Rights Group Suing Over Public Defender Shortage

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the New Orleans' and state offices tasked with defending people too poor to hire a lawyer after the office began turning down cases, saying it didn't have the resources to do its job.

         In the lawsuit filed late Thursday in federal court, the ACLU took issue with how Louisiana pays to defend its poorest, saying it is "inherently unreliable and prone to crippling shortages."

         The Orleans Public Defenders Office, already dealing with years of budget cuts, this year is facing a $600,000 budget shortfall.

- Sponsors -

         It gets most of its money through fines and fees paid by defendants.

         After warning last fall of serious budget problems, the city's public defenders' office on Tuesday began turning down some cases, saying they couldn't ethically represent them.

         – by AP Reporter Rebecca Santana

- Partner Content -

Sunni LeBeouf

Black History Month Spotlight This Black History Month, Cox Communications is proud to recognize Sunni LeBeouf for her prolific record of professional achievement, civic philanthropy,...



Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter