Carrasquillo v. Hampden County District CourtsAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court held that the order issued by the Springfield District Court that required the attorney in charge of the Springfield office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) to provide counsel to indigent criminal defendants and subsequent appointments of CPCS staff attorneys in the Springfield public defender division (PDD) office pursuant to that order were invalid.
Due to a high volume of cases, the First Justice of the Springfield District Court that CPCS staff attorneys in the Springfield PDD office could not handle any more duty days in that court. In response, the First Justice issued the order at issue. The district court subsequently appointed PDD staff attorneys as defense counsel under the order. CPCS filed an emergency petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking to vacate the order and the appointments. The Supreme Judicial Court granted the petition, holding that the order and the appointments were invalid because they improperly infringed on CPCS's statutory authority to control assignments and to limit caseloads for its staff attorneys.