Missouri Supreme Court declines defenders' case

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | 10:01 a.m. CDT; updated 10:37 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SPRINGFIELD — The issue of whether Missouri's public defender system can decline to take new cases when caseloads get too high will have to go to an appeals court before it can be heard by the Missouri Supreme Court, the state high court said Monday.

The Missouri Public Defender Commission had appealed a judge's decision that required the Springfield office to represent a man even though the office said it wouldn't take new clients. The appeal went directly to the Supreme Court in an effort to expedite a decision.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the Supreme Court cited a rule requiring that all cases, with a few exceptions, go through an appellate court.

In its Supreme Court filing, the commission argued that the criminal justice system could be in danger if courts continue to assign cases to public defenders beyond caseload limits.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.