2015 was a year of transition, marked by an excruciating wait for all the cases in the state courts to have standing for appellate review. We expected the cases to encounter significant procedural challenges at the trial courts. Experience has shown us a system favoring litigants with a support system not much less than that which is available to law firms. For instance, California Civil Procedure requires a litigant to have “Proof of Service” signed by a non-party to the action who is 18 years old. Law firms are not challenged by this requirement as they have receptionists that assist in document service. In our case, we must rely on other people to do this. Asking someone such a favor is difficult because of the uncomfortable situation it places individuals, making them potential enablers of someone who is fighting the government, as is our case. Not many people are readily willing to do so for fear of government and FBI reprisal. And because my peer group are other homeless people who may have a history with the law, their testimonies are potentially impeachable in court.
As a result, we have concluded that a substantial part of our work in the Superior Court has now finished, elevating all or most our grievances to the US District Court (Federal Court) where we will invoke the US Constitution. Some of those issues may return to the state courts, but will likely be consolidated at the federal level. This will clear a path for an eventual appeal to the US Court of Appeals and a request for review in the US Supreme Court. Our goal is to secure case laws.
As difficult as it is to say, winning at the trial court level on the first go-around is not our goal. Opinions do not become case laws unless they go through the process of appellate review, which means there must be errors made at the lower courts or there are issues of law that have not been clearly settled by the lower courts. In our case, there have been many errors and unsettled issues, exposing a legal system for the few, where fairness is available only to those who have the financial wherewithal. It is an accepted truth in certain quarters that you can buy as much justice as you can afford. If you have the resources to assemble a star team of lawyers and are willing to finance a battle of paper and attribution, you will probably prevail. We expect the same in the federal courts as rules and procedures favor those who can afford advocacy and not those who are legitimately aggrieved and represent themselves in court, those presumably do not have the resources to hire an attorney.
THE THREE CASES
In the year 2014, three cases were filed in succession. (1) Lacambra v. Staples, Inc.; (2) Lacambra v. County of Orange; (3) Lacambra v. The Krogers Company (dba Ralphs Grocery Market). They were all excellent exhibits of how a federal clean-up operation works. Using intelligence level methods the FBI team sought to derail all our cases, along the way potentially trampling on California’s sovereignty and an individual’s civil liberties.
In the Staples case, the original complaint sought damages for the loss of approximately 20 GB of information while in the hands of their technicians. It was our contention that the computer was deliberately rendered in disrepair, requiring technical assistance. The HP laptop was originally purchased from Staples in Aliso Viejo and was brought there for a free virus clean-up. When it was returned much of the attorney product for cases in various stages of development were gone and unrecoverable.
The case was filed soon after and in a series of woefully lopsided decisions the case was placed immediately in jeopardy. This included allowing the opposition to image our hard drive, violating every conceivable legal theory protecting attorney work product from the opposition’s prying eyes. Then, after deposition, the lawyers filed briefings containing portions of an uncorrected deposition. The opposing counsel would not allow the deponent (myself) to correct the deposition, despite a standing request for an appointment to make the corrections at their Los Angeles offices.
Early in the case Judge Derek W. Hunt, on his own discretion, moved for an OSC (Order To Show Cause) ordering the presentation of proof that the grievances on the complaint had the value of $25,000 or more. The court found in our favor and retained the case in the “Unlimited Jurisdiction.” Mysteriously, Judge Hunt was unceremoniously transferred some time after. One day his court was there, the next day it was cleared out and a new judge was installed. One of the first matters that Judge Randall Sherman heard was a “Motion For Reclassification” filed by Staples. It was a rehash of the OSC seeking that our case to be moved down to the Limited Jurisdiction. We pointed out to the court that the matter had already been settled and sought “stares decisis,” a legal theory allowing a previous decision to stand. The court ruled unfavorably, and transferred the case to the “Limited Jurisdiction.”
Around June 2015 the hard drive on the HP laptop mysteriously failed, further hampering the case work. The hard drive was brought to the Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo where it was diagnosed as having experienced “catastrophic failure.” It was subsequently sent to Seagate Technologies, the manufacturer. Since the drive was essentially inoperable, the digital data had to be extracted by special procedure at their facilities. The price quoted was $1400. Considering that my income for the previous 12 months (2013) was only $2400, it was quite an obstacle.
Around the end of September 2015, a letter was sent to the counsel of Staples requesting a copy of the hard drive that they had imaged. The intention was to try to recover as much case related information from the time the drive was imaged. In reply, they filed a “Motion For Summary Judgment” knowing that the information required to respond properly was not available until the information in their possession was provided. The matter was heard on the 18th of December 2015. An order granting “Defendant’s Motion For Summary Judgment” was entered on the 17th of December 2015. We are currently awaiting the “Notice of Ruling” from opposing counsel who now realizes this case will go to the appellate court, among other things, on the basis of their frivolous motion.
COUNTY OF ORANGE
This case is an example of how a person can be deprived his day in court. The flaws in the law and procedures, as well as, the judicial abuse will be specified on the federal action to be lodged against the California Judiciary. But, the most important of which was the court’s decision to dismiss the case under “vexatious litigator” statutes that was unconstitutional on its face. In essence, the ruling terminated the case after the court required me to post a bail of $5,000, an amount impossible to raise as an indigent. As a result, the case was defeated not on the substance of the case, but because of lack of resources. The error was in failing to have the defendants prove that the case will not prevail in court, which the defendant cannot. There was a tape that recorded my encounter with the Sheriff’s Department, all but proving that the trespassing charge was a pretended charge to bar me from using the library. The Aliso Viejo Library was, until that point, the most important resource for my work as a homeless litigator. Incidentally, the Sheriff’s Department and the Aliso Viejo Library are entities governed by the County of Orange, providing the motive. They were protecting their own.
THE KROGER COMPANY (RALPHS)
This case was about corporate espionage, the neighborhood grocer spying on its neighbors. It is a known fact that information stored digitally are easily accessed by a very crafty hacker. In a scheme to expose this, an entry was made on my personal journal that resided in my Microsoft OneDrive account. This was made after another store manager mentioned some pictures taken in the store that he described in detail, shocking me by confirming access to my digitally stored information. In a bait, an entry was made on my journal with the intention of exposing this. The entry spoke of me finding $25 on one of the self-serve machines and the moral and ethical that ensued. A day after the entry was made, one of the managers confronted me outside the store asking for the $25 that he claimed was left there by one of the employees. To allow him to dig himself deeper in the trap, every single cent in my pocket, less than the amount stated was given to him. Several days later this case was filed in court.
How this case will be won or lost hinges on the surveillance tape that would show exactly what happened. They were promptly requested for. First, through the counsel firm representing the company and then a “Request For Production.” When it was clear they weren’t going to produce the tape, a “Motion To Compel Production” was filed in court. In all, the same process of “Request For Production” and “Motion To Compel” were done twice to produce a record in court confirming bias. Twice the court ruled against our request, despite a tradition of liberality when it comes to discoveries. Because the tapes would have shown everything, it was absolutely central to our case.
In another mind-boggling series of decisions the case was dismissed after the court was persuaded that the wrong company was named on the First Amended Complaint (FAC). The defendant was renamed The Kroger Company, the signatory in all the agreements specific to the case. Defendant’s counsel insisted that he was there for “Hughes Market, Inc.” who has done nothing wrong. He insisted that his client should be named on the lawsuit and not Ralphs or Krogers. In a shocking turn of events, the case was dismissed because the court found that the wrong defendant was named. This was after two rounds of “Demurrers” and “Motion To Strike” which the complaint survived. There were also two rounds of “Motion To Compel Production” during the discoveries phase. The California Code of Civil Procedures provide for a “Motion To Quash” as a way to defeat a complaint that is defective on its face. However, it must be done before a Demurrer, and definitely before the round of discoveries.
The dismissal of this case is a clear example of bias and discrimination towards a group of people – the indigent litigator. This and others to be specified on the complaint will be the basis for a federal action against the California Judiciary, its judges, agents and employees who systematically violate our constitutionally guaranteed rights.
THE NEW ACCOMODATIONS
One of the best developments this year was the acquisition of a 2001 Toyota 4Runner. It was, essentially, donated by two of our supporters – sold by one of the Barnes & Noble managers at a deep discount ($550) and purchased by an old mortgage client. With the looming “El Nino” event and the rains that it is expected to bring, it came at the best time. In fact, the forecasts had portions of Southern California soaked with enormous amounts of rains for as yet unknown period of time.
The purchase of the car came with the understanding that there will be major repairs required, around $6,000 as quoted by her mechanic. This explains why the previous owner decided to purchase a new car instead. But, since the car was not going to be used for traveling, the repairs can be done in stages. The first on the list was the transmission, which required some fundraising. The experience was such an eye opener.
My fundraising effort was a simple attempt to raise money, approaching as many people who would lend me their ears. The area for the fundraiser was the parking lot between Ralph’s Supermarket and Barnes & Noble. Many of the people in the city may have seen me over the years and viewed me as part of the landscape – something of an unorthodox neighbor. They probably viewed my efforts as genuine and many were very generous. Within 6 days, the amount of over $1,000 was collected. And by the end of the month, the amount of $1,600 had been raised. This does not count gifts, other contributions or income from one-off jobs taken such as helping an acquaintance move in December.
It also showed the challenges faced by the FBI disruption team in the city. Disrupting or altering communication that is sent or received digitally is very easy, if not untraceable. Some of the people who were contacted digitally about my fundraising have yet to respond, which assumes they haven’t received the email or message sent via social media. However, speaking on-on-one with strangers and other people on the street is very difficult to manage for the FBI, unless they send a lot of their own people. In fact, in a short period of time that was exactly what they did in an effort to dissuade me. Many of them said that they were not interested, even before hearing what they were being asked contributing for. Some were uncommonly rude, wearing garb identifying them as undercover FBI agents.
My approach caught the FBI Disruption Team by surprise. By the time the orders went out to stop supporting my efforts, many of their own people trying to maintain a friendship with me had already pledged money. Some had to make uncomfortable excuses flashing the “gun” sign to let me know that they were ordered to stop – that it wasn’t their decision to make. Another gentleman went out to the parking lot and said in front of a prospective contributor that my repairs have already been paid for, to stop my efforts. He wanted me to send it a shop of his choosing, without me knowing who these people are or what the terms are. In fact, they could hold my car hostage for non-payment of a repair bill. Like all the people who had already pledged to me and reneged, he could come up with an excuse, some unforeseen emergency rescinding his offer to help after my car was already worked on. If his intentions were genuine, my car is already sitting in front of Pep Boys ready for repairs to proceed. All he needed to do is give them a credit card. Naturally, he wouldn’t.
Another gentleman, who always offers me coffee in the evening before my sleeping hour, said adamantly that the quote was bullshit! “Transmissions only have 4 bolts,” and it was easy to replace. “How hard is that to do?” He gave me his email address asking me to email him so he can talk to his extensive network, who presumably can turn 4 bolts. He gave me a smile, saying, “We’ll take care of you.” The next time we bumped into each other, he was made to feel, in no uncertain terms, that he and his extensive network of bolt turners were not going to touch my vehicle. That all happened in a very quick minute.
PLANS FOR 2016
The Year 2015 was an agonizing year of waiting, to allow the resolution or expected irresolution of our cases in the California Superior Courts. All of that needed to happen before a civil rights complaint is filed in the US District Court invoking protections under the US Constitution.
We have known all along that the entire California court system is hostile towards self-represented litigants. In fact, they view pro per and pro se litigants as a clog in the court’s molasses moving system that should actively be routed and weeded out. Many of the rules and procedures are tilted in favor of lawyers and law firms that many cases filed by self-represented parties are not determined on the substance, but on procedural grounds. An overwhelming percentage are lost because of lack of money and resources despite clear showing of legitimate injuries. The best that judges can tell a nervous knee-knocking self-represented party who stands before him or her is that they cannot help because they have to remain impartial. That is reasonable if to deflect a responsibility to ensure substantial justice. Often times they would be just as happy getting what they view as junk cases prepared by a regular schmoes out of their courtrooms.
2016 brings the year where the real work begins and the California Judiciary is sued for creating and encouraging a culture that results in injustice. There will be two initial cases. First, there is the case against the California Judiciary for violations under 42 USC § 1983 (Civil rights violations under the color of law). Second, there is the case against the FBI under 18 USC § 1961, Civil RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization). Another case is currently being considered against several social media companies, if for no other reason other than to show their complicity with FBI designs that result in the deprivation of our First Amendment Rights, specifically our freedom of speech and our right to receive them without delay, disruption, manipulation, omission and tampering of information from the free market of ideas.
What a year 2016 will, or will not, be. From our vantage point, it is looking quite promising so far.