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Case Name Remick v. Utah PD-UT-0001
Docket / Court 2:16-cv-00789 ( D. Utah )
State/Territory Utah
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On June 21, 2016, plaintiffs, six indigent adults incarcerated in Utah jails and detention centers, brought this class action lawsuit in the Third Judicial District Court in and for Salt Lake County, Utah. The plaintiffs sued the State of Utah and the Attorney General of Utah under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ... read more >
On June 21, 2016, plaintiffs, six indigent adults incarcerated in Utah jails and detention centers, brought this class action lawsuit in the Third Judicial District Court in and for Salt Lake County, Utah. The plaintiffs sued the State of Utah and the Attorney General of Utah under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Utah state law. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the ACLU of Utah, sought injunctive and monetary relief claiming violations of their Sixth Amendment rights, including plaintiffs’ right to effective assistance of counsel, and their Fourteenth Amendment rights, including right to due process. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to provide constitutionally adequate legal representation to indigent adults accused of crimes punishable by incarceration in Utah’s District and Justice courts.

Plaintiffs alleged that defendant’s failure to provide adequate legal representation was due to the state statutorily delegating the duty to provide indigent criminal defense to the individual counties and municipalities of the state, and then failing to provide funding, logical support, or oversight to the counties or municipalities. In support of their claim of failure to provide funding, plaintiffs alleged that Utah provided no financial support to any county or municipality in the state. Additionally, plaintiffs supported their claim with investigations and assessments conducted by the ACLU of Utah, the Sixth Amendment Center, and the Utah Judicial Council.

On July 1, 2016, plaintiffs amended complaint to emphasize alleged harm on individually named plaintiffs.

The case was moved from the Third Judicial District Court in and for Salt Lake County to the United States District Court for the District of Utah on July 13, 2016. On July 20, 2016, defendants filed motion to consolidate case with Cox v. Utah, a similar case in which the plaintiffs, indigent individuals in Utah charged within Washington County of Utah, alleged deficiencies in Utah’s indigent defense program. Then, on July 26, 2016, plaintiffs sought certification of a class comprised of all indigent adults charged or to be charged with one or more crimes in a District or Justice Court within the State of Utah.

On August 5, 2016, defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction. From August 8, 2016 through January 4, 2017, motions were stayed in consideration of defendant’s motion to consolidate cases, this motion was rendered moot after Cox v. State was dismissed. Judge David Nuffer then granted in part a lift of stay to rule on defendant’s motion to dismiss.

As of September 28, 2017, the motion for class certification remains stayed on the grounds that the motion to dismiss should be settled prior to deciding on the motion for class certification. Defendant’s motion to dismiss remains undecided by the court.

Cade Boland - 09/28/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Assistance of counsel (6th Amendment)
Due Process
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Quality of representation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Utah
Utah
Plaintiff Description Indigent adults charged or to be charged with one or more crimes in a District or Justice Court within the State of Utah
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Public Defense
Date: 2011
By: Norman Lefstein (Indiana University--Indianapolis)
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)
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)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Remick v. Utah (2016)
By: ACLU of Utah
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:16−cv−00789−DN−DBP (D. Utah)
PD-UT-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/21/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory Relief [ECF# 2-1]
PD-UT-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/13/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended and Supplemental Class Action Complaint For Declaratory Relief [ECF# 18-1]
PD-UT-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Nuffer, David Ogden (D. Utah)
PD-UT-0001-9000
Pead, Dustin B Court not on record [Magistrate]
PD-UT-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Farrell, Leah M. (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-0001 | PD-UT-0001-0002 | PD-UT-0001-9000
Hadley, Christopher B (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-9000
Harrington, John P (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-0001 | PD-UT-0001-0002 | PD-UT-0001-9000
Horne, Jennifer S (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-9000
Jones, Steven G (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-0002 | PD-UT-0001-9000
Mejia, John (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-0001 | PD-UT-0001-0002 | PD-UT-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Douglas, Parker (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-9000
Dymek, Andrew (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-9000
Wolf, David N (Utah)
PD-UT-0001-9000

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