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Case Name Stone v. Tom Green County PD-TX-0003
Docket / Court 6:19-cv-00061-H ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Corps
Case Summary
On October 1, 2019, a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Texas filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The plaintiff sued Tom Green County and its two elected District Attorneys under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff claimed violations of her First ... read more >
On October 1, 2019, a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Texas filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The plaintiff sued Tom Green County and its two elected District Attorneys under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff claimed violations of her First Amendment rights. In June 2018, plaintiff was serving as appellate counsel in a criminal case. In her arguments, plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the plea bargain system on the grounds that convictions by plea bargains violated the jury-trial rights outlined in the Texas and United State Constitutions. The plaintiff alleged that in retaliation, the Tom Green County District Attorney's Office implemented a policy of refusing to enter into plea bargains with the plaintiff unless she signed an "Additional Admonishment" agreeing that her argument regarding the constitutionality of plea bargains was wrong. This policy forced the plaintiff to withdraw from her criminal-defense cases due to ethical reasons, leading to lost job opportunity. The plaintiff sought injunctive and compensatory damages.

The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on January 3, 2020, asserting that the plaintiff had failed to support a claim for relief, because the "real party in interest" was Texas rather than Tom Greene County.

As of February 24, 2020, the case was ongoing.

Cedar Hobbs - 02/24/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Free Exercise Clause
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Tom Green County
Plaintiff Description A criminal-defense attorney.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Corps
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 10/01/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Tom Green County, TX: Indigent Defense
http://www.civilrightscorps.org/
Date: Mar. 26, 2020
By: Civil Rights Corps
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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)
6:19-cv-61 (N.D. Tex.)
PD-TX-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/05/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PD-TX-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/01/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Hendrix, James Wesley (N.D. Tex.) show/hide docs
PD-TX-0003-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gerstein, Charles L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PD-TX-0003-0001 | PD-TX-0003-9000
Halperin, Eric I. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PD-TX-0003-0001 | PD-TX-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Rouse, R. Layne (Texas) show/hide docs
PD-TX-0003-9000

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