It was a bizarre and unexpected end to a bizarre story — the Yom Kippur release of anti-tax crusader Richard Fine from County Jail where he was locked up pointlessly for coercive confinement for 18 months.
Judge David Yaffe backed down Friday afternoon and without a hearing or attorneys present issued a court order that basically says Fine must be crazy to have endured the pain and horror of jail for so long and to have fought so hard and at so much personal cost to expose the scandal of tens of millions of dollars in illegal payments to judges by LA County.
Yaffe’s order (Yaffe-Release-Order.rtf), obtained by Leslie Dutton whose Full Disclosure Network has championed Fine’s cause, represents both an attempt to quarrel intellectually with Fine and to dismiss him a nut case whose conduct is “bizarre…irrational…makes no sense.”
“It is becoming increasingly clear that Fine’s conduct is irrational. Fine has always had the key to his own jail cell. He has elected to give up his freedom for 18 months in order to keep a judgment creditor from collecting a $50,000.00 judgment.
“He refuses to even discuss his obligations to the judgment creditor but portrays himself as a lone hero who is being incarcerated because he has exposed a vast conspiracy of over 400 judges of this court who are dishonestly collecting money to
which they are not entitled.”
Yaffe finally concludes:”Fine’s continued incarceration is a detriment to the public because Fine is using up jail space in an overcrowded jail, and may cause the release of persons who constitute a greater threat to the public than Fine does.”
Why it took Yaffe 18 months to determine Fine’s confinement does not serve “any useful purpose” is hard to understand unless you know the judge is regarded by attorneys who have appeared before him as erratic and often irrational in his decisions.
So I guess if Yaffe resorted in the end to self-justification by calling FIne crazy, it’s something he knows about — if only a juvenile name-calling excuse.
Maybe Fine is crazy, maybe everybody who fights for what they believe in is crazy.
That’s certainly the viewpoint of every repressive regime and of every oppressor in modern history. That’s why they use gulags, and prisons for the politically incorrect.
The legal standard for coercive confinement in a contempt of court case is five days in jail after which it is presumed the incarcerated will not back down. Yaffe exceeded that by 180 days.
There was never any question Fine would break. His whole life is marked by an obsessive passion for doing what he believe is right, fighting against illegal taxation and official abuses.
As Yaffe knows, the legal standard for insanity is knowing the difference between right and wrong. The question which deserves a proper judicial inquiry is whether Yaffe — not Fine — can tell the difference.