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? 

http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/CriminalCourtCases/caseInfo.asp CR2007-006149-001.



  1. Truth Teller says

    It is interesting how Donahoe’s rights are to be protected but he can violate other’s rights without any accountability. How does that work. I want his job! Only problem with that would be that I respect our laws and Constitutional Rights and would protect those who came to my court for protection.
    He should get the same treatment as he has given my family and so many other families. If he thinks his rights should be protected, he should protect those who come to his court for protection. He should also get rid of his arrogant attitude. He is paid by me and the other tax payers. He is a public employee. He needs to be taken off the bench for the violations he has committed against so many.
    The Judiciary Committee should hold him accountable.
    Anyone who violates another persons right should be held accountable…no matter who they are. Judges are just people who are there to protect our rights. If they don’t do their job, they should be fired, just like any one else would be.
    Another thing, they should show respect to the people who pay their salary!

  2. I could not have said it any better! BRAVO!!

  3. Corruption at it’s finest. How long will this be allowed to happen in our society? The case which Truth Teller speaks of is a blatent slap in the face to the American Justise system and the Constitution. Donahoe should be disbarred and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This little “mafia” good old boys club called Probate Court which robs people, needs to be investigated and stopped. Enough is enough and these people need to pay for all the harm they have caused many, many families.

  4. The injustice occuring in Maricopa County Probate Court is playing out in courtrooms across the country — all under the guise of “protection.”

    If we don’t reform the system, the system will just keep claiming new victims.

    JOIN the national movement for reform. JOIN NASGA.

    Elaine Renoire

  5. Before rushing to reform any system, it has to be made clear whether it’s the system structure that is no good or certain individuals who abuse it?
    The solution to one is not the same as the solution to the other.

  6. wanumba,

    It would look to me like any system that has such poor management systems and internal control as to allow this level of corruption…is both needy of reform to the system and removal of the people who abuse it.

  7. Yes, but what’s not working here? A refusal or fear to apply discipline and existing controls or there are no controls? A number of posters are asking about existing laws already on the books that aren’t being respected. It’s really not clear, and it is germane, because a lot is being proposed to change it.
    All for correct change – but what happens if the system’s revamped, then abuses occur and it’s back to people failing to enforce discipline?
    The subject is absolutely compelling, no question, but an analysis of the driving problem – one judge’s name keeps being invoked – is needed with an explanation of how the proposed changes would resolve these problems. It’d be a bit pathetic to make huge changes then have the usual suspects so to speak still sitting there.

  8. While we’re on the subject of background checks at the County – looks like David Smith forgot to background his chief lawyer Wade Swanson. He has several ‘run-ins’ with the law:

    Another one to check would be a ‘little’ DUI down in Tempe. Wonder why the County did not disclose this?


  1. […] DON’T THEY GET? Written by Sonoran Alliance Headlines, Local News Feb 11, 2011 Source: Sonoran Alliance by Molly PitcherNEW NAME, OLD OWNERS, SAME STORYThe saga of reforming the probate courts in Arizona […]

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