ACLU of Utah Response to Recent Dismissal of Remick v. Utah Lawsuit Against the State’s Indigent Defense System

March 27, 2018

On Friday March 23, 2018 the federal district court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Utah and the law firm of Holland & Hart in June 2016. This class action lawsuit alleges that the state fails to provide adequate legal defense for indigent clients as required by the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The ACLU of Utah is disappointed by the court’s decision, given that the same systemic problems in indigent defense described in the lawsuit continue to play themselves out every day for low-income people charged with crimes in Utah.  The court’s decision focused on whether the allegations of the complaint met federal pleading standards. The ruling, however, was by no means a vindication of Utah’s indigent defense system and described Utah's indigent defense system as a "cause for concern."

The ACLU of Utah, together with co-counsel Holland & Hart, will continue efforts to ensure that everyone in Utah—no matter their income level—has access to effective legal counsel.

The lawsuit was filed in 2016, coinciding with the ACLU of Utah’s “Yes on Six!” campaign to increase state funding and oversight of indigent defense systems across the state.

More on the “Yes on Six!” campaign

More about Remick v. Utah

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For more information, contact Jason Stevenson, ACLU of Utah’s Strategic Communications Manager, at (617) 290-8188 (cell), or email, at