More on Arizona probate courts

What Part of “Wrong” Don’t They Get?
Molly Pitcher
February 10, 2011


The saga of reforming the probate courts in Arizona is focusing on Maricopa County lately.  The anger families and victims of the court ordered abuse are feeling has reached a fever pitch and came to an interesting point earlier this week.  This is from a website dedicated to Arizona Judicial Reform:  ”The Hits Just Keep On Coming…OR…How to Legally Abuse, Extort, and Violate the Law While Making a Fortune!“  The current practices are anything but our finest hour and do not resemble “justice for all”.  It is worth reading.


It seems Judge Donohoe, of Andy Thomas fame, has his hands all over this charade of justice called “probate”.  He was charged with corruption and bribery by Thomas.  Of course, Donohoe suggested the role of the judiciary was sacrosanct and adamantly admonished the County Attorney for even suggesting that he would impose politics into his rulings.

He has become a sort of cult figure for some who opposed Thomas and holds a similar level of oppositional esteem by those who see him as the poster child for judicial arrogance.  Watching the video below of Donohoe in action will certainly improve the ranks of the latter group.

Well, it’s interesting how things in life have a way of taking a turn.

Background: an adult was ordered by Donohoe to be evaluated to determine competency by a physician of the courts choosing. Never mind no evidence was ever presented to the court indicating he was incapacitated or that he was sitting in the courtroom demanding this stop, or that this private citizen had a long time, well-known and highly respected physician who was prepared to testify to his competency.  There was, however, admitted hearsay of a distant relative…what ever happened to the “clear and convincing evidence” standard?

So, the attorney of this private citizen, whose only wrongdoing was having the combination of money and maliciously greedy relatives, asked via subpoena for the Dr.’s involvement in prior cases with the court and previous rulings.  Is she fair and equitable or does she make her living with these reports and declares 90% of her cases as incapacitated?  Hey…makes sense to ask.

The Dr. immediately resigned from the case.  Judge Donohoe didn’t like it that his ‘go-to-girl” for competency matters was miffed.

So, being the purveyor of all things truthful….he did what he had previously declared to be an affront to justice.  He had their lawyer arrested in court.  How dare anyone question his hand-picked expert? He demanded the attorneys disclose information that falls under attorney-client privilege.  The first guy up refused.  Pink handcuffs and off to jail for him.

Say, hey Judge, whatever happened to ARS 12-2234?

  • 12-2234. Attorney and client
  • A. In a civil action an attorney shall not, without the consent of his client, be examined   as to any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of professional employment.

Apparently Judge Donohoe doesn’t need no stinkin’ statutes!  Watch the videos …. video 2 has the arrest of Joel Sannis, video 9 is attorney Sandy Slaton giving him heck!  All the videos are chilling.  To imagine in a court of law, in the USA, a private citizen can have their attorney arrested and held in jail for failing to disclose to the judge who said what in developing the case.

How much was that lawsuit Donohoe filed against Andy Thomas and what was it for?


While we are on the subject of The Honorable Judge Gary Donohoe, he is not the only Donohoe to be employed by the Maricopa County Courts.  Sean Liam Donohoe was sworn in as a deputy of the court on 6/28/10 .  Don’t they do background checks? CR2007