Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler has been asked to review the evidence of large-scale computer fraud in the courts
Computer systems enable the routine churning out of fraudulent records in both the state and US courts. The key systems are Sustain and eCourt in the state courts, and PACER and CM/ECF in the US courts. Prof Yochai Benkler of Harvard Law School, an expert on computers and the law, has been asked to provide an opinion.
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Los Angeles, April 14 - "If for no other reason, the case of Lomas v Bank of America in the Los Angeles Superior Court is important,” says Joseph Zernik, PhD, of Human Rights Alert (NGO), “for clearly documenting the pervasive fraud in the computerized records of the Los Angeles Superior Court".
In Lomas v Bank of America Plaintiff Susan Lomas is trying to protect her rights against alleged fraud by Bank of America and others in foreclosure procedures. The litigation is opined by Dr Zernik as Fraud on the Court through collusion of BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION, California Judge PETER MEEKA, and Clerk of the Court JOHN A CLARKE, aimed to dispossess Lomas, while denying her due process and access to an honest court. [[i]]
“Judge Meeka and the Clerk of the Court created false online ‘Case Summary’, which would lead a naïve person to conclude that true litigation is being conducted”, says Dr Zernik, “but the ‘Minutes’ show that none of it was considered by the court itself as real litigation”.
The online “Case Summary”, produced through the eCourt system by Sustain Technologies, Inc, listed a series of proceedings and the corresponding rulings. The “Minutes” of the same proceedings were recorded in the Sustain case management system of the same company. The “Minutes” show that Judge Meeka routinely listed the proceedings as “off of the record”, and that none of the minutes were certified by the Clerk of the Court.
An extreme example was found in the April 8, 2011 “proceeding”, when Plaintiff Lomas tried to protect her due process rights. The “Case Summary” (Figure 1) for that date shows: “Department O, Meeka, Peter J Presiding, Exparte proceeding – Denied”
The “Minutes” (Figure 2) for the same “proceeding” show an empty minutes form, with the date of “00/00/00”, no case caption or number, no judge, no department, no deputy clerk listed, and no ruling either.
“Sustain is opined as a large-scale computer fraud” says Dr Zernik. His opinion in this matter was supported by a world-renowned computer science expert. [[ii]]
The system originated around 1985 in Los Angeles, California. According to Sustain Technologies, Inc, the system is by now implemented in the courts of 11 states. [[iii]]
Computer fraud is not unique to the state courts. The US courts have installed an online public access system - PACER - and case management system - CM/ECF - in the early 2000s. “The principle is the same. The courts routinely publish false online records, while keeping a separate system for the court, which shows, which records are real, and which ones are not” says Dr Zernik. His opinion of fraud in PACER and CM/ECF was published in an international computer science journal with an Editorial Board listing scholars from six European nations and Canada, including Director of IBM Research Center in Ireland. [[iv]] Leading law and technology journals in the United States refused to review papers on the subject.
Dr Zernik also produced detailed review of the fraud in conduct of litigation in cases of the highest public policy significance, which were repeatedly reported in both US and international media, including, but not limited to the litigation of SEC v Bank of America Corporation in the US Court in New York. [[v, vi]]
The best example, showing the systems working together to abuse Human Rights, according to Dr Zernik, remains the case of the arrest and habeas corpus petitions of the 70 year-old former US prosecutor Richard Fine. Richard Fine exposed and rebuked the taking by Los Angeles judges of “not permitted” payments (“bribes”).
On March 4, 2009, media reported that a “Sentencing Proceeding” was conducted in the Los Angeles Superior Court. However, the online “Case Summary” in eCourt had no listing of such proceeding at all, and the Court continues to deny access to the Register of Actions (California civil docket) of the case in Sustain.
Later, Richard Fine was held for 18 months in solitary confinement by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. However, the online Inmate Information Center listed him as imprisoned on location and by authority of the non-existent “Municipal Court of San Pedro”.
Fine’s habeas corpus petition in the US District Court in Los Angeles and the US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, appeared as true litigation in the online PACER records, but were replete with unsigned, uncertified – invalid court records. [[vii]]
In 2010, Dr Zernik authored a report on Human Rights in Los Angeles County, California, which was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first ever Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the United States. The report was based in part on review of the large-scale fraud in the records of the courts and prisons in Los Angeles County. His report was later incorporated into the official Staff Report of the United Nations, with a note regarding “corruption of the courts and the legal profession”. [[viii]]
Dr Zernik is also going to deliver two lectures on the subject in the upcoming World Criminology Congress. “Corruption of the US justice system is one of the key factors in the current world economic crisis, which the main subject of the Congress,” he explains.
While internationally, Dr Zernik’s opinions are re-affirmed, US experts have so far been reluctant to opine on the matter. Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, and Law Dean Martha Minow of Harvard University have previously refused to provide an opinion. The former claimed that he had no expertise in computers and court administration, and the latter claimed that she was prevented from opining on the matter due to her position as Harvard Law Dean.
Now, Dr Zernik has asked Prof Yochai Benkler of Harvard Law School, an expert on computers and the law, to opine on the matter.
Prof Benkler was one of the authors of the recent letter regarding the humiliation of Private Bradley Manning. “Prof Benkler has shown courage in highlighting the abuse of the Human Rights of Private Manning. I hope that he would also be willing to review the evidence of abuse of Human Rights of all in the United States,” says Dr Zernik.
[i] 11-03-20 PRESS RELEASE Lomas v Bank of America (KC059379) Bank of America Continues Racketeering in the Los Angeles Superior Court
11-04-07 PRESS RELEASE: Lomas v BofA (KC059379) – Judge Meeka is Requested to Restore Due Process, Declare Any Benefits from BofA
11-04-12 PRESS RELEASE: California Judge Peter Meeka Refuses to Disclose Financial Benefits to Him by Bank of America, Accord Due Process
11-04-13 PRESS RELEASE: Lomas v BofA - BofA, Brian Moynihan Are Asked to Name Their Attorney of Record in the Los Angeles Superior Court
[ii] 09-04-20 Prof Eliyahu Shamir's Opinion Letter re: Sustain - the Case Management System of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
09-04-20 Prof Eliyahu Shamir, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, directory information
[iii] Sustain Technologies
[iv] Zernik, J: Data Mining of Online Judicial Records of the Networked US Federal Courts, International Journal on Social Media: Monitoring, Measurement, Mining, 1:69-83 (2010)
[v] Zernik, Joseph: Securities and Exchange Commission v Bank of America Corporation - Pretense Litigation and Pretense Banking Regulation in the United States
[vi] 11-02-09 ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’: the US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit Insists on Conducting a Pretense Appeal from a Pretense Judgment of the US District Court
[vii] 10-04-20 Fine v Baca (09-A827) at the US Supreme Court: Motion to Intervene and related papers: Motion to Intervene and related papers
[viii] 10-04-19 Human Rights Alert (NG0) submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2010 Review (UPR) of Human Rights in the United States as incorporated into the UPR staff report, with reference to "corruption of the courts and the legal profession".
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
Human Rights Alert - NGO
Human Rights Alert is dedicated to discovering, archiving, and disseminating evidence of Human Rights violations by the justice systems of the State of California and the United States in Los Angeles County, California, and beyond. Human Rights Alert focuses on the unique role of computerized case management systems in the precipitous deterioration of the integrity of the justice system in the United States.
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* "...judges tried and sentenced a staggering number of people for crimes they did not commit."
Prof David Burcham, Dean, Loyola Law School, LA (2001)
* "This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states... and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted."
Prof Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Irvine Law School (2001)
* "Innocent people remain in prison"
* "...the LA Superior Court and the DA office, the two other parts of the justice system that the Blue Panel Report recommends must be investigated relative to the integrity of the system, have not produced any response that we know of..."
LAPD Blue Ribbon Review Panel Report (2006)
WHAT DID THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA?
* "...corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California."
United Nations Human Rights Council Staff Report (2010)
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* In a speech in Georgetown University, Senator Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee called for a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" on the US Department of Justice.
Transcript of Senator Leahy speech (2009)
Click to view image: 'Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler'
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