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Case Name Kennedy v. Carlson PD-MN-0001
Docket / Court NA ( State Court )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Case Summary
In April 1992, Plaintiff, the chief public defender for the Fourth Judicial District instituted a declaratory judgment action in the Hennepin County District Court pursuant to state law. Plaintiff alleged that the Minnesota statute establishing the funding system for the public defender's office ... read more >
In April 1992, Plaintiff, the chief public defender for the Fourth Judicial District instituted a declaratory judgment action in the Hennepin County District Court pursuant to state law. Plaintiff alleged that the Minnesota statute establishing the funding system for the public defender's office does not provide sufficient funds for its operation. Plaintiff further alleged that the lack of funding violated indigent defendants constitutionally rights to effective counsel because of an arbitrary cap on state spending for public defender services. The District Court (Lindstrom, J.) found the statute unconstitutional. The defendants appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

On February 16, 1996 the Minnesota Supreme Court (Keith, C.J.) reversed the District Court's judgment. It found that the constitutional violations of ineffective assistance of counsel were too speculative since there was no evidence that any public defender was unable to effectively assist a client.

Dayna Frenkel - 02/25/2009


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Funding
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Commissioner of Hennepin County
Governor Arne Carlson
Treasurer Michael McGrath
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is the chief public defender seeking a declaratory relief from a Minnesota statute that plaintiff says doesn't provide sufficient funds to the Public Defender's Office to allow it to provide effective counsel to indigent defendants.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1996
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
Opinion 02/16/1996 (544 N.W.2d 1)
PD-MN-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Keith, A. M. (State Supreme Court)
PD-MN-0001-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kennedy, William R. (Minnesota)
PD-MN-0001-0001
Murrin, David (Minnesota)
PD-MN-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Humphrey, Hubert H. III (Minnesota)
PD-MN-0001-0001
Tiegel, Lisa (Minnesota)
PD-MN-0001-0001
Vanselow, Michael J. (Minnesota)
PD-MN-0001-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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