Judge Gives Man Chance to Prove Leukemia Why He Left State, Breaking Probation

By Brinda Kalita

MARIPOSA, CA – A man in Mariposa County Superior Court Monday was suspected of leaving the state, voiding his probation.

But, as the court soon learned, the man said he was out of the state in order to receive treatment for leukemia—not that probation, the prosecution and even the judge believed him.

Judge Michael D. Faldage asked the accused’s attorney, Neal Douglass, if the accused had contacted him and the probation office.

Attorney Douglass stated the accused was maintaining contact with him, and even allowed the accused to explain his own story.

Via Zoom, the accused shared with Judge Faldage that he had traveled out of state to a treatment center in order to get treatment for his leukemia.

Then, the accused revealed the probation officer had called him while he was getting an essential blood test done for his leukemia, and that he had left a message on the probation officer’s phone stating this.

However, the probation officer claimed he never got a voicemail message from the accused and that he had absolutely no records from the accused confirming that he was out of state to get leukemia treatments.

After the officer’s statement, the prosecution attorney shared a story of a case in which a man who had a misdemeanor probation sentence had left the state instead of serving the sentence.

The prosecution attorney then stressed that due to stories like the “misdemeanor man,” it has become important to make sure that the accused was not lying about his leukemia.

In response, the accused said the following to the court, “I am out of state because of my health. I can give you all of the documentation you need. I am not just ‘hanging out,’ I am doing all the work I can to be healthy.”

Judge Faldage smoothed tensions in the courtroom by asking the accused to provide all of the documentation to prove that he was indeed receiving his leukemia treatment at a medical facility out of the state, and that he will give the accused a week to do so.

If the accused is unable to prove this,  however, a hearing for the violation of a probation order will be held Nov. 15, said the judge.

The accused then thanked Judge Faldage, and informed  him the documents will be “as long as a telephone book.” Judge Faldage then encouraged him to send them online, and ended the session.

About The Author

Brinda is a student at UC Riverside, pursuing a degree in History with a Law and Society emphasis. She plans to attend law school after receiving her bachelors.

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