This is a criminal case in which certain constitutional challenges were made as to the operations of the Maricopa County Jail. Due to funding constraints, the Maricopa County Sheriff reallocated personnel and reduced privileged visitation hours at County jail facilities, effective November 14, 2007 ...
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This is a criminal case in which certain constitutional challenges were made as to the operations of the Maricopa County Jail. Due to funding constraints, the Maricopa County Sheriff reallocated personnel and reduced privileged visitation hours at County jail facilities, effective November 14, 2007. The Maricopa County Public Defender's Office, which represented criminal defendants confined in the County jails, sought injunctive relief to restore the previous privileged visitation schedule. The Public Defender argued that the Sheriff's actions impinged upon the criminal defendants' Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
Judge Anna M. Baca, the presiding criminal court judge for the Maricopa County Superior Court, consolidated motions for injunctive relief in numerous criminal cases (State v. Clarence Dixon, CR2002-019595-001; State v. Dionicio Vargas, CR2006-175092-001; State v. Robert Hernandez CR2007-119475-001 and CR2007-155927-001; State v. Irma Garcia, CR2005-129847-001; State v. Juan Manual Godinez-Morales, CR2007-146854-001; State v. Shawn King, CR2005-014314-001, CR2005-111076, CR2006-012775-001; State v. Miciah Sumpter, CR2006-008209-001, CR2006-134110-001, CR2006-156634-001, CR2007-155510-001, CR2007-143417-001; State v. Casey Romero, CR2007-148305-001; State v. Roberto Vega, CR2006-048861-001; State v. Raymond Musgrove CR2007-148283- 001, CR2003-021314-001; State v. Natalie Rose Herrera Engler, CR2006-166117-001; State v. Ronnie Guilford, CR2006-162702-001; and APD Motion (filed in State v. Ozie Washington, CR2007-156830-001) and conducted an eight-day evidentiary hearing beginning on November 20, 2007.
Following the hearing, Judge Baca concluded that the Sheriff's new schedule for privileged visits violated the in-custody criminal defendants' Six Amendment rights to counsel and access to the courts. The Judge therefore entered an interim order extending the hours of privileged visitation at all jail facilities and further ordered that the parties participate in mediation to permanently resolve the issue. The Sheriff sought relief from the Arizona Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals found that the presiding criminal trial judge had authority to conduct a consolidated hearing to resolve the criminal defendants' constitutional claim that the Sheriff's new privileged visitation schedule denied them access to counsel. The Appeals Court, however, concluded that the trial judge exceeded her authority by granting injunctive, class action type relief in these criminal cases and that she had no authority to compel the Sheriff to participate in mediation. Arpaio v. Baca, --- P.3d ----, 2008 WL 486008 (Ariz.App. Div. 1 Feb 26, 2008).
At the time of this summary, the matter was still pending.Dan Dalton - 03/05/2008