The ACLU, the ACLU of Idaho, and the global law firm Hogan Lovells filed a lawsuit in 2015 against the State of Idaho over its defective public defense system. Thousands of Idahoans enter a defective criminal justice system with an overburdened and under resourced public defense delivery system. In April of 2017 the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that the ACLU/Hogan Lovells lawsuit against the state should move forward, holding that "the counties have no practical ability to effect statewide change" and so "the state must implement the remedy."

Idaho’s leaders must establish and fund a statewide public defense system with uniform standards for workloads, performance, and training. They must make the Sixth Amendment a reality for all Idahoans.

As of April 2019, this case is now on appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court for the second time. Read Questions and Answers About the Public Defense Class Action Lawsuit to find out more.



Ritchie Eppink, Jason Williamson, Molly Kafka, David Maxwell, Elizabeth Lockwood

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Hogan & Lovells US LLP

Date filed

June 17, 2015


Idaho Fourth Judicial District Court and Idaho Supreme Court


Samuel A. Hoagland


On appeal

Case number

CV-OC-2015-10240 (District); 46882-2019 (Supreme)