Parsa Law Group / PARSA LAW GROUP CAUGHT IN FRAUD & LIES IN COURT-Consumer Advocate Appeals
CONSUMER ADVOCATE FILES APPEAL IN PARSA LAW GROUP ACTION: Violations of Prior Restraint & Due Process, Malicious Prosecution, and a $605, 000 Award on an Indigent Defendant Whom the Court Won’t Even Allow to Speak on Behalf of the Action
Parsa Law Group, APC v. Bad Biz Finder and Erin Baldwin
Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2009-[protected]
On June 2, 2009, Erin Baldwin, whom the Court failed to recognize as a Defendant authorized to speak on behalf of the action, was ordered to pay Parsa Law Group $605, 000 for her alleged actions amounting to defamation. However, 15 days earlier, the Court denied Parsa’s Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order because Parsa failed to prove a case for defamation.
Are we crazy or does this sound all wacked out? What’s wrong with this picture? A lot. So, Baldwin filed an Appeal on September 2, 2009 and we wanted to share with you the grounds of the Appeal.
To Plaintiff, PARSA LAW GROUP, APC, and to PARSA LAW GROUP’S Attorneys of Record, Eric J. Goodman, Esq.; David A. Berstein, Esq., and Nicholas D. Myers, Esq. of Burkhalter, Kessler, Goodman & George LLP:
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Defendant, ERIN K. BALDWIN, an Individual, files a Notice of Appeal on the following grounds:
1. On May 18, 2009, The Honorable Judge Franz Miller, in his tentative ruling on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order in this matter, astutely and correctly identified that Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant Baldwin contained prior restraint issues and that said issues should be considered.
2. On May 18, 2009, The Honorable Judge Franz Miller denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order against Defendants Bad Biz Finder and Erin Baldwin, as Plaintiff failed utterly to state a cause of action for defamation. Defendant Bad Biz Finder posted articles containing facts about Plaintiff, supported by California State licensing agencies and Civil Code authority. The facts were embarrassing to Plaintiff. The facts made available to consumers in foreclosure by Defendant Bad Biz Finder’s blog adversely affected Plaintiff’s ability to conduct business in violation of the law. Defendant Baldwin has a right guaranteed by the First Amendment to Constitution of the United States to publish said facts anonymously without prior restraint . This right was violated in this action.
3. The law also states that truth is an absolute defense against defamation. Plaintiff never once even attempted to dispute the validity of facts presented on Defendant Bad Biz Finder’s blog, and in its inability to do so failed to form a prima facie case for defamation. Judge Miller correctly denied Plaintiff’s request for an injunction against Defendants as Plaintiff’s pleadings did not argue the merits. Rather, the pleadings merely re-printed the text of the articles written on Defendant Bad Biz Finder’s blog claiming the content was defamatory but failed to state any basis of law to support its claims.
4. On May 19, 2009, Defendant Erin Baldwin informed the Court that she was indigent and therefore “judgment proof” by way of a faxed submission of an Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs. On the same date, Latesha in Civil Operations rejected the Application stating on the “Fax-Filing Reject Form”: “We are unable to file this fee waiver because a business can’t file for a fee waiver so I will charge the credit card for $13.00. If you have any questions please call [protected] and ask for Latesha. Thank you.”
5. On May 19, 2009, Latesha forwarded the rejected Application to Stacie Turner, Judge Miller’s Clerk in Department C-14 with a note to Ms. Turner requesting that she forward the “Fax-Filing Rejection” form to Defendant Baldwin. Ms. Turner held on to the rejected application until May 29, 2009, the date originally set by Plaintiff for the Default Prove-up hearing.
6. On May 29, 2009, Defendant Baldwin called and spoke with Stacie Turner in Department C-17 to find out the outcome of the hearing. It was at that time that Ms. Turner informed Defendant Baldwin that the Default Prove-Up Hearing had been continued to Tuesday, June 2, 2009. Plaintiff did not notice Defendants regarding the continuation. If Plaintiff had properly noticed Defendants, there would have been no reason for Defendant Baldwin to call to check the status of the hearing.
7. Defendant Baldwin later found out that the date for the Default Prove-Up hearing had been continued due to the fact that Plaintiff’s Request for Entry of Default (Court Judgment w/Judgment Package) had been rejected by the Court on May 28, 2009 due to numerous errors. At that time Defendant Baldwin inquired as to the status of her Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs. Latesha explained to Defendant Baldwin that Defendant Bad Biz Finder was the primary Defendant and that to date Defendant Baldwin had not been effectively added as a Defendant and as such, could not be considered for a fee waiver.
8. This was due in part to Plaintiff’s falsified and premature subpoena to Defendant Baldwin’s cable company, Time Warner, to attempt to identify a certain I.P. address as belonging exclusively to Defendant Baldwin to justify adding Defendant Baldwin to the action. Since Defendant Baldwin was a home Internet user without a computer server, the I.P. address is dynamic, not static. As such, it is impossible to match a broad range I.P. address to any given person or person’s account. However, Plaintiff’s counsel repeatedly used this false information to maliciously prosecute Defendant Baldwin.
9. Defendant Baldwin found it strange that Defendant Bad Biz Finder was the primary Defendant in the action since Defendant Bad Biz Finder had never been served with a Summons and Complaint. As well, Plaintiff had dismissed all causes of action against Defendant Beverly Sullivan and Does 1-10 on May 27, 2009. It didn’t make sense to Defendant Baldwin until July 14, 2009, when the Honorable Judge Franz Miller stated in his tentative ruling on Defendant’s Motion to Set Aside Judgment, etc., that he was “unclear if Baldwin has any authority to appear for Bad Biz.” [Now why would he state that five weeks after including Defendant Baldwin in a Judgment (jointly and severally) in the amount of 604, 515.66?]
10. Upon rejection of Plaintiff’s Request for Entry of Default (Court Judgment w/Judgment Package), the Civil Unlimited filing clerk told Defendant Baldwin that she recommended to Plaintiff to continue the matter out several weeks in order to have time to notice Defendant Baldwin and repair the errors. Notice was never made by Plaintiff, nor does the original hearing date (May 29, 2009) show up on the current court docket (it erroneously states that the hearing was continued from June 1, 2009 to June 2, 2009.) However, Defendant’s Motion for an Order Setting Aside Default, etc., was date stamped by the Court on May 27, 2009 with the correct hearing date of May 29, 2009 as it was Defendant’s intention to have the Motion considered prior or in conjunction with the Default Prove-up Hearing. [Please note that Judge Miller also stated in his July 14, 2009 tentative ruling on the Motion, that said Motion was “timely brought.”]
11. On June 2, 2009, fifteen (15) days after The Honorable Judge Franz Miller denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order against Defendants Bad Biz Finder and Erin Baldwin --- the Honorable Judge Franz Miller supported, granted and allegedly signed a Default Judgment By Court With Permanent Injunction against Defendants Bad Biz Finder and Erin K. Baldwin. The order stated, in part:
“IT IS SO ORDERED that Plaintiff have and recover Judgment from Defendants Bad Biz Finder, an unknown entity, and Erin K. Baldwin, an individual and doing business as Bad Biz Finder, jointly and severally: (1) In the principal sum of $604, 515.66 plus interest thereon at the rate of ten (10%) percent per annum from June 2, 2009; and (2) Costs pursuant to CCP section 1033.5 in the amount of $976.76.”
12. Additionally, on the same date that the Honorable Judge Franz Miller allegedly signed the above-referenced Court Order (June 2, 2009), Judge Miller’s Courtroom Clerk, Stacie Turner, was in possession of Defendant’s Motion for Order Setting Aside Default as to all Defendants, Request for Dismissal with Prejudice, and Award of Monetary Damages and had been so since May 27, 2009 when it was date stamped by the Court. However, for some reason, it was not presented to the Court for consideration prior to Judge Miller’s Order of Default Judgment. Had it been so presented, the Court Order would be moot. as a Default Judgment could not have been entered.
13. On June 2, 2009, Ms. Turner mailed to Defendant Baldwin the rejected Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs and Resubmit Request sent to her by Latesha on May 19, 2009. In the same package she included Defendant’s original Motion for Order Setting Aside Default as to all Defendants, Request for Dismissal with Prejudice, and Award of Monetary Damages date stamped on May 27, 2009, along with her handwritten note (date stamped June 2, 2009) stating: “Obtain legal counsel to properly file your motion, or a paralegal to assist.” Ms. Turner’s unique penmanship on the handwritten note matched the unique penmanship on the above-referenced Court Order allegedly signed by the Honorable Judge Franz Miller.
14. Additionally, on the same date that the Honorable Judge Franz Miller allegedly heard arguments by Plaintiff at 11:30 a.m. and signed the above-referenced Court Order (June 2, 2009), regular judicial activity was suspended at Central Justice Center of the Orange County Superior Court due to an electrical power outage affecting the entire facility. On June 2, 2009, the Clerk of the Court informed Defendant Baldwin that no one was let in to the Courthouse until approximately 2:30 p.m. that day. However, Plaintiff’s counsel claim that they were heard before the Honorable Judge Franz Miller and that the Court Order was signed and submitted that day.
15. The Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs was quickly resubmitted by Defendant Baldwin and granted by the Court on June 4, 2009 as was the minor address correction on the Motion to Set Aside Default, etc.
16. On July 13, 2009, with her last few dollars Defendant Baldwin traveled by bus to file a Reply to Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Set Aside Default, etc. At the same time she personally visited Department C-17 and requested information from Ms. Turner about how to appear telephonically for the July 14, 2009 hearing. Defendant Baldwin was instructed to call Court Call in the morning at [protected] or visit www.courtcall.com for more information. Ms. Turner did not instruct Defendant Baldwin that she would need a printout of the fee waiver approval from the Department even though Ms. Turner knew that it was required to appear telephonically.
17. Later that day, on July 13, 2009, Defendant Baldwin contacted Court Call to make the arrangements and was asked to fax a written acknowledgment that the Court had approved the fee waiver. Since Defendant Baldwin had only hours earlier appeared personally in Department C-17 and had not been provided with said acknowledgment, she telephoned Ms. Turner and requested that she provide an authorization to Court Call on Defendant Baldwin’s behalf. Ms. Turner informed Defendant Baldwin that she would have to come back to the Court and pick it up and then fax it herself. Defendant Baldwin explained that she had just spent her last few dollars traveling to the Court to file the Reply and seek information to appear telephonically because she could not afford to come back on the bus the next day. Ms. Turner refused to assist Defendant Baldwin and informed Defendant Baldwin, “This is a court of law, we don’t do favors for anyone.” Consequently, Defendant Baldwin could not appear personally or telephonically at the Motion hearing.
18. On July 14, 2009, the Honorable Judge Franz Miller stated in his tentative rulings on Defendant’s Motion to Set Aside Judgment, etc., that he was “unclear if Baldwin has any authority to appear for Bad Biz.” Defendant Baldwin found that statement odd when five weeks earlier, Judge Miller had signed an Order granting Plaintiff judgment against Defendants Bad Biz Finder, an unknown entity, and Erin K. Baldwin, an individual and doing business as Bad Biz Finder, jointly and severally.” Why would Judge Miller be unclear as to whether Defendant Baldwin has any authority to appear for Defendant Bad Biz Finder when he set down on paper that she was jointly and severally responsible for paying Plaintiff over $600, 000 defining Defendant Baldwin as an individual doing business as Bad Biz Finder?
19. Defendant Baldwin is an in pro per litigant due to an inability to finance legal representation. She is not representing herself because she disrespects the Court, nor because she cannot comprehend the seriousness of the matter at hand or its consequences to her personal security or financial future. Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel have taken advantage of this fact for almost nine months beginning with its first complaint dated January 26, 2009 and in fact, has compounded the injustice by encouraging others to hire their firm to “go after her, ” since they were successful in obtaining a $605, 000 judgment on behalf of Plaintiff Parsa Law Group. To date, two other law firms that were also the subject of reports on Defendant Bad Biz Finder’s blog have hired Plaintiff’s counsel and have filed very similar actions against Defendants Bad Biz Finder and Erin Baldwin. (See: Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2009-[protected]-CU-DF-CJC, Jeffrey A. Cancilla vs. Erin K. Baldwin filed July 13, 2009, and Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2009-[protected]-CU-BT-CJC, Traut Law Group vs. Bad Biz Finder, filed July 20, 2009.)
20. On September 2, Judge Franz Miller allowed all cases to be joined together as related cases all to be heard by him. He also issued a Bench Warrant for Erin Baldwin’s arrest and set bail for $5, 000 because Defendant Baldwin did not attend an Order to Show Cause Re Contempt even though Judge Franz Miller has already stated that she is not affiliated with this case even to the point that she cannot speak on behalf of Bad Biz Finder.
21. Prior to the above-referenced law firm cases, Plaintiff’s counsel also took on another client, Defendant Baldwin’s landlord, Colorado-based publicly-traded Landlord/REIT, UDR, Inc., in yet ANOTHER action for Defamation against Baldwin filed on June 29, 2009, less than two weeks after UDR illegally evicted Baldwin after a six month court battle. On June 16, 2009, until the present, Defendant Baldwin has been homeless and yet Plaintiff’s counsel continues its relentless pursuit amounting to malicious prosecution.
22. Beginning with Judge Miller’s observation that prior restraint issues exist in this case, Defendant Baldwin has faced an uphill battle against Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel, Burkhalter, Kessler, Goodman & George, LLP. Defendant files this Notice of Appeal to clear her name, the Judgment illegally obtained, and to dismiss the other frivolous lawsuits brought exclusively to intimidate and quiet her.
23. Defendant Baldwin’s constitutional rights to free speech, free press without prior restraint, and due process of the law have been violated. Plaintiff’s counsel has repeatedly used its legal status to intimidate and threaten the media and press to its advantage further violating the liberties granted to Defendant Baldwin under the First Amendment of the United States of America. Despite all attempts by Defendant Baldwin to mount a rigorous defense on her own behalf, the law behind this matter seems to have been ignored and replaced by unconscionable, unethical and illegal proceedings.
24. This entire action and the actions brought after are a travesty of injustice and in order for the wrongs against Defendant Baldwin to be corrected, the arguments must be heard. It is for these reasons and others to be brought before the Court of Appeals that Defendant Erin Baldwin files this Notice of Appeal.
Well, this should be interesting to watch. What do you think? Weigh in – give us your views.
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