NACDL News: Public Defense Lawsuit in Kuren v. Luzerne County Allowed to Move Forward

On Sept. 28, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision in Kuren v. Luzerne County, a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of indigent criminal defendants in Luzerne County, Pa. The lawsuit alleges that Luzerne County’s failure to adequately fund the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), despite repeated requests for additional funding and implementation of reasonable cost-cutting measures, has led to a system in which OPD is unable to fulfill its constitutional duty to provide adequate representation for indigent criminal defendants.