentage of prima donna in them, running from a little to a great deal," said one Northern California judge who, like many judges, would speak about the split within the court system only on condition of anonymity. "There is no question that the concept of centralizing authority bothers a lot of judges in a big way."

Retired Chief Justice Ronald M. George, reviled by some alliance members, largely ignored the group. Before stepping down in January, he said his decision had nothing to do with the alliance.

"That would be like canceling a trip to Yosemite because there are ants on the trail," George said.

His successor, a moderate Republican chosen largely for her diplomatic and administrative skills, met with alliance leaders to try to bridge differences.

But at her first news conference, Cantil-Sakauye complained that they were "not giving me a chance."

Just as she was trying to stave off $200 million in cuts to the court system, the audit came out. Alliance leaders had lobbied for it. The report said the judiciary's administrators had mismanaged the purchase and installation of a computer system that is supposed to link courts in all 58 counties. The project's estimated costs have ballooned from $260 million in 2004 to $1.9 billion today, the auditor said.

Two legislators cited the audit in a public letter last month demanding that Cantil-Sakauye fire William Vickrey, the top manager of the court system.

The new chief justice took umbrage.

"I consider this letter a serious attempt to interfere with judicial branch governance," she said in a public statement. She called Vickrey "an invaluable resource."

The audit and the alliance's tenacious lobbying have reduced her leverage in Sacramento. Some legislators insisted they, not court leaders, should decide how the court system would absorb the coming cuts, a stance that "deeply troubled and concerned" Cantil-Sakauye as a violation of separation of powers.

The roots of the insurgency began in 1998 when George succeeded in winning approval of an overhaul of the state's judicial branch. The transformation punctured the tradition-bound culture of the judiciary.

With its new statewide responsibilities, the court system's administrative office exploded in size, more than doubling its staff from 1998 to 2010 as it took command of the largest court system in the world. Some elected judges bristled at being under the thumb of bureaucrats and worried that actions they could not control would affect their ability to win reelection.

"We are not uneducated, unintelligent crazy people," said Orange County Superior Court Judge Andrew P. Banks, an alliance director. "We are careful, thoughtful constitutional judicial officers."

The insurrection gained traction amid the state's budget crisis when the courts closed one day a month. Many judges also felt betrayed when they volunteered to give up a day's pay each month only to learn that the administrative office had raised some staff members' pay.

When a system wide task force recommended new, media-friendly policies for cameras in the courtroom, the rebel judges argued that they should determine whether to permit cameras. The task force included members of the news media, including a Times editor.

"Your judicial discretion is on the line, friends," Horan told other judges. "Don't let them take it."

Members of the alliance fear the chief justice would block promotions to the appellate bench if their identities were known, Horan and other directors of the group say. Judges also worry their rulings would be more vulnerable to decertification if the state high court knew of their involvement.

Court leaders scoff at the perception of danger. "I don't have a reputation for retaliation and vindictiveness," Cantil-Sakauye said in an interview.

At the same time, she questioned how alliance leaders "justify using court computers, court time and court resources for their purposes."

The group's directors said they pay for their own travel. Some said they had permission from their presiding judges to do alliance work on government time.

"I truly feel badly for the new chief," said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert A. Dukes. "But she is taking it personally."

maura.dolan@latimes.com

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rebel-judges-20110315,0,2332798.story
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Click to view image: 'California'

Added: Mar-15-2011 Occurred On: Mar-15-2011
By: jz12345
In:
LiveLeaks
Tags: Judicial Corruption, Misprision of Clerks
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