In 2002, the ACLU, acting on behalf of indigent criminal defendants from seven counties throughout Montana, brought suit alleging widespread unconstitutional deficiencies in the public defender system. A settlement was reached in which the Montana Attorney General agreed to advocate with the ACLU for a statewide indigent defense system. Legislation was passed in 2005 establishing such a system. On July 1, 2006 the new public defender system began, under the oversight of the newly established Public Defender Commission.

Date filed

February 10, 2002


First Judicial District of Montana

Case number