University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Lewis v. Hollenbach PD-KY-0001
Docket / Court 08-CI-1094 ( State Court )
State/Territory Kentucky
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Case Summary
Plaintiffs filed a petition for declaratory judgment in the Franklin County Circuit Court for Kentucky's failure to provide sufficient funding to the public defender system. Plaintiffs alleged that the lack of funds would cause an insufficient number of attorneys to be available to staff cases. ... read more >
Plaintiffs filed a petition for declaratory judgment in the Franklin County Circuit Court for Kentucky's failure to provide sufficient funding to the public defender system. Plaintiffs alleged that the lack of funds would cause an insufficient number of attorneys to be available to staff cases. Plaintiffs further alleged that the public defenders had too many cases under the Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct.

Plaintiffs sought either to have the charges against current defendants without counsel dismissed, or for counsel to be paid out of funds from the Commonwealth's Treasury.

The Commonwealth filed a motion to transfer the case to the Kentucky Supreme Court on March 17, 2009. The Supreme Court granted the motion.

On April 28, 2009, the state filed a motion to dismiss because the 2009 budget appropriations had been certified by the legislature to include enough funding to adequately support indigent defense, rendering the cause of action moot.

On May 13, 2009, the Kentucky Supreme Court granted the motion to dismiss. The case was closed.

Blase Kearney - 06/05/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Funding
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) State of Kentucky
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are public defenders who have an over-abundance of cases under the Kentucky Code of Professional Conduct who are filing suit against Kentucky's General Assembly for not providing sufficient funding for the public defender system.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought None on record
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint
PD-KY-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Notice to Judges of Service Reduction 05/28/2008
PD-KY-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Motion to Dismiss 04/29/2009
PD-KY-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers English, Charles E. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0001
Fleischaker, Jon L. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0001
Renzelmann, Jason (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0001
Rogers, Jeremy S. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0001
Snyder, Sheryl G. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0001
Wells, J. Kendrick IV (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Clark, Justin D. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0003
Hendrix, Laura H. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0003
Lear, William M. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0003
Thacker, Christopher L. (Kentucky)
PD-KY-0001-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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