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What Is Considered Obstruction of Justice in California?

Under federal law, any act that “corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice” can be considered obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice often involves the interference of a law enforcement investigation in which suspects attempt to conceal or destroy evidence, or they refuse to cooperative with law enforcement officers.

Although California law doesn’t contain specific statute for “obstruction of justice,” there are several types of misdemeanor and felony offenses that fall into the category of obstructing justice. The state’s legal system is designed to provide law enforcement with the ability to perform official duties without interference. This means if police believe your actions interfere with how they are operating in an official capacity, then you can be arrested for obstructing justice.

The following California Penal codes cover actions related to obstruction of justice:

  • Penal Code 132 PC: It is illegal to offer false physical evidence you know is forged or fraudulent. Even if the evidence is partially true, if a single piece of it is known to be forged or fraudulent, it still violates this law and is considered obstruction of justice. This crime is a felony offense. If convicted, you can face a prison sentence between 16 months and three years and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Penal Code 134 PC: It is illegal for an individual to prepare false evidence with intent to use it fraudulently in a legal proceeding or investigation. If you break this law, you can be charged with a felony and face a jail sentence between 16 months and three years, as well as $10,000 in fines.
  • Penal Code 135 PC: It is illegal to knowingly and willingly destroy, erase, or conceal any physical evidence that is in someone else’s possession. Deleting incriminating files from your computer hard drive during a criminal investigation is an example of an act that violates this law. If you are charged with destroying evidence, it is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
  • Penal Code 136.1 PC: It is illegal to tamper with, intimidate, prevent, or make an attempt to prevent a witness from giving their testimony at a legal proceeding. If the charge is treated as a misdemeanor, you can face up to one year in jail and $1,000 fine. If the charge is treated as a felony, you can face a two to four year jail sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Penal Code 141 PC Planting or Tampering with Evidence in California
  • Penal Code 142 PC – Peace Officer Refusing to Arrest or Receive Person Charged with Criminal Offense
  • Penal Code 182 PC Criminal Conspiracy” Laws & Penalties
  • Penal Code 148 PC: It is illegal to intentionally resist, delay, or obstruct a law enforcement officer or EMT performing their official duties. This also includes obstructing an officer from interviewing a witness to a crime and interfering with police officers who attempting to arrest another person. This crime is a misdemeanor that is subject to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.



Obstruction of justice


Obstruction of justice refers to illegal actions that undermine a court case. For example, interfering with the administration or process of law, intimidating a juror, giving false testimony, or withholding material information. The term also includes intimidating or harming an officer of the law or a witness.

In the United States, obstruction of justice is a federal offense. It covers any attempt by an individual to corruptly ‘impede, obstruct, or influence’ the ‘due administration of justice.’

In the United Kingdom, people more commonly use the term ‘perverting the course of justice.’ It includes any act that prevents justice being served on the offender or any other party. In England and Wales, this ‘common law offense’ carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. says that in the US, the penalties include fines and imprisonment of up to 20 years.

According to, obstruction of justice is:

“A criminal offense that involves interference, through words or actions, with the proper operations of a court or officers of the court. The integrity of the judicial system depends on the participants’ acting honestly and without fear of reprisals.”

“Threatening a judge, trying to bribe a witness, or encouraging the destruction of evidence are examples of obstruction of justice. Federal and state laws make it a crime to obstruct justice.”

Obstruction of justice is a broadly defined crime. It applies to any behavior where the culprit intends to interfere with the fair administration of justice.

Obstruction of justice – specific intent

When somebody has a specific intent to interfere with or obstruct a judicial proceeding, they are probably guilty of obstruction of justice.

To convict somebody of this offense, simply having a specific intent to obstruct the proceeding is not enough. They must also know that a proceeding was pending at the time.

Additionally, there must be a nexus between the culprit’s attempt to obstruct justice and the proceeding.

The culprit (defendant) must also know about this nexus. A nexus is a connection or series of connections linking at least two things.

Obstruction of justice covers many people

The term may include crimes that elected officials, attorney generals, prosecutors, and judges commit.

It also includes fraudulently reporting a crime or providing false information to government agencies.

Once a criminal investigation starts, you face obstruction of justice charges if you threaten or interfere with witnesses. Hiding evidence or having improper conversations with a jury member are also offenses. source

Obstruction of Justice Crimes Alleged Against Family Court Temporary Judge and Sacramento County Bar Officer Paula Salinger

California Supreme Court, Justice Leondra R Kruger, Justice Mariano Florentino Cuellar, Justice Goodwin H Liu, Justice Carol A Corrigan, Justice Ming W Chin, Justice Kathryn M Werdegar, Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, Supreme Court of California
Woodruff, O’Hair, Posner and Salinger partner Paula Salinger allegedly engaged in obstruction of justice crimes against an indigent, disabled domestic violence victim without an attorney. Oversight authorities, including Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully and the State Bar have declined to investigate the allegations. 

Whistleblower leaked records from a Sacramento Family Court case – embedded at the bottom of this post – indicate that criminal acts were committed by family law attorney and temporary judge Paula Salinger against an indigent, unrepresented, pro per family court party.

The pro per was a victim and witness in a family court criminal contempt case filed against a Salinger client, and the pro per also is disabled with a cognitive disability, and is a domestic violence victim, according to court records.

Family court reform advocates say the case is another example of the complete lack of oversight and accountability of attorneys who engage in egregious misconduct against disadvantaged, pro per litigants who can’t afford legal representation.

To continue reading, click Read more >> below:

Under California law, witness intimidation is punishable by maximum of
three years in state prison.

As Sacramento Family Court News previously reported, Salinger has been caught in several scandals including filing counterfeit documents in court, violating state laws and court rules, illegally attempting to obtain a final divorce judgment while an appeal in the same case was pending, and obtaining a questionable waiver of the requirements to become a temporary judge.

Salinger also obtained from controversial Judge Matthew Gary an illegal order for more than $10,000 in attorney fee sanctions against the same contempt and domestic violence victim. To benefit Salinger, Gary also illegally attempted to use fee waiver law to obstruct an appeal of several orders he issued for Salinger in the same case. Salinger’s firm, Woodruff, O’Hair, Posner & Salinger Inc., previously was sued for legal malpractice in a case alleging more than $1 million in damages.

The new, criminal allegations first surfaced last month on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, where several posts linked to supporting documents posted at Docstoc and Calameo. Due to the serious nature of the claims, SFCN did not report on the assertions pending authentication of the records. SFCN has now verified the accuracy of the documents and posted the complete set at our Scribd account. The Scribd document set is embedded below.

Obstruction of Justice

The records indicate that Paula Salinger, a Sacramento County Superior Court sworn temporary judge and officer of the Sacramento Bar Association Family Law Executive Committee violated California Penal Code sections prohibiting witness intimidation and deceit of a witness. Under California law, both offenses are designated as obstruction of justice crimes. The circumstances also reveal new collusion between Salinger and Judge Matthew Gary.

As reflected by page one of the document set, at an unrelated court hearing held three weeks before the date calendared for the contempt case, in open court Gary disclosed to Salinger that he would deny the contempt claims, even though Salinger had yet to file a response to the contempt pleading. Gary’s prejudgment of the contempt matter was a clear violation of the California Code of Judicial Ethics, the state laws governing judge conduct.

The state Commission on Judicial Performance has publicly disciplined several judges for “acting in a way that manifested prejudgment…A trial judge should not prejudge the issues but should keep an open mind until all the evidence is presented to him.” In one CJP judicial discipline case, Judge Bruce Van Voorhis was disciplined for creating “the appearance of prejudgment in your discussion of the case in open court by improperly predicting the outcome of the case,” according to CJP records.

Click here for a compilation of CJP disciplinary decisions about prejudgment.

Salinger then used the judge’s unlawful disclosure in a threatening letter to the unrepresented opposing party:

“As the court indicated at the hearing on October 27, 2010, your Order to Show Case (sic) Re: Contempt does not contain sufficient factual basis to sustain the contempt. At the hearing on November 17, 2010, I intend to request the court dismiss the matter and order sanctions pursuant to Family Code section 271 for proceeding with the contempt…

…Should you provide written proof (a copy of a confirming letter to the court) by Monday, November 1, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. that the above matters have been dropped, I shall withdraw my requests for sanctions pursuant to FC § 271,” Salinger wrote in a letter to the contempt victim and witness.

Page one of the document set below is an authenticated copy of the threatening letter.

The alleged criminal acts were committed after the indigent, unrepresented pro per filed a criminal contempt of court allegation against a Salinger client. The contempt filing charged several violations of the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders, which are issued in all divorce proceedings.

SFLRO’s are automatically ordered against both parties when a dissolution of marriage is initiated in family court.

As page one of the document set reflects, Salinger illegally threatened the victim and witness with financial harm in the form of attorney fee sanctions if they did not drop the criminal contempt case.

As page three and four reflect, Salinger concurrently filed an illegal responsive declaration in the contempt case with a demand for $1,000 in attorney fee sanctions against the contempt victim and witness.

As the page two legal reference reflects, under California law the response to a contempt allegation may only be used to answer the contempt charge, or move to discharge the contempt on appropriate grounds. Requesting “affirmative relief,” including attorney fee sanctions, in response to a contempt allegation is prohibited by law. As page five of the document set shows, Salinger’s threat coerced the victim and witness to drop the contempt matter.

Witness Tampering Law

As reflected by pages 6-16 of the document set below, Penal Code §133 makes it a crime to use fraud or deceit to affect the testimony of a victim or witness. Penal Code §§136.1(a) & (b) make it a crime to maliciously prevent or discourage a witness or victim from giving testimony at a judicial proceeding. Salinger has not been charged with either crime, disciplined by the State BarSupreme Court or Judicial Council, or otherwise held accountable for the misconduct.
Pro per advocates call the absence of accountability more proof that attorneys are effectively immune from punishment for egregious misconduct against unrepresented pro pers who can’t afford a lawyer, and make up 70 percent of family court litigants.
Civil law statutes, including wrongful use of civil proceedings, and abuse of process may also apply to Salinger’s lawbreaking acts. In addition, an attorney who intentionally deceives a party to a court case is subject to misdemeanor criminal prosecution under Business and Professions Code § 6128. SFCN is completing an in-depth investigative report on the criminal contempt incident and other troubling proceedings and documents from the same case. Our report will be published in the near future.
Hon. Stacy Boulware Eurie – Hon. David De Alba – Hon. Steve Lapham – Hon. James P. Arguelles – Hon. Bunmi O. Awoniyi – Hon. Steven M. Gevercer – Hon. Robert C. Hight – Hon. Laurie M. Earl - Hon. Thadd A. Blizzard – Hon. James M. Mize – Hon. Tami R. Bogert – Hon. Matthew J. Gary – Hon. Paul L. Seave – Hon. Jerilyn L. Borack – Hon. Eugene L. Balonon – Hon. Kevin J. McCormick – Hon. Kevin R. Culhane – Hon. Sharon A. Lueras – Hon. Raymond M. Cadei – Hon. Michael G. Virga – Hon. Maryanne G. Gilliard – Hon. Trena H. Burger-Plavan – Hon. Marjorie Koller – Hon. Steve White – Hon. Peter J. McBrien, Office of the Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim State Bar of California, Supreme Court Tani G. Cantil Sakauye - Sacramento Federal Court Eastern District of California – United States Courts, US District Court Sacramento, Judge William B. Shubb, Judge Edmund F. Brennan, Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr, Judge Carolyn K. Delaney, Judge Morrison C. England Jr, Judge Gregory G. Hollows, Judge John A. Mendez, Judge Kendall J. Newman, Judge Troy L. Nunley, Judge Allison Claire, Judge Dale A. Drozd, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton, Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner, Judge Kevin R. Culhane – Hon. Kevin R Culhane – Judge Kevin Culhane -
An attorney who intentionally deceives a judge or any party is guilty of a misdemeanor crime under California law. Family court reform advocates assert that many family court lawyers routinely and deliberately engage in deceptive tactics, and that the law goes unenforced by judges, prosecutors, and State Bar Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim.

Family court reform advocates say the latest revelations are additional proof that the court operates effectively as a racketeering enterprise that deprives the public of the federally protected right to honest government services. Court watchdogs assert and have documented that judge pro tem attorneys receive kickbacks in the form of rubber-stamped orders and other preferential treatment from family court judges and employees.

The divorce lawyers who also hold the Office of Temporary Judge operate the family court settlement conference program in exchange for the kickbacks and emoluments, watchdogs charge. California Penal Code § 94 makes receipt of an emolument by a judicial officer a crime, and several federal criminal statutes prohibit similar conduct. The 2014 documentary film Divorce Corp designates Sacramento Family Court as the most corrupt in the United States. For our complete coverage of the movie, click here.






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What Is Considered Obstruction of Justice in California?

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from the ACLU we have 2 types of SB 1421 Templates for Sample Requests 

1. Incident Based Request: Use this template if you want records related to a particular incident, like the investigative record for a specific police shooting, an arrest where you believe an officer may have been found to have filed a false report, or to find out whether complaint that an officer committed sexual assault was sustained.
ACLU Download Word document | ACLU Download PDF

or from us Download Word document | or from us Download PDF

2. Officer Based Request: Use this template if you want to find any public records of misconduct related to a particular officer or if he or she has been involved in past serious uses of force.
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or from us Download Word document | or from us Download PDF

We also have more robust sample letters below:

Sample Letter | SB 1421 & SB 16 Records

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Sample Letter | Police Recordings

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The CPRA is now located at Government Code sections 7920.000-7931.000
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SB 2, Creating Police Decertification Process and Expanding Civil Liability Exposure

The Right To Know: How To Fulfill The Public’s Right Of Access To Police Records

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Petition to Seal and Destroy Adult Arrest RecordsDownload the PC 851.8 BCIA 8270 Form Here

SB 393: The Consumer Arrest Record Equity Act 851.87 – 851.92  & 1000.4 – 11105 CARE ACT

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How to Vacate a Criminal Conviction in CaliforniaPenal Code 1473.7 PC

Seal & Destroy a Criminal Record

Cleaning Up Your Criminal Record in California (focus OC County)

Governor Pardons –What Does A Governor’s Pardon Do

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights? If there is an Established Relationship then Yes

Third “PRESUMED PARENT” Family Code 7612(C)Requires Established Relationship Required

Cal State Bar PDF to read about Three Parent Law
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Distinguishing Request for Custody from Request for Visitation

Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000)Grandparents – 14th Amendment

S.F. Human Servs. Agency v. Christine C. (In re Caden C.)

9.32 Particular RightsFourteenth AmendmentInterference with Parent / Child Relationship

Child’s Best Interest in Custody Cases

When is a Joinder in a Family Law Case Appropriate?Reason for Joinder

Joinder In Family Law CasesCRC Rule 5.24

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Family Law Packet SB Resource Center

Motion to vacate an adverse judgment

Mandatory Joinder vs Permissive Joinder – Compulsory vs Dismissive Joinder

When is a Joinder in a Family Law Case Appropriate?

Kyle O. v. Donald R. (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 848

Punsly v. Ho (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1099

Zauseta v. Zauseta (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 1242

S.F. Human Servs. Agency v. Christine C. (In re Caden C.)

Ian J. v. Peter M

Family Treatment Court Best Practice Standards

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 Epic Criminal / Civil Right$ SCOTUS Help Click Here

At issue in Rosenfeld v. New Jersey (1972) was whether a conviction under state law prohibiting profane language in a public place violated a man's First Amendment's protection of free speech. The Supreme Court vacated the man's conviction and remanded the case for reconsideration in light of its recent rulings about fighting words. The man had used profane language at a public school board meeting. (Illustration via Pixabay, public domain) Epic Parents SCOTUS Ruling Parental Right$ Help Click Here

Judge’s & Prosecutor’s Jurisdiction– SCOTUS RULINGS on

Prosecutional Misconduct – SCOTUS Rulings re: Prosecutors

Please take time to learn new UPCOMING 

The PROPOSED Parental Rights Amendment
to the US CONSTITUTION Click Here to visit their site

The proposed Parental Rights Amendment will specifically add parental rights in the text of the U.S. Constitution, protecting these rights for both current and future generations.

The Parental Rights Amendment is currently in the U.S. Senate, and is being introduced in the U.S. House.