Filed Date: July 14, 2015
Clearinghouse coding complete
On July 14, 2015, three residents of Fresno County, one of whom was a former indigent defendant, filed this lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court. The plaintiffs sued the state of California and Fresno County under 42 §U.S.C 1983 and the California Penal Code 987, 1382, 859B. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of Northern California asked the court for a writ of mandamus, injunctive, and declaratory relief, all aimed at compelling the defendants to comply with state and federal law. They also sought attorney fees. The plaintiffs claimed that defendants have violated indigent defendants’ right to due process, their Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, and Fourteenth Amendment right of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution and Art. I §15 of the California Constitution. The ALCU attorneys in this case made clear they were not calling into question the commitment of the public defenders, but rather the inadequate funding of their office.
Two judges were disqualified from the case: Judge Dale Ikeda on Sept 28, 2015 and then Judge Lisa M. Gamoian on October 19, 2015. The case was reassigned to Judge Mark W Snauffer. The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state claims upon which relief can be granted. They also claimed governmental exception and filed a motion to dismiss the state of California and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. as defendants. In a hearing to dismiss the case on April 12, 2016, the court ruled that it could go forward on many counts, but granted dismissal of certain claims with leave to amend. On June 28, 2016, Judge Snauffer granted the motion to dismiss the suit against Governor Brown.
As of January 22, 2017, the case is ongoing.
Abigail DeHart (1/26/2017)
Andersson, Emma A. (New York)
Coleman, Novella (California)
Cook, Gina (California)
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)
Cederborg, Daniel C. (California)
Snauffer, Mark W. (California)
Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:34 p.m.Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.
State / Territory: California
Filing Date: July 14, 2015
Case Ongoing: Yes
There are three plaintiffs in the case, two of which bring the suit as citizens and taxpayers of the county and state. The third is a former indigent defendant represented by attorneys from the Fresno County Public Defender's Office who alleges that he did not receive adequate representation, was detained longer than necessary and eventually plead guilty to charges of which he is innocent.
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: None Yet / None
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief: