Idaho judge grants class action status for ACLU lawsuit
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — An Idaho judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho over public defender funding can move forward as a class action lawsuit.
The Post Register reports the judge issued the ruling on Wednesday after the ACLU initially filed the suit against the state in 2015 on behalf of plaintiffs who claimed their representation from public defenders was inadequate.
The ACLU is challenging how public defenders are funded, claiming the public defense system is unprepared to handle the caseloads because the funding is managed by individual counties instead of the state.
The state had argued against making the case a class action lawsuit, claiming there was no commonality between defendants who use public defenders because of the differences between the counties.
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