RACINE DENIED RESTRAINING ORDER
“Liars Should Never Prevail”
On October 10, 2012, the Honorable Judge David S. Milton granted Dino M. Zaffina’s ex parte application to set aside the Civil Harassment Prevention Order (“Order”). This Order was inadvertently issued on September 28, 2012, because of Robert E. Racine’s misrepresentation to the Court. In light of the Court’s lack of personal jurisdiction over Zaffina and the lie told by Racine, the Court ordered the case DISMISSED.
Racine obtained the Order through fraud. He was not candid with the Court. Racine lied to the Court about Zaffina receiving notice of the action. In addition to all the false statements made by Racine in the written application for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”), Racine committed perjury on September 28, 2012, because he knew that Zaffina had never been served with the TRO that was also fraudulently obtained on August 21, 2012.
Zaffina is currently preparing a complaint to The State Bar of California (“State Bar”) against Racine for an unrelated matter, but based on Racine’s recent dishonest and criminal actions regarding this process, Zaffina intends on adding this information to the State Bar complaint. Moreover, Zaffina will be filing a complaint with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office (“DA’s Office”) regarding Racine’s perjury and is also preparing a lawsuit against Racine for numerous civil violations.
Zaffina was introduced to Racine in 1999 through Racine’s ex-wife, Dona Cassella. Cassella and Zaffina knew each other since in or about 1980. They both work in the Motion Picture and Television Industry.
After discovering that Zaffina was in law school and was also a licensed private investigator, she suggested that the two meet. Shortly after Zaffina and Racine met, Zaffina began clerking for Racine and his suite mate, David R. Fertig, Esq. Since Zaffina owned a private investigation firm, Racine and Fertig utilized his services for some of their cases.
Over the next 13-years, Zaffina remained close friends with both of these men, but spent more time around Racine. Racine often called Zaffina for service of process, since Zaffina has a 100% success record and Racine was in need of “difficult service” (i.e., defendants and witnesses who secrete themselves from process servers and Sheriffs).
Due to their friendship Zaffina always provided his services “pro bono.” Racine never had a problem with this arrangement, since he is not a person who is comfortable parting with money. During these 13-years, Racine represented Zaffina in “one” lawsuit which was filed against Twentieth Century Fox Corporation. This was an employment dispute and Racine held himself out to be an expert in this area of law.
The entire lawsuit lasted over 5-years, but shy of the 4-year mark, Racine quit. This is Racine’s modus operandi when the conditions of litigation get tough. Racine cowers and runs or he bullies his clients into a settlement. Zaffina took over the case, salvaged it from the damage Racine caused, and brought it to completion one year later in 2008 with the cooperation of two excellent defense lawyers for each of the respective defendants, and the assistance of an excellent mediator. The parties reached a compromise and the matter was settled for an “undisclosed” amount. Due to the settlement agreement’s confidentiality clause, Zaffina is unable to provide that amount.
Even though Racine withdrew as legal counsel, Zaffina still paid him the promised 50% of the proceeds. Zaffina was not legally obligated to pay Racine one cent because he quit, but since Zaffina is a man of his word, he paid Racine the entire 50% of the settlement amount. And, Racine had no reservations taking the money.
Less than one year later, Zaffina suffered a bad injury to his left foot while shopping in a Target due to a malfunctioning escalator. Zaffina made every good faith attempt with Target to resolve the matter diplomatically. All that was requested of Target was reimbursement of Zaffina’s medical bills in the amount of $4,375.84. Since Zaffina had not lost any work due to the injury, the only general damages requested were nominal. Zaffina attempted to resolve the entire matter for no more than $5,000.00, but the stubbornness of Target caused a litigation that lasted over one year. Arguably, Target expended approximately $250,000.00 to save $5,000.00. Everyone can do the math.
Zaffina brought this lawsuit to another diplomatic close with the assistance of the Court and the cooperation of a reasonable defense attorney. The parties reached a compromise and the matter was settled for an “undisclosed” amount. Due to the settlement agreement’s confidentiality clause, Zaffina is unable to provide that amount.
Even though Racine was not the lawyer of record for the Target matter, he did provide some minimal counsel to Zaffina (i.e., brainstorming legal strategy and proof reading some of Zaffina’s briefs). In light of Racine’s assistance, Zaffina offered to pay him 50% of the proceeds of the general damages recovered (i.e., anything above $4,375.84).
Zaffina kept his word; however, he gave Racine 100% of the general damages instead. Once again, Racine had no reservations taking the money.
Due to their friendship and past business relationship, Zaffina felt comfortable requesting Racine’s legal services for a corporation that Zaffina is President and CEO. Racine unequivocally agreed to represent the corporation.
Zaffina made numerous good faith attempts to avoid litigation, however, due to the unsophistication of most of the tortfeasors combined with their stubbornness to recognize the law, common sense, and logic, the litigation had to proceed. Racine was satisfied with his position representing the corporation, since he really had not devoted too many hours.
Racine was fine until in or about April 2012, after an unlawful and unconstitutional Order was issued by a federal court. This Order is on appeal before the United States Courts of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. In all the years that Zaffina has known Racine, he has noticed that Racine is not a big fan of judges; as a matter of fact, he has disdain for almost every judge that he has appeared before. After this recent ruling, Racine said to Zaffina, “You think that Courts follow the law? They do whatever they want. It doesn’t matter if you are legally right, this Judge bought their bullshit. You are so naïve.”
Racine is so disrespectful to judges. After the aforementioned federal Order, Racine advised Zaffina to violate the Order. His exact advice was, “If it were me, I would tell the Court to fuck off.”
Even though Zaffina was disappointed with the Court’s ruling, he knows that no level of disappointment can provide justification for such disrespect and violation of a Court’s Order.
Zaffina attempted to calm Racine down and told him to be serious. Racine replied, “I am serious, that is what I would do. I am advising you to violate the Order. You need to send a message.”
This was the beginning of several disagreements between Racine and Zaffina which ultimately resulted in Racine becoming a “5150” on July 13, 2012 (i.e., a person needing an Involuntary Psychiatric Hold—California Welfare and Institutions Code § 5150).
RACINE GOES ON A RAMPAGE
On July 13, 2012, Racine verbally attacked Zaffina and was derelict in his duty to the corporation for the second time. He refused to sign discovery responses that were due to be served no later than the next day. The first time that Racine was derelict in his duty was back on May 18, 2012, when he refused to sign the corporation’s Joint Status Report.
Based on Racine’s violations of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, the former dereliction almost caused the corporation’s case to be dismissed. And, the latter dereliction almost caused the corporation to waive its constitutional rights.
Racine became so enraged that he started acting like a raving loon. He had lost all sense of civility. Racine was having trouble concentrating and could not even hold a cordial conversation.
Immediately, Racine set out to destroy the corporation, his former client, and friend, Dino M. Zaffina. Racine was so mentally unstable he set forth an exorbitant amount of false claims within two different motions to withdraw as legal counsel; one for the state action and the other for the federal action.
Besides the fact that Racine’s briefs were totally false, he completely crossed over the line when he requested a restraining order from both Courts issued against Zaffina. Not only was Racine’s requests improper, but they were totally unnecessary. During the hearing in the state court on August 17, 2012, Racine was denied his restraining order. During the hearing in the federal court on August 20, 2012, Racine received another denial for that restraining order request.
After being shot down by two different courts from two different judicial systems of government, Racine, once again, attempted to obtain a restraining order in state court. This time he filed an application for a TRO. Racine sought this restraining order for the sole purpose of attempting to chill Zaffina’s constitutional right to free speech, including, but not limited to, filing a complaint with the State Bar, DA’s Office, and a lawsuit against Racine for malpractice among other causes of action.
Racine completed the application with allegations and accusations against Zaffina with mendacity. Every word written by Racine was 100% untrue. Racine fabricated all his concerns, the individuals that he was seeking protection for, and all the alleged previous threats of violence.
Either Racine deliberately provided the Los Angeles Superior Court with all of these falsehoods and signed the documents under penalty of perjury, or he believes what he wrote because of his mental illness and/or his drug abuse to marijuana and/or other narcotics. This latter theory is not that far fetched because Racine is supposedly a recovering Cocaine and Alcohol addict.
Based on the way Racine has lost it in state court recently, having to be verbally reprimanded by a male Court Clerk, and just recently lying to two different Superior Court judges, it is quite conceivable that Racine is suffering from a major mental breakdown and/or drug addiction.
RACINE DENIED A RESTRAINING ORDER
Prior to applying for the TRO, Racine was obligated to provide Zaffina with notice of the date and time that he intended on applying for the TRO, the location of the Court, and the department that would review and issue the TRO.
Racine did not comply with the law, but he lied on a form that was presented to the Court. He claimed that he notified Zaffina the day before on August 20, 2012, while the two were in federal court. This, however, is untrue. Racine never informed Zaffina. By his own admission he did not provide Zaffina with all the necessary information, so that Zaffina had an opportunity to respond and contest the TRO (i.e., the form is devoid of any of the pertinent information—location, department, date, and time). This is concrete evidence that Zaffina was not provided notice.
Next, Racine filed documents that were filled with 100% falsehoods. Racine inferably completed these judicial counsel forms with such lies and vitriol because he wanted to guarantee the issuance of the TRO and hopefully the Civil Harassment Prevention Order, and because he is such a cheap person, he wanted the $435.00 filing fee waived. To qualify for the fee waiver, Racine had to express previous actions of threats of violence against him and the threat of future harm, exceeding standard nasty words.
The allegations and accusations in these forms are repulsive and repugnant because they are untrue and because of the long-standing relationship between these two men. At minimum, this is circumstantial evidence that Racine is clearly a man that exhibits either mental illness, or a serious drug addiction, or both.
Since Racine failed to provide Zaffina proper notice of the TRO application, Zaffina was not afforded his constitutional right of due process to attend the hearing on the application, so that he could contest the issuance. Therefore, the Honorable Judge Laura A. Matz did not have much of a choice, but to grant Racine’s application and issue the TRO. Judge Matz was misled by the false statements in the application and did not have Zaffina’s opposing position. Racine’s dishonesty prevailed on August 21, 2012. The TRO was subsequently issued on August 22, 2012.
Thereafter, Racine was obligated to provide Zaffina notice of the hearing for issuance of a Civil Harassment Prevention Order that was scheduled for September 14, 2012. Racine never served Zaffina even though Zaffina was easily accessible at his office and made a couple attempts to be available for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, notwithstanding his awareness of the documents and their relationship to the restraining order.
Since Zaffina was never served with any documents, let alone all the required documents pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 527, he was not under the Court’s personal jurisdiction. Therefore, he was not under any duty to appear before any Court to answer to Racine’s allegations.
Notwithstanding, since Racine mentioned in an e-mail the date of September 14, 2012, and threats of a hearing, Zaffina decided to make a “special appearance” (i.e., appearing before the Court, but not acquiescing to the Court’s jurisdiction), because he knows that Racine has a propensity to lie on a proof of service. Zaffina has witnessed Racine lying on proofs of service before. Being dishonest is not beneath Racine. Therefore, Zaffina attended the hearing to protect himself from a default just in case Racine represents to the Court that Zaffina had been served.
Racine never appeared in Court on September 14, 2012, because he requested a continuance, but he never informed Zaffina. The matter should have been dismissed, since Racine was obligated to effectuate service prior to that hearing date. Nevertheless, Judge Matz refused to dismiss the matter.
Since the matter was continued until September 28, 2012, Racine was obligated to properly serve Zaffina at least 5-days before the hearing. Once again, Racine failed to effectuate service. To protect his rights, Zaffina filed a brief on September 24, 2012, providing the Court with notice that he was still not under the Court’s personal jurisdiction, since he is still not at issue because he has never been served, and thus, has never received proper notice of the above-entitled action or any of the events therein. Therefore, Zaffina objected to the hearing and informed the Court that he was not under any duty to appear.
Notwithstanding, the hearing was still held on September 28, 2012. Racine appeared before the Court. According to the Court during Zaffina’s ex parte application and motion to set aside the Order, the Court mentioned that during the September 28, 2012, hearing Racine had indicated that Zaffina had been served. Therefore, based on Racine’s lie and the material misrepresentation regarding service, Judge Milton did not have much of a choice, but to grant Racine’s Order. Racine misled the Court to believe that Zaffina had notice of the hearing, and thus, there was no reason for his nonappearance.
Once Zaffina discovered that the hearing had taken place and the Court had issued the Order, Zaffina filed an ex parte application on October 10, 2012 (i.e., emergency hearing) for a motion to set aside the Order. Zaffina appeared before the Court. Racine was nowhere to be found. He had no excuse not to be in Court because he was given notice by two different methods.
Zaffina had an independent third party call Racine’s office and provide him with all the necessary information regarding the hearing. Racine answered the telephone, so the message was given to him directly. Also, Zaffina sent Racine an e-mail immediately following the telephone call. The content of the e-mail was that of the telephone message. Therefore, Racine received proper notice.
The matter was called to hearing by Judge Milton. After an extensive conservation between the Court and Zaffina, the Court ruled, “not having sufficient evidence regarding proof of service on the Civil Harassment Restraining Order granted on September 28, 2012, grants Respondent’s ex parte application as mentioned above. The Court orders this case dismissed.
Racine defrauded the Court on numerous occasions and in many ways. His dishonesty and deception was extremely damaging to Zaffina, not only for the defamation and false light, but all the expense Zaffina went through to file briefs on numerous occasions. Moreover, Zaffina lost work on the two days that he appeared in Court.Racine will undoubtedly be called on the carpet by the State Bar, DA’s Office, and will have to answer Zaffina’s forthcoming civil complaint.
© 2013-2015 Dino M. Zaffina. All rights reserved.