Corruption Arrogance – Part Three
The Eugene Forte Story
By: R.S. Errol
County, California - Eugene Forte’s struggle for justice
from the Monterey County Superior Court continues for more than five
years. Mere mortals would capitulate to the beating and lick their wounds,
all the time hating themselves for running from a fight. Forte, apparently,
is another breed of cat that in spite of being handed defeat after defeat
at the hand of the Monterey Judiciary he seems to gain strength and
solace knowing that he is exposing the demons with every adverse ruling.
Judge Robert O’Farrell continues to block Forte’s every
move or seems to be at least instrumental in the orchestration of the
cabal against him. An example of this treatment by O’Farrell is
James Cook being allowed to ignore the local rule of meeting and conferring
with Forte on exhibits because Forte would make further accusations
against Cook. Poor baby!
Two months ago
we briefly discussed Stephanie Crabb’s, of Alain Pinel Realty,
complicity in this case as the person representing Gene in the purchase
of the Powell property. Due to her alleged malpractice in neglecting
to inform Forte of a deadline to release the contingencies in the real
estate contract, she provided the Powell’s a reason to cancel
the deal at the expense of Forte. Gene has proof that Crabb perjured
herself and he accused her attorney, Dennis McCarthy with suborning
perjury. Larry Lichtenegger tries to convince Gene that he should lose
this evidence (taped conversations) because there could be serious repercussions
against Forte. In a telephone conversation transcript between the two,
Gene refuses to destroy the tapes because they revealed the truth. Forte’s
question is; why would an attorney suggest to his client to hide to
truth, especially since it would help the client? Was Lichtenegger in
ex-parte communications with the defense attorney, Dennis McCarthy (Ex
Parte according to Black’s Law 6th Edition. “On one side
only; by or for one party; done for, in behalf of, or on the application
of, one party only.”)? In addition Lichtenegger refused to subpoena
key witnesses including Ms. Crabb in a timely fashion so that her sworn
and alleged perjured affidavit could be impeached in the courtroom.
Due to this negligence the false affidavit was read into the record
as fact. Crabb’s role in Gene’s story will continue, much
to the chagrin of two defense attorneys, James Cook and McCarthy, for
many months to come.
A year later in March 2002,
Forte vs. Loop was scheduled to be heard by Judge Silver after Forte’s
peremptory Challenge for Cause was denied by Stanislaus Superior Court
Judge William Mayhew. When O’Farrell appears on the bench, Forte
asked why Judge Silver was absent, but O’Farrell interrupted him
and finally stated that if he felt he should recuse himself, he would.
Subsequently O’Farrell takes on the persona of the defendants’
attorney and argues against Forte’s motions that were properly
served on the defendants’ as per the suggestion of Judge Silver
at an earlier hearing. When Gene comments of the uneven playing field
due to O’Farrell’s bias he is given a contempt warning.
How dare a commoner question a man in black robes.
In November 2002,
Forte filed a motion to compel Lichtenegger to testify at a deposition
in the Forte vs. Lichtenegger case. Forte was suing Lichtenegger for
both nonfeasance and malfeasance stemming from his antics in sabotaging
Gene’s lawsuit against Powell. The hearing was originally scheduled
for September 26, 2002, but was continued twice until November 15th
at which time Judge O’Farrell suddenly appeared on the bench once
again and denied Forte the motion to compel. It is also peculiar that
the assignment of judges and the subsequent changes in presiding judges
are without “minute orders” in the files of all of Forte’s
cases. It is important to remember the key issue in this case is Lichtenegger’s
leaked confidential information about the conduct of the Monterey County
Superior Court. If he is forced to testify at a deposition this information,
that must be suppressed, would show up in court records. Thus, it is
imperative that Lichtenegger be silenced through chicanery and judicial
deception. Judge Silver was also subpoenaed to testify as to his conversation
with Gene’s ex-attorney Jim Rummonds (listen
to Rummonds conversation with Forte) when he said, in Rummonds words,
Gene had been, “Victimized by a number of attorneys on a number
of occasions.” O’Farrell trying to appear neutral assigned
this hearing to another judge, but it ended with O’Farrell signing
Judge Silver’s Motion to Quash. See no evil, speak no evil, and
hear no evil seems to be the catch phrase for the hunkering Superior
Lichtenegger files a Motion
for Demurrer, thereby hoping to avoid a deposition that could be used
by Forte to uncover the abuse that he is being subjected to by the legal
establishment as stated above. In early 2003, O’Farrell issued
a ruling for the demurrer thereby preventing Lichtenegger from testifying.
Very legal and very crafty maneuvering by some cunning scoundrels in
robes one would think. Alas, “the best-laid plans of mice and
men often go awry” one distinguished Monterey resident, John Steinbeck,
once said. Going awry happened in these modern times when Forte filed
an appeal in California’s Sixth Appellate District and O’Farrell’s
ruling on the demurrer was overturned on August 30, 2004. The genie
was finally out of the bottle.
Due to a clerical
error by Lichtenegger’s staff a letter
written by Lichtenegger to Judge Robert O’Farrell ends up
in Forte’s documents that were sent to Gene. The opening paragraph
is very revealing to the casual observer. “Sometimes integrity
can be a fleeting thing. I often think that is the only thing some attorneys
have that separates them from what the public often thinks of us…It
is one thing to not have the respect of the public, but quite another
to lose it to the court.” Is Lichtenegger telling us that integrity
can be turned on or off to fit the occasion? Is he inferring that kissing
up to a judge takes higher precedence over dealing with the truth and
protecting the client? Knowing that this attitude exists in the legal
profession is daunting at best.
The most blatant example
of judicial misconduct in this writer’s opinion occurred on December
19, 2003, in no other than, O’Farrell’s courtroom. The hearing
was for Forte vs. Albov regarding a lawsuit against Michael Albov for
malpractice in providing Gene poor advice in his real estate deal with
the Powell’s. Up popped Stephanie Crabb’s alleged perjury
and the need to subpoena her for deposition in that case. Crabb had
her attorney file a motion to quash the deposition which was set to
be heard on this date. Forte is happy to find that Judge Michael Fields
is assigned to hear the case. A few days later Gene is informed that
Judge O’Farrell had assigned himself to hear the case instead.
When he asked the clerk the reason for the change he is told that he
should ask O’Farrell. For the record Judge Fields had not disqualified
Armed with this
knowledge Forte prepared and filed a Peremptory Challenge in accordance
with California Civil Procedure section 170.6 to disqualify O’Farrell
on a belief of bias. When a 170.6 is filed with the clerk or in open
court the judge has no other option but to step down and forgo all efforts
to influence the case at hand. However, O’Farrell attempted to
start the proceeding when Forte politely interrupts him to ensure that
O’Farrell is aware of the peremptory challenge. O’Farrell
cuts him off time and time again in a transparent attempt to hear the
motion and rule against Forte. Due to his insistence on preventing O’Farrell
from running roughshod over him, O’Farrell had Gene arrested,
handcuffed and taken to a holding cell. The
transcript of the hearing is very revealing and may be read here.
After Forte is removed from
the courtroom O’Farrell in a blatant display of ex-parte communication
tells Crabb’s Attorney Dennis McCarthy the following, “It
appears he is desirous of filing a 170.6. I assume that will happen.
It will have to be reassigned to another judge, the motion itself. That
is not going to happen today.” Judge O’Farrell then proceeds
to bring Forte back into the courtroom and adopts the roles of judge,
jury and executioner by sentencing him to jail for eight hours, which
on its face deprives Forte of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
In addition Forte was remanded to jail that same day without the obligatory
three judicial days of a petition for extraordinary relief testing the
lawfulness of the court's order as provided for under CCP 1209 (c).
Gene states the following regarding O'Farrell knowing about the 170.6.
"At this point in time, for all intent and purposes of Plaintiff,
Judge Robert O'Farrell became Mr. Robert O'Farrell, a private citizen."
He did not actually become a private citizen in fact, but his authority
over someone who challenged him becomes non existent due to lack of
jurisdiction. O'Farrell was obligated to recuse himself and he refused
to do so in yet another prejudicial act against Forte.
Now that O’Farrell
has openly exposed his hand regarding his bias for Forte, return to
this continuing saga next time to hear about Gene’s lawsuit against
O’Farrell and how the State of California becomes embroiled in
Forte’s efforts for justice in a very antagonistic and threatening
way. Take the time to visit: www.usobserver.com and read the entire
series of articles on Gene Forte and his continuing battle for justice
in the Monterey Superior Court system.
See the previous articles:
• Part 2