|PERVASIVE CORRUPTION OF THE COURT IN S. LOUIS MARTIN V. GOOGLE, INC.—
"Big Ape" Judges Take Their Cue from Pinocchio
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offense’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law. But ’tis not so above.
(Act 3, Scene 3, "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare)
Introduction: Judges As Liar Politicians
There may be some better illustration of the corruption of the court than in the case of S. Louis Martin v. Google, Inc. Probably William Shakespeare knew of it, probably Charles Dickens, probably Carlo Collodi, and probably the various authors of the Bible. But it is hard to imagine a better example in modern times. When Google "disappeared" CoastNews.com so that Google could replace the top-ranked search results of CoastNews.com with unmarked, paid-for ads, Google violated both antitrust and fair-business law. Moreover, Google's action deceived the public, which had the expectation that it was viewing unbiased search results; that is, the public expected, for example, that a search for a painkiller or a cancer medication would return the best, or at least some viable, medication, not one of a pharmaceutical company that had paid the most to have its medication appear.
(For the complaint, see: http://www.coastnews.com/google/google-complaint-new-2.html; for a table of contents for the case see http://www.coastnews.com/google/case-contents.html)
Martin objected vigorously to the disappearance of CoastNews.com, a website that provides feature articles, photos, and portraits of three sister cities, San Francisco, Paris, and Shanghai. Behemoth Google did not budge, so Martin filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in San Francisco. But Martin was warned upfront by Google that he would just end up paying them money; that is, he would be the victim of the court as well as Google. But he didn't believe that. The legal system was fundamentally fair, right? And it was obvious who had wronged whom.
Oh, what a naive person Martin was back then! Sure, he had been cheated by landlords before, but the legal system was surely a cut above a greedy landlord withholding your deposit after you had tirelessly cleaned up an apartment, right? Read on!
Google, in conjuction with the court, used California's Anti-SLAPP law (Anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, ccp 425.16) to cripple Martin's complaint. It purports to prevent lawsuits discouraging "political participation," but in fact it is used to prevent lawsuits against businesses, typically lawsuits by individuals or small businesses against large ones. It allows a judge to toss out a lawsuit so that it never sees the light of day. Now, keeping that in mind, enter the realm of the ultra unreal: Imagine small-business owner S. Louis Martin being able to muzzle tech-giant Google's "political participation."
Here are the details, all of which can be seen in the court docket (case 539972, Superior Court of San Francisco). Google, which wrote Judge Ernest Goldsmith's order granting the motion to strike (13 November 2014), stated that Martin failed to file an opposition to its motion to strike the case. Martin did file an opposition to striking the case (see http://www.coastnews.com/google/the-case-for-continuing.html); it is in the court docket. But in fact no opposition is required by ccp 425.16. What is required is that the judge determine if there is a probability that Martin could prevail in such a lawsuit.
The law states this:
(b)(1) A cause of action against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person's right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue shall be subject to a special motion to strike, unless the court determines that the plaintiff has established that there is a probability that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim.
Goldsmith did nothing whatsoever to determine this. He did not even read the pleadings filed by Martin, and in fact suppressed five out of seven of them from public view without explanation. Moreover, he did not ask a single question of Martin. He did not "think" or "judge." He simply made the decision to perjure himself.
On 19 November 2014, the docket shows an entry of judgment as filed, but in fact no judgment was filed by the court. Only the strike order was filed as the entry of judgment. Google failed to file the "proposed order," which is the "judgment" written by Google that Goldsmith would have signed had he gotten it.
Martin then filed (10 December 2014) a motion to vacate the strike order, which was written by Google and for which Judge Goldsmith failded to determine if Martin had a chance of prevailing as required by 425.16 (b)(1). Nevertheless, the motion to vacate was denied by Judge Goldsmith on 3 February 2015.
The presiding judge of the court, John Stewart, noticed the erroroneous entry of judgment on 8 April 2015 and ordered Google to file the "proposed order." On 16 April 2015 Google complied and filed the "proposed order" (judgment), and on 23 April 2015 this Google-written "proposed order" showed up in the docket as the entry of judgment.
On 30 April 2015 Martin filed a motion to vacate the judgment, and on 29 June 2015 the motion was denied by Judge Joseph Quinn, with Google writing the order denying the motion and stating falsely that Martin failed to address ccp 663, which states the requirements for vacating a judgment. Martin did in fact address ccp 663; the transcripts of the court proceedings show that Martin exhaustively addressed ccp 663. In court Quinn listened to Martin benignly and silently, as the ape-judge listened to Pinocchio in the town called Trap for Blockheads; then, without asking a single question, Quinn signed the order written by Google. Unlike poor Pinocchio, Martin was spared jail time for his request for justice.
A Commission That Has Not Read Its Charter
What kind of justice is served when defendants are allowed to write their own judgments, and the judgments they write clearly contain lies? In short, Google's "gilded hand" was able to shove aside justice. And when a complaint was filed with the Commission on Judicial Performance, Martin was told by letter:
Your complaint addresses, in part, legal rulings made by a judge. Ordinarily, individual rulings are not a basis for review by this commission ...
This is simply false. The California Code of Judicial Ethics states this:
A judge shall uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
A judge shall perform the duties of judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently.
Signing orders or judgments written by defendants that contain clear and obvious lies violates both these canons. No judge with integrity would do so; only a judge lacking integrity and impartiality would do so. Moreover, the motivation is transparent: political favoritism and financial gain. Neither of these judges judged by any reasonable definition of the word "judgment"; they simply knowingly signed false statements made by the defendant. Signing a false statement written by a defendant is not a judgment; it is a decision to perjure oneself.
The Commission goes on to state:
Even a judicial decision or administrative act later determined to be incorrect is not a violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics and is not misconduct.
The Commission seems unable to distinguish between an actual decision made by a judge and blatant corruption: knowingly signing a false statement. With the "decision" written by Google, the only decisions made by Goldsmith and Quinn were to engage in acts of corruption by publishing false statements. Clearly, decisions made to engage in corruption violate canons 1 and 3 of the ethical rules established by the California Supreme Court.
Those rules define integrity this way:
"Integrity" means probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character.
Does copying a lie written by a defendant and publishing it as a judgment sound like integrity?
And consider these definition related to the word "impartial":
"Impartial," "impartiality," and "impartially" mean the absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, as well as the maintenance of an open mind in considering issues that may come before a judge.
Again, does publishing known lies as judgments accord with these definitions of the California Supreme Court?
In short, these judges did not judge: They did not use their minds to weigh arguments and determine the truth; they published known falsehoods. They did not behave as judges; they behaved as conspirators or colluders. These judges were of the "big ape of the gorilla tribe" variety as described by Carlo Collodi in "Pinocchio." Their lies not only had long noses, they had short legs as well. It is rumored that both Goldsmith and Quinn had to be carried to freight elevator doors to exit the court following hearings, as their lies were catching up with them so rapidly and their long noses prevented them from using the regular doors. Moreover, it was said that by the time Goldsmith got to his car, he had already grown donkey ears and was braying loudly.
Appeals Denied, Justice Mocked
Martin filed an appeal, which was scrutinized by the clerks of the court, then accepted. He was then given a timeline for filing the Opening Brief and Appellant's Appendix, both lengthy documents that Martin filed well before they were due.
(The Opening Brief, viewable here http://www.coastnews.com/google/opening-brief-6-PDF.pdf, was 59 pages; the Appellant's Appendix, viewable here http://www.coastnews.com/google/record-1.pdf, was 170 pages.)
Google filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, and also requested an extension on its response to the Opening Brief if its motion to dismiss it were not granted. The motion for the extension was accepted by the presiding judge in the case, Anthony Kline, the day it was filed, allowing no time for Martin to file an opposition.
Martin filed an oppostion to the extension anyway, noting that it violated CRC 8.63 (a) (1), (2), and (3), and (b) (1) and (2); and no "good cause" was shown for granting it. Just two days after Martin's opposition was filed, Judge Anthony Kline dismissed the appeal—eight days before the court's response was due. The dismissal appeared to be retaliation for the opposition to the extension. Moreover, the reasons given for the dismissal reflected no real thought (judgment) on the part of the court in the matter. It was simply a "write-through"—a journalistic term for a news story that is a paraphrase of a press release—of a small section of Google's motion. This was nothing but hack journalism on the part of Kline, another "big ape of the gorilla tribe."
Google's motion, based on precedent, not rule of law, was a convoluted argument that the real or applicable date of the "judgment" (written by Google) in the Superior Court was not the date shown in the court records (23 April 2015). It claimed that Martin's appeal was "untimely" despite the fact that the court clerks found it to be timely based on rule of law and the date shown in the docket. And because the court ruled the appeal untimely, it declined to hear it, stating that it was "not in its jurisdiction"—official-sounding words that tell the plaintiff and justice to get lost.
Thus all of Martin's appeal documents—all 229 pages of them!—were written in vain. This was a pretty good lesson on the futility of diligence and hard work, and it reminded Martin of what Charles Dickens once said about lawsuits:
It is better to suffer a great wrong than to have recourse to the much greater wrong of the law.
Had Martin known the game plan, he could have spared himself a lot of trouble. Also, nowhere in Google's motion to dismiss does Google mention that its 425.16-based Anti-SLAPP motion was filed late; that which had derailed the initial attempt to obtain justice was in fact "untimely," but the court chose to ignore that. Thus Martin's request for review was derailed by Google's trumped-up allegations of untimeliness, mimicked in the court's written "decision," while Google's real untimeliness was never considered. And while the stars did not fall out of the sky, it was said that the constellation Libra, representing Justice in ancient times, blushed for shame.
Appeals both to the California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court were denied without explanation, the courts' prerogative in almost any matter. The courts appeared to be working in lock-step with American Hero Google. During this same period, Google was losing similar antitrust cases around the world, indicating that Martin certainly did have a chance of prevailing in the lawsuit in Superior Court that both judges Goldsmith and Quinn "ruled" on.
Hacking Definition Depends on Who's The Hacker
During the course of the Superior Court proceedings, Martin reported that his computer was being hacked by Google. He presented a report based on the industry standard definition of hacking (RFC 7258 of the Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF); and he presented copious evidence in the form of Microsoft netstat files showing the time and date of multiple Google server attachments to his computer (53 TCP connections to Google servers on 12 December 2014).
(See http://www.coastnews.com/google/hacking-report.html and
In addition to being reported in court, the report was filed with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov), the cybercrime division of the FBI. Martin received no response. He filed again without a response. Martin thought cybercrime was considered a serious matter, so he telephoned the FBI in Washington, D.C., and was routed to the San Francisco office.
He was treated at best as if he were a crank, at worst as if he were a cyber criminal. Moreover, it was very clear the FBI had no intention of doing anything about the hacking complaint. After talking briefly to an agent, Martin stated to the agent that getting the FBI to take action sounded "hopeless." He was told to "work with your lawyer," or in other words get lost. But Martin had no lawyer. Because of the politically sensitive nature of the case, no lawyer would touch it. Two separate attempts by the Bar Association of San Francisco came up with not a single lawyer who smelled money or imagined glory in battling the giant.
None of this was fair, of course. If Google reported to the FBI that Martin was hacking one of its servers and presented the forensic evidence that Martin had presented to the FBI against Google, he would probably be in jail right now. But the situation was not just unfair; it was illegal. It is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that guarantees equal protection under the law (Equal Protection Clause). But that is rule of law; here we were dealing with reality and precedent, i.e., actual practice. In reality there was no equal protection under the law regarding equal protection under the law.
Some months later Martin decided to pay a visit to the FBI office in San Francisco. He wanted to hear their position in person. A search on the Internet showed it as located in the Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue. While Martin got through building security and was told that the FBI office was on the 16th floor, when he got to the 16th floor no FBI office could be found.
While looking for the office, a woman coming out of one of the federal courts on that floor, and observing Martin's perplexed look, asked him what he was looking for. He told her and she smiled. "I've had other people ask this. I don't know where it is. They are very secretive." She said she thought there might be a back door that went down to another floor. However, on the way out of the building, security told Martin that the FBI was indeed on the 16th floor but that Martin might need to make an appointment to actually see anyone. The mystery continues at the time of this writing.
A report filed with the state of California cybercrime group ("eCrime Unit" under the Attorney General's office) also got no response. While this group has an impressive charter, being "tasked with investigating and prosecuting" you name it, its lack of response to this complaint left Martin unimpressed. Apparently for this group too, cybercrime is a matter of who is hacking whom.
And while the hacking was initially reported to the Superior Court, it exhibited all the interest of a stone in a creek bed.
It appears that the response to cybercrime by law enforcement and the courts depends on who is the victim and who is the perpetrator, which makes Martin wonder: What if Martin had found a way to disappear google.com? And what if Martin claimed it was his First Amendment right to do so? Would the courts, from top to bottom, from small claims to the United States Supreme Court, have told Google to get lost? Not likely. Would they have called it "free speech" or criminal misbehavior?
Fake News, Fake Search Results, and Fake Justice
There is perhaps no better education on the justice system than directly experiencing its injustice; and in that sense, Martin got a fine education, graduating cum laude. And to get the full grasp of this, consider that his education actually began in small claims court on another matter.
As he was a frequent traveler before his business was disappeared by Google, Martin had rented a locker from Public Storage. It was an overhead locker that required a ladder to access the contents. But one day, returning from travel abroad, Martin visited his locker to retrieve certain items and found that either he had grown shorter or the ladder had been reduced in height.
While previously he was able to reach everything in his locker, he was now only able to reach things close to the door. Since his height had remained the same compared to other real-world objects, he concluded that the ladder was the culprit. As Public Storage offered no solution to the problem, other than renting a larger, more expensive ground-floor locker, Martin filed a complaint in small-claims court. He based damages on the date, told to him in hushed tones by a disgruntled Public Storage employee, when the height of the ladder had been lowered. Given the facts, winning seemed like a "piece of cake." But this was Martin's first experience filing a complaint in any court; in short, he was not "educated."
When Martin appeared in court along with the defendant, Martin had photographic evidence of the lowered ladder, along with the dollar amount of damages based on the date when the ladder was lowered. He also had bank statements backing up payments to Public Storage.
Defendant Public Storage did not challenge either the evidence or the dollar amount. The defendant even admitted that Public Storage had lowered the ladder to urge Martin to discuss renting a larger, ground-level locker at a higher price. And Judge Donald Mitchell even listened with what appeared to be sympathy for the plight of Martin, who was unable to retrieve most of his stored property. Having spotted a Royal Stetson hat in the rear of the locker in one of the photographs, Judge Mitchell went so far to ask the Public Storage representative, "How's the gentlemen supposed to get his hat?" The representative was awkwardly mum.
Thus Martin was surprised when, a week later, he got notice in the mail that he had lost the case. How could this be, he wondered. Was there ever a clearer case in the court system of wrong doing, minor as the matter was? Ah, Martin was now on his way to enlightenment. He had just met the "business-friendly" judge, a real eye-opener.
Now the curious might well ask: What does a judge get out of being business-friendly? Well, reelection campaign funding for one thing; for another, expensive junkets. The junkets are dubbed "educational seminars," and they are to exotic places to wine, dine, and unwind. For the unmarried judge, or the judge who does not bring his or her spouse along, unwinding may include some spicy, exotic pleasures that help liars with a conscience to forget. However, experts on the legal system say that few judges need to forget, as most are without consciences.
When Martin found his website, CoastNews.com, disappeared by Google he decided to file a lawsuit in small claims court. But he was pretty sure that if Mitchell were on the bench, he would lose no matter what the facts were. His previous experience with Mitchell had convinced him that the facts were of minimal importance in a court of law.
Martin discussed the matter with the San Francisco Bar Association, which suggested this: Appear in court but if bias were detected, let the case be dismissed, then file it in Superior Court. On the date of the hearing, Martin was happy to see that Mitchell was not on the bench that day. But he detected bias almost immediately from the alternate judge, a younger, more virile-looking man than Mitchell. The judge was friendly—very friendly!—to the young woman who showed up as the Google representative, smiling and thanking her for coming. He treated her as though she were a kind of celebrity, a hallowed Googlite from a sacred mountain from the top of which all things could be destroyed or made to disappear.
And Martin? There was no smile from the judge, no appreciation for Martin's presence. He felt like he was someone who had caused inconvenience, perhaps even great harm, to someone from a superior class of people; he was made to feel uncouth in the presence of the person from Google. How dare he challenge his betters? Martin the barbarian of the plains quickly announced that he was moving the case to Superior Court and left the court.
And there you have it: bias and preference at every step of the way, from small-claims court to the United States Supreme Court, with judicial lying no moral obstacle if it helped American Hero Google. In the case of S. Louis Martin v Google, Inc., it was simply procedural warfare at every step of the way for two years, with the letter of the law used at all times as a weapon to defeat the spirit of the law. Where was Portia to plead with these Shylock judges for mercy?
If someone had told Martin before filing his complaint that the courts were corrupt from top to bottom and that he would lose no matter what, he would not have believed them. Naiveté is now gone. If someone had told Martin that justice was only a theoretical concept, that in reality it took place in an absurd theatre of great-ape judges doing favors for clients who were also great apes, he would have fought them. "Can't be so," he would have said, adding, "We are a better people than that!" Now, fully enlightened, he would thank them for telling him the truth; and now he has all the evidence to show that justice is a great ape masturbating in public, not that evidence matters anymore. But in an era of fake news, and fake search results in the form of unmarked advertisements, fake justice should be no surprise. Martin can only hope that Claudius in Hamlet is right—"But ’tis not so above."
By Dr. S. Louis Martin