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Maricopa County ducks recusal question

In court Friday, an attorney for the county said he would consult with the board as to whether they would join in the sheriff’s motion to recuse Judge G. Murray Snow because of questions he asked regarding investigations of Snow and Snow’s wife by the Sheriff’s Office.

The Arizona Republic

Under Arizona law, the Sheriff’s Office is not a legal entity that can be sued—it’s the County that’s the legal entity (Arpaio individually is also a defendant). A closed-door executive session of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors today was followed by a public vote to adopt whatever it was they talked about in secret—not disclosing what that was.

The Arizona Republic questioned the legality of the vote, citing the Arizona Open Records Law, that says:

…notices and agendas be provided which contain such information as is reasonably necessary to inform the public of the matters to be discussed or decided.

The County responded “… the judge has to know about it before it shows up in a blog.”

Hey what’s wrong with blogs? Judges can read blogs too. In any case the news cycle of this blog is shorter than that of the Arizona Republic and I have the story. The answer is tied up in what I said earlier about the County being on the hook in Melendres, rather than the Sheriff’s office.

The County was a party to the lawsuit, but then in 2009 Judge Snow dismissed them from it (ECF 194, 10/13/2009); however, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that they be added back, in substitution for the Sheriff’s Office and remanded the case back to Judge Snow on April 15 of this year. The County is asking for reconsideration of that decision, so their non-response to the disqualification motion is explained in a brief filed today:

imageAs the Court is aware, the County has advanced arguments to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to the effect that that court’s decision issued April 15, 2015, ordering that the County be made a party litigant in this action was, in that respect, erroneous and should be reversed. See Doc. 1116. In light of those arguments, the Board has determined that it would not be appropriate for the County to take a position on the pending Motion for Recusal or Disqualification.

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33 Responses to Maricopa County ducks recusal question

  1. avatar
    john May 27, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    “Judges can read blogs too”

    That’s true, Federal Judges do read blogs and it is one the reasons why many are so corrupt. Federal Judges have no business reading blogs related to the legal issue they have sworn to settle. Federal judges are sworn to uphold the law submitted in pending briefs and in open court argument. Reading blogs on the legal issue at hand by a federal judges can serve no legal purpose other than to taint the neutrality the judge is sworn to uphold.

  2. avatar
    gorefan May 27, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    “Maricopa County Supervisors file notice in federal court that they will not join Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s motion to disqualify Judge Murray Snow”

    https://twitter.com/michaelbkiefer

  3. avatar
    john May 27, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    Too bad Arpaio doesn”t consider Orly’s tactic. Didn’t Orly state that some commentor named Virgil was interfereing in the Mississippi case with Judge Windgate. Consquently, the case was delayed for month and months.

  4. avatar
    Joey May 28, 2015 at 12:13 am #

    john:
    Too bad Arpaio doesn”t consider Orly’s tactic.Didn’t Orly state that some commentor named Virgil was interfereing in the Mississippi case with Judge Windgate.Consquently, the case was delayed for month and months.

    And then Orly lost. Now you know the rest of the story.

  5. avatar
    alg May 28, 2015 at 1:13 am #

    The Maricopa Board of Supervisors’ choice to not join in the recusal motion is significant statement of non-support for the Sheriff on their part. They are basically saying “let’s get the mess over with as fast as practically possible.” They are hoping that the judge refers this matter to criminal contempt charges. Should that happen they will have no financial obligation to pay for Arpaio’s defense. They are off the hook.

  6. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG May 28, 2015 at 2:19 am #

    john:
    “Judges can read blogs too”

    That’s true, Federal Judges do read blogs and it is one the reasons why many are so corrupt.

    Yes, because reading a blog makes a person magically corrupt.
    You’re like one of those dumbass people who believe everything a Chick Tract tells them!

  7. avatar
    Pete May 28, 2015 at 2:55 am #

    There’s a difference between stupidity, and willful stupidity.

  8. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) May 28, 2015 at 5:19 am #

    john: Didn’t Orly state that some commentor named Virgil was interfereing in the Mississippi case with Judge Windgate.

    Same thing Arpaio tries with the alleged statement from Snow’s wife.

    john: Federal Judges have no business reading blogs related to the legal issue they have sworn to settle.

    So you would lock judges up so they can only read what you want them to read?

    A judge having to be impartial doesn’t mean he isn’t allowed to form an opinion as to who’s right. As long as he doesn’t fall into the RWNJ/birther trap (“I’ve read it on a blog citing an anonymous source, so it could be true, I better order discovery!”), that’s totally fine.

  9. avatar
    Smirk 4 Food May 28, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    You’re like one of those dumbass people who believe everything a Chick Tract tells them!

    You mean the Vatican isn’t the Whore of Babylon??

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 28, 2015 at 8:39 am #

    You’re right, and I was just joking.

    That said, judges can take judicial notice of facts in news reports, for example Judge Snow’s notice of the Phoenix New Times article he asked Arpaio about.

    john: Reading blogs on the legal issue at hand by a federal judges can serve no legal purpose other than to taint the neutrality the judge is sworn to uphold.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 28, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Virgil Byrd. Judge Wingate seemed to delay the case for months with no cause whatever. All the pseudonymous Byrd did was to post an allegation on Orly’s web site. She’s the one that injected it into the court proceedings.

    If we were to cast this into the Arpaio story, then it would have been Arpaio who brought up the story of the Judge’s wife in a recusal motion, based on a comment he saw on Facebook from a person with a fake name who claimed that the remark was made at a restaurant that didn’t exist.

    john: Too bad Arpaio doesn”t consider Orly’s tactic. Didn’t Orly state that some commentor (sic) named Virgil was interfereing (sic) in the Mississippi case with Judge Windgate (sic). Consquently (sic), the case was delayed for month and months.

  12. avatar
    RanTalbott May 28, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    Joey: And then Orly lost. Now you know the rest of the story.

    Isn’t there still a possibility of sanctions in that case hanging over her head?

  13. avatar
    john May 28, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    You’re right, and I was just joking.

    That said, judges can take judicial notice of facts in news reports, for example Judge Snow’s notice of the Phoenix New Times article he asked Arpaio about.

    He shouldn’t. Judge Snow should have no business reading anything in the paper regarding Arpaio while he has him in front of him. It invites prejeduice and bias and serves no useful purpose. News articles may convey facts but they have not been submitted to the court in pending motions or brought up in legal argument in open court where the other side has a chance to refute, challenge or address the alleged facts contained in the article. If Snow did bring up the news article in open court, it begs the question on what business Snow had about reading Arpaio in the paper. It also shows that Snow is apparently biased towards the Phoenix Times because Snow did’t bring P&E which addresses different facts that Snow did not question Arpaio about. Again, Snow has no business reading about Sheriff Apraio outside the court record which is one the reasons why I feel that Judge Snow has already been compromised as a corrupt federal judge who can’t be trusted.

  14. avatar
    john May 28, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    john: He shouldn’t.Judge Snow should have no business reading anything in the paper regarding Arpaio while he has him in front of him.It invites prejeduice and bias and serves no useful purpose.News articles may convey facts but they have not been submitted to the court in pending motions or brought up in legal argument in open court where the other side has a chance to refute, challenge or address the alleged facts contained in the article.If Snow did bring up the news article in open court, it begs the question on what business Snow had about reading Arpaio in the paper.It also shows that Snow is apparently biased towards the Phoenix Times because Snow did’t bring P&E which addresses different facts that Snow did not question Arpaio about.Again, Snow has no business reading about Sheriff Apraio outside the court record which is one the reasons why I feel that Judge Snow has already been compromised as a corrupt federal judge who can’t be trusted.

    We saw this before where the Federal Judge claimed that Obama’s eligibility had been blogged and twittered to death. (He was the Twitter Judge, yet another corrupt judge.) Again, what business did that judge have even looking at blogs or twitter regarding the subject.

  15. avatar
    Bob May 28, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    John,

    I’ve never heard of sequestering a judge. Have you?

    Presumably a judge has the ability to assess the veracity of what he or she might read related to a case. Otherwise, judges would have to live their whole professional lives sequestered.

  16. avatar
    john May 28, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Virgil Byrd. Judge Wingate seemed to delay the case for months with no cause whatever. All the pseudonymous Byrd did was to post an allegation on Orly’s web site. She’s the one that injected it into the court proceedings.

    If we were to cast this into the Arpaio story, then it would have been Arpaio who brought up the story of the Judge’s wife in a recusal motion, based on a comment he saw on Facebook from a person with a fake name who claimed that the remark was made at a restaurant that didn’t exist.

    Actually, it that case Judge Windgate SHOULD HAVE KNOWN (Without Orly’s help) that there was a commentor out named Virgil Byrd making allegations. If Judge Snow knew about the wife’s comment how come Judge Windgate didn’t know about the Virgil comment. Some will say the Phoniex Times is a well-known newspaper, but what evidence in the court record has shown the Phoniex Times is more credible that that another paper or blog

  17. avatar
    john May 28, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Bob:
    John,

    I’ve never heard of sequestering a judge.Have you?

    Presumably a judge has the ability to assess the veracity of what he or she might read related to a case.Otherwise, judges would have to live their whole professional lives sequestered.

    A very noble idea. Yes, I do believe judges need to be sequestered regarding the legal issue they have in front of them. In other words, Judge Snow should have no business reading anything regarding Sheriff Arpaio or the MCSO while he has the case in front of him. I mean if you allow this, what is the point of even having law or a court. Remember, Justice is supposed to be blind based on the law. A Judge who is reading the paper about the case cannot possibily render a fair and lawful opinion or decision.

  18. avatar
    Punchmaster via Mobile May 28, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    John boy is in full blown “How DARE the legal system not work the way my pea-sized brain thinks it should!” mode…

  19. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) May 28, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    john: Justice is supposed to be blind based on the law

    No, justice is supposed to be based on the law and the facts. Insulating the judge from facts is dumb. Remember we’re talking about trained legal professionals here, not a layman jury where sequestration makes sense.
    (Apart from the fact that you only sit on one jury in one case, but the judge has many cases to handle at the same time, so how would you “sequester” him?)

  20. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) May 28, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    john: If Judge Snow knew about the wife’s comment how come Judge Windgate didn’t know about the Virgil comment.

    Because Wingate didn’t read Orly’s blog. And because in both cases, it’s hearsay by an pseudonymous person. The difference is that in Snow’s case, the defendant admittedly tried to “investigate” him whereas in Orly’s case, there was no indication that blog post had any substance.

  21. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) May 28, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    john: We saw this before where the Federal Judge claimed that Obama’s eligibility had been blogged and twittered to death.

    I rate this claim “out of context” since the judge’s observation had no influence on the judge’s ruling (which was based on the (lack of) evidence and not the fact that the internet had seen discussions about birther claims).

  22. avatar
    Pete May 28, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    Unlike birthers, judges are used to hearing and considering both sides of the story. And unlike birthers, judges are supposed to be smart enough, and impartial enough, to give due consideration to both sides of the story and rationally sort out which claims are true and which claims are partial or total BS.

  23. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 28, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    Punchmaster via Mobile: That’s true, Federal Judges do read blogs and it is one the reasons why many are so corru

    He’s really frothing at his keyboard. I’m surprised he can read anything through all the spittle on his monitor.

  24. avatar
    Curious George May 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    John,

    Please tell us what brand of cereal box provided you with your law degree. It’s worth just about as much as your opinion.

  25. avatar
    Hektor May 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    John, in your legal system, what happens if both the plaintiffs and the defendants are lying?

  26. avatar
    Curious George May 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    John,

    “It also shows that Snow is apparently biased towards the Phoenix Times because Snow did’t bring P&E which addresses different facts that Snow did not question Arpaio about.”

    On the one hand you suggest that Snow shouldn’t be reading outside of court…..but it’s okay if it’s P&E?

    The P&E didn’t reveal the Montgomery Seattle Operation. The Phoenix New Times broke the story in June of 2014, using MCSO sources they developed. How is it that Sharon Rondeau of the P&E, with her close connection to Zullo and the Cold Case Posse, never revealed the Montgomery and Zullo connection? Why didn’t loose lips Carl Gallups reveal the connection. Oh, yaaah, they were sworn to secrecy, right? A built in bias, I suspect?

  27. avatar
    J.D. Sue May 28, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    john: News articles may convey facts but they have not been submitted to the court in pending motions or brought up in legal argument in open court where the other side has a chance to refute, challenge or address the alleged facts contained in the article.

    —-

    (1) Beyond the interests of the parties, the Court has an interest in making sure that Court orders are respected, and not willfully disregarded. (2) The judge raised it “in open court where the [defendant] has a chance to refute, challenge or address the alleged facts contained in the article.”

    Maybe it would be helpful if you read the transcript. Here’s some pertinent statements by the Court:

    Court, transcript at 113-14:

    Sheriff, as you know, now is the time when I have questions, that I ask them, and that will give Mr. Young the opportunity to ask questions and give all the others opportunity to ask questions based on my questions. Normally, I try to ask questions that are only based on what other attorneys have asked, but I do feel some responsibility to make sure that the authority of this Court is upheld, and so I have a few questions that weren’t asked by the other parties and I intend to ask them to you.

    . . .

    I do appreciate that you have indicated that you have respect for the federal court and for judges. I assume that I was intended to be included among that group when you said it? (A. Yes, sir.) I want you to know that while we have disagreements, and I think some sharp ones in the past, I respect you in your position as the sheriff of Maricopa County, and recognize that you have been elected by the people of this county and I want to afford you that same respect. So I’m going to have some questions, some of them maybe difficult to answer, and I’m going to certainly let your attorneys participate if they have concerns, but I’m going to try to ask you my questions with respect, and I hope you’ll afford me the same in response.

    . . . .

    Court, transcript at 133:

    . . . . I recognize, and I believe Mr. Lemons [states] in the article, too, that he can’t personally vouch for everything that the article says, it’s just what he’s had some sources tell him. So I don’t mean to suggest one way or another that the article is accurate. I just want to ask about some of the things that it says so I understand them. And I trust that you’ll tell me the truth, and you understand you’re under oath,correct?

  28. avatar
    bob May 28, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    john: We saw this before where the Federal Judge claimed that Obama’s eligibility had been blogged and twittered to death. (He was the Twitter Judge, yet another corrupt judge.)Again, what business did that judge have even looking at blogs or twitter regarding the subject.

    The court can take judicial notice of the existence of news reports. It is in the rules and everything! Which is what the court did in that case: it took notice of the existence of the debate; it didn’t draw a conclusion from the content of the debate.

    And here, the court isn’t going to base any conclusions on what might be written in the New Times, Post & Email, or anywhere else. It’ll base its conclusions on the testimony given in the courtroom and the duly introduced (and admitted) evidence.

  29. avatar
    Curious George May 28, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    John:

    “Some will say the Phoniex Times is a well-known newspaper, but what evidence in the court record has shown the Phoniex Times is more credible that that another paper or blog”

    The court record shows only the Phoenix New Times referenced in the court transcript. What makes it credible is the testimony that Arpaio gave under oath while being questioned by Judge Snow. He verified various parts of the article point by point. But of course you knew that didn’t you, John?

  30. avatar
    RanTalbott May 28, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    This is john at 0925 today:

    john: Judge Snow should have no business reading anything in the paper regarding Arpaio while he has him in front of him. It invites prejeduice and bias and serves no useful purpose.

    And at 0952:

    john: (He was the Twitter Judge, yet another corrupt judge.) Again, what business did that judge have even looking at blogs or twitter regarding the subject.

    But, at 0958:

    john: Actually, it that case Judge Windgate SHOULD HAVE KNOWN (Without Orly’s help) that there was a commentor out named Virgil Byrd making allegations.

    In a mere 6 minutes, a strongly-held belief that following blogs and Twitter is proof that a judge is “corrupt” changed into the assertion of a positive obligation to do so.

    I think we’ve found his next career: as a weathervane in Tornado Alley.

  31. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) May 29, 2015 at 3:42 am #

    bob: The court can take judicial notice of the existence of news reports. It is in the rules and everything!

    Who assumes john knows the rules?
    The idea that judges are somehow isolated from the real world is probably echoed in the birther court case filings where lawyers quote entire sections of the law verbatim as if the judge didn’t know it. I don’t think that sits very well with a judge anyway.

  32. avatar
    roadburner May 29, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    The Magic M (not logged in):
    (Apart from the fact that you only sit on one jury in one case, but the judge has many cases to handle at the same time, so how would you “sequester” him?)

    john wants them all kept in a cupboard with a locked door marked `one honest judge’ with their only point of contact with the outside world being when their food is passed through a slot in the door, and a computer that only recieves the P&E and oily’s blog.

  33. avatar
    bgansel9 May 29, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    RanTalbott: This is john at 0925 today:

    john: Judge Snow should have no business reading anything in the paper regarding Arpaio while he has him in front of him. It invites prejeduice and bias and serves no useful purpose.

    And at 0952:

    john: (He was the Twitter Judge, yet another corrupt judge.) Again, what business did that judge have even looking at blogs or twitter regarding the subject.

    But, at 0958:

    john: Actually, it that case Judge Windgate SHOULD HAVE KNOWN (Without Orly’s help) that there was a commentor out named Virgil Byrd making allegations.

    Trolls will be trolls.