Case: Phillips v. State of California

15 CE CG 02201 | California state trial court

Filed Date: July 14, 2015

Case Ongoing

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Case Summary

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…

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.

Summary Authors

Abigail DeHart (1/26/2017)

People


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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

15 CE CG 02201

Docket

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

Docket

15 CE CG 02201

Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief Under Cal. Const. Art. I 15, U.S. Const. Amds. 6 and 14, Cal. Penal Code 987, 1382, 859B

July 14, 2015

July 14, 2015

Complaint

15 CE CG 02201

Law and Motion Minute Order

April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Order/Opinion

2016 WL 2016

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:34 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Indigent Defense

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 14, 2015

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

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.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

ACLU of Northern California

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of California, State

County of Fresno (Fresno), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General/Misc.:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Funding

Quality of representation

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Wait lists

Reproductive rights:

Fetus Identity