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Case Name Flournoy v. State of Georgia PD-GA-0005
Docket / Court 2009 cv 178947 ( State Court )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
On December 15, 2009, indigent defendants in criminal cases filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Georgia and its Public Defender Standards Council ("GPDSC") in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia. Plaintiffs sought mandamus, declaratory ans injunctive relief to compel ... read more >
On December 15, 2009, indigent defendants in criminal cases filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Georgia and its Public Defender Standards Council ("GPDSC") in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia. Plaintiffs sought mandamus, declaratory ans injunctive relief to compel Defendants to provide them and others similarly situated with adaquate, effective, and conflict-free counsel to assist in their motions for new trial and appellate proceedings.

On Febrary 23, 2010, the Court (Judge Jerry W. Baxter) granted the Petition for Mandamus and certified the class.

The parties entered a Consent Decree, approved by the Court, on December 14, 2011. During the course of the litigation, the backlog of requests for conflict-free appellate counsel had been cleared, so the decree set standards for future procedures. The parties agreed to a three-month evaluation period, hiring of additional full-time staff attorneys in the Appellate Division of the GPDSC, workload controls, hiring standards, attorney qualifications, supervisory policies, and training.

For contract attorneys, the decree sets fees which take into account the length and difficulty of each case, establishes minimum qualifications, hiring, and monitoring of contract counsel.

Additionally, the defendants agreed to establish and maintain an electronic database to track implementation of the provisions of the consent decree and to provide periodic reports to class counsel.

Denise Heberle - 01/25/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Funding
Quality of representation
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) State of Georgia
Plaintiff Description Class of indigent criminal defendants.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2010 - 2014
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PD-GA-0006 : Cantwell v. Crawford (State Court)
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
Class Action Petition for Writ of Mandamus and Verified Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 12/15/2009
PD-GA-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Order on Class Certification and Mandamus 02/23/2010
PD-GA-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree 12/14/2011
PD-GA-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Judges Baxter, Jerry W (State Trial Court)
PD-GA-0005-0002 | PD-GA-0005-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bondurant, Emmet J. II (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0001 | PD-GA-0005-0002
Caplan, Michael A. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0002 | PD-GA-0005-0003
Garland, Edward T. M. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0001 | PD-GA-0005-0002
Lucas, Lauren Sudeall (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0002 | PD-GA-0005-0003
Martin, John R. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0001 | PD-GA-0005-0002
Michaels, Sandra (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0002
Pearson, Albert M. III (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0001 | PD-GA-0005-0002
Samuel, Donald F (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0002
Scarborough, Stephen R. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0002
Velez, Melanie (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0001 | PD-GA-0005-0002
Weber, Gerald R. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0001 | PD-GA-0005-0002 | PD-GA-0005-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Kennedy, DeBrae (Georgia)
PD-GA-0005-0002 | PD-GA-0005-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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