Lawsuit over Maine’s public defender system to proceed

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 2:16 PM EDT
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(AP) - AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A lawsuit over Maine’s system that provides attorneys to those who can’t afford one is being allowed to proceed.

The class-action lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine contends there’s a failure to train, supervise and adequately fund a system to ensure the constitutional right to effective counsel for defendants.

Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy late last week rejected the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Maine is the only state in the nation without a public defender’s office for people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.

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