I'm having difficulty in that I accepted a no-contest plea for a (supposed) harassment charge, and agreed to do either A) 8 days in jail or B) do a domestic violence evaluation and courses depending on outcome. That was the "contract".

Going to the domestic violence course provider, the counselor evaluating me for domestic violence found that it was unwarranted, and sent that back to the judge (under whom I have my probation) - the domestic violence program is unwarranted.

I later learned the judge then called the manager of the counselor and "demanded that I do something", and the manager overturned the counselor. I then returned to take domestic violence "group" from a the other main counselor there (per the judges requirements). I was not given another evaluation.

The other counselor was horrible and after 10 sessions totally threw me out and literally filed lies into the judge (covering his horrible actions toward me), saying I was kicked out. The judge then gave this letter to the prosecutor, but not to my defense attorney (the same public defender re-assigned to me that I did the plea with).

This letter together with what the counselor's manager sent in, so inflamed the prosecutor against me, that the prosecutor demanded 180 days in jail, totally ignoring/forgoing my original contract of either 8 days in jail or domestic violence courses, which my new private attorney says is fully incorrect, also the judge should have stuck to my evaluation result (that was part of the contract too). So with the contract broken twice and now someone coming in fully lying, and me trying to correct multiple times with other court staff, I chose to flee my home and state (Arizona), later to return and be arrested, and post bail. The court/prosecutor continues to come after me even though I did 18 days in jail, "unendingly abusive."

A civil attorney just told me that in civil cases, any information a judge receives, the judge must give to both sides/parties. My new defense attorney agrees, but it's vague as to whether the judge has done non-correct-law practicing behavior, in not giving the letter to my public defender.

Must a criminal judge take a provider's information and give it to both the prosecutor and the defense?

1 Answer 1


Must a criminal judge take a provider's information and give it to both the prosecutor and the defense?

Yes, that also applies to criminal matters, and it is essential for a party's right to conduct cross-examination. The judge should have timely disclosed that information to both parties and allow them to respond accordingly. See State v. Hanley, 108 Ariz. 144, 148 (1972); 493 P.2d 1201:

Undue restrictions on the right to cross-examine strikes at the very heart of the adversary system: `[a] denial of cross-examination without waiver would be constitutional error of the first magnitude and no amount of showing of want of prejudice would cure it.'

(citing cases from the U.S. Supreme Court).

In Hanley, the Supreme Court of Arizona held "that thre trial court erroneously restricted cross-examination". What you describe sounds in deprivation of "hearings [that] must be conducted consistent with basic concepts of fairness, justice and impartiality", Id. at 147-148. That page of the Hanley opinion also cites another case from Arizona stating:

The party against whom a witness is produced has a right to show everything which may in the slightest degree affect his credibility (citations omitted), and in a criminal prosecution to inquire upon cross-examination what influence was used upon the witnesses for the state

(emphasis added by myself).

Based on your description, the second counselor could have been influenced by his or her manager, who in turn obeyed the judge's [questionable] instruction to overturn the first counselor's assessment (precisely the assessment which favors you).

Moreover, your question reflects that the judge violated Rule 2.6 of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct, which states:

RULE 2.6. Ensuring the Right to Be Heard (A) A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person’s lawyer, the right to be heard according to law.

See also Rule 2.9:

(A) A judge shall not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, or consider other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties or their lawyers, concerning a pending or impending matter

You might also want to read about reinstatements of plea deals in State v. Donald, 198 Ariz. 406, 10 P.3d 1193 (2000), which in turn cites authorities by the U.S. Supreme Court. Some of it might be relevant to your position regarding the prosecutor's and/or judge's disavowal of the terms of the no-contest plea.

  • Care to explain why the downvote (whoever did that) to my answer? I feel strongly about matters of violence and harassment, but also about the importance of judicial transparency & integrity. Aug 5, 2018 at 11:30
  • Wow, thank you so much!!! I will give to my lawyer, and study myself. I would give you an upvote but am too new to be allowed to vote. I may ask you a follow up question -- I don't know if you can check back in some days, but I'll add another comment here. AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CARE. Aug 5, 2018 at 19:19
  • @user9008471 You're welcome. Sure, I'm a relatively new, yet frequent user of SE, so I'll be checking here. I have never litigated criminal matters but I'll do my best if any follow up question arises. If it's a "brand new" or elaborated question, I suggest you to create a new post because (1) SE discourages "extended" discussion in Comments, and (2) it appears that so far 2 people have voted to close this post (it takes 5 votes for SE to close a question). Good luck. Aug 5, 2018 at 20:10
  • Thank you, I posted a second semi-related question here. law.stackexchange.com/questions/30747/… Aug 5, 2018 at 21:19

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