Today, the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in Duncan et. al. v. State of Michigan and sent the case back to the Ingham County Circuit Court for further hearings.
In 2009, the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected the State of Michigan’s request to dismiss Duncan et. al. v. State of Michigan. In the Duncan case, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit from three counties asked the court to declare that failures in Michigan’s public defense system violated their right to counsel under the U.S. and Michigan Constitutions.
Said Laura Sager, executive director of the Michigan Campaign for Justice, the nonpartisan coalition working with lawmakers to reform Michigan’s system of providing defense counsel to people unable to afford an attorney:
“As the nonpartisan coalition working with state lawmakers to reform Michigan’s failing public defense system, we are very pleased that the Supreme Court acted quickly in the Duncan case and ruled unanimously in allowing the case to move forward. This ruling is good news and it is a clarion call to state legislators that reform is needed and that their action on this important constitutional problem is required.”