By Bryan S. Strawbridge, Frost Brown Todd LLC
A class action was initiated on October 8 in Marion County by current and former inmates of the Johnson County Correctional Center against the Johnson County Commissioners and the county’s judicial officers and public defenders. The class action alleges that their constitutional rights guaranteed by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments and Article I, Section 13(a) of Indiana’s Constitution were violated due to the extensive case loads weighing on the courts and the public defenders, and the contractual nature of the private attorneys serving as public defenders.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the defendants: (i) failed to impose reasonable case load limits; (ii) failed to monitor and oversee the public defense system; (iii) failed to provide adequate funds for public defense; (iv) implemented a system where public defenders had contractual agreements with the courts, comprising impartiality; and (v) failed to provide representation at all stages of prosecution. Plaintiffs seek certification as a class, injunctive relief, a declaration that constitutional guarantees have been deprived, and unspecified damages, among other things. The Indiana Lawyer has more here.
This article was written by Bryan S. Strawbridge, Frost Brown Todd LLC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Litigation Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at email@example.com.