Case: State v. Lynch

90-74259 | Oklahoma state trial court

Filed Date: 1990

Closed Date: 1990

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1989, the defendants in this case were assigned to be the attorneys for criminal indigent defendants. Following the sentencing of their clients in August 1989, defendants petitioned the court for fees and expenses showing that they had incurred numerous out of pocket expenses defending their clients as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fees. The Trial Court (Melson, J.) approved the requested fees and held that the Oklahoma statute which limited and indigent defendant's attorney's co…

In 1989, the defendants in this case were assigned to be the attorneys for criminal indigent defendants. Following the sentencing of their clients in August 1989, defendants petitioned the court for fees and expenses showing that they had incurred numerous out of pocket expenses defending their clients as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fees. The Trial Court (Melson, J.) approved the requested fees and held that the Oklahoma statute which limited and indigent defendant's attorney's compensation to $3200 was unconstitutional. The State appealed and the case came before the Supreme Court of Oklahoma on March 21, 1990.

On July 24, 1990 the Supreme Court of Oklahoma (Kauger, J.) affirmed the Trial Court's deviation from the statute. However, where the Trial Court found that the statute was per se unconstitutional, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found it unconstitutional as applied to these defendants and resulted in a taking of private property. The Court also held that appointed attorneys must be given the right to a post-appointment opportunity to show good cause for why they cannot represent the defendant. Currently, there is no such opportunity and attorneys in certain counties were immunized from representing indigent defendants resulting in an equal protection violation. Additionally, the Court recommended, but did not order, that court-appointed attorney rates be tied to the rates of public defenders and prosecutors and that they be reimbursed for overhead fees and litigation expenses.

Summary Authors

Dayna Frenkel (3/6/2009)

People


Judge(s)

Hodges, Ralph B. (Oklahoma)

Kauger, Yvonne (Oklahoma)

Opala, Marian P. (Oklahoma)

Simms, Robert D. (Oklahoma)

Wilson, Alma D. (Oklahoma)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dillingham, Carol P. (Oklahoma)

Henry, Robert Harlan (Oklahoma)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Mattingly, Jack A. Jr. (Oklahoma)

Pyron, Rob L. (Oklahoma)

Judge(s)

Hodges, Ralph B. (Oklahoma)

Kauger, Yvonne (Oklahoma)

Opala, Marian P. (Oklahoma)

Simms, Robert D. (Oklahoma)

Wilson, Alma D. (Oklahoma)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dillingham, Carol P. (Oklahoma)

Henry, Robert Harlan (Oklahoma)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Mattingly, Jack A. Jr. (Oklahoma)

Pyron, Rob L. (Oklahoma)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

74-319

74259

Opinion

Oklahoma state supreme court

796 P.2d 1150

July 24, 1990

July 24, 1990

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 26, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Oklahoma

Case Type(s):

Indigent Defense

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1990

Closing Date: 1990

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The state is appealing an award of attorney's fees in excess of those allowed by the Oklahoma statute to indigent defendants' court appointed attorneys.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Oklahoma, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Funding

Quality of representation