Thursday, June 24, 2010

NYCLA Joins in Filing Civil Action to Challenge Mayor's Plan to Change Indigent Defense Plan

On June 18, NYCLA joined with the Bronx, Kings, Richmond and Queens County Bar Associations in filing a civil action in New York State Supreme Court alleging that recent attempts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the City of New York and the Criminal Justice Coordinator to overturn the City's indigent defense system are unconstitutional under the New York and United States Constitutions.

This most recent action follows the filing of an Article 78 proceeding on June 2 to challenge the City's unilateral overturning of the indigent defense system operated for more than 40 years through a joint plan among the City and County Bars.

The June 18 complaint alleges that the City's actions threaten to undermine indigent defendants' already limited access to meaningful and effective representation, and that the actions violate the guarantees of access to counsel, due process, equal protection and separation of powers. The complaint seeks to halt the City's contract procurement process and preserve the status quo unless and until the City reaches an agreement with the County Bars that preserves indigent defendants' access to adequate legal counsel.

To read the June 18 release about the filing of the civil action, click here: https://www.nycla.org/siteFiles/News/News131_0.pdf

3 comments:

NDubsky said...

I am an attorney (recommended to, but awaiting placement on,the 18B panel). As of now I am focusing on my own practice. However, are there volunteer possibilities to contribute to the civil action? In any capacity: research, writing etc?

Because of the nature of this proposal and, of course, constitutional implications regarding the sixth amendment I am interested assisting in this civil action. If there is a need for assistance on smaller issues I am willing to offer my time

Nicholas S. Dubrowsky

Task Force on Professionalism said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Task Force on Professionalism said...

Thanks for commenting, Nicolas. I wrote an email to the folks at NYCLA who run the pro bono programs to ask if there are opportunities to volunteer for this particular program. You can send an email to my gmail account (nyclablogger@gmail.com) to follow-up because I don't know how to get in touch with you in case there is an opportunity.