Case: State ex rel. Missouri Public Defender Commission v. Waters

10-91160 | Missouri state trial court

Filed Date: July 1, 2010

Closed Date: 2012

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Case Summary

On July 1, 2010, criminal charges were filed against a defendant in the 38th Judicial Circuit of Missouri. The defendant was unable to obtain counsel and qualified to have counsel appointed to him through the office of the public defender. The public defender's commission asked the appointment to be set aside as it was in violation of 18 CSR 10-4.010, which precluded public defenders from being appointed after reaching 100% of their caseload after three consecutive months of being over their ca…

On July 1, 2010, criminal charges were filed against a defendant in the 38th Judicial Circuit of Missouri. The defendant was unable to obtain counsel and qualified to have counsel appointed to him through the office of the public defender. The public defender's commission asked the appointment to be set aside as it was in violation of 18 CSR 10-4.010, which precluded public defenders from being appointed after reaching 100% of their caseload after three consecutive months of being over their caseload. The trial judge denied the motion and appointed a public defender to a case in violation of the caseload protocol rule. In doing so, the trial judge concluded that he believed that the Sixth Amendment required him to appoint the public defender to represent the defendant.

On September 2, 2010, public defenders in Missouri filed, in the Missouri Supreme Court, for a writ of prohibition ordering the trial court to withdraw its appointment of the public defender's office.

On July 31, 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court issued an opinion holding that the trial court judge exceeded his authority in appointing counsel in violation of 18 CSR 10-4.010. The court further held that to appoint a public defender in this circumstance would actually have violated the 6th amendment as competent counsel could not be guaranteed. The trial court was also instructed to hold a meeting with stake-holders to alleviate the need for the protocol rule to be invoked.

Summary Authors

Patrick Branson (11/19/2014)

Related Cases

Allen v. Edwards, Louisiana state trial court (2017)

People


Judge(s)

Fischer, Zel M (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mermelstein, John Gregory (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dobbs, Donovan Duane (Missouri)

Miller, Benjamin Jacob (Missouri)

Judge(s)

Fischer, Zel M (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mermelstein, John Gregory (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dobbs, Donovan Duane (Missouri)

Miller, Benjamin Jacob (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

SC 91150

Docket

Missouri Public Defender Commission v. Waters

Missouri state supreme court

Sept. 2, 2010

Sept. 2, 2010

Docket

SC 91150

Opinion (Missouri Supreme Court)

Missouri state supreme court

370 S.W.3d 592

July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 28, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Indigent Defense

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 1, 2010

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Missouri Public Defenders office

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Judge John Waters, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Fetus Identity

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Quality of representation

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload