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"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten…History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."

- George Orwell, “1984”

Can’t afford a court reporter? Too bad. From now on, there will no longer be a transcript of your Los Angeles Family Law case. Want to record your hearing, just so you can document what was said? Don’t even think about it, unless you want to go to rot in jail.

No More Court Reporters

California Courts stopped providing court reporters in civil cases years ago. Now, effective November 2022, Los Angeles Superior Court will no longer provide court reporters in Family Law and Probate matters, where the vast majority of parties are self-represented and cannot afford to hire a court reporter, or pay for the resulting transcripts. The Court website says, “staffing shortages [of court reporters] persist despite new State funding.” [1]

Publishing Truth is a Crime

No problem, you might think. You could simply record the proceeding on your iPhone, right? Wrong. The Los Angeles Superior Court - as with most courts - has long had a policy prohibiting the recording or photographing of its proceedings, except by special permission. According to the Court’s website:

The purpose of the General Order Prohibiting the Use of Cameras or Recording Devices in the Courthouse is to protect the public, all parties involved in a case, and court personnel, and to facilitate the fair and orderly resolution of cases.

Prohibiting recording in court is to protect the public? Huh? Protect the public from what, exactly? A media blackout-whitewash will lead to a fair trial? Why would secrecy lead to a fair trial, when secret trials is the hallmark of totalitarianism. I call bullshit. They’re not protecting the public, they’re protecting themselves from the public.

If allowed, we (the independent press) would surely record and publish these crooked lawyers and judges doing what they do – allowing people to get away with stealing large sums of money, sending children to go live with known pedophiles, taking children away from kind and loving parents, accepting clear perjury as fact, ignoring the real evidence, and generally operating an extortion racket.

What’s Wrong With Recording ?

Under the First Amendment freedom of the press, prohibiting recording is illegal. Unfortunately, when they tacked on the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, they forgot an enforcement clause. It says the government can’t infringe your right to report the news, but so what if they do? In the Voluntaryist view, recording a court proceeding is allowable, because it doesn’t represent the initiation of force.

Even if you believe in the legitimacy of government (I don’t), and even under the rules that the government made up, they are still not allowed to prohibit recording. The general rule of law is that photographing and recording people is allowed in society, so long as those people involved are not in a situation where they have a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” e.g. in their own home. [2]

By definition, any sort of trial is a public proceeding, in the public interest. Government officials have no reasonable expectation of privacy when they are acting in their so-called “official capacity.”

Neither do the parties have a right to privacy. If they did, then this would defeat the entire purpose of a public proceeding. So where in the hell does some Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, or any other courthouse, get off on the idea that they can prohibit recording?

The no-recording policy has been criticized by disabled parties, who sought and were denied permission to record court hearings for “note taking,” as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. [3]

Note-taking for disabled people is a fair argument, and of course people should be allowed to record for taking notes, whether disabled or not. What litigant wouldn’t benefit from being able to re-listen to what was said in court, to try to make sense of it? Still, the “note-taking” argument is secondary to main issue, which is to document the behavior of government officials.

The media blackout-whitewash of the court system has always been reprehsible, but latetly got even worse, because, effective November 2022, Family Law and Probate cases in L.A. will no longer provide a court reporter. [4] And at $500 / day, who can afford a court reporter? No court reporter means no transcript. No transcript + no recording means no documentation at all. Does this sound like a good idea for how to promote public confidence in the judiciary?

Between truth-tellers and liars, who wants to disallow recording?

Removing court reporters from Family Law and Probate comes after removing reporters from Civil court years ago, and is the continuation of the overall policy of destroying whatever accountability once may have existed. If there is no record of what went down, then they are free to re-write history as it serves them.

Public access to court proceedings is the essence of a free society, while conducting secret tribunals is the hallmark of totalitarianism. The wisdom of conducing trials in public should be obvious. If people have rights, and the Judge’s job is to uphold those rights, and the whole thing is supposed to be a search for truth and justice, then it follows that the public should be allowed to watch, listen and record. What better way is there to make sure officials don’t lie?

Have You Ever Heard of the Martin Luther King Conspiracy Trial ?

The O.J. Simpson murder trial was on TV, but the Martin Luther King government-conspiracy-to-murder trial was kept secret. In fact, you probably never even heard of the Martin Luther King conspiracy trial. Right?

Did you know that in 1999, a mixed-race jury in a Memphis, Tennesse civil lawsuit reached a unanimous verdict that King was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy involving the U.S. government? Ponder this question: Which is more important – the fact that a jury found the U.S. government conspired to assassinate King, or the fact that the trial wasn’t recorded and wasn’t on national news?

Here we have a man – Martin Luther King – for whom there is a federal holiday. In 1999, well into the era of the 24-hour news cycle, a trial takes place in which it is alleged that the U.S. government conspired to murder him. And then a jury unanimously finds that yes, in fact, King was murdered in a government conspiracy. And this is not news? Really? Other than the government having total control of the news media, can you think of another explanation for the blackout-whitewash of the Martin Luther King conspiracy trial? It’s about controlling information so as to control your mind.

Ever wonder why they don’t usually allow videos of court hearings? Think about it: Why is there even such a thing as a courtroom sketch artist? When they do allow a case to be televised - like the O.J. Simpson case, or the more recent murder trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, or the defamation case of Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard - what changed their minds? Why do they allow certain, rare cases to be recorded, when most are not? If the prohibition on recording exists to “protect the public,” why did they not protect the public in those cases just mentioned?

Why does the Judge in each case have the power to allow or disallow recording, as opposed to the public having a right to know? Wasn’t the First Amendment intended to “protect the public?”

Obviously, the reason for prohibiting recording, and for getting rid of court reporters is that they want to tightly control the evidence leaking into the public sphere, especially the evidence of their own wrongdoing. They didn’t mind showing us O.J., Chauvin and Depp because the Judges knew going in that these trials would not require any major breeches of civil rights.

In term of the ability to influence public perception, a video is way more powerful than a mere description. The proverbial picture is worth a thousand words. Would Derek Chauvin have been convicted of murder if there was no video of him kneeling on George Floyd’s neck? Would Rodney King [5] have been able to successfully sue the L.A. Police Department if there had been no video of the roadside beating?

You’ve Seen Derek Chauvin Killing George Floyd, But What About Phillip Brailsford Killing Daniel Shaver?

You’ve heard of police officer Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd, but have you ever heard of police officer Phillip Brailsford killing Daniel Shaver? There is body-cam footage of Officer Brailsford shooting and killing the completely innocent Shaver in a hotel hallway, while Shaver was on his knees, terrified, complying with all police commands. [6]

While this video exists, in was released to the public only after the murder trial, where Brailsford was acquitted, and where the entire video footage was not shown to the jury. [7]

My point is about controlling the evidence. When they want you to get upset, and form an opinion that someone is bad, they might release that recording, or allow cameras in the courtroom. But that’s because they know ahead of time which cases are safe to publicize, and which ones must be covered up.

Making huge news about the White Derek Chauvin murdering the Black George Floyd and promotes the idea that we must take steps to cure “systemic racism.” This serves the totalitarian agenda. But the White Phillip Brailsford killing the White Daniel Shaver leads only to the conclusion that police can be murderous thugs, regardless of race. That does not serve the totatlitarian agenda, so that story is not told.

California Courts Easily Meet the Definition of Secret Trials

Technology has now made it quite inexpensive to livestream. If it’s OK to watch people playing World of Warcraft, surely it’s OK to watch people litigating their damn divorce. And yet, no. According to Wikipedia, secret trials have been a characteristic of almost every dictatorship of the modern era.

A secret trial is a trial that is not open to the public or generally reported in the news, especially any in-trial proceedings. Generally, no official record of the case or the judge's verdict is made available. Often there is no indictment. The accused is usually not able to obtain the counsel of an attorney or to confront witnesses for the prosecution, and the proceedings are characterized by a perceived miscarriage of justice to the benefit of the ruling powers of the society. [8]

Sounds like Family Court to me. This definition of secret trials fits perfectly on what is happening in California. Child Welfare cases are closed to the public, supposedly to protect the privacy of the children involved. I don’t believe that for one second.

Child Welfare cases are an abomination, where children are taken away immediately by CPS, then parents must try to prove their innocence to get their kids back. Typically, the Court will next offer a “reunification plan”, where the parent has to sign what amounts to a confession of guilt. If that is not kidnapping and extortion, what is?

Family Law, Probate and Civil cases are technically open to the public, but for all intents and purposes are top secret as well. Most hearings are conducted by video conference these days, but the public are not allowed.

And almost none of the important happenings in the Court system ever get reported on the news. For instance, did you know that in California, a child welfare report is automatically admissible evidence, even though it is hearsay? The social worker who prepared the report cannot, in most instances, be cross-examined, or even made to testify at all. [9]

All Child Welfare Proceedings are Show Trials

This “law,” know as WIC 355, is so blantantly unconstitutional I hardly know where to begin. We are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and permitted to confront our accuser.

Moreover and worse, whatever is in such a child welfare report automatically becomes “competent evidence”, i.e. the “truth,” sufficient to take a child away from the parents. [10]

Why even have a trial at all? The government can literally come to your house, take your kid, force you to fight in court, and produce a “report” that cannot be questioned and automatically becomes the truth. Does this sound like a free country? It sure doesn’t to me.

Continuing with the definition of secret trials, with no recordings and cost-prohibitive court reporters, where is the record of the proceedings? In many cases, it’s nowhere.

And what about the right to an attorney, or to a jury trial? Supposedly those are constitutional guarantees, right there in the Sixth and Seventh Amendments. Guess what? The Sixth and Seventh Amendments are bullshit. Total, unadulterated, stinking-from-a-mile-away bullshit. Family Court certainly offers the possibility of criminal penalties, such as losing custody of your children, or getting a domestic violence restraining order, or going to jail for inability to pay child support. And yet, there is no jury, and no right to an attorney.

This is exactly how totalitarian regimes get away with it. They pretend to offer a “justice” system, but the reality is something very different. Folks, they are seizing what is important to you – your kids, your house, your job, your freedom – and holding it hostage. They know you will fight, so you’re willing to pay almost any amount of money to try to get your life back.

And pay you will.

The net result is the destruction of the family, the destruction of your wealth, and the destruction of truth itself. George Orwell isn’t fiction any more.


This blog post is excerpted from the upcoming book / audiobook "Railroading, Stonewalling & Gaslighting" by Alexander C. Baker, J.D.


[1] See [2] See [3] See [4] See [5] For millenials, Rodney King is no relation to Martin Luther King [6] See [7] See [8] See [9] On Its Face, Welfare and Institutions Code § 355 (c)(1)(C) Violates the Confrontation Clause By Automatically Admitting Hearsay Evidence of Peace Officers, Health Practitioners, Social Workers, and Teachers. [10] Under WIC § 355, “a social study prepared by the petitioning agency, and hearsay evidence contained in it, is admissible and constitutes competent evidence upon which a finding.”


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