Paul Orfanedes, Litigation Director of Judicial Watch, Inc. appears in this 9-minute video blog update on the fate of Full Disclosure’s documentary feature covering Judicial Corruption in Los Angeles. The FDN documentary was banned by the L A Judges of the Superior Court, when they refused to let the closing statement to be recorded in a public courtroom. The documentary is now headed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where Judicial Watch, Inc., a public interest law firm, has filed a notice of Appeal.
Leslie Dutton, Producer of the documentary of entitled “The Cost of Courage “said “our movie was almost complete when the Judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court denied our application to use the empty courtroom to record the last scene where we intended to record a statement made by former U. S. Prosecutor Richard I Fine who was taken into custody in that very courtroom. Fine was held for 18 months in solitary coercive confinement in L A County Men’s Central Jail, without being charged or convicted of a crime. Read the Complaint here.
At issue in the controversy is whether or not the Presiding Judge Lee Smalley Edmon, Department 86 Judge Ann I. Jones and Superior Court Legal Counsel Brett Bianco could legally block the documentary from being recorded in the public courtroom when it was empty. Ironically, the Superior Court announced on Friday, June 15th that 52 courtrooms were being shut down due to budget cuts. On Monday, June 18th, U S. Judge Manuel Real dismissed the First Amendment lawsuit, claiming there was no First Amendment Right to access of a public courtroom. And on Friday June 22, Judicial Watch filed a notice of Appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.