Case: Rivera v. Rowland

95-cv-545929 | Connecticut state trial court

Filed Date: Jan. 5, 1995

Closed Date: 1999

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 5, 1995, a group of indigent criminal defendants filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Connecticut and its Public Defender Services Commission under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, the state constitution, and a state statute (C.G.S. 51-289 et seq.), in the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford-New Britain, at Hartford. The plaintiffs alleged that the State did not provide minimally adequate legal representation to indigent de…

On January 5, 1995, a group of indigent criminal defendants filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Connecticut and its Public Defender Services Commission under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, the state constitution, and a state statute (C.G.S. 51-289 et seq.), in the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford-New Britain, at Hartford. The plaintiffs alleged that the State did not provide minimally adequate legal representation to indigent defendants in criminal cases in the geographical area (G.A.) courts, the judicial district (J.D.) courts, and the juvenile courts due to high caseloads and a lack of sufficient resources. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys for the ACLU and the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On November 1, 1996, the Superior Court (Judge Douglas Lavine) granted four motions to intervene in the lawsuit by individuals who had been convicted of crimes and had filed habeas corpus petitions which were pending at the time. The inclusion of these plaintiffs expanded the proposed class to include indigent criminal defendants in habeas corpus proceedings. Judge Lavine also certified the case as a class action, defining the class as consisting of all indigent persons who are or will be represented by public defenders or special public defenders in the geographic area (G.A.) courts, the judicial district (J.D.) courts, juvenile courts and in criminal habeas proceedings.

We don't have much information about what happened next, but litigation continued until 1999 when the parties reached a private settlement of the case. We do not have copies of the settlement documents and the details are therefore unknown.

We have no further information on this case.

Summary Authors

Alison Curran (7/13/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Lavine, Douglas (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dahlberg, Robin L. (New York)

Parrent, Ann M. (Connecticut)

Shuford, Reginald (New York)

Tegeler, Philip D. (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

D'Auria, Gregory T. (Connecticut)

Querijero, Carolyn (Connecticut)

Teitelman, Robert (Connecticut)

Judge(s)

Lavine, Douglas (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dahlberg, Robin L. (New York)

Parrent, Ann M. (Connecticut)

Shuford, Reginald (New York)

Tegeler, Philip D. (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

D'Auria, Gregory T. (Connecticut)

Querijero, Carolyn (Connecticut)

Teitelman, Robert (Connecticut)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Memorandum of Decision on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

1996 Conn.Super.LEXIS 2800

Oct. 23, 1996 Order/Opinion

Memorandum of Decision on Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification

Rivera v. Rowland

1996 WL 677452

Nov. 1, 1996 Order/Opinion

Opinion [Decision on Defendants' Request to Revise]

1996 Conn.Super.LEXIS 3338

Dec. 13, 1996 Order/Opinion

First Protective Order

1996 WL 753941

Dec. 17, 1996 Order/Opinion

Memorandum of Decision on Defendants' Motion for Protective Order Dated September 13, 1996

1996 WL 753943

Dec. 17, 1996 Order/Opinion

Second Class Action Complaint

Jan. 22, 1997 Complaint

Ruling on Discovery Disputes

1997 WL 403138

July 3, 1997 Order/Opinion

Order

1998 WL 61351

Jan. 23, 1998 Order/Opinion

Order

1998 WL 96407

Feb. 20, 1998 Order/Opinion

Notice of Settlement (with attached Joint Motion for Withdrawl of Action)

July 2, 1999 Notice Letter

Resources

Title Description External URL

Indigent Defense Reform: The Role of Systemic Litigation in Operationalizing the Gideon Right to Counsel

Vidhya K. Reddy

This paper traces the evolution of litigative efforts to structurally reform state and local indigent defense systems, focusing on the potential of modern class action lawsuits to overcome political … May 7, 2007

Getting There: On Strategies for Implementing Criminal Justice Reform

Susan N. Herman

This essay will reflect on the toolbox of strategies for criminal justice reform, offering examples of recent successes in state legislative revision; in a ballot initiative where the state legislatu… April 1, 2018

Docket

Last updated May 13, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Connecticut

Case Type(s):

Indigent Defense

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 5, 1995

Closing Date: 1999

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Indigent defendants whose cases have been brought in the Geographical Area (G.A.) courts, the Judicial District (J.D.) courts, the juvenile courts, and on behalf of convicted prisoners who have filed habeas corpus claims.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Public Defender Services Commission , State

State of Connecticut, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Fetus Identity

General:

Funding

Quality of representation

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload