Court Watchdog Arrested Just Weeks after Violent Encounter with Sheriff Deputy over Video

Susan Bassi, a Santa Clara County court watchdog who says she got her hand broken by a bailiff last month, apparently had another unfortunate run-in with officials this week. The Los Gatos resident says she was on her way to her own divorce proceeding at the downtown San Jose courthouse, where a sheriff’s deputy stopped and cited her at the front-door security screening. “I literally walked into the door, and they said, ‘You’re being arrested,’” Bassi recounts. According to her colleague, freelance journalist Stephen James, the Los Gatos resident was charged with violating a court order (Penal Code 1664a) prohibiting photography and video recording in the common areas of the Family Justice Center. (Taking photos at the courthouse has suddenly become quite the hot-button issue.) The allegation stems from a Nov. 14 confrontation in which Bassi says deputies broke her finger while trying to force her to stop recording in a family law record-viewing room. Bassi says she was trying to record a tense exchange between the cops and another local critic of the justice system, Scott Largent—who’s known for railing against judges and lawyers on his loudspeaker outside the courthouse. In an email court spokesman Benjamin Rada disputed Bassi’s account of the recent citation. “We understand that the cite and release of Ms. Bassi that occurred on December 4, 2017 was unrelated to events of November 17,” he wrote, referring Fly to the Sheriff’s Office for further comment. We reached out to the sheriff’s spokesflack but had yet to hear back as of press time. Bassi, who plans to sue the Sheriff’s Office for excessive force, considers the arrest retaliation for her activism. The citation requires Bassi to turn herself in at the Main Jail for booking and then return to court on Jan. 3 for an arraignment, which means she’ll have to reschedule a divorce hearing that was already set for the same day. “Now I have this to deal with,” she says, “right in time for the holidays.”

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  1. Is there more to this story? Who really cares about two guys named Steve and Scott and a lady with a sore thumb who is getting a divorce? I can’t even believe I’m commenting on it.

    • JUST ANON FOR NOW sounds like you were deputy who broke Ms. Susan Bassi’s hand, is that why you calling it a sore thumb? Where are the real men. Deputy hides behind a badge, a troll hides behind Anon post.

      • It would not surprise me if her hand was broken prior to going there. This is the kind of thing Sue Bassi would probably due for attention.

        • So funny. Are you the butthurt Brian Krippendorf and/or his partners in crime?

          PS – spellcheck is a wonderful tool. Why don’t you use it?

          • No actually I’m a clerk. Are you Joe Weeney that went to jail for contempt?

        • She claims she was the victim of a hit-and-run a while back. Despite requests from many people, she refuses to post the video she claims to have. She posts videos of herself harassing others, so where it the hit-and-run video?
          Liar, liar. pants on fire is an accurate description of Susan Bassi and her blog of bogus claims.

        • Or that it was not broken at all.
          A much more likely scenario is she punched the wall in the bathroom when she could not figure out how the paper towel dispenser worked. LOL


    • Just anon for now,
      You find this story so ridiculous that you can’t believe you’re commenting on it. Well I can’t believe I’m commenting on your comment or that it made me laugh so hard! What the hell is wrong with us?

      • Well what ever is wrong with us is nothing compared to the extensive list of things wrong with Susan Bassi. LOL

  2. I hope her soon-to-be ex-husband is able to appreciate this bit of justice and not be too disappointed over the deputies holding their fire.

  3. Sounds like the guy divorcing this train wreck is one lucky man. I wish him all the best LOL

  4. Wow. Look at the troll army leaving derogatory comments on this post. Amazing. Get a life trolls.

    This incident is another example of the government using brute force to squelch dissent and punish whistleblowers. Bassi and Largent, and their joint activism have really gotten the attention of judges, court administrators and the puppet police force that runs security at the courthouse.

    The arrest of Bassi is textbook retaliation for the exercise of civil rights, including free speech, freedom of association, and protest. The rule of law doesn’t apply anymore. Shame on the government employees responsible for this flagrant harassment. Thank you San Jose Inside for covering this important issue, and please stay with the story. There is more to come.

    • Stephen James is a frequent violator as well. The evidence is on Sue Bassi’s JaneQJohnQ blog. This old hog did this to herself. She was warned countless times but she kept coming back to harass the Sheriff’s.

    • Troll army? Yes, one of the biggest trolls, Susan Bassi, just got arrested. Her behavior at court houses is abolutely disgusting.

      Derogatory yet truthful

    • Stop being so intellectually dishonest. Being arrested for breaking the law is not retaliation. It is called enforcement. There is no point in have laws or rules if a person can repeatedly break them without recourse. This person should have been jailed a long time ago. Like a bank robber that gets caught on their 10throbbery, her luck finally ran out.

    • Cathy Cohen is another one of the so called “activists” that disrupt court hearings that are none of their business.

  5. “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

    —Dresden James

    “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

    ― Mark Twain

    • Exactly. The comments on this article make my head hurt. Why are the masses so utterly cowed with sensationalistic, emotionally slanted rhetoric?

  6. In 2009, I pulled public records on some judges, only to be followed back to my job by court deputies. Who got me alone in a back room there, to warne me that my research (as a writer/journalist) would get me hurt if I didn’t stop. That I could forget ever seeing my children ever again. That my job was toast; they had just hand delivered to my boss the latest filed accusations from my ex. Bassi is a journalist; reporters have the right to cover newsworthy events, free from official coercion, everywhere but a few places. Given the courts will no longer even admit there are tapes of hearings (to hide misconduct evidence), reporters should then be in the courtrooms, covering public hearings too. The unequal application of a “ ‘no recording’ inside the courthouse” “order” between counties is unconstitutional and disparate enough. Using it to further target and retaliate against investigative journalists and whistleblowers, particularly after maiming those persons, even temporarily, is a revelation that the Santa Clara courthouse is brutishly unsafe for anyone but those few sheeple who believe that such expanding judicial infringements upon basic freedoms and liberties should be always be obeyed/never questioned. A preposterous stance for any proud, freedom-loving American. Such cowardice be decidedly unAmerican, in a nation that proudly celebrate its colonial defiance, and, subsequent independence from, England. Aside from the false narrative trolling here, the fact is, California’s courthouses are a class system emanates. Palaces of judicial barony, where judges are royalty, attorneys gentry, and the public…, surfs. Deputies then perform their jobs as palace guard, easily forgetting their authority emanates from their oaths of office. But, absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

    • Were a physician to examine the above comment and accept as true COLE DAY RAIN’s claim to be a writer/journalist he or she would immediately diagnose concussion.

  7. Isn’t the reason the courts don’t want cameras in the research room is there are things that need redaction before they are taken out?

    The price of copies aside, seems like there is a reasonable reason for them to not allow cameras.

    • More importantly, there are cases that involve children. Would you want your child to be talked about in court, than have someone like Susan Bassi post confidential information about your child?

      Would you want your child’s friends reading totally bogus claims about you?
      Susan Bassi is full of hate because the courts ruled against her, so she is out to create chaos in the court rooms. Shame on her!

  8. karma works! all i can say here is I know who this person Sue Bassi is and you don’t want dealings with her. She is backstabbing and vengeful. If she was obsessed with the courts it was because she is vengeful for the judge not ruling to her liking. Everyone at that courthouse seems to know her. The other disgruntled groups seem to be her only friends. maybe this will teach her a lesson to mind her own business.

    • We all hope so, however Susan Bassi is totally obsessed with attacking anyone that is associated with the court system. She constantly post claims of wrong doing based on “insider” leaks and nameless “sources” that are her own fabrications and have absolutely no basis in fact.
      Someone eating in an Italian restaurant does not mean they are part of the mafia, unless that person is on Bassi’s hate list.
      Someone getting cash out of an ATM does not mean there is money laundering and bribery involved, unless that person is on Bassi’s hate list.

      • If the judge rules on the cell phone offense based on Sue Bassi logic in her Jane & John Q Public Blog, then the judge would have to rule prison time against Susan for breaking the cellphone rule, because based on Susan Bassi logic her cell phone must have contained evidence of collusion against the courts.

  9. Mr. Cortese, No. Public court records are not redacted in the records dept. Vacancy Vaquero, those are interesting links that you provided. I think they may not apply to this matter.

    A man was taking pictures of his case file with his cell phone. The sheriff deputies told him to stop. It appears that the rule was selectively enforced to harass the man who is vocal about problems in the courts. It appears to be harassment b/c others claimed to have been doing the same thing that day w/o interference. (see Mercury News article on the subject). Sue Bassi filmed the deputies selectively harassing the man and a deputy broke her finger when trying to stop her from filming the heated exchange.

    The underlying issues: (See rest of reply below)

    • Is it lawful for the Santa Clara court to make and selectively enforce a rule that (some) people cannot use their own recording devices to film public records? (I think it’s not, especially if it is selectively enforced)

      Is it lawful for deputies to physically harm someone who is recording their selective enforcement of a possibly-not-lawful court rule? (I think it’s not b/c Ms. Bassi was filming what she perceived to be sheriff dept harassment of a citizen in a public building)

      Is it an abuse of power for a judge to hold someone in criminal contempt of court – – for filming a possibly-not-lawful, selective court rule enforcement by sheriff deputies? (I think it is when Ms. Bassi was filming what she perceived to be a public crime.)

      Is the alleged criminal contempt of court charge a retaliatory abuse of judicial power when positioning for a litigation defense argument — b/c Ms. Bassi is probably going to sue the court and the sheriff department for the deputy breaking her finger? (I think it is, b/c the Santa Clara courts are already in trouble for abuse of contempt power in the Sweeney matter (see Commission on Judicial Performance website) — and the bone breaking via selective enforcement of possibly-not-lawful court rules carries some genuine potential for some expensive liability)

      • Bassi filming a public crime? Hardly. Sue Bassi is the criminal. Bassi harasses people at court all the time. She records in court rooms, court elevators (without consent) follows them out along with her grandpa Stephen James and harasseses (look at the Apple employee she has been harassing) them the entire way. She blogs about her crimes under an alias Sue Bee. This lady is nothing but a self serving, attention seeking, criminal.

      • Bla bla bla sounds like attorney wanna be Tanya Nemcik vexatious litigant with fake disabilities fake ADA Advocate fake everything. The Santa Clara Courts watch you too.

  10. Avid O You write, “Bassi filming a public crime?” One may watch what she filmed here.

    Given that no one else was being told they couldn’t take pictures of their case file that day — it sure looks to me like she caught deputy-harassment on video; and that she ended up with a broken finger when she refused to stop filming the harassment.

    • Ms. Kramer, Did you watch the same video I did? Even the local news agency got it correct.

      “In the video, a sheriff tells Susan Bassi to stop recording inside the courthouse and after four attempts at enforcing a no videotaping rule, the sheriff tries to grab her phone. ”

      She brought this upon herself. Her youtube video captured her own stupidity of refusing to comply with the officer.

      • Hi Jackson. Just saw this comment. I think I probably watched more of the video than you did, if you only watch the portion that was on the news. In the bigger picture, they were telling a person he could not take pictures of his case file, (even though others were allowed to do so on the same day). When he objected, the deputies became a bit aggressive. Ms. Bassi filmed the encounter and ended up with a broken finger when she refused to stop. There is no law that says a court presiding justice can arbitrarily make rules which forbid take pictures of case files and there is certainly no law that she can forbid filming of sheriff dept deputies harassing someone for whom the rule (not law) was being arbitrarily enforced. It’s a pretty big issue nationwide, i.e. can gov’t agencies deny people the ability of taking pictures of public records w/one’s own devices. The other big issue is: is it an abuse of contempt of court power to try to intimidate and coerce Ms. Bassi out of filing a lawsuit for the broken finger.

  11. As I scroll through the comments, I’m relieved to see that not everyone is for this woman. I do not know the true details because I was not present. But I do know some things about Susan Bassi from personal experience. She calls people claiming she’s a journalist writing a story. A real journalist does research and interviews ALL sides involved. Instead, she’s dirty and tries calling a child’s school psychologist to get info on the child that is absolutely none of her business. I do know from experience she has no clue what she’s doing and “barks up the wrong tree.” I am slowly learning she’s probably just a scorned ex wife and possibly a nut case. Probably has anger issues too.

    • Concerned parent – You could delete the word “Probably” from your posting and be 100% correct.
      She is in the middle of a nasty divorce.
      She has been declared a vexatious litigant.
      She posts statements that have been proven to be totally false, yet doubles down on her claims again and again.

      • Oh yes, she sticks her nose into other peoples custody issues under the guise of helping against a corrupt system. She’s trying to get involved in our business and we are finished with the custody and it ended as it should have. We originally wanted 50/50 custody between mother and father until we realized the mother couldn’t handle giving up FULL control of daughter and father (because she used her daughter to try and control her Ex). Well here we are with a healthy, happy teenager after 2 years free and safe from her mother. I know… sad, because a child should be with both parents. Sometimes it’s just not an option. So now Bassi thinks she’s helping the mother by trying to write an article and contacting the child’s school. Good grief, move on Bassi. Even the mother has moved on. She’s already found a rich old man to marry her…. because that’s more important to her than her own daughter. Proof is in the actions of her mother.

  12. Sane Person you are absolutely correct and so is Concerned Parent and all of these others. She is a nut bag.

  13. IN THE KNOW – Thank you.

    The problem is Susan Bassi not just that she is a nut bag, but that she does harm to so many people.
    She has released confidential records about children in her sick attacks on the courts.
    How does disclosing the names of young children and their documents marked CONFIDENTIAL support her goals?
    If a child has a parent that is in jail or drug rehab do you think they want their friends to know?
    Susan Bassi hides behind multiple websites and Facebook accounts where she spreads her lies.

    • Sane thank you for your comment. She rides on the backs of people who have suffered unfortunate circumstances. These are not the only wrong things she does. She lies continually, will not tell the whole story, etc. The list goes on and on. Horrible person. A little bully. Releasing private information does not support her goals. She is not a reporter. She hides behind some dumb publishing outfit she may have had.

  14. Every court has its group of squirrels and trolls who are just barely on the right side of the line from a 5150 hold. Mostly they are comical, a nuisance at worst, to be laughingly tolerated in a free society. When they go beyond a nuisance and break the law, they should be held accountable.

  15. When a family court litigant decides to investigate, report and stand up to court corruption, it looks like this. It’s easy for a select few who are immediately threatened by a whistleblower’s unwillingness to just submit to defamation and bullying, to show their real nature in spending an inordinate amount of time engaged in plebeian efforts to slur the person in public. It’s a sure sign she is on the right track, when the superficial slanderers show up like this. It now is quite obvious what Susan has had to deal with in court — pugnacious, pouty, moral turpitude. It’s the last defense of the guilty, to froth and bristle all over the commentary of an article like this. Like the tantrums my ex would put forward, when the truth began threatening her fraudulent narrative. All these low-minded attacks on her accomplish is a obvious picture that the commenter(s) greatly need to convince the readership to ignore the facts and simply adopt their frankly plebeian slurs. The mantra of the someone with something to hide from the readership. Such a person finds it impossible to keep themselves from commenting repeatedly, usually with accusations of mental illness, since they also can’t help projecting themselves onto their target when they launch.

  16. Santa Clara courthouse has put in place certain rules and laws that allow the court to restrain a person’s freedom of speech, equal access to information, and access to fairness and justice.

    Yes, Susan Bassi broke a law. But it is a ridiculous law, an un-American law. What ever happened to “land of the free?” This is only a free country for those who are in power and those who can afford it. This issue may seem trivial, but it is symbolic of the greater issue of inequity and lack of access to justice for lower and moderate income litigants.

    • There is a problem when those who were the laws, write them in favor of those in power and those with money. In San Jose, law enforcement is also known to selectively enforce the “drunk in public” law- which appears to serve no other purpose than to harass and discriminate at will.

      Santa Clara courthouse has put in place certain rules and laws that allow the court to restrain a person’s freedom of speech, equal access to information, and access to fairness and justice.

      Yes, Susan Bassi broke a law. But it is a ridiculous law, an un-American law. What ever happened to “land of the free?” This is only a free country for those who are in power and those who can afford it.

      Susan Bassi demonstrated extreme courage and insight in standing up and bringing much needed attention to the need for court reform. This issue may seem trivial, but it is symbolic of the greater issue of inequity and lack of access to justice for lower and moderate income litigants.

      If we are being deprived of even the most basic of liberties such as equal access to our own court records, what is the implications of this in the greater scheme of fairness and justice for our children in this very same court?

      Susan Bassi and Cathy Cohen are smart to make big deals out of smaller matters such as this. It’s called scaffolding. We fight the battles we can win and stack up such wins to strengthen our position.

      We are not going to win th entire battle against court reform and government abuse of power- not at once. But we can and should win this battle.

      Those on this forum trashing Susan
      basis should be ashamed of yourselves. Especially those of you doing so under and alias.

      • Hahaha! Michelle Chan, thank you for the laugh. You should be a comedian! You and he others trying to sound so attorney-like. If your logic is true, the. San Francisco and for that matter all 58 counties should throw their laws out the window and hire your group to make selective laws that benefit your group. Would that make you happy? Hahahaha!! Cheers!

        • She was warned numerous times. She broke the law. Bottom line. Records at the FL contain many things that should be respected and are private. She has no respect for confidentiality. She knew she was pushing the line and is probably happy her finger is broke now she can make someone else’s life miserable.

  17. Susan Bassi is an old school publisher and investigative reporter who is not afraid to make enemies to get the story. And as the comments here reflect, she has made enemies. Case in point:

    In the course of her own divorce, Bassi discovered systemic court corruption and misuse of vexatious litigant law against primarily women going through a divorce. And she is determined to report the facts.

    • What a joke, your YouTube link clearly shows what a harassing hag Susan Bassi is. Absolutely no respect. The attorney clearly showed no interest in engaging with her yet she followed him. First Amendment right to free speech includes the right not to speak, did you know that Broke Finger Sue? Then you hear Sue telling the attorney not to harass HER, she has no shame and got what she deserved from the officer, a broken finger. And by the way, why is Sue Bassi harassing that attorney on You Tube about vexatious litigant? Becaus Sue Bassi (Sue Bee) can’t get over being declared vexatious herself. Some people just need to grow up. Maybe the answer is to take away her right as a reporter since she abuses that system too. She is as much a corrupt reporter as she accuses the courts of being corrupt.

      • Some reporter ha! Her blog Jane and John Q. Public lets you post a comment but then states your comment is being held for review (meets her approval). This happened after lots of people called her out by name on her blog once saying basically what people are saying here. You don’t bevome a vexatious litigant for no reason and she of course won’t own any of it. oh, the bad bad things she has done . . .

  18. There seem to be a lot of jailhouse lawyers giving legal advice in these comments. And obviously some cop, prosecutor, court employee, and government employee trolls. The right to photo/video the police is well established and federal level. It is, federal law. A state or local law, ordinance, rule, or court order cannot conflict with federal law. If it does, federal law controls. And federal law controls the common areas of a public building, where this incident occurred. This was a police incident being filmed by a reporter in a public building with a very localized rule prohibiting photo/video. So localized it only applied to this particular building. Federal law trumps that, hands down. And the law would be the same whether the photographer was a reporter or a citizen. This isn’t rocket science people. For details:

  19. Cut and pasted from an article in The Atlantic:

    What to Say When the Police Tell You to Stop Filming Them
    “Photography is a form of power, and people are loath to give up power, including police officers.”

    “If it were me, and an officer came up and said, ‘You need to turn that camera off, sir,’ I would strive to calmly and politely yet firmly remind the officer of my rights while continuing to record the interaction, and not turn the camera off,” Stanley told me.

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