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Class Action Complaint

Class Action Complaint

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Published by rickystokesnews

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Published by: rickystokesnews on Aug 19, 2011
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08/19/2011

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INTHEUNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTFORTHEMIDDLEDISTRICTOFALABAMACENOBIOM.SANCHEZand
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)CIVILACTION
NO.
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ROBERTBENTLEY,GOVERNOROF)ALABAMA;CALLIET.DIETZ,)ADMINISTRATIVEDIRECTOROFCOURTS)FORTBESTATEOFALABAMA;)HONORABLEHENRYD.BINFORD,)PRESIDINGCIRCUITJUDGEFORTHE)TWENTIETHJUDICIALCIRCIDTOF)ALABAMA;JOELNAPIER,HOUSTON)COUNTY,ALABAMAINDIGENTDEFENSE)COMMISSIONCHAIRMAN;ERNESTH.)HORNSBY,HOUSTONCOUNTY,ALABAMA)INDIGENTDEFENSECOMMISSION)MEMBER;WILLIAMC.CARN,III,)HOUSTONCOUNTY,ALABAMAINDIGENT)DEFENSECOMMISSIONMEMBER;MARK)CULVER,HOUSTONCOUNTY,ALABAMA)INDIGENTDEFENSECOMMISSION)MEMBER;LARRYREGISTER,HOUSTON)COUNTY,ALABAMAINDIGENTDEFENSE)COMMISSIONMEMBER;)))TINAMIKEL,Plaintiffs,vs.
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Defendants.CLASSACTIONCOMPLAINTCOMESNOW,Plaintiffs,CenobioM.SanchezandTinaMikelonbehalfofhimself,herself,andallotherssimilarlysituated,andfilesthisComplaintandallegesagainsttheDefendants,asfollows:
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INTRODUCTION
1.Plaintiffsbringthiscivilrightsactiontoremedyabove-namedDefendants'failuretoprovideconstitutionallyadequatelegalrepresentationtoindigentadultschargedwithcriminaloffensesinHoustonCounty,Alabama.ThisfailuredeprivedPlaintiffsandthreatenstodepriveotherssimilarlysituatedofrightsguaranteedtothembytheSixthandFourteenthAmendmentstotheUnitedStatesConstitution.2.
In
theUnitedStatesallpersonschargedwithcriminalactshavetherighttocompetent,effectiveassistanceofcounselandthestatesarerequiredtoprovidesuchassistanceintheeventoftheindigenceofthedefendant.3.Alabamahasdelegatedtheresponsibilityofdeterminingthetypeofindigentdefenseservicestothepresidingjudgeineachcircuitwithtwojudgesorless;toamajorityofthejudgesineachcircuitwiththreeormorejudges;andtogoverningbodyofeachmunicipalitymaintainingamunicipalcourt.Ala.CodeSection15-12-2.4.Eachjudicialcircuitisrequiredtoappointanindigentdefensecommission.Ala.CodeSection15-12-4.AlthoughStatelawhasdelegatedtheresponsibilityofprovidingindigentdefensecounsel,itdoesnotrequirethattheCountieshireindigentdefenseprovidersonmerit,trainthemincriminaldefense,issuewrittenpracticestandards,monitororlimitexcessiveworkloads.5.
In
2004,thecircuitjudgesofHoustonCountydecidedtoawardattorneycontractstoworkindigentcasesforspecificjudges,knownasthe''ContractSystem".Thoseattorneysaresometimesreferredtohereinas"ContractAttorneys".6.AsaresultoftheDefendants'failuretomonitorandsupervisethedefenseofindigentdefendantsadequately,theContractSysteminHoustonCounty,Alabarnacannotengageinthetype
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ofadversarialadvocacycontemplatedbytheUnitedStatesConstitution.Lackingtimeandtraining,counselcannotconferwithclientsinameaningfulmanner,researchrelevantcaselaw,reviewclientfiles,conductnecessarypre-trialinvestigationsorprepareadequatelyforhearingsandtrials.7.AsaproximateresultoftheDefendants'failuretomonitorandsupervisethedefenseofindigentdefendantsadequately,including,butnotlimitedto,thefailuretomonitorworkloads,indigentclientssuffermultipledeprivationsoftheirconstitutionalandstatutoryrights.Personswhomightotherwisebeeligibleforbailremaininpre-trialincarcerationunnecessarily.Theycannotchallengetheevidenceagainstthem.Innocentpersonspleadguilty.Thosewhohavemeritoriousdefensescannotpresentthem.Theyreceiveharshersentencesthanthefactsoftheircasewarrant.Indigentclientswaivetheirdueprocessrights,theirrighttoaspeedytrial,andtheirrighttoappealtheirconvictions.8.Nationalstandardspertainingtotheadministrationandprovisionofindigentdefenseprogramshavebeeninexistencerordecades.'DefendantshaveknownorshouldhaveknownthattheirfailuretosetadequatestandardsandmonitorresultsintheconsequentinabilityofHoustonCountytoprovideconstitutionallyadequatelegalrepresentation.TheDefendants'failuretoremedytheseinadequaciesconstitutesdeliberateindifferencetotheconstitutionalandstatutoryrightsofplaintiffsandmembersoftheplaintiffclass.9.Pursuantto42U.S.C.§1983,theSixthandFourteenthAmendmentsto
See,e.g.,
AmericanBarAssociation(ABA)StandardsforCriminalJustice:ProsecutionFunctionandDefenseFunction(1993);ABAStandardsforCriminalJustice:ProvidingDefenseServices(1992);NationalLegalAidandDefenderAssociation(NLADA)PerformanceGuidelinesforCriminalDefenseRepresentation(1995);NLADAGuidelinesforNegotiatingandAwardingGovernmentalContractsforCriminalDefenseServices(1984);NLADAStandardsfortheAdministrationofAssignedCounselSystems(1989);NLADAGuidelinesforLegalDefenseSystems
in
theUnitedStates(1976);President'sNationalAdvisoryCommissiononCriminalJusticeStandardsandGoals,ReportoftheTaskForceontheCourts(1973).
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