On May 26, 2016, I filed a Verified Statement of Disqualification in the court clerks office against Judge Lisa Hart Cole, Supervising Judge of the LA Superior Court, West District, Santa Monica, California, Department O. Pursuant to Civil Code of Procedure, I attempted to serve the judge directly, but her courtroom was closed on that afternoon, so I served it on May 27, 2016. The clerk in her courtroom tried very hard NOT to receive the statement for service, but I insisted because the Statute is pretty clear, I needed to file a copy with the clerk AND serve a copy on the judge personally, OR, on her clerk while the Judge was in her Chambers.
First, my position is that she was not permitted to make that determination on her own, but the Appeals Court upheld her actions in their June 17, 2016 denial of my Writ of Mandate. I decided to file a new Statement of Disqualification to clarify my grounds for disqualification, but when I attempted to file and serve the new Statement on June 17, 2016, I learned that Judge Cole was currently assigned to a different courthouse. This was the first time the Clerks office at the Santa Monica Division of the LA Superior Court refused to file a document.
I made a couple of other attempts to file the Statement of Disqualification before finally just leaving the documet with the clerk with instructions to file the document on July 27, 2016. Unfortunately, I was not able to leave with a Conformed Copy because they refusd to stamp one for me.
The hearing on my Motion for a New Trial was scheduled to be heard on July 28, 2016 at which time I served a copy of the Statement on the Judge’s clerk. Afte about 30 minutes of in chamber discussions, the Judicial Assistant came out and advised me and opposing counsel that there would be no hearing that day due to my statement and that we would be notified by mail of next steps.
As we were leaving the courtroom, I attempted to advise opposing counsel that I would have liked to advise them earlier that I was filing the Statement of Disqualification, but that the clerk had been refusing to file it, but she turned around and cut me off as we walked down the courthouse hall and proclaimed, with finger pointing that I was “the most discourteous litigant ever”. I think she repeated it twice, and angrily stomped off.
I was left thinking, wow, that was professional. I’m not an attorney, but I know I’m being victimized by this judge, and now by this courthouse, so I’m sure she know that as well. Clearly opposing counsel thinks I’m out of my lane by continuing to litigate this case, but the bottom line is I suffered a significant loss (the losses still continue to mount as time passes and I further learn how my rights were violated and the unreplacable things that they discarded) when their client disposed of my personal belongings. I will continue to fight until there are no legal options left. In fact, I am so committed, that I have decided not to leave California when my case is over, something I have been planning for more than five years. Instead, I am going t stay, and fight the corruption that exist in the judicial sytem. I know this isn’t the only state with such problems, but I know this system really well, and I am now well equipted to take it on.