The Champion

November 2016 , Page 18 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

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

By Diane Price

Read more NACDL News columns.

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. The court, in a case of first impression, was called to address (1) whether plaintiff-appellants stated a claim for constructive denial of counsel and (2) whether a claim of mandamus to compel funding could be brought. The court’s holding recognized a cause of action for indigent defendants to seek prospective relief when insufficient county funding of public defense services leads to “widespread, systematic and constructive

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad