Case: Van Slyke v. State

00-00013 | Mississippi state trial court

Filed Date: 2000

Clearinghouse coding in progress

Case Summary

Plaintiff, J.B. Van Slyke, was Forrest County's only public defender. Represented by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and private law firms, Plaintiff filed suit against Forrest County and the State of Mississippi in 1999. That suit, filed in the Chancery Court of Forrest County, alleged that inadequate public funding left Plaintiff unable to fulfill his duties as public defender. Also in 1999, three similar suits were filed against the state by counties seeking to force the State to contribute …

Plaintiff, J.B. Van Slyke, was Forrest County's only public defender. Represented by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and private law firms, Plaintiff filed suit against Forrest County and the State of Mississippi in 1999. That suit, filed in the Chancery Court of Forrest County, alleged that inadequate public funding left Plaintiff unable to fulfill his duties as public defender.

Also in 1999, three similar suits were filed against the state by counties seeking to force the State to contribute to the cost of indigent defense. These cases appear in our database as Quitman County v. State of Mississippi (PD-MS-0001), Jefferson County v. State (PD-MS-0002), and Noxubee County v. State (PD-MS-0003).

The Van Slyke, Jefferson County, and Noxubee County cases were all held in abeyance pending the outcome of the first appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court in Quitman County v. State of Mississippi. See State v. Quitman County, 807 So.2d 401, 402 n.1 (Miss. 2001). In 2001, the Mississippi Supreme Court resolved that first appeal by holding that Quitman County stated a sufficient cause of action to justify a trial. State v. Quitman County, 807 So.2d 401, 410 (Miss. 2001).

Van Slyke v. State was voluntarily dismissed in 2001 after Plaintiff, Van Slyke, resigned as public defender. Because we have no docket or other court documents, we are unsure whether the Van Slyke case was dismissed before or after the Mississippi Supreme Court's authorization of a trial in the Quitman County case.

The information for this summary was acquired primarily from a report by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund entitled Assembly Line Justice: Mississippi's Indigent Defense Crisis. This document appears in our database as PD-MS-0004-0001. Also relevant was the information located in State v. Quitman County, 807 So.2d 401, 402 n.1 (Miss. 2001).

We have no further information on Van Slyke v. State.

Summary Authors

Vidhya Reddy (2/4/2008)

Related Cases

Quitman County v. State of Mississippi, Mississippi state trial court (1999)

Jefferson County v. State, Mississippi state trial court (1999)

Noxubee County v. State, Mississippi state trial court (1999)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Assembly Line Justice: Mississippi's Indigent Defense Crisis [NAACP Legal Defense Fund Report]

Feb. 1, 2003 Other

Docket

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Mississippi

Case Type(s):

Indigent Defense

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2000

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

J.B. Van Slyke was Forrest County's only public defender who sued the County in 1999 alleging that inadequate public funding left him unable to fulfill his duties as public defender.

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Outcome: Unknown

Defendants

State of Mississippi, State

Forrest County (Forrest), County

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant