NACDL - Kuren v. Luzerne Cnty.

Kuren v. Luzerne Cnty.

Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellants. 

Brief filed: 09/10/2015

Documents

Kuren v. Luzerne Cnty.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; Case No.

Prior Decision

Decision below Flora v. Luzerne Cnty., 103 A.3d 125 (Oct. 14, 2014).

Argument

Appellants have stated a claim for constructive denial of counsel because the allegations of the amendment complaint demonstrate that there are systemic deficiencies in the Luzerne County office of the Public Defender that create an imminent and unacceptable risk that appellants’ right to counsel will be violated in ways that cannot be cured by post-conviction review. The amended complaint describes systemic violations of Kuren’s and Allabaugh’s right to counsel under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. Violations of the right to effective assistance of counsel at critical stages of the adversarial process prior to trial cannot be remedied by post-conviction review, making prospective injunctive relief appropriate. The problems confronting indigent defense services are systemic and extend throughout the commonwealth and the nation.

Author(s)

Paul H. Titus and Arleigh P. Helfer III, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Peter Goldberger, Ardmore, PA.