Two men accused of filing false claims against a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge were back in court on Aug. 4 in Santa Barbara for their arraignment on felony charges in the matter.
San Luis Obispo marketing executive Jeff Lind and co-defendant Tom Murphy of Los Osos sat before Judge Jean Dandona to respond to charges of attempting to procure a false instrument for record, conspiracy to commit a crime, and attempted filing of a false document related to a single-family residence.
The charges stem from Lind and Murphy’s filing of a “National Standards Damage Claim Packet” alleging more than $77 million in damages against Judge Kay Kuns, the original presiding judge in Lind’s misdemeanor case. In that case, Lind stands accused of threatening a witness, a result of a December run-in with Guadalupe police officer Robert Ortega in a Santa Maria court. Ortega was the arresting officer in the DUI arrest of one of Lind’s relatives.
Both Lind and Murphy contend the county must answer their countersuit and prove it has the jurisdiction to try their cases, as they claim there are no injured parties or damaged property. The court system doesn’t see the claims as legitimate.
During the most recent hearing, Lind and Murphy repeatedly brought up the counterclaim and asked to file a 45-day continuance with the court in order to give the court time to answer the question of jurisdiction raised in the document.
Judge Dandona overruled the objection, and becoming visibly frustrated, implored Lind and Murphy to obtain attorneys to file the motion on their behalf.
Both men answered they would reserve their rights to obtain counsel but also did not commit to hiring an attorney.
Murphy and Lind requested a continuance to obtain counsel and Dandona agreed to continue arraignment on the felony charges to Aug. 25. Up to this point, Lind and Murphy have refused to be represented by counsel, claiming bar attorneys are part of a judicial extortion scheme.
“As soon as you hire an attorney, you surrender all your rights as one of the people,” Murphy said.
Dandona ordered Lind to apply for a public defender in the misdemeanor case, which he did, but it was determined he didn’t fall into the financial parameters to qualify. Lind must represent himself or secure legal representation before his next court appearance.
Immediately following the hearing, Lind and Murphy filed a motion for continuance, an order to discharge, and a second notice of unlawful proceeding with the court, accusing Judge Dandona of treason.
“What we have exposed in these cases undermines their whole process as treason,” Murphy said. “It makes them liable for damages and they don’t want to acknowledge it.”