Welcome to Marikafka County, Arizona

The amazing video below was taken on October 19 in Arizona's Maricopa County Superior Court.

As defense attorney Joanne Cuccia discusses her client's sentencing hearing with the judge, Maricopa County Sheriff's Department detention officer Adam Stoddard walks up behind her, and begins sifting through one of her files, which she has placed on the defense table. Remarkably, Stoddard then removes a document from the file and hands it off to another deputy, who then leaves the courtroom with it. They don't even bother to inform Cuccia, who has her back turned the entire time. The judge appears to have missed the incident as well.

But it was all captured on video:

Cuccia was justifiably upset, and requested a hearing. That hearing was last week. According to freelance journalist Nick Martin, who writes at the Heat City blog, Stoddard's story changed several times over the course of the hearing. His main defense was apparently that he spotted "keywords" on the document that made him think it contained threats to the courtroom. The problem with that story is that if you watch the video, he swiped the document from the middle of the file. It wasn't lying in open view. Which leaves open the question of why, in open court, he went snooping through a defense attorney's file in the first place.

I don't know Arizona law, so perhaps a Hit & Run reader with some experience there can help out. Could it possibly be legal for a law enforcement official to meander up to the defense table, begin reading the defense team's files, then take documents from said files without notifying the attorney? That sounds absurd on its face, even for Maricopa County.

It gets weirder. According to Heat City, the purpose of Friday's hearing was to determine if Stoddard had violated the attorney-client privilege of Cuccia's client, Antonio Lozano, and/or if Stoddard should be held in contempt of court. But Judge Gary Donahoe ruled that because the swiped document itself is protected by attorney-client privilege Stoddard wouldn't be able to mount his "keyword" defense, because the contents of the document can't be divulged. According to Heat City, Donahoe said Lozano would have to wave attorney-client privilege if he wanted to proceed with the hearing on whether Stoddard violated his rights.

If this is an accurate portrayal of the hearing, stand back and admire the absurdity: Judge Donahoe is refusing to punish Stoddard for possibly violating Lozano's attorney-client privilege unless Lozano waives his attorney-client privilege.

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  • ||

    Nothing to see.
    No police state here.
    Move along.

  • ||

    Actually, in a true police state, you would never get to see the video.

    This is one of the best arguments yet for forcing these left-wing judges to accept cameras in their courtrooms.

  • ||

    I don't understand. From what I know about Maricopa County, liberal isn't the typical description. And the deputy's boss is probably quite a bit to the right of most GOPers. I doubt it was the Sheriff's idea to install the camera.
    Is this just another handy, if tiresome, opportunity to unload some vitriol, however unrelated the context?
    Oh, and I know a lot of Democrats. They are a bit nanny-state-ish for my taste, but none of them are fascists.
    Take a cold bath.

  • ||

    "Left-wing"? You would call a judge who doesn't want to reprimand a bailiff "left-wing"? The original sentencing hearing judge does not impress me at all, and comes off neither left- nor right- but simply wishy-washy. She was playing with her nails while asking the defense attorney what she wanted, and as another commenter said, how did the judge not see what transpired when she's facing the deputies? Criminy.

  • ||

    Left wingers _want_ cameras not only in the courts, but in the interrogation room as well. It's the right-wingers that don't want it.

  • IK||

    What does that matter? The last video of an interrogation room was turned off long enough to beat a woman senseless and then turned back on to see her lying in a pool of blood. And nothing happened. Nothing. That's absurd.

  • ||

    He was fired and she got $400,000.

  • Notorious CUZ||

    Left, Right, what do politics have to do with the video? Scum is scum and goes to EVERY "wing".

    ...Anyrate, back to the topic at hand, I think it's hilarious/tragicomic that at 1:37 on the vid the deputy's actually caught by the defendant himself turning around and giving both cops a look of "WTF you guys doing?!", and not by any of the other lawyers in the courtroom. The prosecutors have a clear view of everything, but they make no attempt to say anything about it even after all is said and done. You'd think they'd want the trial to be as clean as possible to avoid legal pitfalls. Sure they're on opposing sides but can't they speak up when it's CLEARLY wrong, if only to aid a colleague?

    Wow, just wow.

  • ||

    Sheriff Joe is a fascist...period.

    Seattle, which is overwhelmingly liberal has garbage police. (Toss a recyclable beer can in the garbage by mistake and you have some 'splaining to do)

    No shortage of fascists in the world..some masquerade as Democrats and others Republicans.

  • Tara A. Finnigan||

    You miss the point. The Courtroom deputy committed theft. The file belonged to the attorney and the contents are protected by attorney client privilege. Do you want an officer to look through your wallet and take something from it? If so, what is your rationale?

  • MrWhipps||

    Um, Right wing?

  • MrWhipps||

    Again, right wing?

  • MrWipps||

    democratssarefascists. That really tells the tale, does it not? The real problem is non-political and includes the violation of the rights we hold dear. democratssarefascists, put yourself in the position of having to face a municipal, state or federal judge, and find out the the officers of the court are able to usurp and side step the laws that OUR inalienable rights allow us. I have been to court once in my life as a juvinille (now 45yrs) and it is not pleasant. What in the world are you thinking that would condone the actions of that deputy?

  • ||

    Why not just a straight-up charge of theft? Maybe just a misdemeanor, since he only took some paper, but he fucking stole it, didn't he?

    I would point out that there is no need for the attorney to waive the privilege even on the issue of the key-word defense. The document could be given to the judge in camera, for example, or the judge (jury?) could simply review the video-tape and see that the defense is a palpable lie.

    Best to get the cop to swear to it, first, though, so he can also be charged with perjury.

    Finally, the judge can jail him on contempt based solely on the video. Period. No need to know the content of the document, or give any credence to the cop's lies.

  • ||

    Finally, the judge can jail him on contempt based solely on the video. Period. No need to know the content of the document, or give any credence to the cop's lies.

    The description in this blog post indicates, to me at least, the judge doesn't want to actually punish the cop.

    At the very least wouldn't this qualify for a mistrial?

  • ||

    Why not just a straight-up charge of theft?

    That doesn't begin to cover it. There's theft, intimidation, depriving a person of their rights under color of authority, obstruction of justice, and I'm sure any lawyer could come up with a dozen more charges. That deputy has committed a crime, and the video shows it quite plainly.

    -jcr

  • Billy Beck||

    "...depriving a person of their rights under color of authority..."

    Strictly from memory, without looking it up, that's U.S.C. title 18, sec. 242 (maybe 243). That's a federal case: ten years imprisonment.

    Anyone got Holder's number? (No jokes, please: I've heard 'em all about that clown, going back to Ira Magaziner.)

  • pam||

    hopefully in the same prison as the Mexican Mafia dude calls home. PC can be excruciatingly boring for 10 years.

  • ||

    That's racist.

    (I figured I'd save trolls the trouble. The word "color" seems to trigger their automatic search systems.)

  • clippy||

    Speaking of trolls...

  • ||

    The attorney can't waive the privilege. It's the client's privilege to waive.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    "Why not just a straight-up charge of theft? Maybe just a misdemeanor, since he only took some paper, but he fucking stole it, didn't he?"

    Good point. But everyone knows the law doesn't apply to officers of the court.

  • ||

    That was my thought as well. This is clear-cut case of theft, as well as violation of the attorney-client privilege. It should never have required a hearing and/or a defense. If one stands in a court room and calls the judge a bastard, I suspect there wouldn't have to be a hearing to find that person in contempt.

    This is typical Arizona, however, and it's especially true for Maricopa County. This video simply shows why the state's motto is "Come on vacation, leave on probation."

    No, neither judge has any interest in punishing this egregious act. The record of the hearing on this has been sealed. Does that suggest anything?

  • hmm||

    That is insane.

  • ¢||

    You should be jaded enough by now to take some pleasure in the unnecessarily elaborate way the cop and judge chose to deliver their message.

  • ||

    Any word if the subversive bolshie who took the video has been arrested yet for contempt of cop?

  • Andrew||

    It is the official court recording. So no.

  • nobody||

    Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

  • Patrick||

    I don't know Arizona law either, but I do know that the Sixth Amendment right to effective counsel, which includes the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine, applies even in that benighted state.

  • ||

    In Soviet Arizona, secrets keep you.

  • Bill||

    Awesome.

  • Ben||

    I agree. Awesome.

  • ||

    I don't see any way this is legal. Or not possible grounds for a mistrial.

  • ||

    That's what I was thinking, except for the fact that this happened during the sentencing hearing so guilt had already been determined.

    In the grand scheme of things I don't think the defendant's case was harmed much (although who knows if those notes incriminated others) -- but the conduct is a BIG deal.

    What did they do with the document? Was it copied? Passed along to the police?

    It's also quite distressing to think that this idiot judge won't charge him with contempt without privilege being waved. That kind of catch-22 is a shitty situation for a defendant. Either give up privilege or run the risk of having your defense docs snooped on.

  • ||

    If conduct this egregious happens, it takes on a similar character to the discovery that the judge was, say, paid by the mob. You don't need a specific misapplication of the law or of procedure in such instances to get a mistrial declared.

  • ||

    Yes, the document (a letter the defendant had written to his attorney) was copied and the copy handed to the prosecutor. The state looked at the copy, then returned it to the defense attorney.

  • ||

    At minimum they should be both be fired for misconduct.

  • God||

    The judge needs to be thrown in jail with them. It happened right in front of her and she played dumb. I don't see the point in giving judges respect. They're just crooked lawyers that took the extra step. Fuck em.

  • Rich||

    Anybody know what the "keywords" were?

  • ||

    I'm guessing it said "deputy stoddard blows sailors for a nickel in the bus station washroom, and judge Donahoe is a regular customer"

    -jcr

  • ||

    Good call John Randolph. The sad thing is this is the state of our "judicial" system...instead of "justice" it truly is, just-us, law enforcement and the judges and district attorneys. I am for the election of judges, no appointments! This judge is a sham and blatantly prejudiced by protecting the officer.

  • ||

    The keywords were "going to", "steal," and "money," according to the deputy, who claims he just saw those words, and for the security of the court, he felt compelled to pull the letter and have it copied.

    My thoughts were that if he could only read those four words in the amount of time he stared at it in the video, he must be an awfully slow reader.

    Aside from that, the papers had already passed through the examination process before they were brought to the court room. There was no need to be snooping through them.

  • Attorney||

    What. The. Fuck.

    Why didn't the judge ask the officer what he was doing as soon as he started reading the docs on counsel table? I think some judges are a little afraid of court personnel, especially security.

  • hah||

    I think some judges are a little afraid of court personnel, especially security.

    Not surprising, since "security" personnel are the only armed people in the building.

  • ||

    Not true, hah! Judges can be armed too - and often are!

  • pam||

    what, with a robe?

  • JackDela||

    Many, many judges are armed in the courtroom. So many, in fact, that the gun manufacturer Taurus markets a pistol called the "The Judge", which is chambered for .410 shotgun shells and/or .45 pistol cartridges.

  • ||

    That's right. My father, a retired Superior Court judge from NC, carried a .38 during his 16 years on the bench. Even some of the DAs carried firearms. And guess what? Not one of them was required to pass through a metal detector.

  • anon||

    If citizen has complaint, put it in envelope addressed to hospital in which he was born. There is no problem - if there is problem submit it to solutions manager to report non compliance.

  • Phelps||

    There's no "keyword" exception to attorney-client privilege. In fact, he violated the privilege by even looking, much less rifling through and taking a document.

    At the very least, he should no longer be an officer of the court. (An attorney who acted this egregiously would expect to have his bar privileges revoked in that court, if he manages to avoid being disbarred.)

  • ||

    Based on Sheriff Arpaio's limitless authority, your exposure of this matter constitutes Obstruction of Justice.
    Report to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office immediately.

  • ||

    I'm sure Keith Olbermann will give this plenty of air time tonight.

  • pam||

    ha, we wish!

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    See this is why women will never be able to join forces forces against their true enemies. Here you have at least two women law school graduates who know that a crime has been committed by beefy, unintelligent, armed and aggressive males. Yet when one woman demands to know what the thieves took, the other tells her to take a deep breath and calm down.

  • ||

    when one woman demands to know what the thieves took, the other tells her to take a deep breath and calm down.

    Maybe they should kiss.

  • juris imprudent||

    That works best for teacher/student or jailor/convict. I just don't think you can sell judge/defense-lawyer, but you never know - there's a porn niche for everyone.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I don't know, I could see it working. The attorney says "So what are you wearing under that robe, your honor?" and the judge winks and says "would you like to find out?"

    SPOILER WARNING: the judge is not wearing anything under the robe.

    It could also include lines like "Would the counsel approach my cunt?"

  • ||

    I like, "nappy dugout" better.

  • anon||

    What I'd like to think I'd have done if I were the judge: (when fat officer #2 is still out of the room with the document)

    In a barking, Admiral Adama tone:

    "I want everyone in the courtroom to hold still. No one get up, no one move, bailiff included."

    "You there, in the public observer's seats, by the door - open the courtroom door and tell the nearest guard in the hallway to come into this courtroom."

    (To the new hall guard) "I want you to find fat officer #2 and bring him back here at once. Don't let him destroy, hide, or copy any document in his possession. Confiscate any papers he has on his person. If he hesitates or resists, place him under arrest and bring him before me in handcuffs if necessary. On your way out send in another hall guard to relieve officer #1"...

    At least the judge should've shown some outrage, and it would've made for better TV...

  • bubba||

    I'd be the worst judge ever, because I'd get up and grab the asshole myself.

  • ||

    Is it inappropriate for a judge to stand up, bang her gavel and shout, "What the fuck are you doing back there, Sparky?"

  • ||

    Something like that would warm the cockles of my heart.

  • anon||

    or maybe an Admiral Cain tone would be more fitting

  • bubba||

    LMAO. That's so sad.

  • ||

    Yeah, that comment made me hate her.

  • ||

    Seems like the attorney ought to:

    1) Appeal the judge's ruling on the misconduct charge, in an attempt to get a less biased judge reexamine the misconduct

    2) Use that as leverage to cut a plea bargain getting a better sentencing deal for her client

  • ||

    Isn't that a problem considering she may make a substantial portion of her living in that court?

    Violence is the only answer. Someone needs to lose a hand.

  • ||

    Why should her client get a "better" sentencing? He was convicted of committing the crime, so he should do the time! If another crime has been committed, that is a separate issue, to be dealt with separately.

  • ||

    Yeah guys, sadly they didn't pull this shit during the actual trial.

  • wingnutx||

    I can't wait until this judge comes up for re-election.

  • ||

    Considering that this county elects Joe Arpaio, I would wager she has considerably improved her chances of re-election.

  • WWJGD||

    Thanks, Radley. Thanks.

  • juris imprudent||

    No shit. I've been considering AZ as an alternative to Californistan. Not that I was thinking about that particular part of AZ.

  • Joette||

    After looking closely at the video, it doesn't look to me like the sheriff took the top page he was perusing. It appeared to me that he took something out of the middle of the stack. How could the "key word" defense possibly hold up??

  • Grandpa Whithers||

    Speakin of crimes in Arizona...

    Police: Pair stole up to 1k bags at Ariz. airport:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200.....en_luggage

  • ||

    Wow.

    Pigs Shouldn't Rule.

  • ||

    maricopa county is is run by joe arpaio, a known crooked cop who will go to any length to see his enemies vanquished. politicians and judges are no exception.

  • Attorney||

    There definitely seemed to be more to this than met the eye. The officer (Stoddard?) looked at somebody off-screen and nodded, as if responding to a signal, before he took the papers. Then the other guy came over and took the papers away. They were apparently waiting for defense counsel to become focused on a colloquy with the judge before moving in to get whatever it was they wanted. Was the judge in on it? Is she in the same party as Arpaio? Do the cops have a beef against this defender or some of her other clients?

  • Andrew||

    Take heart. He is under investigation by the FBI. His day shall come.

  • ||

    Corrupt cops being investigated by our corrupt federal government? I'm certain justice will be served.

  • josh||

    perhaps. while a cynic might agree nothing will be done, a cynic could also say its possible something will be done(albeit not for the right reasons). The federal government doesn't like sharing power so they might bring the ban hammer just ask an excuse to flex their power.

  • Not That David||

    I wonder if she's going along with this out of fear that he'll arrest her if she dares charge one of his deputies with anything.

  • anon||

    I wonder if they are in love. Awww.

  • ||

    I don't see how the "keyword" defense could help Stoddard even if it's true. Why did he look at the papers in the first place and thus be in a position to see any keywords? From the video he's clearly snooping; you can see him glance at the prosecutor's papers as well before looking at the defense's. That's the start of his violation of privilege, and it doesn't become retroactively legal if he found magic beans, let alone "keywords". There is no need for the defense to disclose the contents of the papers.

    Sadly, if the defense attorney pushes on this issue she'll only hurt her client by pissing off the cops and their pet prosecutor.

  • anon||

    She should talk to the Feds about civil rights violations.

  • dennis||

    In a better world Joe Arpaio would be strung up in the town square and spat upon by local grandmothers, of whom there are probably many, in that it is Arizona.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    "I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look up at your lifeless eyes and wave like this. *waggles fingers* Can you and your associates arrange this for me, Mr. Arpaio?"

  • NeonCat||

    B5 ref for the win!

  • Zon||

    Isn't this the same sherrif who raided a local newspaper office and then arrested the editors because they wrote a bad piece about him?

  • ||

    Yeah. It was the office of the Phoenix New Times. Yet, some idiots reelected them here.

  • ||

    Sheriff Arpaio under FBI investigation
    November 3, 11:00 AM http://www.examiner.com/x-1623.....estigation

  • ||

    "...pro illegal alien groups..."

    Umm, what? Are there really groups that want ILLEGAL immigrants? or are they just bashing on the idea of open, legal immigration.

    Nevermind, i answered my own question.

  • Warty||

    Here's a good Radley story. Guy saves lives, gets tased. http://blog.cleveland.com/metr.....st_at.html

  • hmm||

    I wonder if he was close to Kent State.

    Oh shit DUCK!!!

    No one is going to get that. my jokes suck.

  • Nipplemancer||

    it's still too soon.

  • hmm||

    It's never too soon somewhere.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Kent piglets and Obama comin'...

  • ||

    This cop needs an ass whipping.

  • Robert||

    In Ariz., don't they play "dealer looks"?

    He honors you by taking your stakes.

  • ||

    If I was in charge the main purpose of the FBI would be to investigate civil rights violations done by local police, and judges, such as this one.

  • ||

    I can tell you what would happen in Mohave County Arizona. Most of the judges would have a hearing and determine the relevancy of what was taken. If it was a paper full of doodles, most would just rebuke law enforcment and continute. If it was a confession, I think most would dismiss the case with prejudice. Judge Conn, our best judge would be most likely to dismiss. Commisioner Carlisle would be in the "nothing wrong here, move a long" crowd....even if it was a confession. Judge Bartlett would probably hold defense counsel in contempt for not reasonably forseeing that LEO wold go through his work product. And there ain't no way the chief deputy county attorney, Jace Zack, would have the balls to prosecute such a theft. But then again, most county deputies that I worked with, as low paid as they are, have more respect for the system than these pigs here and probably would be just as appalled.

  • ||

    Oh, this was a sentencing hearing... Well then you are talking about aggravating and mitigating factors...unless it is a plea for a stipulated amount with no range. I think that there'd still be a hearing, and that most of the judge would simply preclude the State from asserting any aggrivating factors and would only listen to mitigating factors. Maybe the judge would give a sentence based soley on the factual basis at the change of plea.
    But I was just thinking, what if this was a confession of a different crime. Say one that wasn't in the plea agreement or charged at trial. That open a whole other can of worms.

  • ||

    This is like a psychological experiment. Rodney Balko describes things that do not appear on the video, and everyone else sees them too. The court officer doesn't sift through the file -- his attention is apparently caught by something on a page that is partly out of the file. He pulls it farther out of the file and reads it, then signals to another officer to come over. When the other officer comes over, they consult, he shows him what he found, and then removes the document from the file and the other officer takes it away.
    All signs still point to this officer being an idiot for taking the document instead of, for example, alerting the judge, but nothing on the tape is inconsistent with his claim that he noticed something in plain view on the document that concerned him. In fact, that seems to be the only reasonable explanation of what he does.
    Indeed, I'm curious as to what larger, nefarious plot people imagine this is evidence of. Lozano was convicted, it was a sentencing hearing, why do you think the officer would have wanted to look in the file? What benefit could there have been to the prosecution?
    Oh, and the judge's ruling re: attorney-client privilege is clearly correct. The officer's defense depends on the contents of the document, so he can't defend himself unless that is revealed. The defendant knows what is in the document, and he has the power to waive the privilege as to that single document. No doubt he will, if it will refute the officer's explanation. In the meantime, ask yourselves: are there other circumstances where you think it is appropriate to convict someone when they are barred from presenting evidence in support of their defense?

  • d||

    Arpaio, stop trying to plant sympathetic-sounding posts using feminine noms de plume.

    It ain't gonna work here.

  • ||

    Might be an interesting IP address here....

  • Gitmo Convictions 'R Us||

    No doubt he will, if it will refute the officer's explanation. In the meantime, ask yourselves: are there other circumstances where you think it is appropriate to convict someone when they are barred from presenting evidence in support of their defense?

    Why yes!

    Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

  • ||

    Oh, and the judge's ruling re: attorney-client privilege is clearly correct. The officer's defense depends on the contents of the document, so he can't defend himself unless that is revealed.

    Bullshit. The perp committed the crime, whatever the contents of the paper he took may be.

    -jcr

  • ||

    What crime?

  • ||

    Your explanation is based on a false premise. So you are either deliberately lying, or just weren't actually paying attention to the video.

    The deputy couldn't possibly have read anything sticking out of the pile from where he was standing originally. In fact his view was at least partially, if not totally, blocked by the woman in the dark suit standing in front of him. His attention was, as you say, "apparently caught by something on a page that is partly out of the file". But that was only after he was standing right there looking at the papers. He couldn't possibly have seen that from where he was standing originally. It's simply not physically possible for anything to have caught his attention from his original position in the room.

    You will need to come up with a valid reason for the deputy to walk over to the lawyers table in the first place before you can ridicule this post or the comments concerned. Otherwise, your comment is discredited.

  • ||

    He walked over to stand behind the defendant. Which is actually a pretty common place for a court officer to stand, particularly when it is an incarcerated defendant charged with or convicted of a violent crime. I admit, it looked natural to me for the officer to stand there, so I didn't even think twice about it. Just as you don't seem to have thought twice about anything else on the tape or the subsequent proceedings.

  • ||

    The problem is that he immediately focus on the papers when he walked over. It's not like he was just standing there looking bored when he happened to look down. In fact, he was already trying to read the paper even before he had completely come to a stop. His intent is apparent.

  • ||

    You must be related to or work with/for the sheriff's department, prosecutor's office, or the judge in question. Also, the deputy is reading a document on top of the pile but pulls a document(s) from the middle of the pile. The video shows the deputy moving the top documents over while retrieving the subject document from underneath. Finally, that takes a lot of balls to sift through an attorney's work product like that. I would not have taken a deep breath. I think there are powers that be that can look into it and that are not subject to the same concerns that are apparently render these judges so inept.

  • Ben||

    You're not an attorney, are you?

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Straight up Fourth Amendment case: papers were searched and seized without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Civil rights have been knowingly and intentionally violated. No "keyword" defense need apply.

    End of story.

  • ||

    As others have pointed out, he had no right to look at the papers in the first place, regardless of contents.

    As the defense pointed out, if there was a security issue, she was searched before entering the courtroom and all security matters should have been resolved then.

    From the talk in the video of "hand written" and "jail mail", I'm assuming it was a hand written letter to his lawyer from prison.

    The deputy's attention should not have been "caught" in the first place, and if it had, removing papers from a lawyer's file was not the correct course of action.

  • guyunoir||

    Our justice system is such a farking joke, corrupt from bottom to top. I hope both of these deputies lose their jobs (the second guy was clearly an accessory or an accomplice).

  • ||

    The defense attorney did a lot better job at keeping it together than I would have. I think I would have probably wound up held in contempt for the remarks I would have directed at the officer.

  • ||

    I would have walked right out of the courtroom, gone directly to the nearest federal or state authority (whoever's above them in the food chain), and sworn out a complaint against the perp for stealing the document, and the judge for letting him do it.

    -jcr

  • Dave W.||

    Cross posted from Mr. Balko's fine "Adge" blog:

    It is a at least two crimes (see Ariz Crim Code sections below). Also, the judge must allow the preservation of trade secrets (which the writing on the paper clearly is) during prosecution. perhaps most exciting, if the paper was considered to be “taken from the person” then we have a . . . . wait for it . . . eff-to-tha-ee-to-tha-el-to-tha-oe-to-tha-en-to-tha-why? Because we love you!

    =====================================================
    13-2810. Interfering with judicial proceedings; classification

    A. A person commits interfering with judicial proceedings if such person
    knowingly:

    1. Engages in disorderly, disrespectful or insolent behavior during the
    session of a court which directly tends to interrupt its proceedings or
    impairs the respect due to its authority; . . .
    B. Interfering with judicial proceedings is a class 1 misdemeanor.
    =====================================================
    13-1801. Definitions

    A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
    . . .
    4. “Deprive” means to withhold the property interest of another either
    permanently or for so long a time period that a substantial portion of its
    economic value or usefulness or enjoyment is lost, to withhold with the
    intent to restore it only upon payment of any reward or other compensation or to transfer or dispose of it so that it is unlikely to be recovered.
    . . .
    10. “Obtain” means to bring about or to receive the transfer of any
    interest in property, whether to a defendant or to another, or to secure
    the performance of a service or the possession of a trade secret.
    . . .
    12. “Property” means any thing of value, tangible or intangible,
    including trade secrets.
    =====================================================
    13-1802. Theft; classification

    A. A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person
    knowingly:

    1. Controls property of another with the intent to deprive the other
    person of such property; or

    2. Converts for an unauthorized term or use services or property of
    another entrusted to the defendant or placed in the defendant’s possession for a limited, authorized term or use; or

    3. Obtains services or property of another by means of any material
    misrepresentation with intent to deprive the other person of such property or services; or

    4. Comes into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of
    another under circumstances providing means of inquiry as to the true owner and appropriates such property to the person’s own or another’s use without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner; or

    5. Controls property of another knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen; or

    6. Obtains services known to the defendant to be available only for
    compensation without paying or an agreement to pay the compensation or diverts another’s services to the person’s own or another’s benefit without authority to do so.

    B. A person commits theft if the person knowingly takes control, title,
    use or management of an incapacitated or vulnerable adult’s assets or
    property through intimidation or deception, as defined in section . . .
    while acting in a position of trust and confidence and with the intent to
    deprive the incapacitated or vulnerable adult of the asset or property.
    . . .
    D. At the conclusion of any grand jury proceeding, hearing or trial, the
    court shall preserve any trade secret that is admitted in evidence or any portion of a transcript that contains information relating to the trade secret pursuant to section 44-405.

    E. . . . Theft of any property or services valued at less than one thousand dollars is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless the property is taken from the person of another . . . in which case the theft is a class 6 felony.
    . . .

  • Abdul||

    At first, I thought this was much ado about nothing, but the part about Stoddard's testimony seems fishy. If he found an authentic threat, then he would have been the one requesting a hearing.

    After all, while the defense attorney is a little distracted, there are other people in the courtroom, including the judge who is facing the deputy. He doesn't seem to act like someone trying to get away with something.

    It doesn't take long before DA's, PD's and the police know each other, because you see each other all the time. There are some documents that everyone knows everyone is going to be able to see at trial (lab reports confirming that drugs are drugs, for example), and therefore they are circulated casually. If a DA is busy, it wouldn't be unusual for him to hand it to cop waiting to testify to hand off to the PD, or even ask the judge's clerk to copy it for the PD.

  • ||

    1) The defense counsel didn't hand off the document, it was surreptitiously removed by the deputy behind her back. 2) The deputy was security in the courtroom, not an officer waiting to testify. The deputy had no frigging business going through the attorney's paperwork. And finally, the deputy putting his hand on the attorney's elbow when the judge asked counsel to approach the bench was just as appalling. Who the F"()* does this guy think he is?

  • Scott Pigeon||

    I don't believe that the judge didn't see him walk over to the table, look, touch, call another officer over, and take documents. She was faced right at the entire incident with no other movement in the courtroom. By the way she is protecting him despite video evidence, it's painfully obvious there is something going on here. In fact, the judge should be investigated for participation.

  • ||

    America continues to grind to a complete halt.

  • ||

    Tar and feathers.

  • Rob Ives||

    I say this as a long-time prosecutor who often disagrees with Mr. Balko: How about theft?

  • Rob Ives||

    Of course, if the document was plain view evidence of a criminal emergency (unlikely but possible) it would not be a theft or contempt situation. There would have to be one heck of a good explanation from the police officer.

  • Reformed Republican||

    He walked over to look at the papers. It was not something he noticed by chance. That is why any attempt at a keyword defense is a failure, and that is why it does not matter what was on there.

    Maybe this was just a setup to try to get the defendant to waive attorney-client privilege.

  • Fat Sean||

    That cop needs the death penalty. If the justice system does nothing, I'm sure there will be some vigilante justice.

  • ||

    Perhaps someone else has already said something similar, but in my mind there is only one logical explanation--the cops already knew what was on the paper and wanted it exposed to the world--and the judge perhaps is willing to help out. For in every case there are things that people know but cannot say. Thus, by forcing exposure of what was on the paper, even if the defendant did not get the punishment the establishment wanted, he would still have something revealed and would be damaged--whether it be in the eyes of the public, or by having the means to get him with a different crime. In short, it was an unreasonable search and seizure by the state, in pursuit of what it considered justice.
    This implies a willingness by the State to use extralegal means to obtain one's version of justice, as well as belief that the police forces of the state are some kind of sovereign with immunity from the rules.

    The security forces in this country have grown too independent and too arrogant, and it has got to stop. For they are merely human, possessing no great wisdom over the common man merely by possessing a badge, and can be and often are wrong in their judgments. They must operate inside the law--or be viewed as outside the law: outlaws. In this case, they are outlaws, clear and simple.

  • pam||

    If an inmate is STG the gulag reads all outgoing mail and can photocopy it there and pass it on to the proper authorities therefore no need for sheriff deputies to resort to stealing from the defense table. The penitentiary has all the power to get any security threat into the hands of the authorities even legal mail (unless it was somehow hand delivered but I don't see how it could be based on the security for visitation). It's an urban legend to think that legal calls are confidential, they are recorded. The recordings just can't be used in a court of law (but they are recorded); the information can be used in various other ways by the gulag. Also, "keywords" are picked up on recorded phone calls. Certain words trigger a clicking sound during the conversation, it's been tested. I mean, if there really was some huge security threat here it would have been detected and smashed at the gulag not left up to these Barneys. What the heck was this all about?

  • ||

    Oh, and the judge's ruling re: attorney-client privilege is clearly correct. The officer's defense depends on the contents of the document, so he can't defend himself unless that is revealed.

    No, there is no such defense. No matter what the cop saw or thought he saw, he still violated attorney-client privilege, as well as a host of other laws.

  • ||

    Violating attorney-client privilege is not a free-standing crime. What if the officer had overheard the attorney and her client discussing a plan to grab concealed weapons and shoot the judge (note, for the particularly fervent on here, I am not suggesting that anything of the sort happened) -- would he be unable to take any action because doing so would violate the attorney-client privilege?

    And I'd still like some enumeration of the host of other laws the officer has violated. Obviously, the court is considering whether his actions constituted contempt of court, but his motivation is surely relevant to deciding whether his actions were contemptuous. As the judge (NOT the judge in the video, but the one who is considering contempt charges) recognized.

    Again, try to imagine that the "accused" here is not some evil law enforcement officer, but rather just your average accused criminal (or your son, brother, father) -- would you then think it appropriate to convict him without allowing him to present evidence in support of his defense, particularly when it is someone on the other side who has the unique power to make that evidence available or to conceal it?

  • ||

    Would he have been able to take steps to prevent shooting the judge if he had innocently overheard this being planned? Sure he could. Didn't happen though. He wandered over and had a look-see through her papers. If he had noticed imminent plans to commit illegal acts I'd have to suggest that this would have come out in the 2 hours he was questioned about it at the second hearing instead of "keywords".

    Differences in the facts matter in questions of law.

  • Phelps||

    According to this report, the second judge has already ruled that the document was privileged.

    http://www.azcentral.com/12new.....09-CR.html

    So the issue now isn't whether or not the deputy violated the privilege -- he did. The question now is whether it was excused. And an excuse is his burden, not the attorney whose privilege was violated.

  • ||

    Stealing a lawyer's briefcase is theft, no matter what is in the bag. Same with the document.

    Nor does the deputy have any authroity to instigate a search and seizure withour a court order--whihc he didn't have.

    The judge is failing: like the ones that try to "balance" the first amendment against someone's hurt feelings. Nothing to balance here.

    (Oh..but not to worry--the privacy of your national healthcare records will be safe!)

    Someone, somewhere with an oz of justice in them ought to indict and try that deputy. The judge oought to be removed. The prisoner discharged in the interests of justice.

  • ||

    I personally know court security personnel (Federal level)and they do indeed have a special bond with the judges. This judge seems to be incredibly meek or shy. A real wallflower. No wonder Judge Donahue handled the hearing.

  • ||

    For over 25 years I was a prosecutor at both the state and federal levels, and have participated in literally thousands of courtroom proceedings. And although I don't live in the Southwest, I have been a fan of Sheriff Joe Arpaio to boot.

    But what I saw the deputies do in that video was nothing less than an outrage, and an affront to the Constitution. In my entire career I have never known a courtroom deputy/marshal/bailiff to even stand over defense counsel's materials and look at them, much less touch them. To see a deputy pick through counsel's papers, and then seize one of her documents is simply shocking to me.

    I cannot conceive a set of circumstances which would have excused the deputies for reading and seizing that document. It is at a minimum a contempt of court, and before anything else was done the matter should have been determined immediately upon a full hearing.

    I'd be interested in knowing how it turned out, and if the judge is more interested in sweeping untidy matters under the rug or in ensuring that in her courtroom the Constitution is scrupulously observed.

  • ||

    I have complained for a bunch of decades now that my fellow Americans are idiots (for allowing certain things to happen and not do anything). This time is no different. When talking with all of my coworkers about this (we live in Phoenix by the way) they all maintained that the attorney shouldn't have taken documents into court that she didn't want others to see and the powers that be MUST know what they are doing or they wouldn't have given Stoddard a badge! Scary, isn't it?

  • ||

    Suspend him with pay! That will show him!

  • ||

    Put a notation in his permanent record.

  • ||

    From the follow-up story:

    ***Sheriff's Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre said a detention officer screening paperwork was standard procedure.

    "The original papers were given back to the defense attorney, and the copy that was made was sealed in an envelope and given to county counsel. When county counsel read them, they gave them back to the defense attorney," MacIntyre said. "Nobody from the Sheriff's Office ever read them."***

    From the video it's pretty obvious that the officer read the paper. The "screening" excuse does not remotely hold up.

  • ||

    One begins to wonder whether this was the first time it happened - or the first time anyone just noticed it happening...?

  • TRACY||

    BAILIFF!
    WACK HIS PEE-PEE!!!!

  • ||

    Mr. Chitlan! Mr. Chitlan!

  • pam||

    that judge had no idea what was going on right in front of her face. Unbelievable. It was like she was on tranqualizers. The inmate was the one who noticed it all. You could tell he had excellent peripheral vision, being the first to notice the cop coming up from behind and then telling his attorney when he saw him take the papers. It was like he had eyes in back of his head. I guess guys in prison develop keen senses due to having to watch their back constantly. It was like he felt the guy coming up. A little later in the tape you could see the convict staring those two down. I’m not sure he’s the one who needs protection.

    The blatant nature of this speaks volumns. Were they not aware of cameras or is that part of the blatancy (if that is a word).

  • Fascist Nation||

    h/t Terry Bressi on Freedom's Phoenix for the link:

    http://www.azcentral.com/12new.....09-CR.html

  • ||

    Unfortunately the judge is stupid, end of story.

  • ||

    I have been a lawyer for almost 40 years, and in all those years I have rarely if ever seen anything so utterly shocking in a courtroom. I was a judge for four years, and I cannot believe I would have remained so calm and unconcerned if my bailiff had rifled through counsel's file and then taken a document.

    Unbelievable. Beyond words. What is going on in that courtroom? And is this a common occurrence? This is really scary stuff.

  • ||

    Just be glad you don't have to live in this state. The actions of Joe and his boys are sometimes offensive, and often embarrasing for those of us who are stuck here. This would be one of those times.

  • ||

    Having watched the video a couple times, he's looking at the same paper the whole time. It's sticking out from the bottom of the folder a little bit, after reading a while he pulls it out a little further, then he opens the file to that page by holding the part sticking out and removes that page he was reading the whole time. Not to comment on the rightness of reading over the defense attorney's papers, but its possible that he quickly glanced at the folder and some word or phrase caught his eye and he then continued reading.

  • ||

    Bailiff did'nt see the document standing over the pile. He saw it from across the room and walked right over there. Not a coincidence.

  • ||

    Was the head flip from the gal behind defendant a signal to pilfer? She would be the prosecution, no???

  • ||

    What next? A search of the attorney's alimentary canal?

  • ||

    Wow, unreal. I cant beleive someone hasnt taken one of those PUNK cops out yet!

    Jess
    www.private-web.se.tc

  • Ben||

    WTF is wrong with Arizona? Between this and Joe Arpaio, I'm beginning to wonder whether this isn't a systemic problem from the top down.

  • A Lawyer||

    The privilege belongs to the client, not the judge. So, if the client waives attorney/client privilege, the purloined document can be introduced in evidence.

  • ||

    Ol' Joe's getting a little big for his britches, isn't he? No department is that big. Sooner or later, (I'm thinking sooner), he'll discover the wonderful world of "I'm hip deep in shit", and the Feds are going to suspend his and his cronies little reign of fun.
    Remember Joe, surveillance is a two-way street. ;-)

  • Dyl||

    Hey yeah that almost sounds like... theft...

    Huh...

  • Paladin||

    18 USC Section 241 and/or 242.

    Throw the criminal cop in jail where he belongs.

    I'm sick and tired of these a$$hats being protected by the so-called justice system.

    When law and morality contradict each other the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his sense of morality or losing his respect for the law. — Frederick Bastiat

  • ||

    Welcome to Joe's world...where the law is whatever he says it is. It's so ironic that this judge and Joe the Schmoe lock horns all the time. I can only guess that this ruling is based in law somewhere (or Donahoe is completely off the beam) but law or not, someone needs to have the cajones to stand up to this behavior. There is NO WAY this defendant...guilty or innocent...should be subjected to these SS tactics. And then to have Stoddard LIE about it...jeez---if he saw scary keywords in a document in a folder across the room from him I am a horse's patooty! If Emperor Joe wasn't his boss, he would have been fired immediately! Listen Arizona...maybe you like that Joe makes life hell for the guilty...but weigh it against all the other illegal and offensive things he allows in his corps and you will realize...it time to get rid of this cockroach and his cronies!

  • boogaboy||

    what was the charge against the client?
    maybe, even if he's a serial killer, he can beat the rap now.

  • ||

    The judge is has a missing vertebrae. This is obstruction of justice in her courtroom. Unless the deputy had a search warrant for the attorney's file, this is contempt of court [conduct which obstructs the orderly administration of justice]. The judge needs to be a judge and issue a Rule To Show Cause. If she refuses,she needs to be removed from the case and a substitutite judge appointed. Something is terribly amiss in Maricopa Conunty that this did not autometically happen. The U.S. Attorney needs to get involved and investigate.

  • ||

    The thing that struck me was how the prosecution reacted to the entire event - not only were they not at all outraged, it was like they weren't even surprised about it. The judge is clueless at best and sinister at worst.

  • Jack Waldron||

    Hey Radley,
    Why don't you get something more open so us Linux users can view these videos too. This video won't play on Linux machines and the "missing plug-in" code is borked. Or on;y works under XP/Vista/7(of9).

  • Ratko||

    And I was just thinking I'd give Linux another try, see if it's for my defection yet. Better wait a little longer.

  • manny||

    arizona the government is the most prejudice and the ones that do not care abut people rights havens forbids if maccain will become president all of us will be screwed

  • ||

    You all sound like you want to kill yourselves. Please...do it for us. And don't leave a note. We understand.
    Fly Air Wellstone!

  • Anonymous||

    It's not actually that absurd.

    He's not being asked to waive his privilege entirely -- he's being asked to waive his privilege, as it pertains to that document.

    That's the only way the document could be introduced in the courtroom -- the judge is actually right on this one.

    As much as it sucks, the document has to be released to the court, in order for the court to consider the question of the deputy's stunt.

    Otherwise there's no evidence for the court to consider.

    --a

  • anon||

    "Otherwise there's no evidence for the court to consider."

    Eh... maybe the video evidence?

  • appeh||

    You are talking about a state that tasered peaceful protestors years back. When people went to protest a road in the neighborhood, the police showed up and told them they could not protest!

    Arizona is a police state. I made a left turn from the left turn lane with 15 cars in front of me and 15 cars behind me. Arizona police gave me a ticket for no left turn signal. My defense that it was obvious I was making a left turn because I was in the middle of 30 other cars making a left turn didn't make a difference to the officer.

    The ticket was about revenue collection and enforcement of Arizona's police state mentality.

  • Nat Green||

    Maricopa County is a right wing dictatorship. Nuke the fuckers. Sheriff Joe can rot in hell with the other Nazi conservitards.

  • Free||

    I saw the video fine on my Linux machine. And it pissed me off. Fuck the police.

  • ||

    judges used to be attorneys, its like letting the fox into the hen house, no supervision and no cameras in many court rooms, why? only One reason, to Protect crooked judges...no other excuse..

  • j_in_mesa||

    Maricopa County politics are like a right-wing version of Cook County politics. Difference between the two counties? I can carry a gun openly here and that's about it. Local news investigates Sheriff Joe (about a ten-minute video): http://www.kpho.com/video/21476686/index.html

  • ||

    The prosecution and its deputies are trying to put criminals in prison, the defense lawyers are trying to let them off scot-free. It's obvious who holds the high ground here. Either you're in favor of law enforcement or you're a criminal.

  • JonnyD67||

    I am in favor of law enforcement enforcing the law, not being criminals themselves. If you choose to live under a fascist police state, great, but one day when your rights are violated, just remember that you are not a criminal, because you are in favor of law enforcement!
    Most people don't want criminals walking around,"scot-free", but how can you have faith in a justice system that violates the very laws it is sworn to uphold? The only thing that makes the justice system (and democratic governments) viable is people's faith in it, and things like this shake their faith.

  • ||

    There is a line, when law enforcement cross it, they are no longer law enforcement but criminal...America is a prison state,,3 million plus in our prisons, if it was not for illegal acts of police and district attorneys opps I mean the "other' criminals our prisons might be less...over 35% of usa do not trust police..go figure why that is so high...

  • anon||

    i sincerely hope you are being sarcastic

  • ||

    At the latest hearing, Stoddard said the document was taken for screening. His first story was that he saw keywords. Which one is it? The fact that his story changed is extremely fishy. It seems clear from the video that he did not walk over to stand behind the defendant, but walked directly to the file.
    And Don B, prosecutors and deputies engaged in criminal acts aren't anywhere near high ground.

  • TJ||

    Keep it simple, the defendants rights were violated. Since the State of Arizona is a federal supdivision of the United States, the defendant should file a civil rights violation suit under Title 42 of the U.S. Code. Last time I looked, that was a $1,000,000 penalty (against the deputy and/or the state) plus 5 years in the big house.

  • Lewis B. Sckolnick||

    Well he certainly knew where to look.

  • ||

    Violations of the Constitution of the United States in Arizona? No surprise! Hitler would admire Arizona for may resons.

  • Justice||

    Justice has lost all meaning. Pity this nation. It will end in rubble. If it were just arizona (doesn't deserve a captiol a), it would be a gain.

  • AZ Resident||

    Sherrif Joe is a corrupt, delusional meglomanical criminal, and a very very dangerous man. He costs the taxpayers of Maricopa County hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars annually, yet they do not vote him out of office because Sherrif Joe runs the county and is above the law. He uses his deputies to follow and intimidate political opponents and their families. The County Supervisor was charged with 65 felonies this year (which were dismissed without prejudice in a neighboring county) for filing an incomplete/false financial disclosure form, despite the fact that there are no laws requiring county officials to file such documents. His deputies use frivolous reasons to pull over "suspicious" vehicles in order to attempt to enforce Federal immigration laws (despite the abundance of INS agents in AZ). In August he raided the offices of a county building and siezed ALL of their records, password-protected their computers, and threatened to arrest any county employee who interfered; he stole all of their records. Last month he sent the SWAT team to raid City Hall and the Main Library to catch "suspected illegals", endangering many bystanders. The Court system is in his pocket. It is nearly impossible to mount an effective campaign against him, and his jurisdiction is in the heart of McCain country. There's a reason AZ is still listed as a "racist state", and much of that reason is Maricopa. It is beyond me why no Federal agency has stepped in to save our state from itself, because this man clearly belongs behind bars, or in a tent wearing pink underwear(which apparantly is all it takes to distract Phoenix voters from their personal safety and wallets long enough to get their vote). AZ is kind of a hell-hole in general, Maricopa County is the vortex, and Arpaio is it's Satan. This case is probably one of the LEAST egregious things he has been responsible for(god knows what HASN'T been caught), and again, he will face no consequences, for the reasons stated above.

  • ||

    Sweet irony eh? Liberal Lawyers and judges paint themselves into a corner then whine about it.

    Ohhh poor babies! I for one am happy that I LEGALLY immigrated to Maricopa County where Sheriff Joe Arpaio has the unmitigated balls to uphold US law over the howls of the racist Hispanic mecHa, Liberals and Catholic Church.

  • ||

    Unbelievable! No wonder no one trusts judges or the police anymore. What that deputy did was clearly wrong and the judge let it happen. She did not call the other deputy back into the room to determine what was taken. I hope the defense attorney has filed charges. I don't care if the guy was already convicted. That is besides the point - this should not be allowed. Can I go up and pull a paper from the prosecutor's file while they are talking to the judge? Would this have been allowed? No wonder our judicial system is such a joke. Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves because it's not "innocent until proven guilty". It's guilty until proven innocent unless you are a judge, police officer or a politician. Unbelievable! Is there no one out there to protect the "peoples" rights anymore? I am disgusted that we live in such a society!

  • ||

    Penny Martin,
    You say "It's guilty until proven innocent unless you are a judge, police officer or a politician."

    In your dreams! I've been on too many juries - right here in Maricopa County to strongly believe that it's just the opposite, and even when you're stone cold guilty and everyone knows it, the courts let the guilty party off for some archaic rule that has zero bearing on whether the defendant was given a fair trial.

    I will agree with you on politicians, look at how many people broke the law in Obama's administration and have gotten off scott free.

  • JonnyD67||

    There is a place for everybody! I'm glad your choice is a fascist police state, so the rest of us can live in some semblance of the free country our Founding Fathers established.

    Please, all of you neo-con right-wing extremist wing-nuts, join with your brethren in Maricopa County and enjoy your mini-dictatorship.

  • ||

    "so the rest of us can live in some semblance of the free country our Founding Fathers established. "

    Won't be long until it is part of the Aztlan Nation under a Hispanic dictator if Obama, McCain, Pelosi, Emmanual and Reid have their way.

    Then you'll come running to all of us that are protecting jobs for legal Americans.

    C'mon, we all know that you racist anti-Blacks are behind the push the country over to mecHa to take away jobs from them.

    Go ahead and admit it, you just don't support Blacks having jobs, so you want to give them away to Hispanics that break America's laws.

  • Baltimoron||

    Joop-

    "Ohhh poor babies! I for one am happy that I LEGALLY immigrated to Maricopa County where Sheriff Joe Arpaio has the unmitigated balls to uphold US law over the howls of the racist Hispanic mecHa, Liberals and Catholic Church."

    lolwut?

    The video above clearly shows one of Arpaio's deputies BREAKING the law. Need we even get into the record of the man's office during his tenure vis a vis press freedom, bookkeeping, treatment of inmates, etc?

    Arpaio is a criminal in uniform.

  • ||

    I left Arizona 25 years ago it sucked then. I'm surprised to see it took so long and a video such as that to wake a few people up this has been going on for a long time folks even before big Joe.
    we moved there from Calif. and it was like moving into an old west movie all the trappings of modern times and all the actions of cowboys run a rye

  • ||

    I have seen the same thing with the town that I live in, within MI. I am so upset that this is the justice system that is set up to protect us. We have have a drug problem and the police are aware of it and are part of the involvement of with it.

  • Ratko||

    I left 5 years ago. Mexicans are fine, but all the Californians moving in ruined everything. They make snowbirds seem like a good thing.

  • Hangshai||

    I guess none of you have ever been to court in a small town/county before. In my Town in California(capital t for bigger town, but in no way a city) of under 200K, the court room is as backwards as it was 100 years ago, with the people that run the court acting like they are it's master, instead of the Law being theirs.

  • Peter||

    Theft. Violation of criminal procedure. The judge is clearly countenancing illegal behavior, e.g. - she did not immediately demand production of the removed material. A civil rights violation can easily be pursued for money. Also, both deputies should be fired, since they both acted to remove the privileged papers.

  • ||

    After being through some legal issues with our own family, we found the same lack of justice to be true in the courtroom, police departments and such. The defense atty should continue forward, she has every right to, you rock girl, continue to fight!

  • ||

    For those of you who think having your rights violated is ok, wait until it happens to you or a member of your family and they are faced with the fight against "justice". It is a road that isn't wished upon anyone.

  • gate valve||

    I have seen the same thing with the town that I live in, within MI. I am so upset that this is the justice system that is set up to protect us. We have have a drug problem and the police are aware of it and are part of the involvement of with it.

  • ||

    Deputy Adam Stoddard not only gives conflicting reasons of why he committed the crime he and some of his comrades arrogantly thumb noses at rule of law while endangering public safety.

    A more flagrant disregard for the rule of law and the rights of the people is hard to come by. No less than the founding fathers of this great country, put together the bill of rights to protect the people from these very abuses.

    This will hopefully lead to Stoddard’s day in court where a jury can sort it out and he can experience the desire for his rights to be protected. The rule of law applies to all and combined with freedom of the press helps keeps us free from tyranny.

    Stoddard broke the law by violating no less than 2 amendments to the constitution when he violated the attorney’s Forth Amendment right and the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right.

    Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    The fourth amendment is quite clear. For there to be probable cause, a person has to swear under oath that he or she saw the exact information or item that the government is in search of, and knows where it is, and is willing to swear under threat of prosecution for perjury as to the exact item and its whereabouts. In other words, fishing expeditions by government employees, AKA police is illegal and unconstitutional and definitely applies to attorney papers and effects.

    Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

    When the prosecutor is allowed to search through counsel’s papers and notes, the offense constitutes collusion and the defendant is actually being deprived of Counsel.

    An attorneys notes about shortcomings, misrepresentations, lies and tactics of the prosecutions case, and points the defense wants to make concerning their case are the tools which he uses to pick apart the prosecutions case, and to have any value must never be viewed by the prosecution unless presented to the jury.

    Only evidence is to be shared, any more is illegal and constitutes a mistrial.

    The purpose of attorney-client privilege is to encourage the defendant to provide truthful information pertaining to their case without fear that the information will be revealed to others, namely the prosecution, this encourages full disclosure in the pursuit of justice.

    If the Arizona attorney general allows this crime and contempt for the law to go unpunished it will be proof enough to the people of America that Arizona prosecutors are corrupt and their convictions not credible.

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    I'm from Maricopa county, but can't tell you if it's legal or not. It would seem those who should know don't even know. It's was still be debated last I heard.

    Thanks for your confidence in us though. I can assure you we really are as FU'd as we appear to be. It's not just an act.

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    the files belong to the attorney and the contents are protected by attorney client privilege. a group of tampa attorneys could have given a hand.

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