(currently experiencing technical problems displaying this pdf file, but you may view images of pages at: 1&2 3&4 5&6 7
Nov 10, 1988 Memorandum from Roger W. Whitby, Sr. Assistant, L.A. County
Counsel, to Frank S. Zolin, County Clerk/Executive Officer of the Superior Court
purporting to justify L.A. County's payments L.A. Superior Court Judges as
"local judicial Benefits".
This opinion memorandum posturing that payments to judges is authorized
reveals on its face that "the Attorney General does not agree,"
and cites two AG opinions. Initial research of those opinions shows that the County authorized the payments with full knowledge that
their actions were unconstitutional:
“Because of the use of ‘prescribe’ the
Legislature cannot delegate the authority granted to it by Article VI, section
19 of the Constitution. Any attempt to make such a delegation would be
constitutionally invalid.” 59 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. at 496; 61 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. at 388. http://www.clrc.ca.gov/pub/1995/M95-77.pdf
Despite clear warning of the unconstitutionality of county payments to judges, the payments were made by LA County Supervisors and accepted by the judges. (Not one judge is known to have refused a single payment.)
The illegality of the payments was made even more clear in the 1990 decision by
the California Court of Appeal in County of Sonoma v. Workers' Compensation
Appeals Board, 222 Cal.App.3d 1133, 1136-37, 272 Cal.Rptr. 297, 298
We disagree with the position taken by the
Judicial Council. Although the question is not before us, we note that the
Government Code provision in question may well be unconstitutional.
1956, the Attorney General issued an opinion concluding that superior and
municipal court judges and certain personnel of the superior courts were not
county employees and were thus ineligible for county-sponsored health insurance.
(27 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 338 (1956).) In 1976, the Attorney General issued
another opinion, specifically stating that the version of Government Code
section 53200.3 then in effect was unconstitutional, insofar as it ran afoul of
the provision in California Constitution, article VI, section 19, which states
that " he Legislature shall prescribe compensation for judges of courts of
record. . . ." Citing the 1967 Judicial Council Report to the Governor and the
Legislature on this provision and the opinion in County of Madera v. Superior
Court, supra, 39 Cal. App. 3d at page 670, the Attorney
General stated: "Because of the use of 'prescribe' the Legislature cannot
delegate the authority granted to it by Article VI, section 19 of the
Constitution. Any attempt to make such a delegation would be constitutionally
invalid." (59 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 496, 497 (1976).) The opinion concluded that
"that section [Gov. Code, § 53200.3] is an unconstitutional attempt on the part
of the Legislature to delegate a nondelegable duty." (Id., at p.
Subsequently, the statute was amended by the Legislature to its
present form, in an attempt to meet the concerns of the Attorney General.
(Stats. 1977, ch. 106, § 1, pp. 537-538.) In 1978, the Attorney General issued
another opinion on the statute, stating that the Legislature had failed to
remove those deficiencies in the original section that had rendered it
unconstitutional. (61 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 388, 390
Pleadings and dockets online at Scribd
- Trial Court Unification: Delegation of Legislative Authority - November 27, 1995 - Study J-1201
: Fine v. Sheriff (USDC)
: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, Case No. 09-71962 (first habeas appeal)
: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, Case No. 09-56073 (second / current habeas appeal)
: In Re Richard I. Fine (USDC Disbarment) - New case and OSC discovered accidentally by Fine team member in early May. OSC never served on Fine. Fine's Response to OSC, filed June 26, 2009, never entered in docket. Investigation begun.
: Fine v. State Bar (USDC)
: Kasparian v. County of Los Angeles, Antonovich
Appellate decision overturning $1.2 million judgment granted Kasparian following Antonovich's personal contact with judge.
MUCH more coming soon. Please check back.
"Integrity means everything."
2009 © All Rights Reserved. Free Richard I. Fine™