Judges dismissed from suit over public defender waitlists

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Seven judges have been dismissed from a lawsuit over Missouri’s public defender waitlists. Circuit Judge William Hickle ruled the judges were not necessary parties to the lawsuit, which seeks to end the use of waitlists for public defenders. Civil advocates who filed the lawsuit contend the lists deprive people of their right to a lawyer.

Hickle overruled a motion to dismiss the state, the Missouri Public Defender System and Mary Fox, the director of the Office of State Public Defender, from the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges more than 4,600 people are on waiting lists for a defense attorney in Missouri.

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