The mother of a juvenile who was denied a public defender filed a federal lawsuit Thursday demanding punitive damages from the state and the state public defender agency.
Michelle Hill of Lexington filed the federal suit on behalf of a child accused of being beyond the control of a school.
Public defenders began withdrawing from certain types of cases on July 1 because of budget cuts. Attorneys for Hill say the Department of Public Advocacy should spend all of its funds before attempting to withdraw from cases. They also want a declaratory judgment that the case withdrawals are unconstitutional.
Public defenders filed a motion asking to withdraw from the juvenile's case, but it was denied by a Fayette family court judge. Hill's attorneys are claiming infliction of emotional distress and demanding unspecified punitive damages to punish the state and DPA.