The bad part of the Mayor Trial is that the judge tenatively ruled for the Mayor that I have not met my burden.
I was disappointed in the court that it tentatively ruled against me for the Abuse of Process claim. Abuse of process exists when ANY judicial process is abused. For some reason, the court said it didn't apply to the filing of a new lawsuit. Why it believed that, I'm not sure?
Furthermore, regarding malicious prosecution, the court stated that the Mayor may have a defense because he in good faith consulted with an attorney. I pointed out that the key term is "good faith." There is no good faith consultation with an attorney, if the Mayor was attempting to get a TRO against me because he was motivated by revenge.
Not all was lost though. I believe the court found Mr. Lozano to be in the constant habit of perjuring himself and being motivated by retaliatory and ugly motives.
In court, Lozano lied in four instances. The people in court were disgusted when Lozano was caught in his lies. Let me remind the reader, this is illegal. It's called perjury.
The Mayor first said that he got a restraining order against me because I opened the gate and tried to attack him at the podium.
I stated, "Lozano's allegation states that this happened in June to July, 2013. This is impossible. I was in Europe then."
Ct: "Mr. Lozano were you talking about another time?"
Mayor: "Oh, I can't remember."
Ct: "Mr. Cook could this have happened at another time?"
Cook: "It may have happened in May, after the City fired the boxing coach."
Ct: "Why would you approach the podium gateway?"
Cook: "Because, like the gateway here, the clerk is next to it. I hand papers to the clerk during City Council meetings. And Mr. Lozano and the police prevent me from passing them out."
Ct: "Is it true that he passes papers to the court?"
Mayor: "Yes, he does some time. But he still tried to jump over the gateway."
Cook: "And, after I jump passed this gateway, can Mr. Lozano tell the court what I do after?"
Mayor: "He just keeps attacking me."
[The point is that I never jumped over the gateway.]
At that point, my friends Gordon and Julian testified that they were at the meeting. The Mayor accused Julian and I being schemers against him. Julian testified that he worked for the City for 17 years but then the City fired. The judge looked upset by it all. Gordon then said he was at that meeting too and that I never tried to pass the gateway.
The court then asked why I stood up and screamed at Mr. Lozano at City Council Meeting.
Cook: "One time, when we came to serve the city with a lawsuit, the Mayor shutdown public comments period. He's not supposed to do that. So, I brought the boxers to speak out against the city at another time. Then, the Mayor said he was going to shorten public comments from three minutes to two minutes. So, I stood up and started saying, 'That's not right. You can't do that. If you want to do that, go amend the city ordinance.' I had to speak loudly because the Mayor has a microphone, and I don't."
Lozano: "Yes, Your Honor. I made a mistake of cutting public comments from three minutes to two minutes. . . . But Cook stalks me. He knows where my favorite restaurant is and waits for me there."
Cook: "Yes, I guess I've gained psychic abilities now and just know everything about Mr. Lozano." I went to explain how I bumped into Lozano at that restaurant coincidentally after he arrested me because Julian texted me to come. Julian testified to this.
Lozano started shaking at this point. He was sweating. And his face looked more and more evil.
Then the court asked me why I purposely yelled at Lozano at the Park in front of his 90 year old father.
Cook: "Can Mr. Lozano explain when I ever met or seen his father? How am I supposed to even know what he looks like?"
Court: "Mr. Lozano, even if he stood in front of your father, how was Mr. Cook supposed to know who he was?"
Mayor: "Well, Cook always attacks me. He's a fabricator and a perjurer. He even posted my bankruptcy online. I just needed to file it because I was reorganizing my debt. And that report - it has my family members' names and addresses."
Court: "So, you're saying that Mr. Cook would know what they looked like by having that information?"
Cook: "I didn't know by having names and address information, that would tell me what people's faces also looked like."
Court: "Let's move on."
The highlight of the trial was when Lozano tried to claim that he couldn't be sued because he was immune under prosecutorial immunity, which is a law that protects prosecutors (and some times police officers) from being sued.
Cook: "I know that Mr. Lozano is a security guard, and in his mind, that makes him a security guard, but I'm sorry he still is not a prosecutor on behalf of the city. Now, if Mr. Lozano would like to say that it's in his employment description to file restraining orders against citizens, then I suppose immunity would apply."
Mayor: "See?! Your Honor. Mr. Cook keeps attacking me. I just want to let you know I work for a big, reputable department. Mr. Cook has to keep saying these things about me. He keeps attacking me. He's a perjurer and fabricator."
The audience laughed. I was smiling too. Even if I lost, that's a memory I'll have for the rest of my life. Someone told me, I should've added, "Maybe you shouldn't be a security guard too, if you think all words against you are an attack."
After the trial, the Mayor exited and Veronica, an activist said, "You're a slimeball."
The Mayor claimed his life was in danger. He had security escort him through the back doors of court because he didn't want photographers to sneak up and take a photo of him, like last time. I can't believe this is our Mayor. He's the most shameful Mayor in the world.
To conclude, I was really grateful that Veronica, Julian, Gordon, Rick, Alex, the LA Times, and San Gabriel Valley Tribune all showed up.
My personal take on the case is that the small claims court doesn't want to open up litigation of abuse of process and malicious prosecution - which are complex torts. In short, they don't want to hear these activist cases.
I guess there's no real way to hold a public official, like a Mayor, who perjures you and defames your character, to try to paint you as crazy and get a restraining order against you, accountable. Let me add, he also did all this on taxpayer money. And this was a personal lawsuit. Personal! Why should the taxpayer pay for any of it?
In any event, the LA Times and Tribune were there to report on it. So, it'll be great, even if I lose, if they report on all this. People need to know how wrong this is to do to a citizen, all because he speaks the truth against these people.
These are the three lessons I learned from the whole ordeal. And if you're an activist, listen up. It can save you.
1. When dealing with city officials, always have witnesses with you. My witnesses, Gordon and Julian, proved the Mayor lied. Without them, it would have been the Mayor's word against mine, and the court will believe the Mayor over you any day.
2. The court system, as it is, encourages government (including police officers) to lie. We can't do it because we can get in trouble for perjury. But they can. And, it gives them an unfair advantage. And as evidenced here, they do lie because they can get away with it. We really need to have legislative reform about this.
3. Currently, there is no way for a citizen who is targeted and retaliated by the government to hold its members personally accountable. For instance, the Mayor kept asking the taxpayer to pay for his lawsuit and damages. Why? He personally filed this against me. If he shoots me or punches me, and I have damages, should the city pay for this too. No. And the law says that it is illegal to indemnify these people for such behavior, but they do it anyways. Take for instance, why did Los Angeles pay for Huizar's legal fees for sexual harassment? Why did San Diego do the same for Mayor Filsner? Sexual harassment is not part of a Mayor's job description - last I checked.
Those are the lessons. But hey - now I can tell everyone - I had it out with a Mayor - and I made him answer for his nasty and evil behavior in court. Now that was great!
Here's something to think about. I mean, what can a person do to hold someone accountable, who makes up instances of violent behavior to get a frivolous restraining order against you because you're exposing the person and all his corrupt misconduct? And just because they're a Mayor, he can do this again and again without being held accountable. Some thing is really broken in our system.
The Tribune wrote a piece on it here.