University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Arianna S., et al. v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al PD-MA-0002
Docket / Court SJ-2004-0282 ( State Court )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Case Summary
On June 28, 2004, indigent criminal defendants as well as minors involved in child welfare cases filed a lawsuit in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court alleging that Massachusetts' system of indigent defense was unconstitutional due to the exceptionally low compensation rates of appointed ... read more >
On June 28, 2004, indigent criminal defendants as well as minors involved in child welfare cases filed a lawsuit in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court alleging that Massachusetts' system of indigent defense was unconstitutional due to the exceptionally low compensation rates of appointed counsel. Plaintiffs were represented by a private law firm. Upon filing the claim, a motion to certify the class was made. That motion was never decided upon.

On November 1, 2004, the court (Greaney, J.) ordered a stay of the proceedings due to pending action by the legislature to increase counsel compensation rates. The legislature substantially increased the pay rates for appointed counsel, and on October 30, 2007, the court dismissed the case on grounds of mootness.

We have no further information on this matter.

Dayna Frenkel - 02/18/2009


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Funding
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action
Defendant(s) Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Plaintiff Description Minor children in foster care, an indigent father and a criminal indigent defendant who were being denied their right to counsel due to a shortage of attorneys stemming from the low compensation rates of appointed counsel.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Indigent Defense Reform: The Role of Systemic Litigation in Operationalizing the Gideon Right to Counsel
Written: May. 07, 2007
By: Vidhya K. Reddy (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Justice Denied: America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel.
Written: Apr. 14, 2009
By: National Right to Counsel Committee (The Constitution Project)
Citation: National Right to Counsel Committee, Justice Denied: America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel (2009)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Public Defense
By: Norman Lefstein (Indiana University--Indianapolis)
Citation: (ABA 2011)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Third Generation of Indigent Defense Litigation
New York University Review of Law and Social Change
By: Cara Drinan (Columbus School of Law, Catholic University)
Citation: 33 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 427 (2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
SJ-2004-0282 (State Supreme Court) 07/30/2008
PD-MA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
State Court Website
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection
Judges Greaney, John M. (State Supreme Court)
PD-MA-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Krumholz, Joshua C. (Massachusetts)
PD-MA-0002-9000
Kulig, Lawrence R. (Massachusetts)
PD-MA-0002-9000
Naughton, Edward J. (Massachusetts)
PD-MA-0002-9000
Tolman, Warren E. (Massachusetts)
PD-MA-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kehoe, Ronald F. (Massachusetts)
PD-MA-0002-9000
Kerrigan, David R. (Massachusetts)
PD-MA-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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