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Case Name Hackin v. Arizona PD-AZ-0002
Docket / Court Unknown ( State Court )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Case Summary
Plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Arizona state court after being convicted of violating A.R.S. s 32—261, an Arizona statute prohibiting any person from practicing law in Arizona unless he is an active member of the state bar. The underlying facts are as follows:
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Plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Arizona state court after being convicted of violating A.R.S. s 32—261, an Arizona statute prohibiting any person from practicing law in Arizona unless he is an active member of the state bar. The underlying facts are as follows:

On October 24, 1966, Plaintiff appeared in a state court habeas corpus proceeding on behalf of an indigent prisoner in the Superior Court of Maricopa County. Plaintiff had graduated from an unaccredited law school but was refused admission to the Arizona Bar. Because Plaintiff was not a licensed attorney, he was advised by a deputy county attorney that should he insist on representing the prisoner he would be subject to prosecution for violation of a state law, i.e. A.R.S. s 32—261, prohibiting the illegal practice of law. However, after unsuccessfully attempting to secure independent counsel for the prisoner, Plaintiff chose to conduct the hearing on his behalf.

After being convicted at a jury trial for violating A.R.S. s 32—261, Plaintiff appealed his conviction to the Superior Court of Maricopa County where his conviction was upheld and he was sentenced to 15 days in the Maricopa County jail. He then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Arizona. In his petition, he raised three issues: (1) A.R.S. s 13—2002, a statute permitting any person acting on behalf of the prisoner to file an application for a writ of habeas corpus, authorized petitioner's representation of the individual habeas applicant; (2) Plaintiff's conviction violated his First Amendment right to freedom of speech; and (3) A.R.S. s 32—261 is unconstitutional because its terms are too vague and indefinite to meet constitutional standards.

The Supreme Court of Arizona rejected all three arguments and denied Plaintiff's writ. In particular, the court held that while a non-attorney may file an individual habeas applicant's petition on their behalf, they may not represent the individual in habeas proceedings.

Plaintiff's appeal to the United States Supreme Court was dismissed for want of a substantial federal question. Justice Douglas dissented from the dismissal. After lamenting the state of indigent defense representation, Justice Douglas suggested that the Arizona statute prohibiting laypersons from providing free legal representation may violate the First Amendment rights of advocacy and petition of redress, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal justice. In particular, he argued that statutes like the Arizona statute have "the potential to ‘freeze out’ the imaginative new attempts to assist indigents realize equal justice, merely because lay persons participate."

Plaintiff's subsequent petition for rehearing was denied.

Elena Malik - 02/27/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Causes of Action Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) State of Arizona
Plaintiff Description An individual, not a licensed attorney, who appeared in a state court habeas corpus proceeding on behalf of an indigent prisoner.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 1966
Case Closing Year 1968
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Public Defense
Date: 2011
By: Norman Lefstein (Indiana University--Indianapolis Faculty)
Citation: (ABA 2011)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Justice Denied: America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel.
Date: 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 ]

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

  Indigent Defense Reform: The Role of Systemic Litigation in Operationalizing the Gideon Right to Counsel
Date: May 7, 2007
By: Vidhya K. Reddy (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion (427 P.2d 910)
PD-AZ-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/17/1967
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (389 U.S. 143)
PD-AZ-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/13/1967
Source: Papers of Owen Fiss

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